What's the real science behind muscle building? This week I have guest Lindsay Parker on the podcast. She's a wealth of knowledge about muscle building. So if you're wondering why your muscles just aren't growing, or why it's taking so long, there are some actual scientific reasons behind it! So let's hear what Lindsay has to say on today's episode.
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You're listening to Biceps after Babies radio episode number 122.
Hello and welcome to Biceps after Babies radio. A podcast for ladies who know that fitness is about so much more than pounds lost or PRs. It's about feeling confident in your skin and empowered in your life. I'm your host, Amber Brueseke, a registered nurse, personal trainer, wife, and mom of four. Each week, my guests and I will excite and motivate you to take action in your own personal fitness as we talk about nutrition, exercise mindset, personal development, and executing life with conscious intention. If your goal is to look, feel, and be strong and experience transformation from the inside out, you, my friend are in the right place. Thank you for tuning in, now let’s jump into today’s episode.
Amber B 0:48
Hey, hey, hey, welcome back to another episode of biceps after babies radio. I'm your host Amber Brueseke, and today's episode is whoa! That was mind-blowing if you could see me. This episode is so good. I invited my friend, Lindsay Parker to come on because I knew that she would be a wealth of knowledge when it comes to growing muscle. And boy did she over-deliver, this episode is full of so much good information about what it takes for women to actually build muscle. If you've been around the podcast for any length of time, you may remember Episode Number 94, where I talk about bulking and adding muscle while minimizing the amount of fat that you gained during the process. If you're interested in adding muscle and bulking, I highly recommend you go back and listen to that episode. Because in this episode, Lindsay dives even deeper, and she really gets into some of the science behind what it takes to build muscle. Lindsay is a wealth of knowledge. She has a lot of information about muscle building, and she shares it all in this episode and it's just so, so good.
Amber B 1:41
If you are someone like me, who likes a little bit of the sciency stuff, you're gonna love this episode. And if you're someone who's like, well, I don't really like to dive deep into the science, know that while she does bring some science into it, she keeps it pretty high level and does a really good job of explaining it and breaking it down. And the science that she goes over is the science that is really important for you to understand if you are going to the gym with hopes of building muscle. Because Lindsay talks about mistakes that she's made in the past, I've made in the past I think most people have made in the past when it comes to building muscle. And if you're wondering, why isn't it happening? Why is it taking so long to build muscle? There are some reasons for that and Lindsay goes through all of that in this episode. So without further ado, let's hop into the interview with Lindsay Parker.
Amber B 2:47
All right, I am so excited to be able to introduce you to Lindsay and have her share all of her wisdom with us today. Hey, Lindsay, how are you doing?
Great. I'm so excited to be here. Thanks, Amber.
Amber B 2:59
Yeah, this is gonna be so good. If you guys don't know Lindsay, she is a wealth of knowledge, especially when it comes to building muscle. And so that was really why I wanted to bring her on the podcast today just to share some of that knowledge with you. Because I know a lot of listeners are trying to build muscle. And that can be a harder thing than some women think. And so Lindsay’s gonna share with us some of the things that she wishes maybe she knew and that she wants you to know as you're trying to build muscle. So let's start out Lindsay with just kind of introducing yourself. Who are you? What do you do? What's a little bit of your backstory?
Yeah, so most people know me as lifting Lindsay, it's kind of funny to walk through the store and be like, lifting Lindsay. I'm like, Okay, good. I'm not supposed to know who you are in person. Okay. So I'm a coach in my health and fitness. And I like distinguishing that health and fitness. Because there are people who come to me and they just want to get healthy. And then there are people who come to me and are like, I'm healthy, I want to build my shoulders, I want to build my back, I want to build my glutes I want to and they have a very distinct list of things that they want to do, and that would be considered more fitness. And so I help those who want to get healthy and then I take the healthy and I move them to fitness. So that's kind of what I do.
My background in this it's kind of funny how it all started. So in fact, I was just thinking about this the other day because I come from a family of runners. A lot of people out there know my sister, Ashley Paulson. She's a professional athlete. And she's a runner. She's a professional triathlete. But my whole life, my family like they were all runners and I had in my mind in order to be fit and to look fit, I had to run. But it always sucked for me because I never got fit running. And I never had like the same, as my sister looks so fit. And all she did was run. Like she had these amazing muscles. And all she did was run and I'm like, what? I'm over here doing the same thing? And I definitely did not look like an athlete by any stretch of the imagination.
So then what's interesting is that I actually hurt my back. Pretty soon I was running, and my right side would just go numb. And then pretty soon I couldn't walk without pain. I got an MRI, and it showed that I had three bulging discs, and my days of running were over. And I remember when the doctor told me you have to and I was working with a sports physician at the time and he said, you've got to stop running. And I remember just, I have to laugh about it now because people who know me right now know I don't like cardio. But I just burst into tears. And another thing Amber was like, I already felt, I might get a little emotional, I already felt like, you've got to be kidding me. I am dealing with six years of infertility. My body already feels like it's fighting against me. I just had my thyroid removed. And they told me Oh, by the way, you now only have half of your thyroid and you have something called Hashimoto's, so your body attacks itself. And I'm like, great. Okay, yeah, so I felt so broken. And so on top of that for my doctor to tell me like, okay, you gotta stop running. And I'm like, you are literally taking away the only thing that I have right now. And you are just adding on another place where I just felt so broken. And so I struggled with that. But I went through almost a year of working with him. And I feel bad saying this, but I feel like he actually made things worse. So I finally stopped like, I couldn't sleep without pain. I just felt like I needed to stop by to say stop everything. So I stopped.
And by this point, we had adopted and then we were given an opportunity to do a free invitro and we'd already had three failed in-vitro and so I took it, right? You can't say no to a free in vitro. So yeah, and for the first time, my eggs weren't crap, because that was my problem is my eggs are they just, it's a genetic thing. They don't grow past a certain point. So for the first time, it worked, and we got my little Hazel, and then we froze four others. And I just barely while I guess it was like a year and a half ago, had my second from that batch of frozen. And then we have two more frozen and we'll probably do them sometime next year.
But anyway, so after Hazel, I had like 30 pounds to lose because keep in mind my back had been hurting so bad. I wasn't doing anything actively wise. I couldn't because I just hurt. So after Hazel was born I told Alex I gotta lose like 30 pounds. But I can't run, How am I going to do this? And he goes, you need to start lifting weights. And I just like any other uneducated woman out there was like, but I don't want to look like a man Alex. Don't try to make me look like you. I honestly thought like, No, but I will, my traps are gonna blow up and I'm gonna look like a bowl, right? Like all the fears every woman has ever had, right? But weights were literally the only thing I could do. But I couldn't do it on any lower body, like no lower bodywork. I could barely do bodyweight for the lower body so everything was upper body. But I was still able to lose weight, doing weights on just my upper body and then pretty soon after like six months, like eating really well and lifting weights. My body started doing better and I was able to incorporate more lower body body-weight stuff, and then I was able to start really loading my lower body.
But this is where the story gets good. I don't know. Maybe it doesn't. I'm setting it up for failure. People are like, Oh, yeah, okay, good. That's been pretty boring so far. So one thing you have to know about me is, I definitely, it's not just my height, people always say, Well, yeah, your squats gonna look different because of your height. It's like, and I used to think that too. But it's not., it's the proportions of my limbs. So to and to each other, right? So I have long femurs and a very short torso. So my and then you add on top of that, no ankle mobility limitations at my hip, and you're going to get a pretty interesting looking squat. My squat, no matter what I did, was not looking like everybody else's. So when everybody else was saying, like, no chest up, no, you've got to do this. No, this is what it should look like. And I'm like, but physically, I can't get myself there. And no matter what I do, so it was funny because of that, that, and deadlifting. It sent me down this path of like, no, I need to know, I need to know why I can't squat the way everybody else says I should, and how, like, why I can't deadlift like everybody else, and how, what it looks like in the books. And it sent me down this path and pretty soon I'm flying across the country to learn at the hands of some of the most intelligent men who are in biomechanics, and anatomy and program design and training. And pretty soon I started diving into this world of optimization for an individual's biomechanics. And it has been fun, it has been so much fun. And it's also been great to show girls like, you can squat, and you can do powerful squatting. But just know, your squat is not gonna look like Susie Q, who you go and lift with every single day. And it's not doing anything wrong. And it's not that you're doing anything wrong. It's just, we now optimize it for you and your body. And it was all because I have an awkward body. That was it.
Amber B 12:33
My eyes are teary up. It just is your awkward body that prompted all of these things.
But you know, it's so funny, because looking back, I'm like, man, I am so glad my back got hurt, because it has brought me to a place where I've been able to help a lot of people and I do something that I absolutely love. And so that's my history, that's my background. So that's what led me to do what I do now.
Amber B 13:04
So awesome. And so I'd love to go back to because you spoke to this a little bit of like that fear of getting bulky like you said, that is a very real fear. We can laugh about it now Because we can look back and we can see Oh, that didn't actually end up happening. And if anybody knows Lindsay, you're never going to look at her and be like, Oh, she looks like a man. So we can laugh at that now but that's a very real fear for a lot of women that they're going to get to that place. And so what took you from you know, having that fear doing it anyway, and then getting excited, like, kind of what was that tipping point for you as you just were braving into this new world that you didn't know much about?
Okay, so what happened was I lost 30 pounds and then my focus had to shift because I lost the weight, but I still looked like I was a 12 year old, but no, no, no, I told her we probably had more muscle mass than I did. I like it if you've ever seen my like before picture where I had just lost 30 pounds after this pregnancy. It's very apparent that genetically, I just don't have very much muscle mass. So I have sisters who do not have the same body type as me by any means. They lose weight and I'm so glad we're talking about this because man, this needs to be talked about more in the fitness industry. And it needs to be talked about more by a lot of influencers of fitness influencers that we see out there. But I think a lot of times it's not discussed because people actually don't realize this. But anyway, let me get back to what I'm saying. So I was just kind of like skin and bones at that point. And I was like, well, this isn't what I wanted. I wanted to look fit, it's great that I lost weight. But you cannot lift weights and get a taste of feeling stronger. And not just well, in my opinion, you can't just get addicted to that, right? I think you know what that feels like just like, it feels good to be strong.
And for the first time in my life, okay, another thing you have to know, when Alex and I first got married, my husband has always been really into weightlifting. And he's done, like, missions and everything. And he's always done pretty well. He's natural and he's done really well. But, he said that he watched me one time, pour a cup of like, just a glass of milk and he was, and I remember him watching me. And he said because I had both hands gripping this gallon jug. And he goes, can you do the one-handed and I tried, and I literally could not pour it one-handed. I can really remember me like that, it's scary. That's a problem when you can't even like. So that's where I was coming from genetically, I just did not have a lot of muscle mass.
And so I leaned out, I just felt like I looked skinny. And that's great if that's what somebody wants. But that's not what I wanted, because I was feeling strong and I wanted to look as strong as I was feeling. And so I started going down the road of, Okay, now I've got to put on muscle. And because I didn't genetically have it, man, it's hard to put on muscle first off. People don't realize how hard it is to put on muscle. There are a million ways to turn off hypertrophy and there are only a few ways to really turn it on. And to what degree that goes on that is totally dependent on the individual. I mean, there are a few things that we can control with that.
But here's where I'll go back to what I was saying that I wish more people understood. And I don't feel like it's talked about a lot on social media and Instagram with all these influencers and stuff.
So this is something that I like reviewing with my clients when they come to me for either body re comp, which means losing a little body fat, building a little bit of muscle at the same time, or if they just come to me and are like I want to build. Like okay, well then let's review and I'm going to try to do this in a really basic way. Because usually, I have a huge whiteboard behind me. And I'm like, calling out a diagram so that people can follow this really, really well. But let me explain something that I think is so, so important for people to understand. So there are really three different types of mechanisms of hypertrophy. But I'm only going to talk about two because I think that these are the two that will drive this point home.
Amber B 18:00
Yeah, can you for the listeners, just make sure you define what hypertrophy is. So if someone's listening, and they don't know that word,
Oh, yeah that's a great point and this is also very, very important because hypertrophy is the definition of it is oftentimes misunderstood as well. So hypertrophy is actually the enlargement of the muscle. Now notice how I didn't say it's growing more muscle, I said it's enlarging the muscle. So you have these two different types of mechanisms. One is my favorite myofibrillar, which is going to be actual new contractile tissue. Okay, that is new muscle tissue. Then you have sarcoplasmic. Now, this is where things get fun. I love talking about
Amber B 18:52
I love talking about sarcoplasmic like it’s so sciency.
Oh my gosh, this is so sad, the types of things that you get excited about. Well, if you would have told me 10 years ago, Lindsay, in 10 years, you will get excited about sarcoplasmic hypertrophy and you will take pictures of yourself flexing in front of a mirror and post them for the world to see. I would have been like, you're insane.
Amber B 19:20
Get out of here.
And guess what? Normal minded person would do that . Who would do such an outrageous thing? Okay, so anyways sarcoplasmic now is so important to understand. So sarcoplasmic is merely the enlarging of the cell. So that can happen. Have you ever noticed when you train and you do, depending on the type of training you do, you'll see more or less of this but you'll get a pump, right? Sarcoplasmic more or less is this pump. It's pulling in nutrients into the cells. So it's pulling in enzymes, glucose, water, nutrients, it's all going into the cells. So that can make somebody appear like they've put on a lot of muscle when actually they haven't. It's just, they go from not using that muscle to now they go into the gym, they use the muscle, and they start pulling in a lot of nutrients and their muscles start looking fuller. And so what happens is people will genetically have a great muscle base. They'll lose weight, they'll cut body fat down, they'll get sarcoplasmic hypertrophy and people will be like, wow, you put on so much muscle. Now, did they really put on muscle? Or did they just drop body fat? So now we can see the muscle that was genetically there and they've used sarcoplasmic hypertrophy to just kind of fill the muscle-up. I mean, I know some people who will go into the gym and literally do like, all of these like glute kickbacks, because they're going to feel a pump in their glutes, and they're like, Wow, my glutes are growing. And then they're disappointing that a few days later, it goes back down. So their glutes actually aren't growing. They're just experiencing this pump, right?
And sarcoplasmic, it's the same thing when somebody goes on vacation. I'll have clients go on vacation for a few weeks. And they come back and they're like, Oh, I lost all this muscle mass, you didn't lose ofcourse. What you're seeing though, is a diminished like that sarcoplasmic hypertrophy, you're seeing a diminishing amount of like the glucose, the water, all of that in your muscles. So it appears like you've lost when you really haven’t. In fact, with some pump work, you can go in and do some training and that will feel right back up. And you're like, Oh, I built so much muscle in the last two weeks. No, you didn't. I don't mean to diminish anybody's hard work. But I feel like that's really important for people to understand because they'll see these three-month transformations. And they're like, whoa, she put on so much muscle only eating 1200 calories. So this leads us to a big problem out there with girls and building is they think, well my favorite fitness influencer she was only eating 1200 calories and she put on so much muscle. Like no, she didn't actually, she didn't put on a lot of muscle. What you're seeing is that she either just maintained and she's at lower body fat. Like that's typically what people are seeing. So that can be discouraging when we're comparing when we actually don't understand the full picture. Chances are, she can't build at 1300 calories.
Amber B 23:08
Yes, and I think it's so important to reiterate because like building, like you said at the very beginning, the building is hard. It's like you have to be intentional about it. And I think that's something that so many women don't understand is they think it's like they're gonna sneeze and like to accidentally get some delts. And that's just not, it's just not how it happens. And so I think it's so important that you're bringing this to light and this idea of comparison, because I feel like yes, social media, especially Instagram is such a visual platform really brings this kind of stuff out and women are given a misunderstanding of the process that it takes to build muscle.
Oh, totally, totally. And they'll start talking about these people who may already have good genetics are talking about like, oh, I'm going to do a mini build. And so they do it with this fear because like you said, building, you have to be intentional. To build you need a few things, okay, you need. I compare it to building a house. You may have the workers but you can send them to that lot as much as you want and they can't build anything if they don't have building supplies. So it doesn't matter how much you go to the gym and kill yourself in the gym. If your body doesn't have the supplies it needs to build and with that, it needs micronutrients, something that is completely ignored if you know, people do dirty builds. It's like what are the nutrients because your body needs those. And then you also need enough protein for recovery. You need enough fats for just cellular health, hormonal health, and then you need enough carbs to really be the builders and driving that type of hypertrophy that we ultimately really want, which is the new contract out tissue.
So you need to work, yes. But here's the thing, a lot of girls know how to go in and kill themselves for an hour, that's typically not well, and there are problems with that, too, that we'll talk about in a second. But getting to the gym and lifting weights is typically not the hard part. The hard part is, you've got to make sure that you're getting the supplies to build. And this is where a lot of girls are, like, oh, but I don't want to feel fluffy. I'm like, holy, you've got, Yes. I'm sorry. Like, embrace the fluff, you got to build. Oh, but my favorite Instagrammer told me that I could do a lean build, and it's only four weeks and I'm like, that's great, that's great. And you can, well, maybe not great, but you can build that way but it's not optimal and it's very slow. So I guess it just depends on what you're going for.
I've been in this game so long, that I've done all of the bad stupid things. I've done them all. I've done the standing on a bouncy ball and doing bicep curls. Trust me when I say I've done them all. Okay, so I have tried to stay too lean, and build and then I just got frustrated. I got frustrated and I would say stupid things like I just can't build muscle. It's like no Lindsay, you can't build muscle, you just have to optimize things. And here's what sucks actually, the longer the more trained you to become, as a lifter, the more optimized things need to be. So if you're just walking into the gym, and you've never really touched weights before, you're going to get sarcoplasmic, you're going to get myofibrillar, you're going to get hypertrophy. You are…
Amber B 27:08
To touch a dumbbell and you're just going to start growing muscle and it doesn't take much.
Exactly! It literally does not take much. And that's another thing that's very deceiving about you know, these 12 week transformations is it's like yeah, but that girl went from either some girls go from being anorexic to be like, Wow, look at all this that I put on. And it's like, but you weren't even eating anything. Then you started eating 1500 calories. Yeah, I bet your body was like, thank you. And then they touch weights and it's like, oh, thank you even more. So there's a lot that people need to understand. There's a lot that isn't, there's a lot of backstories that aren't always told on Instagram. And when you follow people for a while you can kind of piece things together a little bit more. But anyway,
Amber B 27:56
Yeah. And you kind of started to talk about this, but you did, you wrote a post recently that I just loved. And it was talking about how your training has evolved over the last five years and some of the mistakes that you know, maybe you've made along that time. And so I'm curious if you're willing to share some of those things that you look back and think, oh, that probably wasn't this, you know, you were doing the best that you could at the time, right? We always are always just doing the best we can with the knowledge we have. But as you look back over the past five years, what are some things that you're like nah I don't do that anymore? Or I do it differently now?
So I think the biggest change is I went from lifting six days a week and frankly, I would have lifted seven. I loved it so much if I take Sundays off. But I went from lifting six days and finally after extensive training in, in training programs, in writing training programs, and actually in the pairing nutrition to those training programs. I realized I can't recover from six days a week. Now once again, as a newbie lifter, your first year at anything is gonna work guys. Like I'm serious about that. Yeah, you go in and you know what's great about that? Is that way the first year don't overthink things don't like stole your some people won't even start because it's like they're so paralyzed by perfection. It's like No, but I need the perfect macros. I need the perfect training program. I'm not going to start until I know I have that. I'm like, well, that's just silliness. Just get in and you're so untrained that anything's gonna work, get in and enjoy lifting weights. Have fun with it. More than anything else, establish that habit. And then as you become more trained as a lifter, that's when you start needing to optimize things if, and that's when you really need to start worrying about things. I mean, of course, the form is always going to be important at any level, because you don't want to, you know, shoot yourself in the foot, your first year, but I think that that's really important to understand is, I am so grateful that I did all that I experienced and did and tried a lot of things. And I learned firsthand that a lot of things don't work, and I am glad that I tried it.
Um, but the more trained you become, the more you actually have to focus on recovery. So this is another important thing about hypertrophy is that people think that they build muscle in the gym, you cause a stimulus to happen within the body. Now, if your body can recover from that stimulus, then you may or may not build muscle, depending on some other factors. Like, if you have the nutrients, where you train correctly, where you like, there's these little things, but for the most part, you go into the gym, you stimulate the muscles, and then you go home and you recover. And during recovery is where your muscles actually built. That's where that happens. And so what people will do is they'll be like me, and they'll love lifting so much, that they do it six times a week. And I thought of cutting back just like paralyzing them. And it was hard to cut back to four days. I now lift four times a week, and I'll tell you, the majority of my clients lift four times a week, and it is quite sufficient for the majority of individuals. And that gives a lot of opportunities for your body to be able to recover. So making sure sleep is on point. And then again, we're just not overtraining, people just overtraining way too much. It's so easy to do that overtraining and under-eat. That's what people typically do when they're in building phases and that's why they don't build.
Amber B 32:25
Yes, so good. And so yeah, we do have this idea, a lot of us that more is better. And I think that happens a lot with lifting where it's like if lifting three days a week is good, then lifting six days a week is better. And you so you know eloquently described the stress recovery adaptation cycle, that if that stress is higher than your ability, your body's ability to recover, you actually are doing more harm, and breaking down your muscles and never letting them repair, you're actually getting weaker by going to the gym, you know, six days a week. And I think that's so important for people to understand that more is not always better. It just sometimes it's more and it actually can be detrimental. So what are some of the other mistakes that you've made, and that other women might be making?
Okay, so another one that's huge, is that, when we walk into the gym, we all tend to have a certain type of training style that we lean towards. And if you are trying to build, you actually need to spend time on different training methods. So to possibly oversimplify, but I think it will illustrate the point. So you have powerlifting, that's a type of training method, is more neurologically stimulating to the body and more neurologically based, and then you have hypertrophy, which is it that tends to be, you know, the 4 – 6 sets, 10 to 12 reps. 45 second breaks in between to 60 seconds. I mean, it can depend, depending on what type of training you're doing. But within hypertrophy, you're looking more like mechanical damage, trauma, tension. Then you have metabolic and that's kind of where a lot of girls live. And I call that kind of like the bouncy, bouncy. The bouncy, bouncy stuff, they'll go in there and like, you know what I'm saying, I'm doing that and I think it's fun, I get it.
And what's interesting why more guys don't tend to lift that way is because women just we have, we can last longer doing stuff like that. I mean, our bodies are prepped to to have children and we've got to be able to deal with a lot of time under that stress and and we tend to enjoy training like that. So it's really, really important that we… Well, let me give you an example of what metabolic work would be because I will write programming this morning, I was writing metabolic work, even though the person wants hypertrophy, I am giving them a time period of metabolic work, and I'll explain why. So, with metabolic work, that tends to be the lower rest periods, you know, 0-30 second, rest between sets, or, you know, a ton of supersets with no rest periods. Or, yeah, there's just different things that, how we program for that, but that's the basics of it. Think of it more as like, it's a lot of like systemic and cardiovascular work. So when you're done with like a giant set that I've written for you, you're going to feel like you just sprinted up a hill. So that's metabolic work.
But if your goal is to grow, what people tend to do wrong is, they go into the gym, and they stick to their favorite type of work. And most girls go bouncy, bouncy. Now you can get some great sarcoplasmic from that, but you're not gonna get myofibrillar from metabolic work. You're just not going to get new, a lot of new contractile tissue. So a lot of girls are spending far too much time in one particular training, and we tend to spend time in the one that will actually give us the least amount of hypertrophy. So a really great idea is you have to have the flexibility in your training to actually even though you have to move from different training types to different training types. And this is typically where I like the whiteboard behind me, but let me explain this. So if somebody comes to me and is like, I'm, and I have an app that I actually have training programs on. So if people want to do a 12-week building program, I have this in there, where what they'll do is they'll, you'll go in, and you'll do hypertrophy based work, okay? And then here's kind of goes back to those adaptations that we talked about, you'll get to a point where you've kind of, you've gotten some great adaptations from hypertrophy, you've been able to move the loads up really well. But you'll get to a point where you kind of plateau and your body needs a D load.
Now, de-loading is a great way for people to kind of, you know, you, you've hit your threshold of what you can get from that training. So you need to take a step back. So that's what they refer to as a de-load. And come to find out like, a lot of times people will use deloads, and they'll say, Okay, so I'm going to do a de-load. So for the next week or two, I'm going to go into the gym, and I'm just going to cut my weights in half. And I'm just going to kind of go through the motions and this is my deload key. If you're somebody like me, who I love to train, and I love to train hard, do you think I'm gonna want to take a deload if that's what a deload looks like? No. Nobody, I can't write a de-load like that. That was the lamest thing in the world, nobody would want to do that.
But fortunately, there's actually a far more optimal way. So, within hypertrophy, you've developed some adaptations. And let's say you need to take a de-load. And so I start writing a neurological or a powerlifting training program for you. So you, you're not lifting half the weight, you're now pushing the weight, even more, you are going in there, you're working just as hard as you were for the hypertrophy. But now you're doing it in a powerlifting way. So this is the beauty of it, you've stepped away from the stimulus that you've tapped out on that hypertrophy stimulus. And you're now stepping into another type of stimulus. So you are de-loading from hypertrophy. But the great thing about it is now you're stepping into powerlifting. Well, powerlifting over the next three to four weeks, however long we have a maybe two to three weeks, do this de-load, you are going to become stronger and more neurologically efficient. You on command will be able to actually recruit more muscle fibers like that because that's the type of training that you did in neurological that's what your body learned. Now, take those adaptations and step them back into hypertrophy, what do you think is gonna happen?
Amber B 40:06
Your hypertrophy will pass you through your plateau.
Thank you, your hypertrophy training is going, your D load wasn't some lame, half hearted workout. Your D load, now potentially a greater hypertrophy program the next time around, therefore greater muscle gains. So this is where I could nerd out for hours if you have to take away from all of that, if that's too much information, I'm sorry. But the takeaways from all of that is you have to be able to move around from training to the training method. And any method is going to give your body additional adaptations, those adaptations moved into another training method will actually increase your performance. So powerlifters who spend too much time powerlifting and not time in metabolic work? They're going to go out cardiovascularly before their muscles go out. So there are great benefits no matter the goal, bounce around, bounce around and train, do all sorts of training keeps things interesting and fun, too.
Amber B 41:17
Yeah, for sure. So good. Yeah, I'm so glad that you talked about that. I think it's something that not a lot of people understand. And so I and I love anybody who says the word potentiate. So you're my kind of person, would you use potentiate a sentence? Will you spend just a little bit of time speaking, because I know that you've talked about this, in your account, and we talked about it together, we you spent a little bit of time talking about this mistake of trying to stay too lean while building. Because I think this is a big one. And we kind of touched on it a little bit earlier in the episode. But I really want to hammer home some of the maybe the things that you've learned about trying to stay too lean and what does that mean?
Yeah. So hormonally your body does require it, and this will totally change the person. There are some people who actually can grow to build out like 19-18% body fat. And they tend to be, we tend to see that far less. And what sucks about it is girls are getting information from guys, well, that's fine, as long as they're telling the full story. But guys can build at a far leaner, like 12% body fat, they can have this perfect beach body, and they're building. Okay, that's what their builds look like to them. And that's great and it works great for guys. So then you have this whole generation of girls who are trying to do it too. And you can't do it. And what sucks about it is, I don't mean to come across, harsh about influencers. Because I think it comes from a really, really good place and they're really, really excited about their own fitness and, and many of them are just sharing what works for them. And heaven knows, I was one of those people who I was trying to stay too lean. And I was saying, Oh, I'm gonna, I'm 16% body fat right now. And I'm going to trade it, I'm going to do a mini build. And, you know, the Lindsay of today would tell the Lindsay of three years ago, well, that's stupid. Don't do that, please. And please don't tell other girls that it works. Okay, Lindsay, please don't do it.
So, I have grown a lot as a coach, and I'm so grateful for that, you know, if you can't say, Oh, my gosh, a year ago, I taught this and this and this, and Hey, guys, I'm wrong. I found out I'm wrong, then you're not learning, you're staying stagnant. And the industry will move on. And you'll give advice that people have moved past that. And now you're no longer helping people. So anyway, so I've made these mistakes, but you know, 16% body fat and I'm like, I'm going to do a mini build. And I'm going to slowly increase my calories, right? Because I don't want to put on an ounce of body fat while I build muscle. And the scale goes up. I may slip out a little bit, right. So I always think it's funny when girls are like, I need to do this mini build and they you know, for four to six weeks, they slowly reverse their calories and as soon as their calories are at maintenance, they're like okay, my builds over going back into a cut and I'm like, wait, what your build hasn't begun yet. It's really really, really hard because sometimes I'll see this where I'll see somebody who they, you know, reverse up and they're like I'm doing a build, and maybe they do build up their calories to like to, like 200-300 over their maintenance, and their maintenance calories. And they build for four weeks, and they go right back into a cut. And they talk about that as if that's optimal.
And there are two things that we have to recognize when we talk about fitness. One, we have to think about the mind of the individual. So that's really, really important. Some people will not stay in fitness if they can't figure out a way to be a little bit leaner during a build. And I get that, and I work with girls like that. But you actually have to be a lot smarter with their program. Because if you're not remember, you don't just need workers, you need supplies to build a house. So keep that in mind, you have to, and it doesn't take four weeks to build a house. So builds need to be a little bit longer than what people are talking about. And you need to be okay. If you really want to optimize things you need to be okay leaning into the fluff and sometimes our mind plays tricks on us and we think we are so incredibly fluffy. I'm so fat. And it's like, please don't post that because somebody out there is going to be like, you're my dream body. Oh my gosh, I would love to look like you and you're over there. I'm so fluffy and it's like, I would die to be your fluffy, right. So I think that we need to be careful, but when I deal with clients, there are some who we can jump into a fun build, and they can lean into it and they don't care. They're all about at that point, feeling strong and hitting new PRs, and they feel great. And they know that they'll after they build that in a year, that will cut the calories back down and they'll be super lean again. And I find that those people are happier because food doesn't control them as much, fluff doesn't control them as much. They fall in love with the process and they have a really good healthy relationship with food. A lot of times people who try to stay too lean, man, they're like weighing lettuce leaves and celery sticks. And it's not good for their mind. So you really have to ask yourself like, do I need a break from tracking? Do I need a break from tracking? It's not, you know, always tracking? How's my mind doing? How is my relationship with food doing? And maybe go into a build and just eat and eat and eat because a lot of times it can help solve those psychological problems and issues that we have in the mind with tracking too much.
Amber B 48:05
So good. That's such good advice. I've loved this. A couple of ending questions. This first one I'm curious about. And I'm just asking because I'm curious. What is your favorite lift? If you had like, just pick one lift? What's your favorite?
Okay, so I, well, I can say deadlift, because that includes an RDL. Right, deadlift.
Amber B 48:30
Sure, that would be the umbrella deadlift.
The umbrella, yes. So I just barely hit 205 on my RDL. And that was so fun. That was so fun. And that was another thing I just want to touch on really quickly that I see girls do when they're trying to build is that they don't increase the weights like they should. And mentally they'll hold themselves back strength-wise. And a lot of times they do it because they see the girl that I follow and you have an incredible butt and she's doing RDLs with 20 pounds in both hands. Okay, that's a great example of somebody who did not build that butt. That was a beautiful gift from God and I hope she thanks Him every day for that. But that was you have to push the weight. It's like I'm over here trying to build my glutes. I'm doing 200-pound RDL not 40 like you have to be able to push the weight and not be scared of being bulky. A lot of girls will come to me and be like, oh, I don't need to do leg work. I already have really big legs and I'm afraid to make them bigger. In fact, they'll still tell me I don't want to do any leg work because if I do leg work in like a day or two, it's like bam, they've already built tons of muscle. And they've already are like exploding out of my pants kind of thing.
Now remember what we talked about earlier, sarcoplasmic hypertrophy guys, that's what you're experiencing. So you have a little bit of water retention, glycogen levels have gone up, probably. So that's more or less what you're looking at. And a lot of these girls will go through a fat loss phase. And then all of a sudden, they're like, Oh, where's my butt go? Like, what? Where's my legs go? Oh, maybe I should have been doing it. Like, I know. That's why I've been trying to sneak stuff in on you. Because that wasn't muscle you were seeing. So a lot of times we have just, we don't even know sometimes even though we live in our own bodies, what's underneath, so but pushing up, the weight is so important. But I do love deadlifts. The day before Link was born, I did like a 225-pound deadlift, it was so fun to be like, I'm about to go into labor. Well, I didn't know I was about to go into labor. But it was just so fun. Like I knew it was the last week of my pregnancy. And I would never suggest anyone going from not lifting weights to doing that their last week of pregnancy. But it was fun to be able to see like, pregnancy does not hold you back. And you can still do some fun stuff. Now with pregnancy, I only train three times a week, because my body literally couldn't recover from anything more. And sometimes I pulled it back to two times a week, but those anyways, those are my favorite lifts. I totally love them.
Amber B 51:34
And I love it. And what are some of your current health and fitness goals? What are you working on right now?
I'm building right now. So I'm leaning into that fluff and I'm okay with it. Well, right now I'm doing a neurological phase, I'm doing more powerlifting stuff. And it's fun. And I'm excited to be able to take those adaptations and kill my next hypertrophy phase and then I'll start really, really increasing the food. And, you know, you get to a point when you increase the food so much and everybody's different. Research shows you only need about 250 to 500 calorie surplus when you're doing a build, but you have to take the person into account because there have been times when I've pushed up to like 800 calories because some people are just, they're actually metabolically wasteful. And I would say I'm one of those, my body will waste nutrients that doesn't absorb them all. And depending on the person Yeah, you may have to go up that far. But anyway, that's what I'm working on. So I'm excited because I'm eating more and feeling really, really strong.
But I will say this much as a coach, my body is my marketing. So sometimes it kind of sucks when you're in that fluff phase, because it's like, it's my marketing. It's like, I know, I'm supposed to have a six-pack, but I don't. But I feel like it's really important to show my clients that no, I deal with the same mental games as you in a cut. I hate cuts. I hate dieting, dieting sucks. It's hard, I'm hungry, It's not, not nearly as fun. But it's also at the same time it is fun, because then like the shreds come out, and the muscles come out and pump look bigger, and it's just really fun. And then the building phase has its hardpoints, it's hard feeling fluffy, it's hard. Now I've kind of taken my marketing away from me. My husband says it's like girls who when they're like teenagers go through holistic phases. Like they have to develop a personality, right? So it's like a phase of feeling fluffy. I've got to show people I know what I'm talking about more through not the way I look. Because right now you know, I don't have abs I don't have the definition. But if I share knowledge freely with people, then hopefully it can help their fitness goals. And hopefully you can give them realistic expectations. That's ultimately when we line up our expectations to our efforts, that's where we'll find happiness in this game.
Amber B 54:30
So good. Awesome. Well, this has been so good love to talk to somebody who is so science-minded. It just makes me so excited and you shared so much good information for the listeners for women who are trying to build muscle so thank you so much for your time. If someone wants to come and hang out with you and get coached by you, where do they find you?
You can go to liftinglindsay.com or just my Instagram @liftinglindsay
Amber B 54:59
and then you also have an app as well. So is that where if someone wants to get training help from you, they should go to the app.
Yeah, and you can get that at liftinglindsay.com. And then next year, we are going to be starting boot camps. We haven't yet announced the exact dates on those. But I keep my one on one clientele pretty small just to make sure that they get the one on one help that they need. Because they do things like they send in form videos, and I double check those, make sure that they're on point. And then I do like, personalized. It is a program specific to their body and goals and so I have to keep those low. So in order to help more people, we decided, Okay, let's do an app, and let's do boot camps. And then every other week, you'll check in with your nutrition that I've given you, and you will be using the apps for your goals. So hopefully that way we can help more people and the app, I think the most important thing to me is that somebody is educated along the process. If you walk away from coaching with me, and you know, just as much about lifting as when you first started, I failed as a coach. So with the app, that's a huge part where it goes through and it breaks down like if, like how people should squat for their body. So I walk people through squats or deadlifts. Because the majority of people for their goal have to be doing elevated deadlifts so that they stay in their hips active range. I mean, there's an educational piece of the app that for me, that's very, very important that I share with girls. So..
Amber B 56:46
Yeah, and you can see from listening to Lindsay, that she's very knowledgeable on this subject. And I love that that's a big part of what you do is just teaching women about the process and not just giving them stuff but actually giving them like you said, letting them leave you understanding more about the process. That's one of the things that I really love about you. So thank you so much for coming on. Thank you for educating us and we will link up all that stuff in the show notes. So you can go check it out there. Thanks, Lindsay.
Amber B 57:16
I hope that you enjoyed that interview with Lindsay. She knows her stuff, girlfriend knows her stuff. And I knew when I asked her to come on the podcast that she would deliver and boy did she deliver. I'm so thankful that she was willing to come on and just teach and share because this is important stuff especially if you're trying to build muscle and I mean who doesn't want to be building some muscle. I think more women building muscle makes this world a better place. That wraps up this episode of biceps after babies radio. I'm Amber now go out and be strong because remember my friend you can do anything
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