Eat Train Prosper

Kassem Hanson: Muscle Hypertrophy Science | ETP#46

November 30, 2021 Aaron Straker | Bryan Boorstein
Eat Train Prosper
Kassem Hanson: Muscle Hypertrophy Science | ETP#46
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Coach Kassem Hanson, the creator of N1 Education and N1 Training, brings an incredible and unprecedented depth of knowledge to lifting weights. Revolutionary is the word that comes to mind with how what you will learn from Kassem and N1 will improve your training. Today’s episode you will need to listen to at least twice, because many of the concepts will likely be foreign at first. After listening make sure to find coach Kassem and the N1 on their respective social channels (linked below in show notes) to continue learning more from him and the N1 coaching staff. Thanks for listening! ✌️

Kassem / N1 Socials
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[aaron_straker]:

What's up, Everyone, Happy Tuesday. Welcome back to another episode of each train. Prosper today, Brian and myself have coach Casum, Hans, and on, creator of N one and just all round Guy who talks so much. so much deep levels of knowledge around lifting weights and how to train more efficiently and better. and we, I cannot wait to get into this conversation. But before we jump in, I'm going to have Cas introduce himself and then we are going to give our uh past week updates.

[kassem]:

What's up, everybody, uh, um, coach Cassum. and if you're not familiar with me, I'm one of those coaches that is kind of you know, transitioned into the education space, so we do a lot in terms of teaching foundational bio mechanics, just helping people be efficient with with movement. And in the last two years we actually have got our own in house lab. And so we've walked into the research. You know, genres you will say, And so that's a really cool thing. So, if you're interested in kind of both practical and really nerdy content around exercise selection, and you know how to perform exercise, that's kind of our bread and butter.

[bryan_boorstein]:

Yeah, I think Aaron and I can both attest to the fact that you have been a huge influence on specifically our exercise selection and exercise execution over the last year, and we talk about you and you' work at en a lot on the spotcast, So I know we were real excited. I know our listeners are as well.

[aaron_straker]:

Yeah, for for me specifically, Um, I remember. probably about a year ago Byn Ras. we were launching the podcast. We were. We were talking new. like Oh, you've heard of like you know, Cassman, and one. I was like No, and then just went down a rabbit hole And I mean it's been. it's it's changed. It's changed so much of how I approach things and just efficiency and stuff. And so I mean great timing. Like I said, I'm super excited for the practical, you know next week. it's I feel. It's just going to elevate my knowledge, and uh to a just the whole new level, which I can't you know, wait to to learn from.

[kassem]:

Yeah,

[bryan_boorstein]:

Y.

[kassem]:

it, it. the hands on experience. Definitely, it is unparalleled. There's no amount of videos that you can watch that will replace being able to see and experience this stuff in real life. That's just. I mean, I love it. My favorite weekend of every month is when we have the hands on event.

[bryan_boorstein]:

Yeah, your passion shines through. So that's cool, Eraron, What's been going on in your last seven days?

[aaron_straker]:

Um. So not too much training has been. You know. Going well, I have made up my dis my mind on which gym I'm going to go to. I'm going to end up driving to the far gym. just because of the pendulum and the in the hack squad. That's there. I mean, it's like, like you said, having access to those. It's It's kind of unparalleled and I don't know. Once we start, you know, traveling, you know, Uh, further distances again. The next time I will get them, so I'm going to take advantage of that, so I decided that I kind of a a business standpoint thing, a little bit of an update. I've been working behind the scenes on creating a course for my Um dunf, you client checking system. How to really help the purchaser just really get up to speed there and then another little tibit. I am working on a crypto currency integration, which is something that I've wanted to do for a very long time. So pretty much as I started my company, so that is in the final details as well be able to accept um crip o currency payments for Uh, services and products.

[bryan_boorstein]:

Very cool. I guess in my last seven days I am still fighting this fatigue bug from deadlifting and I just can't seem to beat it, so I'm I'm going to take basically a deload taper week this week, try and flush a bunch of this fatigue and then I'm just ready to be done with strength training, so next week I'm going to do my like assessment testing we, and see if I can, Um, kind of meet some of the objectives that I set for myself before starting this, and then hopefully the week of Telve six I'll be able. To get back into Hphy, work, and um looking for Ward, So that's pretty much what I stand right now. looking forward to recovering the rest of this week doing some low key training and continuing to play around with my new functional trainer. And that's the update. for me. We'll talk more about all that stuff next week when we don't have a guest Cas. What's going on in your world?

[kassem]:

I f. I feel like I have different priorities than you guys, because I've been, you know, thinking about procuring the the, the pie that I need for Thanksgiving, and

[aaron_straker]:

Eight.

[kassem]:

you know, like all all all fat kid motivated things I think is that's been my concern This last week is like. All right. Are we going to get this like? where can I get drumped like that's been my main main obstacle this last week because I, I don't know when you' would be listening to this, but this is the. Uh. The this is Thanksgiving week for all of the

[bryan_boorstein]:

Yp,

[kassem]:

listeners here. Um. but outside of that, um, it've been. I kind of took uh a little bit of break after our last event and so I actually did a big podcast binge. Um, So you guys, I think are my sixth podcast in like four days. Um, so it's been fun, actually, because with the opening of the facility, I've been very isolated and focused on that. and so you know, getting back and having conversations with people, Uh is is really good. Um, and one of the things that uh, you know, we've been kind of focusing on and a a couple of these has actually been kind of talking about. You know some nerdy stuff and that's one of my favorite things is when I get to actually talk to people and you know, go into some of that nerdy details that you don't necessarily could have in casual conversation. So it's always good to be able to exercise that portion of your brain and just making sure that like you know, Am I just sitting here in my own thoughts, Like going down the wrong rabbit hole. I, I need that other person to bounce those ideas, offered to question me. and what? Nott? So that's why it's like Okay. This is good to be having conversations with people you know that, ask hard questions and stuff again.

[bryan_boorstein]:

that's awesome. Yeah, I was actually going to ask you whether you got a lot of similar conversation topics and questions across the six podcast you've done.

[kassem]:

Um, I mean, it's been a variety. The the one thing that I would say that was consistency about was is I, I had two instant and says Uh, and I, actually, you, do you, uh, sha of a video today of uh, talking about some of the physics stuff in the Doug Brirgnoli videos Cause

[bryan_boorstein]:

Mhm.

[kassem]:

he was recently just featured on Mark Bells podcast. All of a sudden, You know that got more. you know that more eyeballs got on that. Um, and so that's like the new hot debate. Uh, for us right now is like looking at this. you know, Bio mechanic. So, and physics discussion here and looking at those models, but everything else is. it's kind of all over. Um. and it. I think it really just kind of depends on what a person's experience is with us. Most people, if they're finding out about us, they think like. Oh, we're just you know. these are just the mechanics or exercise people. Um. but the people that are more familiar know that we go into the nuances of physiology for program design and and stuff like that. And so I just we. We get things that are all over the place. It just kind of depends on how familiar that person is, you know, with our content and with our information,

[bryan_boorstein]:

Yeah, and their audience? For sure, you

[kassem]:

Mhm.

[bryan_boorstein]:

got to be able to speak to the level of the audience.

[kassem]:

Oh yeah.

[bryan_boorstein]:

Um, Yeah, for sure. that's awesome. I'm excited to uh to jump in and listen to some of those as they come out to Er. Anything else before we kind of jump in here.

[aaron_straker]:

No, it's stillal Thats jump in.

[bryan_boorstein]:

All right, cool. So the first thing I wanted to to talk about was your kind of unique diet approach. Um. I find myself eating somewhat similar. Um, So and aar, Aaron is mostly uh, in the nutrition space. More so. I kind of handle like the training, uh education program design of. and he's more of the nutrition guy. So, um, if you can just tell us a little bit about your diet how you came to be eating that way? And um, then maybe we'll have a follow up question or two

[kassem]:

well, so what I did is I found a diet that really suits my biases, because ever since I was a kid, I hated eating vegetables. right. Um, so let's just let's lets put that out there first. right? this should Beally clarified. But I mean so essentially the way I eat now, Um, and I've gone back and forth with this with Ben House on whether we should be calling it Carnb or broavor, Um, which is basically it's like Okay if I'm you know, the carnivor diet is basically aquieto diet, which I don't think is gonna be the best place for somebody that wants to be doing resistance training and his training heart. And you know, Um, you know performance is something that they're really concerned about. I don't think you know I'm a person that's like Akida's not really long term, but I do. actually, you know. from a scientific perspective I like the idea of you know. Okay if we look at plants and we look at. you know. The homtic effect that we get from plants is that because it's de positive, or that's because we're responding to a negative or whatnot And you know there's a difference between something having a nutritional benefit versus well, we see this up regulation in these antiflammatory compounds. But that could be just because the thing they're eating is inflammatory or whatnot. So I like the whole idea of using more of an environmental hormsis, rather than a nutritional homesis, and so jumping down that rabbit hole of like all right, let me go to low residue plants. So I basically eating like fruits and starches and meat, and that's kind of essentially my diet. So it's allowing me to have, we'll say, an athlete macro type of diet. Um, but most of my plant like, basically almost all of my plant stuff is fruit base. It's all stuff that would bee'll say. we'll say relatively low residue. So you know, By the you know the carnivore terms, they call them toxic. I don't know if that's the right word or what not. but I' essentially getting my nutritional value from meats organs. You know, some basic supplementation like you know, Vitamin d, multi, uh, magnesium, um, electrolyes, Um, And then I'm just relying on the organ meats, the in the fruit, you know, for the bulk of my, you know, we'll say micro nuuttrients.

[bryan_boorstein]:

and yogurt.

[kassem]:

Oh, yeah, and yogurt? Yep, so can't forget the yogurt 'cause that's that's how I do my post. my. uh, my post workout is it's yogurt way, protein and bananas, you know, And that's my. And So instead

[bryan_boorstein]:

That's awesome.

[kassem]:

of a shake, I have a you know, like a post workout banana porridge.

[bryan_boorstein]:

Mhm. when you talk about starches, Which ones are you there? Some that you don't in jazz like is mostly rice, potatoes, Corn flower, like all of them or some of them,

[kassem]:

Yes, so it's mainly white rice and potato, Um, and some and some tapy yoka. Basically, I'm trying to find like, in this case it's like I want refined like I don't want whole grain right, you know, 'cause I don't want the husker, the whole, or any of that stuff for for this purpose of like trying to make it like it's like I just want the glucose polymers and nothing else you know. And so basically you want almost the more refined. So the white rice is better than a brown rice in this particular scenario when this is the go right. and it's like okay for potato like I do a lot of like mashed potato right. So I get a lot of dehydrated potato flakes That way, don't have to deal with the skin and stuff like that. So it's a. It's an interesting approach that you know probably is, I would say very different, 'cause earlier in my, you know, my education in terms of nutrition, it was always like Okay. You gotta eat all your greens and whatno and I went through that period of like. Well, Okay, Now you're not just eating your grains, but you're also just drink and you're also drinking greenins on top of that and you're hitting your fiber goal and all this stuff. Um, and now I'm completely on the opposite side of the coin where it's like Okay, Maybe fiber isn't is so much of an issue. Maybe you don't need to eat all of these vegetables or whatever. Maybe a lot of what you need to eat is contextually. You know relevant to or I should say, should be contextual to how you're eating, Meaning that like, okay, Um, say, for example, we talk about gut flor and everybody talks about. Well, you need the some these types of bacteria in your gut and it's like. Well, maybe that just depends on. I need the right type of you know gut flor for the diet than I'm eating. So from eating more like this, I don't need the same flloor than if I was eating a much more fibrous diet. Right And I think that's what the research is going. Um, and you know, I don't think it's black or white like in terms of this like okay, plants are good plants or bad. I just think like contextually. You know finding what works for you and that's essentially how I ended up where I'm at right now is trying to find what work for me, and to be honest, the best thing that happened in terms of me digestively was getting rid of Pl residues, and all of the other things that I've tried. You know, whether that be like you know, G, eating or paleo, going more glued and high car blowcarb. you know, macrocycling et cetera All those things. One thing that's always been consistent, I think for me is you know. it's like all right when I get rid of things like you know, Pl that have plant oils, and unfortunately a lot of pretty much everything processed has plant oils. Those seem to be the most offending things to my digestive system in my overall wellbe, and this is just kind of taking that a little step further

[bryan_boorstein]:

Mhm,

[kassem]:

right, but not going to like the kquieto extreme of a carnivor diet Right, because I just like I said, I just don't think that that's going to be Um good for most people that are doing weight training with any volume frequency intensity,

[aaron_straker]:

he agreed. I have two quick follow up questions here. I don't want to dwell too long on him, but it's just such a fascinating Um topic to talk about. Would you say with your history with vegetables? any of those intolerance related? So is it like I had when I would eat them? I just want. Maybe puly didn't like them like you did brief mention, or you had like digestive issues with them as well.

[kassem]:

Um, you know, it's been kind of a mix. And and things have you know fluctuated like, I mean, I've done every type of uh, you know everything from like a leap, m, r T test to look at food and tolerances to a cyx labs. And like all of those things at different points, you know at one point in time like lemon juice was a major, like we'll say, sensitivity for me, right, like where it caused like almost an immediate digestive issue. But that was also at the time period where you know we were going through the phase of like we had to drink lime or lemon water Like E when you woke up like that's what you just did if you' were in the fitness industry and you weren't drinking lime water like you were like. What were you doing? You weren't alkalizing properly, Um et ctera. So it's like I, So I drank enough lime water to than make lime and issue, but now you know, over time it seems like you know with sensitivities and stuff, you just you know, you tend to be more sensitive to the things that you're eating eating the most and how sensitive you are. Just I think has to do with your overall health in terms of your gutlining and your infl inflamation in general, So it's been a. It's been a mixture of both things. I mean from a just like a pure taste perspective, like you know, the only time I really enjoyed eating vegetables is when I drown them in butter, which kind of defeats the point of eating the vegetables. sometimes, Um, because it's like I used to love broccoli with butter right, Um, but St, like cruciferous vegetables would cause me more bloat right, so, but I would eat them anyway because that we associate them as being healthy. If that makes sense right, but in terms of like the magnification of how much something impacted me it it would vary, and it's varied at different points in my life, But one of the things that's always been consistent, I think you know, and this is just my personal anecdote. Kind of looking back at this is things that had more of the vegetable oils in them right, Um, and more so than the fiber.

[aaron_straker]:

That was my kind of second fall up. And then would you say with vegetableils Now you avoid them across the board, like even extra virgin olive oil, and I can have a cadtle oil. Or is it just like your sunflower oil? What's what's the big one that everyone always talks about that? I can't think of

[kassem]:

Canolla,

[bryan_boorstein]:

Safflower. Canola,

[aaron_straker]:

Canola. Yeah,

[kassem]:

Canolla. Yup, Yeah, so um. So basically the majority of my fats basically come from meat and dairy at this point in time, Right if I do use like a little bit of oil in a pan, Um, it's avocado oil, um olive oil. Uh, that would be something I would use very sparingly, So basically the majority of my fat intake just comes from meat. There's a small amount that comes from dairy. There's a sparing amount that maybe comes from avocado. and you know olive oil. That sort of thing. Um, so bas, Basically that and then that's kind of the extent there right. So if I eat anything else, it's because I'm I'm off plan, right. I'm eating a pizza or whatever or something like that, and that's the unfortunate thing is, it's like it's it's easier to find something that is fat free, low car gluten free. like you know, eight, a million other things free. but not things that are will say, free of vegetable oils or whatno. like it? Basically, it's because it's it's about as that and wheat are basically that, wheat and corn. Those is like the three cheapest things that we can put in food, So pretty much it's hard to find anything that's even remotely processed. It's like good luck finding a treat that fits this type of diet. right like the one thing that I found Um for. Like you know when I'm going on hikes or whatnot? if I'd want to throw something and know that's not fruit is like rice crispy. right. It's like I can find rice crispies that are basically like butter, rice and sugar. You know, so it's like okay, cool so that that that is on plan for me like, maybe not from a macro perspective always. but I mean if I'm hiking eight miles then I think I deserve a rice crispy treate, but that's maybe unbiased.

[aaron_straker]:

I would say your bias

[bryan_boorstein]:

Totally justify it. Yeah, awesome, thank you for sharing all

[kassem]:

Mhm.

[bryan_boorstein]:

that. Appreciate it. cool. Well, let's jump into the things that that we' all interested in starting with kind of exercise variation. So with all of the focus that I hear you guys talk about with exercise selection and exercise execution, One thing I don't hear you guys talk about a lot is exercise variation, or more specifically, whether you even keep movements consistent week to week within a phase Like if you're in a hyperchy phase or et cetera do you have these like trackable metrics where you're looking to see progressive overload week? What would be the reasons that you would change out movements within a phase?

[kassem]:

Yeah, so we. we keep movements pretty much consistent throughout a ph. Uh, I would say, if you, if you look at our programming for more of a macro level, you would kind of see that our phases may be short. so I think the the easiest thing might be is if I could just kind of give you like a bird's eye view of like. Well, what does it? What does an end one program like Macrocycle kind of look

[bryan_boorstein]:

Y,

[kassem]:

like. Um. And so what we will do is we will rotate stimulus, so we'll say Okay, Well, this program here is designed for this type of spimus orer. We're chasing mechanical tension. Whether we're focusing a little bit more on a metabolic stimulus to maybe get some adaptations for nutrient partitioning, or more mitochondru adaptation. So we kind of we kind of shift the target to be as specific as possible to a goal. Um, And so let's say that running, say a, you're goingnna

[aaron_straker]:

Ssssssssssssss.

[kassem]:

do a sixteen week per pertrophy block. You know, if if that makes sense to most people in terms of the nomenclature, what we would do, probably instead of doing sixteen weeks of the same program, right is we might do three or four weeks of a mechanical tension program and then we might throw in one or two weeks of something that was a little bit more metabolic. So basically that's like okay. This phase here that we're throwing in here is to actually bring up recovery and nutrient partitioning and keep our, you know insulin sensitivity, or you know, gligage and sensitivity, whatever you want to call it right. But basically just get us to where we're like Okay. We're improving and maintaining our metabolic health, which is going to you know, improve everything from our A n, s and whatnot, So it basically makes it keeps us from running into that recovery wall as we're progressing intensity and volume throughout the birtue face, so it might be like Okay. It's three to four weeks of mechanical tension and then a couple of weeks of metabolic, and the you would basically repeat that cycle, progressing both of them over

[bryan_boorstein]:

hm,

[kassem]:

the period of a longer. you know, macrocycle, if that makes sense, So it's kind of like you're alternating two smaller messos to make a macro. If that kind of makes sense, and so within that we would have exercise selection that would be specific to those two different goals, but within those you would keep progressing those throughout that right. So it's like Okay, You could be doing a hack squat throughout that whole thing, but during the metabolic one we may either change the way we do the hack squa, or we might just use the leg extension or something that isn't necessarily going to have as much mechanical traum or inflammation or things like that, so we can focus purely on that metabolic goal for that one or two weeks, So it serves as a a nice d load, but also a potentiation for when you cycle back into that exercise. So from a progression standpoint what we try and get people to do is you know they're going to progress. You know as much as possible when they're doing those same exercises and then when they take that break and come back in, the goal is is is it's like Well, Okay, it's e. I mean either going to come in at the same or maybe one step back right, but when I do the progression ofable to say there', the second round of the mechanical tension phase is that they will experience progressions faster than if they have had just on like eight weeks, linearly right. So the

[bryan_boorstein]:

Mhm,

[kassem]:

goal is to get the most net progression over that whole time, and not just be limited on. I just always have to be progressing week to week to week, but it's okay to step out and then come back on. if that gives you a greater rate of progress over the whole macrocycle. That kind of makes sense.

[bryan_boorstein]:

Yeah, totally so using that haxw example like you might. Build that progressively over the course of before period, then you jump into like a two week metabolite phase. You do some maybe im stuff, which is like for the listener, it's like your sets of eight or six, six of eight with thirty seconds rest in between something like that. You generally want to do those with a short overload movement right,

[kassem]:

Mhm,

[bryan_boorstein]:

So you wouldn't want to do six sets of eight on a hack squat. So you dump that hack squat, You priorize the leg extension for two weeks, and then you come back and you, like you said, maybe take a step back on the hack spot, but eventually you end up a few steps forward at the end of that next four week block.

[kassem]:

Mhm, Mhm, Yep, So and I find that that's

[aaron_straker]:

M.

[kassem]:

a very we' say. It's not only what I find it efficient more of the long term, but one of the things that we find is it actually helps with the week to week progression, so as long as you're okay taking that one minor step back when you like reiner, That exercise like we, One that you actually see like it's just like from a motivational perspective, you're progressing faster on a week to week and we find that that tends to help people like mentally as well, uh, you know, in terms of you know, staying motivated and wanting you know to. Or not just be being consistent in being compliant with that, because it's like. well, it's exciting if I'm making faster progress week to week. it becomes a lot less exciting when you're like fighting for like a percent of a percent of a percent. You know of an improvement right,

[bryan_boorstein]:

Yeah, I mean, the psychological toll is huge. That's always the the one thing I always butted up against with with mesycles, where like every week you're like R p nine to ten, and then the next week it's like Okay. We're going to add some weight and go nine to ten again. and uh then may, maybe it's like two pounds and you're still at R p nine to ten, and every week you're like fuck. I have to go deeper and deeper into this hackquater pendulum or whatever it is, so I'm a huge fan of that style as well. It's almost like when you come out of a deloed week and you have like a, you have an inchro a week, Uh, before you start ramping things up again,

[kassem]:

Mhm.

[bryan_boorstein]:

right, Um, I had one other follow

[aaron_straker]:

Now,

[bryan_boorstein]:

up on that. So you guys also have the neural

[aaron_straker]:

how

[bryan_boorstein]:

phase thing, which is more of like, Um, a strength period And so you were saying, Kind of you go like maybe four weeks of mechanicaltention, My peretry focus. Then you would jump out and do, maybe like two weeks of metabolic and then jump back into hypertrophy. Um, What are kind of the signs that you look for as to a when it's time for a metabolic phase and and be when it's time for a nural phase? Like how do you kind of determine which one is is due up in the sequence?

[kassem]:

So first, I'll say so we have. basically think of it as like three main categories. We call them pertraphy neuro metabolic right, but with within each of those there's a ton of subcategories that can be very differentiated because for instance, from a metabolic phase we could be focusing more on systemic, which is where we're going to be doing things like upper lower body super sets, like basically the type of workout where your heart rate is staying through the roof the whole time Right And you're working. You're working a high volume of tissue, but it's a low volume per tissue right, So it's like I'm

[bryan_boorstein]:

Mhm,

[kassem]:

working a lot of muscles, but not a lot of volume per individual muscles to create a large systemic demand versus a what you're doing with the Rram, which is completely opposite where it's like I'm trying to metabolically tax a very specific tissue right, and really just stress it. So one of those is trying to get more of a local adaptation. Other is trying to get a more global adaptation. And so what we're trying to look at when somebody is doing? You know, they're doing their one of their herpertphy blocks. Um, is we're trying to figure out which one of those would potentiate their covery or their performance more right. So basically you, we can

[aaron_straker]:

Ssssssssssssss.

[kassem]:

use things like H, r V. we can use things of like. Well, how well are people recovering between sets? What's their? you know, resting heart rate, their morning heart rate. All these things you know how is their sleep. You know. if it's bad? how is it bad? is it waking up? is it not falling asleep? not staying, Aslee, et cetera Is we look at those things you' like? Okay. What type of physiological adaptations would be better? You know to put in that would improve, likely your recovery, and improve your performance. So, for instance, if you have somebody and they're they, their their heart rate recovery is just fine, but they have a hard time recovering. you know, for the same muscle group being trained over and over again, we might be like Okay. We probably need to focus more on improving that system from a local perspective. Metabolically like it's like Okay, You need better mitochondrial health in that muscle. We need better vascular and glyggen adaptations in that muscle tissue, so we might go for it locally, But if you're the person where it is like man, the the limiting factor for me on leg day is I'm just gahast. like the whole work outut of them actually doing hard lifts. It's like Well, in that instance, maybe we should actually do something systemic, so we're actually doing something that's going to be challenging the cardiovascular system more right. And then that will improve your performance, and then the same thing from a recovery standpoint, Because a lot of times you know people don't realize that you know Hperchphy is an energy demanding process like growing muscle cost calories. it costs macra nutrients. Um. And so the better you are at making energy, the better you are at recovery. And I think that gets lost on a lot of people that are just like. Oh, you know cardios for for weight loss or whatever it is right, and we don't realize like actually, when you're just trying to recover from a workout and you're trying to turn all those processes, the faster that your body can go from. You know, an energy deficit, not calorie deficit, but an energy deficit To like Okay. Now all of my cells are good, They're you know. their a t, P pools are fold or glegent like. The faster that you can get back to that, the faster they can be like cool. Now we can afford to spend energy and nutrients on extra things like building your biceps, you know, and doing that process. So I think you know when we see pill, Bill, and they're stagnating in in terms of a result perspective. A lot of times. it's like well, grinding away at the same process and just trying to do that harder. That's like the definition of an inefficient pursuit. right's like, Don't do more of the thing. That's giving you the smallest r o y. right. I figure out well, what could I do that would allow me to get the r o y out of a bi, greater r o y out of less, and so the combination of deloading and then emphasizing like Okay, If we make you better at getting carbohydrates where we want them to go and creating energy, then I know your performance is going to be better and I know the opp. your ability to recover is going to be better, because I'm go to need less. You know I'm goingnna need less time to initiate that recovery face. and the other thing is, it also decreases our threshold for when we go from say like an aabolic, to a catabolic state. If we want to say that very plainly, it's not a very nuance, but very plaining, because if you're out of shape and you go up a set of stairs, that can, that can shift your body chemistry, because it can be like, Oh, wow, this is a really physically demanding task. I better mobilize. You know some carbohydrates and some fats into the blood, right? I better raise quarterz all up a little bit. You know my nervous system get a little bit more unchape. But if I'm in really good shape and I walk up the set of stairs and my body's like, Yeah, that's nothing. Just use the little fats that are in the blood. No, no big deal. we're not goingnna raise Quad as all. We're not going to dump blood sugar all that right then. Basically I can be in a quasi more anabolic state during higher threshold activities, right, whereas somebody that's out of shape walking around mall might prevent them from running protein synthesis. But somebody that's in great shape you know, could be doing a casual recreational activity and it's not impacting their recovery.

[bryan_boorstein]:

ain't any thoughts, The other

[aaron_straker]:

Yeah, I mean it was You took something that I kind of understood from like a conceptual, but not quite deep enough, and explained it so soon. I mean some of the things like Okay, we want to train right our goal. Hi, pertphy, but you like you said Slave away, Maybe make half you percent increases or we can take some D doours to really like Help us leap frog forward in some of these limiting aspects from you know, other environmental factors, like primarily recovery

[kassem]:

Mhm.

[aaron_straker]:

and energy availability, utility so fantastically explained,

[kassem]:

Yeah, Hpertrophy is the sport of over recovering, right. That's that's the best way to put it.

[bryan_boorstein]:

that I tell people that all the time Why am I only training four days a week? Be cause you need to recover. So anyway, regarding deloades, Um, you guys, from what I understand, you mostly use this kind of change in stimulus and you jump into these systemic, local, uh, blocks or neural phases. Do you ever take like a a true deload in the style that like you're cutting volume and proximate failure and really kind of flushing this fatigue even like a global sense,

[kassem]:

Yeah, it. So what you need to do in a deal, Lo depends on what you need to deload from right, I mean, So really, the more specific you are on your training, then the more specific you can be in your De load, And that's one of the things I like about having kind of a more stimulus orientated, you know approach, rather than say, Like a a kitchen sink where it's like you got a program where you're trying to do a whole bunch of things at once Like you're doing some heavy things and some light things and whatever. Then it's like well, I don't know what aspects of this training program are really causing or or or over burdening my system right. And so I don't know what I need to decrease for it to be able to recover. So I just have to decrease everything. So there are instances where you need to do that because some things, like some her perty programs where you're just getting a sheer amount of volume, Volume's one of those things that just taxes every system, Like if you do enough volume. Yeah, it's metaboolically taxing. it's It's neurologically tac like it's just it's you do enough and it just taxes everything. So there are instances where we will do that and that's usually when we're working with those people. that really having to push a ton of volume in that particular stimulus and basically volume just means that Like man,

[aaron_straker]:

Ssssssssssssss.

[kassem]:

no matter it's like, it's like Okay, if you shoot a shotgun into target right, one time it hits all over the target right. But if I take a sniper rifle and I shoot, but I shoot it a hundred times. I'm still might shoot all over that target right, so volume basically still ends up hitting everything in terms of stress. So you know, don't

[bryan_boorstein]:

Mhm, Mhm,

[kassem]:

got to recover from that. But if we're not overburdening somebody with volume too much, then we may not need to take a de load to the point where this is like Okay, this is a. We're not really achieving anything weak or I'm like, Man, wouldn't it be so awesome If like, instead of having a week or two weeks where you, basically you just tried to maintain right, or you try to limit how far it you went backwards while you just let your body recover. What if we could actually improve in another area And so that's where we try and make people more efficient in the fifty two weeks of the year. Is's just like Okay? If there is the opportunity, why don't we? Why don't we capitalize that on that during your D load? rather than just saying Hey, we're goingnna do the same thing that you've been doing? But we're just going to do it less good, right 'cause it's like Well, Okay. Obviously, that's not go. I mean, the benefit that you get during the deload, all comes from the prior weeks, right? it's the like. it's the super compensation effect, right. You don't make the progress in the deload from the stimulus of the deload. You're just recovering from the prior stimulus And so it's like Okay, It's kind of a like maintenancey thing and it's like What if we could have more? What if we could just be progressing the whole year? But we're just not always focusing on progressing the same thing right? So that kind of fits in our undulation, of, like you know, swamping around with different stimulus, Et cetera, Um, and I just find that one that's more efficient and I also think that you know from a psychological standpoint the fact that you get to like throw in you. Know training modalities that somebody wouldn't otherwise use. There's an entertainment value, but there's also just like a. You know a general health value of you know dare I say, it being more cross fit without Act doing. you know, cross fit type training, but it's like you're more fit across different stimuli di different demands Right Because then it's like Okay, cool like I'm a power lifter. I want a bench. You know x amount of weight or whatever, but if a couple of times a year I do like a German, you know body comp style training thing where I'm doing all of these lifts you know, in a circuit or whatever, that might massively improve that person's cardiovascular health right, and it might improve their blood flow and it might improve their recovery, and and all sorts of things for them, Um, and they don't necessarily have to be. Take like, Oh, Okay, I'm goingnna take an eight week meszo, of you know metabolic training. It's just like, Oh, I just I just tick those boxes occasionally when I need them, so that I'm adapted in those in in proportion to what I need for my goal in my lifestyle.

[bryan_boorstein]:

No, I love that approach. That philosophy is great, Um,

[aaron_straker]:

M.

[bryan_boorstein]:

one quick follow up on the dealer. Do you ever advise people just taking time off like four to seven days a year twice a year or something like that.

[kassem]:

Yeah, so I'd say like if if if you, if you look at a year cycle, the majority of our Dloads are going to be just a change in stimulus right and then there's going to be a small amount where we're gonna drastically decrease like volume to where it's like more of a traditional deload. and then even less frequently than that would be like. Okay. This person may need just like you know, period off and again. it's it's all contextual right. Like if

[bryan_boorstein]:

Mhm.

[kassem]:

you're not pressing the gas that hard. chances are you won't end in. You won't put yourself in a situation where you need to slam on the brick right. But if you're pushing the pedal harder, then likely you're going to come into an instance where you have to apply the breakke harder at some point in time, so whether or not somebody needs to get there and when they need to get there really just depends on how much they've been pushing things. and you know, and then sometimes it's just logistically convenient, right And that's where it's like maybe you do like planned over training or whatever, Because somebody wants to like. Hey, I'm going to go on a vacation and you know I don't want to worry about having to hit the gym or whatever, So why don't we just like, Why don't we just do something now? So basically, as long as I'm walking around, you know, I, just, instead of, instead of drinking at the bar that's at my pool, i go one one one pool over and get my drinks and get my steps in that way, that'll be enough that I don't come back a total slob after vacation or whatever it is, you know for that. Person, I'm just like. Hey, You know, sometimes if we know like what's going to fit that person's lifestyle better, then we can be like Hey, we can. We can plan the training so that we can make this D load fit in with your lifestyle better.

[bryan_boorstein]:

Yeah, absolutely I love that. Ar. Any thoughts,

[aaron_straker]:

I mean, I love that approach you knowamping, up over reaching a little bit with coinciding with lifestyle. Vac. it a very novel thing for for me hearing, and I just think it's a fantastic approach.

[kassem]:

Mhm,

[bryan_boorstein]:

Yeah, especially because you tend to travel, you know, take a week off twice a year just through like relocation. And so now maybe you can use it as an opportunity to slightly overreach and then kind of supercomensate.

[kassem]:

I think there's

[aaron_straker]:

Yeah, it is.

[kassem]:

a go ahead. sorry.

[aaron_straker]:

I was saying it is a great idea. I'm I'm thinking about it in like practicality. though, depending on how we're doing it right, it's like you know, two days spend driving twelve hours a day in the car. Go somewhere. My,

[bryan_boorstein]:

Yeah, probably not

[aaron_straker]:

probably not for the best, but,

[kassem]:

Mhm,

[bryan_boorstein]:

like Dad lefts to failure the day before and then sit in a car.

[kassem]:

Mhm,

[aaron_straker]:

but it is a pretty cool idea.

[kassem]:

Yeah, there's a huge placebo for it too, because you know a lot of times when people go like if if when they do take time off, they may feel guilty, So if you can help them, just have a better mental outlook about taking that time off. A lot of times there's you win right there, right or there,

[bryan_boorstein]:

Mhm,

[kassem]:

just expecting like, Oh, I'm doing this overreaching thing So now I need this time off or or whatever it is That might be good because you occasionally like you might, I might throw that in there for that neurotic person that like refuses to take a break and I'm like Hey, I'm going to help out your relationship a little bit here by in forcing you to to take a break. Get out by saying. Oh, we did this. So you have to do that. Now you know it's part of the programing, Um, and so I think I think there can be will say some some placebo benefits. Uh to this that are often times overlooked by people that are just looking like. Really into like? Oh, what's the physiological is? Is there research that says that if I do this that I will gain six

[aaron_straker]:

Ssssssssssssss.

[kassem]:

percent more her pertroph, or whatever? But what if you just like it better right

[bryan_boorstein]:

right, right, That definitely plays an effect. For sure. Uh cool. So earlier you mentioned, You know what is the funnel or whatever that's keeping this person from from progressing. And you', using the example of somebody that is hoffing and puffing through a high pertvy phase and you know, resting excessively between sets, and like that person really needs to have a systemic conditioning phase, How do we know that the rest periods we're using are too long. This has been a topic of conversation recently. I just posted on my Instm yesterday about it, and then Eraron and I were kind of going back and forth about it, but I always kind of air on the side of just resting a lot. because I want you know to make sure my performance stays high, and I want to make sure I'm you know, mentally and physically prepared, Uh, for each set. So like something like a a lower body compound movement, Like I said, a pendulum to an r, p, E, eight or nine. I might rest. you know, five minutes before I do my next pendulum set. Um, like between single egg squats, you know, two or three minutes between each leg type thing like would you look at that and say Oh, this dud is. Need needs better condition immediately. Like put him into a metabolic phase or or like, How do we assess that and and make sense of it?

[kassem]:

that? I mean, that's going to be a complex one to answer. Generally cause, it really kind of depends on on an individual right, because I mean one person's you know, three minutes is another person's five. Because you know the heavier loads you are doing, the more body mass you have all of those things come into like Okay. Where do you sit proportionally on on how much rest that you need Right, Like one of the things that you know, I learned way back in the day, taking course of Charles Poulquin? You know who is one of the best strength coaches. You know, Uh, in history it was just like Hey, you know, the bigger and stronger you are, the more rest you deserve right and you know and that that that definitely plays out practically right. And also the more you know, the more trained you are. Et Ctera, Right So, but there's a balance of like Okay if I'm a trained individual, but I'm also more

[aaron_straker]:

Ssssssssssssss,

[kassem]:

conditioned. Do those two things cancel each other out a little bit? right? Um, So the thing that I try and focus on is throughout the workout is the perceived fatigue you know, ascending at the right that you would want right. or are you you know? increasing fatigue and crashing in performance at a greater rate than what you would want right now We you could get in. Look at things it like all right, instead of just like performance. You know how long does it take for my heart rate to come back down? I mean Okay, that G. That tells me the cardioascar aspect of it, but it doesn't tell me anything about the neurological aspect of it. right. Um, you know, or necessarily like an energy system? Pers perspective, like there could be things that you know are more nuance than that, So you could be like Okay. If somebody's just. they're just gas too long. You know. Maybe it's cardiovascular shape and the you, one thing you can always do is is like Okay. Why don't we just try you know, doing something that's cardiovascar challenging. And if you suck at it well then that probably means you're not very good in that area? So we could. we could. We could work on that right. So if like

[bryan_boorstein]:

Hey,

[kassem]:

walking at a four degree incline is getting your heart rate up, you know higher than when you're doing your squat workout, then maybe that's that that could be a limiter. in terms of you know how much rest we need, Et cetera, Um, but I would say if you have somebody and you're not suspecting that they're extremely deonitioned, and we're trying to just you know, find T in those restaurant levels Is I'm looking at. Okay, what do I want? The we'll say like the r p. E climb. So typically the way that we do most most of our training like as we use like an ascending r. P. Meaning that like your first set is you know going to be at a lower r, P high, or r. i R. And then you're working towards you know sets that are getting closer to failure right, and you could be combining that with either more reps, heavier loads, combination of the two. You know. whatever it may be. Um, so it's like Okay, If I feel like you know I'm hitting the wall too early. you know, comparative to last time. whatever then I'd like Okay. then that's probably a sign

[aaron_straker]:

Ssssssssssssss.

[kassem]:

that. Now at these loads or you know, at whatever these training variables are, I need to bring that rest up a little bit right. and then you try that out. But if you do that and you don't see any increase in performance right and you're not able to progressively overload any more by adding the rest, then I'd say you might be past the point of diminishing returns of continuing to add rest right. And I think one thing to take in mind is that if you're if you're doing this and strength training because there's much more of a neurological demand if we're doing really low reps, versus for pertrophy, right is it's make sure you maintain that context of what's most important right. so 'cause it's like man, if I lose one rep, you know, in a Hpertrephy rep range know I got eleven, and instead of twelve or whatever it may be, But in order to get that twelfth rep, it takes me like another minute or two. I have to then weigh the cost benefits of that in terms of the length of the session and

[bryan_boorstein]:

hm,

[kassem]:

how I organize things or whatever, 'cause it's like okay Now if I'm doing sets of you know four and I lose a rep. that's twenty five percent of my set. right. So then

[bryan_boorstein]:

yeah,

[kassem]:

maybe that two minutes m one. my set was only like you know four seconds right, So you know, So adding it, so adding another two minutes. you know. Not that big deal, 'cause my sets only take like two minutes for the whole workout. So so then maybe it's worth it because by taking that two minutes, I get twenty five percent more volume out of that set. you know from a Rep account variable right, But if I'm like, Oh, you know, I have to rest basically fifty percent more to get eight percent more. Is that really gonna be the efficient way to do this? Or what? if I could just like add another set. You know, so those are the things that we need to like. Look at comparing right 'cause you know the research is like. Oh, yeah, you know, three minutes seems to be a good marker. but we don't have the different. we don't. We don't have anything that's compares like. Well, what if somebody did you know two and a half minutes and then got one more set? you know in that same in that

[aaron_straker]:

Ssssssssssssss.

[kassem]:

same time frame, right, Um, and then like Well, Okay instead of three minutes between these exercises or five minutes between these exercises. What if I do antagonist pairings or whatever, and I use half that rest time between those? So it's like I'm getting a higher volume of work or maybe I even use a little bit longer, so technically it's like I'm actually getting maybe say twenty five fifty percent more rest between repeating the same exercise. But I'm getting another exercise in there, So from a time perspective that's more efficient, and that's I. I try to utilize those strategies because the goal is to be able to progressively overload right, and to be able to maintain that performance and get that fatigue climbed where you want it, without having to make your workouts like two hours long. Right? So you got to be. You got to be strategic If you want to add those rest intervals unless you happen to be a person that' just like. Oh, I have nothing. I have nothing but time right, you know, so which is a very like. Basically

[bryan_boorstein]:

yeah,

[kassem]:

it's a very, very small percentage of people or clientele and then even those that are like me personally, like if I wanted to, I could like. Hey guys, you know, I'm going to partition, you know, two hours a day for for my training sessions right, But I would be going insane if I was just like resting five minutes between sets all the time, right It' like no, I got to. I got to do two exercises or you know, so like I got to find a way to to make this better right or otherwise, I'm going to be

[bryan_boorstein]:

back to back, Yeah,

[kassem]:

fighting with people on instragmmer between sets, and I'm sure that does not promote performance right.

[bryan_boorstein]:

yeah, no, I love that context. The the whole thing you laid out right at the end of I'm doing, say three sets with a three minute rest, and maybe with a two and a half minute rest I can get a fourth set in. Like that's literally like kind of the root of of the thing Eraron and I were talking about is Is that more beneficial? Like maybe I lose a rarap on a set because I'm resting thirty seconds shorter. but now I get an extra set in what the opportunity costs. There, you know,

[kassem]:

Mhm, Yp, So and I don't think that we can say that that's going to be one way or another without taking an individual into account, right, I think I think you know,

[bryan_boorstein]:

Yeah,

[kassem]:

I think that decision Al is going to have to be it made on an individual level.

[aaron_straker]:

Yeah, One thing. I really like you said there, too. I mean, like everything we're talking about right is all contextually dependent, but for someone who might be like a little bit more like cardiovascular adapted, they might be able to take that shorter rest

[kassem]:

Mhm,

[aaron_straker]:

period. you know what I mean, and then still get those extrapts But if you, someone who maybe needs to go through, write a metabolic phase or whatever to increase that you can take the opposite approach, We. we. We rest a little bit longer to ensure you're still getting the appropriate volume that you are trying to get for here. Go there.

[kassem]:

Yeah, if I add one more caveat because I know I know one person will will that if he watches this. we' make this comment or whatever. It's like Okay so there's there's. There's uh, metabolic and neurological limitations right that are going to dictate like how much you can rest right. And so we can. We can improve the metabolic portion of it like fairly. You know fairly well, but we can't change the neurological component that much right, which is why rep ranges and things like that and exercise selection are going to kind of dictate this a little bit right because we can't. We can't force the nervous system to recover faster the way that we can the metaabol system. Now that's not true, because we do get adaptations in the nervous system, so it's not that the nervous system can improve at all, but it's just our ability to move that needle like we can nudge that. But from a metabolic perspective like we can take somebody from. You know a gross position of deconiting to being in. You know, very conditioned right, and having a really high metabolic capacity.

[bryan_boorstein]:

Aron, thoughts.

[aaron_straker]:

No, just agreeing there. for sure. I mean. I can. I can tell that just from different periods of myself, like when I was transitioning you know back into highpertvy. training was doing like sets of twelves and stuff on legs. A guy was an absolute mass. Now that's like that's just Tuesday.

[bryan_boorstein]:

interesting. The work capacity thing is weird because you know from our

[aaron_straker]:

See issssssssssssssssss.

[bryan_boorstein]:

background in crossfit I felt like, or I know for sure that that work capacity was always my limiting factor Cross. like it was never like my creating phosphate system or anything along those lines or skills. It was always always work capacity and I felt, no matter what, I just never got better at it like I got better at pacing. so my scores got better, but I didn't actually feel like I got in better shape And so I guess you could say that I'm a little bit unsure of how much I would respond to a a metabolic phase, but I guess I won't till I try so very interesting stuff. What do you think on work capacity? How much do you see it? How? how much can people adapt in in a way?

[kassem]:

Well, you can adapt a lot, but the question is at what cost right. So if you take yourself for example right, it's like Well, Could that be an area that you could? you could improve significantly? Well, I would say yes, you could, but the question is a, are you going to start losing some of those other adaptations because of how far you need to go in the other direction to move that needle right. And so this is where like an individual's genetics really come into playing trips of the things that you're naturally gifted for. And stuff like that, right, cause you just can't be good at everything all at once, right. You can get better at everything. but sometimes getting better at one speciality comes at the sacrifice of not being as good at the other thing. And so that is, that is the challenge of cross fit Is you're trying to figure out the balance of. you know what qualities that you need to get the best of of those scores right. And it's like Okay if your work capacity went up, but then your load capacity went down. Is that going to ultimately, get you a net positive? You know in that challenge or not, right. I, This is the same thing that I go with when I talk about people that are training fighters for M A, and they're doing the strength and conditioning aspect of it. It's like Look, you can't just think of like. Oh, I'm just going to get this person in better shape. It's like No, what you need to do is you need to figure out what shape they need to be in to best go with their skill and fighting style right 'cause if you got a really, you

[aaron_straker]:

Ssssssssssssss.

[kassem]:

know kind of slow paced guy that just likes to you know that wants to grind out the clock or whatever, that person needs different adaptations than somebody. that's like, No, I like to. I'd like to walk out of the ring in two minutes Like that's. that's my goal right And so I think we. You know it's important to look at it like all right. How you choose to either improve your work capacity or improve your strength through your speed. Whatever whatever qualities one you work on is that you want to make sure that you're doing them in context of what the overall goal is, And you're not just thinking like. Well, I just need to make all of these things better and you know taking the Rudy approach of like, Well, I'm just go to find the worst thing and just make that better. but it's like No, actually, for you. that worse thing. might. it might be best if that is the worst thing. Because Th these other things are a higher priority, Right, And so you take, for instance, you know, if we

[bryan_boorstein]:

Mhm.

[kassem]:

imagine, instead of Brihm's doing crossbit, that he was like he was in Anderson Silver, right, he was like a. You know A S one of the best strikers in, you know, M, M, a history, Um, and like, basically you win fights off of your explosive technique and so pacing in between those explosive bouts is a better strategy than trying to turn you into a marathon runner. And then all of a sudden you lose that explosive

[bryan_boorstein]:

Hm,

[kassem]:

skill right, or it diminishes or whatnot right. So you see that I see that a lot. Um, and we'll say we'll see physique athletes that all of a sudden have an health issue and then they like like, Oh, okay, now I'm gonna. I'm goingnna pay attention. I'm go to. I work on these things, but then all of a sudden they just make those things the priority and then all of a sudden they are no longer successful at their sport And it's like Okay, You didn't need to completely do in one eighty, You just needed to not completely neglect this other thing. It just needed to be good enough right and I see it in fighters all the time, too. Um, you know where they will make a Dr. You' limit. They'll They'll gas out in one fight or you know something will happen and then they're just like Okay. I'm just it's going to be the cardio machine and they're just going to assume that all of their other skills are going to be exactly the way they were if they partition all their time to something different And that's that's not the way it works right. Like you like the things that make you good. Likely that's because of what you're doing now, and if you're taking away from that to do something else, you have to decide. Is that a net positive for your goal?

[bryan_boorstein]:

No, that's really well put. And and to be fair, I was always scared to do that and cross it too. like. I never dedicated to just a strictly work capacity phase. I always had that other stuff in there because it was like so important to my identity to be good at that stuff. Um, so I don't know what my adaptation would have been to work capacity had I kind of neglected some of the other stuff. so either way we're here now, so it doesn't really matter in the long run. Um airt anything real quick before Id move on here.

[aaron_straker]:

No, I was just going to add a quick note around my Ga. My work capacity sucked because I didn't want to get better at it because it hurt too much.

[bryan_boorstein]:

Yeah, yup the systemic, Uh cycles that you guys do you know? I guess an example would be like back squat row chess press or something like

[kassem]:

Mhm, Mhm, Mhm,

[bryan_boorstein]:

that. You know you would probably do those with what fifteen seconds rest between or something along those lines, Uh, that reminds me of cross fiit.

[kassem]:

Yeah, well, we won't do them with fifteen seconds. Like usually in that scenario we will do them with like a minute or something like that

[bryan_boorstein]:

Okay, okay, it still still the fatigue catches up. Yeah,

[kassem]:

right. So yeah, at fifteen seconds you're not. I mean, you're not weight training anymore. You're just doing like aerobic

[bryan_boorstein]:

yeah,

[kassem]:

work with a mild resistance. So the goal for

[bryan_boorstein]:

yeah,

[kassem]:

like if we're doing a systemic thing is' Like all right. We're trying to make sure that we're using enough intensity that we're we're. We're going to at least maintain muscle right like we're We're not switching from R, like resistance training to choreographs with with with metal right like we're not. We're

[bryan_boorstein]:

cardio, yeah,

[kassem]:

not dancing with the weights now at this point time. Um, so it's got to be. It's got to be high enough intensity right, so that we're still getting a muscular challenge, but also dense enough between those other things that it is systemically challenging. Which you know. if you've like, I don't know what your. What's your population of people that you work with is, but one of the things that you'll find

[aaron_straker]:

Ssssssssssssss.

[kassem]:

out about systemic training is is that if you put like you know a beginner on one of those workouts like it might be hard for them, especially if they're really out of shape. but they survive. you know it might suck. you know, maybe they'll even throw up or whatever, like you know. But but they survive and they get better really fast to the point where then it's like man, you're throwing stuff at them that you're like. If I did that as a experienced trainer trainee with this muscle mass like if I did what they were doing right now, I would be dead like I would just be laying on the floor dead. And that's because, as you get more muscle mass and you actually get stronger, it's like you know it, a shorter rest for somebody that has a lot of muscle masks in a strong might be ninety seconds right. But for somebody that has no neurological efficiency, you know, they you know, can't really take make use of

[bryan_boorstein]:

Mhm,

[kassem]:

their tissue. Don't have that much muscle mass or whatever they might be, The person that's like, Yeah, I can do. you know, squats and rows back to back with like thirty seconds, you know, and be just fine right. But if like you know, but if you did

[bryan_boorstein]:

yep.

[kassem]:

that, you'd have to use like the bar, or you'd just be like laying on the ground panting. Um, And so it's like the amount of rest

[bryan_boorstein]:

yes,

[kassem]:

in like the number of exercises and all that stuff is very individual dependent. Right because density. it's think of it this ways. It's like you're trying to work a like. If you think of like if you could just pull the muscle mass that you're working that day out of somebody and put it on a scale and it's like Okay, We're working like sixty pounds of beef today. You know out of this person right and it's like Okay. it's how much. it's the density and relationship to just the mass of tissue that is that is doing that work right. and how well you work that mass of tissue. So if you don't use that tissue very well, you don't have that much right then you use a lot more density. But if you have a lot more tissue then the respective density can can come down right. because what you'll see is like well trained athletes will just get crushed on a program that a general population person might just skate through right and give you a

[bryan_boorstein]:

y.

[kassem]:

fist bump at the end. And like you, your' your'. Your're well seasoned out Thle is is like you know, like asking you to call the ambulance after the same workout

[aaron_straker]:

Ssssssssssssss.

[kassem]:

right. Big difference.

[bryan_boorstein]:

yep. I've seen that a ton across different clients in in the crosst community, too. I mean, the harder the stronger you are and the the closer you can push, the the deeper you can take that thing, so a hundred percent relate to that, Um, cool. So I am extremely curious about some of your perspective on building specialization cycles, and I've heard you say, and I agree that execution comes first. So before you even begin to design a specialization cycle for someone, you want to make sure that the execution in the movement or muscle, uh area that they're trying to target is in fact on point, Um, So assuming that we have an athlete that you've kind of uh, said it, you know is is right on track that they're performing it properly. Would you manipulate frequency first volume first, Um, how would you just generally approach the design of a specialization cycle?

[kassem]:

so when when it is somebody that needs to work on the technique. I will go for frequency because they. it's better to learn technique at less fatigue right. But when it's somebody that you know that's not the issue then I'm probably going to look and make sure that we're hitting that volume mark per session right cause it doesn't have any good to have two sessions a week if I'm not getting. If I'm not reaching basically the threshold to get a significant stimulus out of those. So before I do two of something, I need to make sure one of something is good. right. So it's like okay. If exercise selection and exercise technique are good, then I'm actually going to just work on either progressing volume. Whether that be, you know, using more exercises to cover more of the muscles, going closer to fatigue. Adding sets like lots of different ways. that would all be individual dependent right, but I'm going to make sure we're getting enough out of the session before I then say hey, let's do this this twice right now. I know there's There's plenty of research that they will say like, Well, okay, You know we're looking at untrained or moderately trained individuals. Then maybe like if they're doing fifteen cents a week, they could do that at five, five five, and get the same benefit as somebody

[aaron_straker]:

Ssssssssssssss.

[kassem]:

else or whatever. Um, And I think that's probably the case in those people because the threshold for their individual session is low, but as you get to more advance, that threshold goes up right, so I would. Basically, I would make sure we're doing enough volume per session before I would say hey, let's go there. If anything, what we tep what we technically do is is that we're kind of like we undulate this kind of stuff as well, right, Meaning that we will have a phase where we're trying to drive up volume procession, right, and then we will have another phase where we're trying to spread that out, which will then hopefully somewhat deload the volume. We need procession a bit right, so it's like you know so, but both of those things are gonna, they're going to creep up eventually, right and there's also just logistics right. So if you have somebody and they're currently doing, you know, six sets of a body part right. If you were to say okay, Well, you know what's what's gonna be more efficient? If I say hey, we're gonna do four and four right or if we're gonna go up to seven or eight in an individual workout, Right and at that point it's like man, do I really want to take them all the way down to four sets to be able to split this up and make that a reasonable progression. So basically it's much more easy to split fifteen sets than it is six sets or eight sets. So

[bryan_boorstein]:

Mhm,

[kassem]:

when it per, basically the higher volume that you get, then the more beneficial it becomes to start spreading it out. But when you don't have a lot of volume to work with, then it's like Okay. Like okay, it's like I'm gonna split a banana between the three of us right, But then you go and you see two other people and you're like Now I'm goingnna split this third of a banana and into you three or whatever. And by the time you do that then like everybody's only getting like like a lick of the banana, right, and nobody's going to benefit from the banana. So same thing if we have a big thing that we can divide up into three pieces. That's great, but a little thing divided up into three pieces ends up being not practical or beneficial.

[bryan_boorstein]:

That's interesting. I. I. I. I relate. I want to use a example of myself and uh and get some thoughts. So a couple of weeks ago, maybe a couple of months ago, I went up to Fort Collins and trained with Nuyas and Minor and had them give me like a. A physique assessment of sort, Like I was pretty lean. I was like a hundred and eighty three pounds and had them tell me, You know what are my weat body parts? What should I be focusing on You know this next year and they, without a doubt, or talking about my hams strings, and so immediately in my mind, the first thing I think of is will shit. My hams strings take so much damage, like I literally do two sets of r, ls and two sets of leg curls, and I'm sore for three or four days.

[kassem]:

Mhm.

[bryan_boorstein]:

Um, So how do I build myself A specialization cycle? Right? And and so when it comes to a muscle group like the hamstrings, that does take damage at that level. What are kind of some of the tools you might use to be able to still accw more volume There is at the use of like more short overload movements, less of like the hip hinging and arty, ls, Or kind of what are your thoughts there?

[kassem]:

Yeah, so you're already kind of on the right path here and thinking like Okay, is it just the art? This is it just that stretch in thel, that's beating me up so bad, and I could add more volume if I just did it in something different right? So there is that instance, so you could try and find a way to be able to increase your frequency by just you know, using exercises that don't have that quality where they're going to provide that soreness that is going to negative impact frequency. Or you could be like well, I know that if I, if I train like this that it puts me out for this much so my frequency isn't going to go up. So what if I tried just make just making a massive hamstring upper workout and seeing if that actually got me more progress, because the the soreness isn't necessarily a correlate of magnitude to the stimulus right, So it could be like Hey, I'm goingnna be sore just because I'm

[aaron_straker]:

Ssssssssssssss.

[kassem]:

doing this exercise in the stretch position and I know that's how my body responds to it right. But I could get I could, knowing that I'm going to be that sore If I try putting more stimulus in there, I might still. its. It takes me the same amount of days to recover right. I mean, maybe maybe it's a little bit more uncomfortable for a couple of those days. But if it's still hey, I'm still. It takes after five days'm good. like regard. like if if I do two sits, if I do six sets or whatever, Just if I do r d. l, I need five days right

[bryan_boorstein]:

Mhm, Mhm,

[kassem]:

then. it might be like well, Hell, if we're going to do it. Let's frick and do it then right? Why don't we make sure that like we' we capitalize on that as much as possible, so you could basically look at two approaches of that Right? And since you get affected by such a small volume of that and I would say well, but you know an exercise like that is a. Really. You know, That's something that we would associate is really good for a perchphy. Then it might be like that might be the way to do it or it could be. Hey, you know. Um, maybe then you're just goingnna do a a ton of uh, you know, leg curls and maybe the forty five extension or something that doesn't overload that lengthen position. You know quite as much. Or maybe it's like okay, Uh, Instead of you know, you know doing the r. d. ls, you know, maybe I skimp on the range of motion. Dare I say it right or whatever, right now,

[bryan_boorstein]:

Yeah,

[kassem]:

I would say. Probably what I would lean more towards is either just trying to add in more exercises on a different day that I know I would recover faster from, Um, or saying hey if I know this. If I know, incorporating these exercises that do work for me, but they just put me out. It's like how how much V, Let's see how much volume.

[bryan_boorstein]:

yeah, here,

[kassem]:

Let's like, let's let's r, P or Mike, Israel, tell the crap out of my ham strings. And just like, let's just just keep adding sets right until I think it's unproductive. As long as it's not extending the length of of the soreness right, it's like Okay, if you're

[bryan_boorstein]:

yeah,

[kassem]:

more sore, that's fine. But if you're sore for longer then that might negatively impact the the training. But it's like okay. Let's just let's just see what happens and see how well you you progressed there right 'cause there will be like some people will just have. they'll have those exercise. Izesll, have those movements and likely that is. It's like Yeah, you're just getting a lot more of that stretch reflex. The other thing is

[bryan_boorstein]:

Mhm,

[kassem]:

you know the said principle right. Maybe the way to overcome that is simply to you know the said principle right. Maybe the way to overcome that is simply to actually challenge that right. So maybe the reason that you get so from doing two actually challenge that right. So maybe the reason that you get so from doing two sets of already else is because you've never done eight sets of Al else sets of already else is because you've never done eight sets of Al else

[bryan_boorstein]:

yeah, I know, I totally get

[kassem]:

right.

[bryan_boorstein]:

that. I actually think you know the idea you you put out as well of of of adding volume to the session and just seeing if that extends the soreness. that's a really interesting idea be cause. I've been kind of timid to do that like I'll go to four or five sets and then I'm like Oho, I'm sor for three days I probably shouldn't do

[kassem]:

Mhm,

[bryan_boorstein]:

anymore. Um, so I actually like like that and then I like the idea of the volume ramping like taking the Israel, and just kind of you know, as um as you adapt, you get less sore so maybe that's an idea too, Like starting with four sets and then five the next week, and six the next week, and seven, and just kind of see where the the bottle neck is on there, So that's awesome. I appreciate all that input.

[kassem]:

Yeah, you might find if you bring your tolerance up to like A, If you just like Hey, now I'm doing this this just like sickening hamstring workout right now. If I go down to what would be more reasonable, maybe you would find that. Oh, now I actually do recover in two days. Right

[bryan_boorstein]:

M. Mhm,

[kassem]:

So, but until you really push that adaptation, then you, you're not going to know it might. It's like the same thing with your work capacity that you're talking about

[bryan_boorstein]:

Yeah,

[kassem]:

right. So if you never attack it directly, you don't really know how much better what type of adaptations you could get that in right cause you're always just kind of likendering it along.

[bryan_boorstein]:

absolutely, Erin. What kind of thoughts you have on all that?

[aaron_straker]:

I do have a a little bit of a follow question to the the volume before splitting it. So the one thing you said just recap is with splitting your volume. If your total volumes too low. Splitting it, you know, Across two or three, two or more sessions. I should say you might not really reach that minimum threshold, you one per session, So I know it's obviously kind of a hard question, the answer, and is obviously conxualent about. Where might you say is an appropriate level for that threshold for a single session for volume of a body part?

[kassem]:

Yeah, so I think absolute minimum is probably going to be four sets, but probably a more average minimum is gonna probably be six sets for a muscle group per per session, right like? And we're talking about for the purpose of herpertphy, right. Obviously, if we're talking about body comp, then that's that's totally different right. But if we're talking about from a her perty stimulus, I would say you know, if I had gun to my head, have to put an absolute minimum. It'd be like four sets, and you better make like good sets. right, Um, versus like Okay, six sets is probably where more Pe more people are at, especially if you're using some sort of r, p, e or r, i, r. Right, like if you're using four sets, like one of those one to two of those sets is going to failure. Like like if to be able to get the quality out of that magnitude. But that in itself, pushing to failure can interfere with the frequency. right, because you might get a little bit more sore because you push a little bit closer to failure. Whereas it' like okay if I do six more moderate sets and I save a rep or two in the tank that my, even though did more volume Iing might be a little less sore right, So this is where. like that individual response can really be dependent. Right and same thing for exercise selection. Uh as well, right, Like the pendulum Squad is one for me, right. It's like it just doesn't matter. Like if it's a heavy day, a hard day, a lot ofcess. Like if I do the pendulum, my quads are goingnna be sore right because it, just it just hits that position that way right. So it's like I just know like So if I'm gonna do it, I'm not going to like well, since it makes me for. I'm just go to try and do two sets. Like not, You're goingnna be sore right. so let's let's see. Let's get out of this the most that we can get out of this. Let's make the juice worth the squeeze. Um, so yeah, for absolute minimum six, probably more practical minimum. Uh, for most people right, so really I will start probably breaking up stuff when it's like you have to be basically needing over eight sets a week. right so 'cause I think for most people it's like if if we look at the research, it's like Okay. It's sixteen Cs a week is kind of, you know the minimum or whatever for most people for her perty right, So it's like all right for her perch view. Practically most people are going to be doing something between like sixteen and twenty sets for for a body part right, But then we have to look at the nuances like. Well, what if I'm doing exercises where you know? In one exercise I'm really buying the Cvicular pack and one exercise. I'm really bising the coststal pack. Do I countles different things or the same things? And so you kind of got to feel. You kind of got to go and see like Okay. Can I get away with more volume now because I'm dividing these things up right. Can I get what you know? Can I do two more sets of each or whatevercause? There's not as much you know, Crossover and that exercise versus like Okay? Maybe if you're doing, you know bis up curls you're not. You don't separate those out as much you know Et Ctera. So exercise election is going to play a. It's really going to muddy up those numbers right, which is why you know. Yeah, it's hard thing to put numbers too. Um, so just be cognizant of like Okay, If I'm adding two things together, Are they compounding in terms of like you know, two plus two equals four. Or is it really like two plus two equals three and a half? Because they're not? They don't completely overlap That. If that makes sense right, as much as I hate to use that whole reference of like two po, two distnikels for

[aaron_straker]:

No, it makes perfect

[kassem]:

Mhm,

[aaron_straker]:

sense in the one that thought that my mind comes. Since the rabbithole goes deeper. there's always more so. I think it's fantastic cancer.

[kassem]:

Mhm. yeah, yeah,

[bryan_boorstein]:

I want to ask about counting volume Because you reference, you know, four sets in six sets and sixteen sets. So kind of using an example of of when you and I trained together, We did like four circuits, four rounds of like a dual cable lateral ray than a like dual cable front raise. and then we did some like rear det pull downs, and we did that like four times with the increasing r. P. Up to like a failure on the final set

[kassem]:

Mhm.

[bryan_boorstein]:

for the most part, and then we did another circuit and this one had like some interior delt presses and some like rear rose, and it had some like arm stuff in there that was not related. but basically we, we counted every one of those sets from r. p. six to r. P. Ten. We did like

[aaron_straker]:

Ssssssssssssss.

[bryan_boorstein]:

twenty five sets for shoulders, and then obviously there's like lateral in front and rear and like that. But what of those sets like when you're working from six to ten R, P and stuff like that. Like how many of these sets are recounting as works sets?

[kassem]:

yeah. so I'm not gonna count a work set until I'm probably you know we'll say well over six. Like, I think that's the standard that you'll hear from most people in evidence. Bas. Like Okay, it's a six r, p, E or whatever. Um, I think you know that goes a l. a little bit higher as you become more advanced, so it's probably closer to like a seven so of all of those rounds Like I definitely wasn't. Uh, you know, counting that first set right, Whereas you following me and cut of seeing where the weights were or whatever like you were probably are you. Were. You were doing your working sets. like at the the very first one, right on a couple of those right. So we? We weren't training under the same conditions, right versus

[bryan_boorstein]:

second one? Yeah, yeah,

[kassem]:

like I was starting a we to, just like Hey, is this set up good or whatno? you? Okay? cool? Then you know it's like that first one. Like I took. like almost no rest between there or what? Not like it was. It was nothing that that was that. Well, it was my warm up right and then it's like Okay, maybe the second count and then when we're looking at something like the shoulder like I don't think like you can't count a row as front as as front delt volume right. So even though we call them shoulders right, so it's like okay. But like

[bryan_boorstein]:

no, for sure. sure,

[kassem]:

there's there's no. There's no instance where a motion that is literally the opposite of the other motion that those two count towards the same thing, right. So it's like just because we call them shoulders, that'd be like if we called chest and lats like pexs and latsa you. we just called that trunk day right And it's like Okay. So how many sets of trunk did you do? And it's like Well, No, like when I do the Dubell press, it doesn't count as a set of lats right. And so if I do a anti delt like press, it does not count as a you know upper back pull down just because from a nomclature perspective, we can call those all del toys just because they you know, share that categorical muscle. So I'm going to. I'm going to Ba. That's where. Like that whole

[bryan_boorstein]:

right right,

[kassem]:

two plus two plus floor thing comes in right, because it's like All right you, You know at what point in time do exercises overlap? and by how much and what time at what point do they not right? Because All right does a lateral raise count as front Delts Right? Is it close that close enough? It's definitely closer than the row right, So it's like Okay, So you could be like All right. So like if this is where it's like we're working on algorithms to kind of make calculating these stuff like saint, Because if you were to sit here and just think about it right, Like to do to write one program or evaluate one program would take you like half a day to like. Just get through all of the things or whatever right and then you'd still probably be way off because it's like all right. So is a lateral raise? Is that ten percent volume towards the anteor delt? There is an antiri delt division on the lateral side

[bryan_boorstein]:

right,

[kassem]:

you know like. And so it's like getting in at all these new unances. You're getting the weeds. And it's like Okay, You just you get as close as you can to like you know you know counting this, and I think this is where exercise selection and specificity really helps make things easier. Because when you have a lot of exercises where they hit a whole bunch of muscles at once, you don't know. Like Okay. Well, you know how much was this pex versus delts, forersus tricepts in this press right. Do they all get equal or whatnot? And you know you could make the arguments and then you know one person might have you know a longer. Sh. you know humorous than another person and another person has a bigger rib cage. And so it, it's different for different people or whatever. So you, but basically get into an impossible. You know calculation to make where it's like, Okay, what if? instead of having an aneurysm I just focus on using a little bit of common sense and monitoring my progression.

[aaron_straker]:

Yeah, I mean, I think you you su that up really really well, and especially when it comes down to the individual vaability from person to person. It's one one thing you said is really interesting is because I will find myself well. This is kind of like that and I don't know. Depending on who you talk to people, Count it you know differently. so yeah, everything you said there makes perfect perfect sense. so I know we' kind of coming up on about like an hour fifteen here. so I want to be superspective of your time. but before we hop off, what I want to do is just please plug yourself to everyone where I can find more information on you. That and one stuff, maybe a little bit of information about any upcoming practical things like that. I know I missed some and I was super sour be cause. I thought I wasn't going to be able to come until next year. The Brian told me about the December one, but let everyone. F.

[kassem]:

Yeah, so we are um, mainly on inteiggram and Youtube, Um, So you can follow me, coach Cassum, Uh, I'm sure my name will be in the show notes or whatever, but it's k a s s e, m, Um, and then we have Uh. Our Youtube is just M one education. We also have n one education and one training, Uh on interogram, Basically the difference between those is and and and when education is where we're talking a little bit more in depth. So if you're if you're a big time enthusiast, if you're a coach, Um, you know, our courses are probably going to be something that is really practical for you. If you're just getting into this, then following the information that we have on the training or or a website, or you know that has the exercise library and the articles. That's where this's going to be a better place to start, and it's going to be a more like you know. Like monkey, see monkey. do like. Hey, here's the exercise. Here's the cues and how to do it. You know, here's what it does and go, but it. you don't have to like you know, learn a bunch of anatomy terms or whatnot to understand the wise about things. So we, we're trying. We're trying to hit people wherever they happen to be at in in their fitness journey, And then you know the top tier thing that I think that you could do is to attend one of our live events So

[bryan_boorstein]:

and Wch just went out and in the middle of Bacata, you can com in a future

[kassem]:

basically that's where we get to actually get hands on with people. Show them. you

[bryan_boorstein]:

and'm trying to figure out what to do

[kassem]:

know the bio mechanics and the anatomy and multiple perspectives, and actually you know, Go from. All right. You're saying this in the classroom. You're seeing this on a skeleton and you're saying this on a live human. You're seeing this in exercises and now you're doing the exercises and you're helping coach and be coached by other people in those exercises. So it's basically just it. it's It's basically the best possible learning experience you could get for upgrading both of your understanding and the information, but also your ability to apply that information both as the athlete side and the coach side. I

[bryan_boorstein]:

seven.

[kassem]:

think we're the only people that from a practical perspective is is that we, with the trainers and stuff that come here, they actually get to practice their coaching skills Like. in most places there's either no hands on component or you get a workout and it's like Okay. here's the workout. Just like Go do the workout. But when we' what we're focusing on is like Hey, I don't you know. you probably came here to upgrade your business and your coaching skills right. Probably more than you came to upgrade your own physique right. But let's at least make sure you canomplish both. But definitely let's make sure that you don't just leave here with. Well, you can do this exercise better. But you couldn't get any of your clients to do it better. You couldn't coach it better right. And so we make sure that we incorporate that kind of like that, full, um that learning experience. That kind of like covers all of your bases right, So you're learning at first, second and third person all over in that weekend.

[aaron_straker]:

Yeah, I mean, I like I said. I am super excited. I andm putting my money from my mouth is I willll see you next week, Cas, excited to learn from you and the rest of the Unws to after someone, say thank you for coming on sharing all this. You know, incredible information with Brian myself and all the listeners and all the guys. we will talk to you next week.

[kassem]:

It was a pleasure.

Intro to Kassem
7 Day Updates
Your unique diet approach, how did you end up here? What is the rationale?
Exercise variation. What is the N1 philosophy on the idea of consistency in exercise selection.
What are the signs to look for when a neural or metabolic training phase is due in a training block sequence?
Hypertrophy is the sport of over recovering.
Approach of changing training stimulus vs. a more traditional systemic deload.
How do we know that the rest periods we are using are too LONG?
How much can we adapt to work capacity? And at what costs?
N1 style systemic training cycles.
Designing specialization cycles.
Minimal threshold of working sets for a body part in a single session before splitting into 2+ training sessions?
Equating volume, when do we start counting a set as a “working set”?