Q&A with Brian Minor!

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mgil
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Q&A with Brian Minor!

#1

Post by mgil » Wed Mar 21, 2018 12:37 pm

We're glad to announce our first QnA, with Brian Minor. We will be selecting questions submitted in this thread and on the Exodus Strength Instagram account.

Brian

Education: M.S. Health & Exercise Science - Colorado State University

Organizations:

NGA Natural Pro Bodybuilder

USAPL Raw Powerlifter - 93 kg

Consultant: De Novo Consulting

Co-founder: Iron Woman

Instagram
https://www.instagram.com/bdminor/

EliteFTS articles
http://www.jtsstrength.com/articles/author/brian-minor/

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Re: Q&A with Brian Minor!

#2

Post by Murelli » Wed Mar 21, 2018 12:40 pm

How do you define fatigue?

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Re: Q&A with Brian Minor!

#3

Post by KOTJ » Wed Mar 21, 2018 1:05 pm

What factors do you consider (in order of priority) when deciding the length of tapering /peaking a lifter for a meet?

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Re: Q&A with Brian Minor!

#4

Post by Wilhelm » Wed Mar 21, 2018 4:35 pm

How much more effective for muscle gain is a larger caloric surplus than a more moderate surplus?

As an example, my maintenance level appears at this time to be about 3,100 calories as far as i can tell.
Was losing weight very, very slowly at 3,000.
I do track, weigh and or measure, and log all my food everyday.
I am not underweight. 198-204 daily at 5'9"

I'd like to be at 3,200 to 3,300 calories daily, but have been getting 3,500 for several weeks now as i came into my last meet at 89.7KG in the 93kg class. But i'd like to be gaining weight a little more slowly now.
This whole range could shift upward together as my workload increases , but that's my relative low to high surplus range.

In that narrow of a range, does it really matter muscle gains wise if i stick to my more moderate range of surplus?

I'm getting 1 gram protein per pound BW daily without fail, as well as 3 to 4 grams creatine everyday.
Last edited by Wilhelm on Tue Mar 27, 2018 8:15 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Q&A with Brian Minor!

#5

Post by PatrickDB » Wed Mar 21, 2018 7:38 pm

Is it possible to induce simultaneous fat loss and muscle gain in a non-novice, non-obese trainee? If so, is this more or less effective than cut and bulk cycles?

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Re: Q&A with Brian Minor!

#6

Post by Cody » Thu Mar 22, 2018 3:18 am

What strategies do you use to maintain/build strength during a cut? What's the highest bf% you like to go to during a bulk (maybe use picture comparisons)? How long do you like to have cut and bulk cycles for folks not getting on stage but trying to have those sick beach abs whole still prioritizing strength? Could someone maintain that physique year round? While significantly increasing strength? How does your programming vary based on whether you're on a cut/maintenance/bulk?

Do you have any training strategies you've found effective for people with restricted schedules, i.e. 45 minute sessions only or two days per week only (several of us here in that boat)?

What supplements do you believe are effective and worthwhile and in what doses?

Opinions on popular dieting strategies like Paleo, IIFYM, etc?

What's your opinion on ab work? Useful or waste of time? Favorite exercises if so? What's your opinion on "mobility" work, stretching, warmups, etc?

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Re: Q&A with Brian Minor!

#7

Post by Chebass88 » Thu Mar 22, 2018 4:22 am

What is the biggest mistake you’ve made when it comes to training and how did it shape your subsequent training?

Who was your biggest inspiration?

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Re: Q&A with Brian Minor!

#8

Post by Allentown » Thu Mar 22, 2018 5:30 am

Cody wrote: Thu Mar 22, 2018 3:18 am Do you have any training strategies you've found effective for people with restricted schedules, i.e. 45 minute sessions only or two days per week only (several of us here in that boat)?
This +1

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Re: Q&A with Brian Minor!

#9

Post by mgil » Thu Mar 22, 2018 5:42 am

A couple from the IG account:

@tdood wrote:

How low did your calories get during your last prep? How much cardio did you do? What are your maintenance calories? Do you implement diet breaks - how/when do you program them? What, if any, changes in training Do powerlifters attempting weight loss need to train differently, how/why? What are your thoughts on training near failure for powerlifters? Your thoughts on training larger lifters vs smaller ones? Do you program differently for women?

@EstebanBrazoFuerte wrote:

Tips for lifters who overthink things? I.e., psyche themselves OUT of making a lift. Asking for a friend....

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Re: Q&A with Brian Minor!

#10

Post by cwd » Thu Mar 22, 2018 7:09 am

Have you advised lifters over 40, 50, or 60?

How do you program differently for for older lifters, vs younger ones?

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Re: Q&A with Brian Minor!

#11

Post by broseph » Thu Mar 22, 2018 7:13 am

PatrickDB wrote: Wed Mar 21, 2018 7:38 pm Is it possible to induce simultaneous fat loss and muscle gain in a non-novice, non-obese trainee? If so, is this more or less effective than cut and bulk cycles?
This +2.

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Re: Q&A with Brian Minor!

#12

Post by cole » Thu Mar 22, 2018 10:15 am

I live in the same city as this guy. I would ask "how much you charge for an in person technique session?"

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Re: Q&A with Brian Minor!

#13

Post by MattNeilsen » Mon Mar 26, 2018 4:17 pm

I thought about this some more over the weekend, and I think an interesting question would be: how do you conceptualize the appropriate level of programming in regards to training advancement? For example, an organization like Starting Strength sees the training universe as:

Novice = Session-to-session progression
Intermediate = Weekly progression
Advanced = Monthly progression

Someone like Izzy Narvaez at Powerlifting-to-Win might define it as:

Novice = Can utilize concurrent training with little to no manipulation of programming variables
Intermediate = Can utilize concurrent training with some manipulation of programming variables (e.g. DUP)
Advanced = Requires block periodization/phase potentiation

I guess the TL:DR question would be: "Brian, do you view the stages of a trainee's advancement in terms of different types of programming? If so, what general principles/approaches do you take at each stage? If not, how do you view training advancement and how do you decide what's appropriate?"

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Re: Q&A with Brian Minor!

#14

Post by tdood » Tue Apr 03, 2018 7:46 am

When is this happening?

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Re: Q&A with Brian Minor!

#15

Post by AaronM » Tue Apr 03, 2018 8:01 am

Cody wrote: Thu Mar 22, 2018 3:18 am What strategies do you use to maintain/build strength during a cut? What's the highest bf% you like to go to during a bulk (maybe use picture comparisons)? How long do you like to have cut and bulk cycles for folks not getting on stage but trying to have those sick beach abs whole still prioritizing strength? Could someone maintain that physique year round? While significantly increasing strength? How does your programming vary based on whether you're on a cut/maintenance/bulk?
Related question, should you always be either cutting or bulking? Lets say a hypothetical lifter weighs 200lb (real man weight) @15-18% body fat, and he's just interested in getting stronger and looking like he lifts. Which of the following possible approaches would be more productive (result in more muscle and strength gainzZz)?
- Maintain 200lb for an entire year
- Get bf% lower and then slowly get back up to 200lb
- Slowly gain weight till bf% is 20-25%, then cut back down to 200lb

When bulking, even if done slowly (1-2lb/month), when do you reach a point of diminishing returns?

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Re: Q&A with Brian Minor!

#16

Post by bdminor » Tue Apr 03, 2018 6:10 pm

Murelli wrote: Wed Mar 21, 2018 12:40 pm How do you define fatigue?
That’s a great question, as it’s not something that can be neatly quantified. The fitness-fatigue model/equation helps conceptualize a lot of what goes into the expression of peformance. However, the irony is that neither side of the equation can be neatly quantified. If it could be quantified, I would define fatigue as the total accumulated stress from training and non training related stress variables (not very helpful, I know lol) All programming variables (Int, Vol, Freq, etc) obviously make up the physiological training stress, but our actual outlook/perception of the strategy, energy balance, sleep, protein intake, relationship stress, work stress, etc all modulate how we respond to that training stress by compounding the fatigue from the session itself.

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Re: Q&A with Brian Minor!

#17

Post by bdminor » Tue Apr 03, 2018 6:27 pm

KOTJ wrote: Wed Mar 21, 2018 1:05 pm What factors do you consider (in order of priority) when deciding the length of tapering /peaking a lifter for a meet?
1. First I look at where we are in terms of fatigue compared to the avg baseline for that block. The more above baseline we are the longer the taper generally.

2. Strength and size of the athlete. I think generally this is why sex is often times considered a variable for tapering. It’s more so correlated to size and strength than physiological differences. The larger, and stronger the athlete the more systemic stress comes with each unit of work. In practice this seems to often require longer taper durations. That said, I’m not currently aware of any research that has directly examined taper durations based of strength, size, or sex though.

3. The athletes experience and perception of the strategy. If an athlete is absolutely sold on a method that seems suboptimal on paper, then I will still consider it. Ex: I wouldn’t typically advise someone take more than 2-3 days off before a meet (in most cases), however if it terrifies the lifter then I will be pliable there.

Those are the big ones, and a lot of details fall under the umbrella of those 3.

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Re: Q&A with Brian Minor!

#18

Post by bdminor » Tue Apr 03, 2018 9:06 pm

Wilhelm wrote: Wed Mar 21, 2018 4:35 pm How much more effective for muscle gain is a larger caloric surplus than a more moderate surplus?

As an example, my maintenance level appears at this time to be about 3,100 calories as far as i can tell.
Was losing weight very, very slowly at 3,000.
I do track, weigh and or measure, and log all my food everyday.
I am not underweight. 198-204 daily at 5'9"

I'd like to be at 3,200 to 3,300 calories daily, but have been getting 3,500 for several weeks now as i came into my last meet at 89.7KG in the 93kg class. But i'd like to be gaining weight a little more slowly now.
This whole range could shift upward together as my workload increases , but that's my relative low to high surplus range.

In that narrow of a range, does it really matter muscle gains wise if i stick to my more moderate range of surplus?

I'm getting 1 gram protein per pound BW daily without fail, as well as 3 to 4 grams creatine everyday.
There is definitely a point of diminishing returns when it comes to caloric surpluses in their magnitude of effect on muscle gain. This has actually been shown in research with elite athletes where a controlled surplus was compared to ad libitum intake, with the controlled group consuming ~600 more calories per day than the ad libitum group. After 12 weeks the controlled diet group nonsuprisingly gained more weight but the gains in lean body mass were the same in both groups. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/23679146/

As a general rule, the older your training age, the more conservative your surplus should be to minimize fat gain. That said, extra bodyfat CAN actually have some benefit in things like squat and bench in particular. Assuming you aren’t a beginner, I would say keep your surplus to a point where you aren’t gaining much over 1% bw/month. Beyond that you are likely gaining more fat than necessary.

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Re: Q&A with Brian Minor!

#19

Post by bdminor » Tue Apr 03, 2018 9:10 pm

PatrickDB wrote: Wed Mar 21, 2018 7:38 pm Is it possible to induce simultaneous fat loss and muscle gain in a non-novice, non-obese trainee? If so, is this more or less effective than cut and bulk cycles?
It’s definitely possible even in advanced athletes. However, assuming the goal is to maximize long term development, you are usually better served working with periods of controlled surpluses and deficits.

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Re: Q&A with Brian Minor!

#20

Post by quark » Wed Apr 04, 2018 4:23 am

bdminor wrote: Tue Apr 03, 2018 9:06 pmAs a general rule, the older your training age, the more conservative your surplus should be to minimize fat gain. That said, extra bodyfat CAN actually have some benefit in things like squat and bench in particular. Assuming you aren’t a beginner, I would say keep your surplus to a point where you aren’t gaining much over 1% bw/month. Beyond that you are likely gaining more fat than necessary.
Do you have general rules for how fast to lose weight if you're trying to decrease fat percentage?

Do you recommend maintenance periods between gaining and losing, should you just alternate gaining and losing, if you're trying to change body size or composition?

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