Fitness industry myth busting, physiology lessons and tips for personal trainers and fitness enthusiasts.
How rest between sets affects muscle growth
Thanks for listening. When you're ready, here are three ways I can help you:
1. You can DM me on IG. Here's the link.
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3. Work with me 1-on-1. Fill out this questionnaire to see if we're a good fit.
27/11/2023 • 14 minutes 15 seconds
Build muscle in half the time
13/11/2023 • 18 minutes 16 seconds
How to understand research
In today’s world, we have more accumulated knowledge available to us as individuals than entire generations did not so long ago. It’s great to have the world of knowledge at your fingertips but knowing how to make best use f it is another thing entirely.
Here are 10 guidelines/rules to help you read and understand fitness science.
06/09/2022 • 24 minutes 37 seconds
Choosing the right exercise
How does your brain choose which muscle to use during an exercise?
The nervous system ‘matches’ the areas of the muscle with the best leverage to the task. But there are also individual differences, even when using the same exercises.
We don’t always recruit the same muscle or even the same muscle regions with an exercise.
This has been shown in studies. Different parts of the same muscle can grow asymmetrically depending on the exercise used.
29/08/2022 • 17 minutes 45 seconds
How to Recomp
The holy grail. Lose fat, build muscle at the same time.
Recomping is hard, but possible. The biological processes that grow muscle and burn fat compete with each other. The fastest way to lose fat is via a calorie deficit. Building muscle is fastest in a surplus. But it is possible to hit maintenance calories and do both. It's much easier under some circumstances.
Free mini-course: Training Program Secrets
02/08/2022 • 22 minutes 22 seconds
How do you know when to change exercises?
Exercise selection is a rabbit hole. And once you've found your 'perfect' program - how and when do you change it? It's all about finding balance between personal preference, making progress, and optimising for performance over time.
Thanks for listening. Here are other ways I can help you:
Sign up for my Free Training Program Secrets Mini Course.
Follow me on Instagram (I lost my old account, by the way. The new one is @coachluketulloch).
07/06/2022 • 24 minutes 56 seconds
Recomping, EAAs, calisthenics and more
I have a new instagram account: @coachluketulloch
I've been answering questions on my stories and thought I'd do a podcast to go a little more in depth on some of them. Enjoy!
19/05/2022 • 21 minutes 15 seconds
Forget everything else for a second. This is the one thing you MUST do if you want long term muscle growth.
Progressive overload simply means training must stay challenging over time. It makes sure your training stays effective as you get bigger and stronger.
Why? Because it maintains the number of stimulating reps in each set as your progress.
The reps closer to failure are the most stimulating to muscle growth.
As you approach failure on a set, your brain recruits more and more muscle fibres to keep lifting the weight. The largest groups of fibres are saved until last - meaning the last few reps are stimulating the most muscle fibres and making them grow.
But unless you add reps or load over time, you'll start dropping these reps.
You can jump on my newsletter below. I'll let you know when the How To Write A Program course is ready.
09/02/2022 • 21 minutes 26 seconds
Should you train to failure?
As we approach muscular failure, muscle fibre recruitment goes up. This stimulates the motor units that contain the majority of the large, highly-responsive fibres to grow. So in simple terms, the idea is that the last 5ish reps before failure are “stimulatory reps” because they involve both full motor unit recruitment and a high level of tension.
But recent research indicates training to failure is not necessary. So should you train to failure? Are 'effective reps' a crock of shit?
Listen in and I'll give you my take.
14/12/2021 • 25 minutes 32 seconds
Confusing fitness terms
One of my biggest frustrations with the fitness industry is confusing terms. Often there is a mix-up with technical definitions and colloquial use of terms - words like progressive overload, protein synthesis, fatigue, lean mass, intensity, failure/training to failure, hypertrophy, water, bloating, and so on.
In this episode I try to clear up what we mean by these terms, because it has implications for understanding messages in research and social media.
16/11/2021 • 29 minutes 4 seconds
Dealing with pain and injuries
I challenge some conventional wisdom around injuries and touch on the biopsychosocial model of pain. There's a lot we can do to manage pain that doesn't involve training, posture, stretching and so on. I also give some practical ideas for using movement and exercise to recover from an injury.
Most of this information is inspired by and summarized really well in Greg Lehman's Pain Science Workbook.
19/10/2021 • 42 minutes 51 seconds
Exercise selection and writing your own program
Here's the link to the form.
06/10/2021 • 22 minutes 52 seconds
Training volume, self-efficacy, signals for muscle growth, circadian rhythm...
Answering more questions in this episode.
Training volume: why 10-20 sets per week isn't a perfect individual recommendation.
Circadian rhythm: how exposure to light, exercise, and food affects your daily physiology.
Coaching styles and self-efficacy: how hands on should you be as a coach?
Signals for muscle growth: there are several signals that converge to turn on muscle growth.
Matching training + nutrition: how calories and carbs should match your training
Programming similar movements: when do you need to think about resistance curves and why?
My website: www.luketulloch.com
My Instagram: www.instagram.com/_luketulloch
26/07/2021 • 35 minutes 45 seconds
How to set better goals
In this episode I talk about:
3 critical aspects of a habit
Willpower and self-efficacy
Benefits and drawbacks of habits
Types of goals, breaking down goals and chunking
Intrinsic and extrinsic goals, and how to reinterpret an extrinsic goal
23/06/2021 • 30 minutes 23 seconds
Listener Q&A - pre/post workout meals, minimising fat gain when bulking, what fat sources to eat...
Welcome to another listener Q&A. You can submit your questions at the Google form here.
If someone prefers to eat more carbohydrates in his/her diet after setting up protein , what should be the fat sources for completing a minimum requirements?
I was just wondering if it’s important to have both a pre and post workout meal and what the timing windows are? I train at 6am and sometimes struggle later in the day as I use so many calories up before mid morning! Is this necessary and which of the two meals is a non negotiable ?
When building is it better to gradually increase calories (vs faster) to minimise fat gain?
Podcast: How much do you need to eat to grow?
How do you recommend sugar fits into macros? Just minimise it?
My question is - please can you talk me through how to brace your core for lifts
15/06/2021 • 19 minutes 6 seconds
Got a question for me? Check the description of this episode.
Ask your question at the link below and I'll record an episode answering them this week.
14/06/2021 • 1 minute 5 seconds
Clearing Up Training Fatigue
Most people have no clue what actually causes training fatigue.
But it's important. It's a huge part of the training equation. If we can better understand where fatigue comes from, then we can better manage it - and that means faster progress.
For example, CNS fatigue is NOT caused by lifting heavy. In fact, higher rep training is much more likely to reduce the output from brain to muscle.
I explain this and much more in this episode. Enjoy!
10/05/2021 • 25 minutes 46 seconds
Austin Current - Science of Strength Training: educate, don't belittle
Austin's back and he's got a new book coming out! We talk about the process of writing the book - how it forced Austin to delay gratification, to challenge himself, and to turn up every day. We also spent a lot of time discussing how to communicate online, how to ask better questions, and how challenging your own authority in the world can give huge insight.
There's a bit of us catching up at the start, so feel free to skip the first 10 mins or so if you want to get into the meat of the conversation.
Science of Strength Training by Austin Current teaches you the science behind strength training and how to properly perform exercise at the gym or at home.
Austin's links: Instagram - Linktree - Book's instagram
My links: Instagram - <a hr
08/04/2021 • 1 hour 23 minutes 13 seconds
Changing my mind on free weights vs machines, intuitive eating, weekly set volume...
4 things I've changed my mind on! Join me as I talk through what changed my mind about these and how.
Here's what I used to think:
Nothing beats free weights for growing muscle and getting stronger...
Intuitive eating just meant guessing the macro content of your food instead of weighing it...
You have to eat hundreds of grams of protein per day to maximize muscle...
You can accurately give a specific target number of sets per week to do per muscle to maximize growth.
08/03/2021 • 23 minutes 7 seconds
Changing my mind on juicing, carbs, push/pull ratio, and what makes a good coach
4 things I've changed my mind on! Join me as I talk through what changed my mind about these and how. Plenty of research cited!
I used to think...
Juices are just sugary water with very little micronutrition...
You need a lot of carbs to grow the most muscle possible...
You need to match a push exercise with a pull exercise to make sure your posture and shoulders stay healthy...
A good coach uses lots of cues, lots of small tweaks, and plenty of micromanagement to get the best results.
22/02/2021 • 20 minutes 48 seconds
Listener Q&A - health at every size, hitting protein in a deficit, periodisation...
How do we differentiate quality research from BS?
How does periodisation work?
Is there any research suggesting what the optimal surplus range is for muscle building?
do you think it's necessary to spend a degree of time in a commercial gym working with gen-pop clients even if that isn't your long-term goal?
Hitting protein in a deficit - is it a problem if I undershoot sometimes?
How much protein is too much?
Research on hormonal birth control and gains?
Thoughts on HAES and intuitive eating
100kg person on 800kcal - what to do
Should we account for physical activity in our daily cals?
Are EAAs useful to supplement?
Does digestive health affect calorie needs?
Calorie deficits as an athlete, especially as it relates to injury risk
How to slim the legs?
Studying a PhD, dieting and training at the same time
08/02/2021 • 29 minutes 2 seconds
The first step to getting results: awareness
Spend 15 mins with me as I explain why awareness is the key to achieving your goals. This isn't airy-fairy stuff, it's about having an actual game plan for behaviour change and developing the skills to know if it's working.
01/02/2021 • 14 minutes 37 seconds
Listener Q&A - micronutrition for fat loss, how to know you're gaining muscle, how to grow an online coaching business...
I answer your questions!
Science of Fitness 2021 is opening its doors within the week.
Tap here and join the mailing list at www.luketulloch.com to learn more.
- Do you believe that the quality of food has an affect on losing body fat easier than less nutritional food?
- How best to know if you are effectively building muscle in a building phase.
- Currently teaching spin classes on top of my weight training. Will I lose muscle?
- What one piece of advice would you give a coach to have a successful online business?
- Is a deload week important after 6-12 weeks of training ? What happens if I train one year without having deload day or week?
- Is it truly just CICO for menopausal women? When sleep is affected, stress levels are higher etc.
- During my sleep my Fitbit shows that I wake up a lot, and I am only getting max 1 hour sleep of deep sleep.
13/01/2021 • 21 minutes 58 seconds
Meal timing - updated!
In this episode I revisit meal timing and touch on some of the research showing how biological clocks can affect metabolic rate, insulin sensitivity, appetite, rate of digestion.
Article I mentioned
15/12/2020 • 24 minutes 11 seconds
Austin Current - mindfulness, constraints and ROI
Enjoy this conversation I had with my good friend Austin Current, an online coach from the USA.
Austin and I discuss being in your own head, the phasic nature of life and moving targets, how being an expert doesn't make you immune to cognitive bias, how constraints can push you ahead and allow creativity, going deep on one task at a time, and much more.
Austin's website - Austin's instagram
My website - My instagram
03/12/2020 • 1 hour 16 minutes 13 seconds
Do you even need to weigh yourself?
Last episode I spoke about how important it is to weigh yourself daily.
But that's just IF you're going to weigh yourself in the first place.
This episode is short, but it will give you plenty of food for thought around your fitness goals.
21/10/2020 • 15 minutes 41 seconds
How to measure your progress without fear of the scales
In this episode, I talk about the emotional hold the scales can have, and one way to overcome it. I also talk about how you can combine different methods for measuring your progress to give you a way better idea of how you're doing, and the pros and cons of various methods of measuring bodyfat percentage.
Make sure you listen to the next episode, where I'll discuss whether you even need to use the scales at all.
03/10/2020 • 21 minutes 21 seconds
Training Volume - what you might have missed
This is a solo episode where I talk about the difficulties in using studies done on training volume to work out your own individual weekly volume.
training volume (number of sets per week on a given body part or movement) is a primary contributor to gains in strength and muscle, but I often see the concept misapplied. We don't have an easy way of calculating exactly how many sets are optimal, and in this quick episode I explain a couple of reasons why it's tough to give individual prescriptions.
18/09/2020 • 15 minutes 45 seconds
David Grey - give 'em what they're missing
A great chat with my mate David. He's an intelligent, passionate man who's helping people move better without excessive manual therapy and redundant band exercises. I remember a great little summary of his when describing what the approach should be: "give them what they're missing".
We talk about the role of the brain, reflexes, breathing and cueing in coaxing better movement out of athletes and average joes & janes. I also asked David how he goes about finding and assessing new information, since a lot of his methodology is not yet fully embraced in the traditional rehab world, although it is gaining traction among many of the top strength coaches I follow.
David's website and instagram. David's youtube.
My website and <a href="https://www.instagram.com/_luketull
31/08/2020 • 1 hour 2 minutes 19 seconds
Soph Allen - Mindset, Mindfulness and Authenticity
I had a really interesting chat with Soph about how she looks after her mental health, how important routine is for her, but most importantly how she actively works on her mindset. I originally reached out to Soph because I thought she was doing a great job building her business and providing fitness info while coming across as genuine. It's a difficult thing to do with an active social media strategy as your business starts to scale.
The insights she gave are applicable across life, in fitness and business.
Soph's instagram, youtube, website.
My instagram, website.
25/08/2020 • 56 minutes 56 seconds
Lyndon Purcell - the new era of coaching, learning, the changing world
This episode has some serious cutting edge thinking on how coaching will develop.
In this episode, Lyndon and I discuss the direction of coaching in the fitness industry, our own personal development, how we can facilitate all areas of well-being in our clients, and the state of the world in general.
Lyndon always provides interesting insights and I think this episode will spur some self-reflection in anyone who listens!
Lyndon's website is www.thereforethink.org and his Instagram handle is l.j.purcell
My website is luketulloch.com and my Instagram handle is _luketulloch
18/08/2020 • 1 hour 23 minutes 29 seconds
Join Will and I as we discuss progressive overload, how we judge can gains in technical proficiency vs weight on the bar or volume done, training volume and how it drives progression, coaching and language, how to communicate with clients and how experience as a coach can influence your ability to be a good client.
Will gives a lot of insight into the nuts and bolts of coaching and how we can promote self-efficacy and independence in our clients. I also enjoyed the section we had on specialising vs being a generalist, and how they're dependent on each other.
This is a must-listen for coaches and clients alike!
15/07/2020 • 1 hour 11 minutes 49 seconds
In this episode, I talk about training for endurance while maximising strength, power and muscle at the same time.
15/06/2020 • 32 minutes 33 seconds
Turns out moving to Sweden is hard...
This is a just a quick update on my current travel/living situation in Europe. Nothing fitness related in this short episode!
Sign up to my newsletter below. You'll get one email per week with juicy fitness info and access to some free course material.
09/06/2020 • 5 minutes
How much do you need to eat to grow?
A calorie surplus is probably a good idea if you want to max out your muscle growth. But how much do you need?
Most people miscalculate their calorie surplus, because there's more to it than meets the eye. Take 20 mins to listen to this episode and learn more about how to properly set your calorie intake to maximise your muscle growth.
Sign up to the newsletter here: www.luketulloch.com
15/05/2020 • 21 minutes 42 seconds
Satiety index, BMI and glycemic index
In this podcast, I take you through the pros and cons of each of these indices and show you how you can use them to your advantage. there's a big focus on satiety index in this one, because it's a key component of creating a sustainable diet plan.
Sign up to the webinar here:
How to diet without tracking webinar
16/04/2020 • 26 minutes 7 seconds
Will is one of Australia's strongest powerlifters and an online coach. He prides himself on his aptitude to research and understanding the lifting style of his clients, his ability to convey clear and concise feedback and his flexibility in coaching protocols. We talk about online coaching, unconventional training methods and balancing specificity with long term performance.
Will's website: Nexus Performance
05/04/2020 • 50 minutes 22 seconds
Guided meditation - 15 minutes
This is a guided meditation based on the UCLA Health guided meditations (https://www.uclahealth.org/marc/mindful-meditations, All meditations by MARC's Director for Mindfulness Education, Diana Winston).
I made some minor omissions in the language to suit my preferences, but otherwise followed the published transcripts.
02/04/2020 • 15 minutes 19 seconds
Making the most of the COVID-19 situation
The episode I didn't want to make. What diet, training and lifestyle practices can we use to best avoid getting sick? What do you do if you can't train or if you're quarantined?
How muscle memory works
19/03/2020 • 16 minutes 50 seconds
Want to boost your bullshit detector in under half an hour?
Recently, there was a study done comparing squats with hip thrusts for their effects on glute hypertrophy. Some of the rebuttals were riddled with giant logical fallacies, and in this episode I point some of these out and describe the ones I've come across most commonly in the fitness industry.
02/03/2020 • 24 minutes 59 seconds
No More Faking It
Forget “fake it til you make it”. The new currency of trust is authenticity.
Read the blog post
Science of Fitness Mailing List
General Mailing List
19/02/2020 • 14 minutes 44 seconds
So grateful to have this guy as a friend. Smart, articulate, genuine and passionate. It all comes through on this episode. Let us know what you think!
How do we know how many calories we use during exercise? Can we use heart rate to work it out? What about your Fitbit or cardio equipment - can they tell you how many calories you're burning? Learn about how temperature, your shoes and your exercise intensity affect the energy cost of training.
05/01/2020 • 34 minutes 51 seconds
Year in review
I chat about the year and ramble on about some philosophy and things I've learned this year.
Science of Fitness
26/12/2019 • 23 minutes 31 seconds
Holiday eating tips
These are some things I do when I have a big event coming up and I know there will be a lot of tasty food. The gist of the video is to plan ahead by simulating potential problems and solve them ahead of time. The holiday period is obviously a trying time for people trying to stay in shape, so it's worth taking the time to come up with a plan around this period. Unfortunately, much of the annual weight gain we experience throughout our lives occurs over the Christmas break, and continues to accumulate over decades. I have a post encouraging you to use this period as an opportunity to practice flexible eating, which includes some self-control.
23/12/2019 • 8 minutes 54 seconds
Potential deficiencies in plant-based diets
Systems In Synergy - Sydney, Jan 25-26
Blog post on creatine
Blog post on vegan diet deficiencies
18/12/2019 • 26 minutes 29 seconds
Listen to learn how your physical activity changes in response to a calorie surplus or a deficit. This is by far the most variable part of total daily energy expenditure, and it's a key part in explaining why some people find it harder to lose or gain weight than others.
Read more about metabolic adaptation here: Part One, Part Two
Read more about diet breaks and refeeds to mitigate metabolic adaptation here.
Read more about how many calories weight lifting actually burns here.
05/12/2019 • 29 minutes 22 seconds
How many calories does weight lifting burn?
Lifting weights is tough! But while it's fatiguing, it probably doesn't burn as many calories as you think. Research has been used to work out exactly how much you burn lifting weights compared to cardio.
Watch the video
Read the blog post
26/11/2019 • 8 minutes 50 seconds
How does muscle memory work for bodybuilding?
Is muscle memory real? There's a legit biological explanation for why we seem to gain size and strength back super fast after a training layoff. It’s as if the muscles ‘remember’ what size they used to be, and it has to do with satellite cells and muscle damage.
19/11/2019 • 17 minutes 16 seconds
Sleep and Muscle Growth
According to studies, sleep is a sure-fire path to building more muscle and preventing muscle loss during a diet. It enhances recovery and improves performance in the gym. Listen to find out how much sleep is enough, whether using naps is a good idea and whether interrupted sleep is a problem.
Sleep and muscle growth: https://www.luketulloch.com/blog/sleep-and-muscle-growth
Training volume: https://www.luketulloch.com/blog/training-volume-for-strength-and-hypertrophy
10 Simple tips for health: https://www.luketulloch.com/blog/10-simple-healthy-lifestyle-tips-for-everyone
Video that the audio is taken from: https://youtu.be/bwps8sqyXjg
13/11/2019 • 13 minutes 41 seconds
10 Simple Healthy Lifestyle Tips For Everyone
From my experience as a coach, these are the top 10 tips I can give you to improve your overall health. Whether you’re a man, a woman, an athlete or a student - these tips apply to everyone.
I tried to make these about more than just training and nutrition since most of my listeners are fitness enthusiasts, and we know that there's a lot more to health than just physical fitness.
Read the blog post: https://www.luketulloch.com/blog/10-simple-healthy-lifestyle-tips-for-everyone
Decompression article: https://www.luketulloch.com/blog/decompress
10/11/2019 • 22 minutes 34 seconds
Everything you need to know about diet breaks and refeeds
Read the accompanying blog post:
Watch the video:
A diet break is a planned break from being in a calorie deficit. It's usually used to break up a longer dieting period and typically lasts a week or two, but we will get into the specifics of how to implement later.
Why would we want to use a diet break? the answer lies in metabolic adaptation. I've previously written an article about this, so I'll just paste the relevant bits below.
Losing weight is a big problem as far as your brain is concerned. As captain of the ship, its job is to make sure you survive long enough to pop out as many kids as you can and that means stocking up on as much fuel as you can hold on to. Can’t make babies if you can’t even get out of the harbour.
Your brain has three
04/11/2019 • 21 minutes 30 seconds
21 - Communicating in the fitness industry
Social media sucks for communicating science effectively, and it's down to the users. We need to do better. I'm a bit off the cuff on this one - am I close to the mark?
28/10/2019 • 22 minutes 24 seconds
20 - Fatigue Masks Fitness
This is probably the answer if you've plateaued.
20/10/2019 • 12 minutes 7 seconds
19 - How Muscle Grows
In this episode, I talk through the mechanisms of muscle growth and how this might affect how we program for hypertrophy.
Inquire about online coaching here: www.luketulloch.com/coaching
Fitness Fundamentals Membership 30 day trial: www.luketulloch.com/membership
11/10/2019 • 30 minutes 1 second
18 - Nutrient Timing
How many meals per day should you eat? Is it different for muscle gain and fat loss? What about fasting? What should you eat before and after training?
29/09/2019 • 28 minutes 57 seconds
17 - How Learning Can Improve your Lifting
16/09/2019 • 26 minutes 11 seconds
16 - Changing My Mind
Some things I've changed my mind on over the years.
08/09/2019 • 26 minutes 22 seconds
15 - Budgeting and Health
What can budgeting and financial independence teach us about our health and fitness goals?
01/09/2019 • 30 minutes 42 seconds
14 - Hormone Basics
In this episode, I try to give some background behind how hormones work to further our understanding of how complex the system is.
26/08/2019 • 22 minutes 24 seconds
13 - Micronutrition and food choices
Moving beyond macros and energy balance - how should we think about the types of foods we eat?
Fitness Fundamentals now available: www.luketulloch.com/membership
13/08/2019 • 27 minutes 38 seconds
12 - Eating For Muscle Gain
Some simple tips for eating in a surplus for gaining muscle.
04/08/2019 • 22 minutes 12 seconds
11 - Dieting Tips
I go over some simple dieting tips to make life a bit easier in a deficit.
I also touch on some tips for sticking to a surplus and minimising fat gain and the unhealthy effects of overeating.
Instagram: @_luketulloch www.luketulloch.com/membership
27/07/2019 • 31 minutes 33 seconds
10 - Energy and ATP
A little more advanced on this one, and a bit of a longer one.
I talk about ATP and how we regenerate it through our metabolic pathways, and how we actually work out how much energy there is in various foods.
Check it out, rate it, share it!
21/07/2019 • 33 minutes 39 seconds
09 - Training Intensity
I discuss intensity of load and intensity of effort.