Fitness expert: Get 40 minutes of exercise gains in just 20 minutes! – Børge Fagerli

Content By: Ari Whitten & Børge Fagerli

In this episode, I’m speaking with Børge Fagerli, creator of an innovative and highly efficient resistance training method called Myo-Reps, which is a way to create 80% of the results in a fraction of the time. 

Børge has spent over 25 years as a fitness coach and is known for his evidence-based approaches to nutrition, training, mindset, and lifestyle optimization. We became friends about 10 years ago (through a funny story you’ll hear in the podcast) and we went on to have many years of fruitful discussions and debates on a variety of health topics, and worked together to produce content on the interface of nutrition and circadian rhythm. He’s a great expert on fitness and body composition, and I think you’ll gain a lot of insights from his thoughts on training. 

Table of Contents

In this podcast, Børge and I discuss:

  • His background as an engineer and bodybuilder and his research-backed reasons for focusing on fundamentals instead of getting caught up in wellness hype
  • The 3 most essential factors you need to know to be successful in your exercise training…this is appropriate for ALL fitness levels!
  • The number of exercise reps you should perform to see (and feel!) your body change and why this rep range is essential for women
  • Why too many repetitions of one exercise might be the WRONG approach for most people
  • The definitive answer to one of the most discussed questions in all of training: Will I get too big and bulky from lifting weights??
  • Why training that feels too hard or intense might actually be keeping you from achieving your goals
  • If “muscle confusion,” i.e., training your muscles with different exercises every time you work out, is a legitimate concept or pseudoscience 
  • Myo-Reps, Børge’s strategy for achieving 40 minutes of exercise in just 20 minutes!
  • The #1 mindset tip you can implement today to keep you strong and fit as you age

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Ari Whitten: Everyone, welcome back to The Energy Blueprint Podcast. I am very excited about today’s guest. This is a podcast that is long overdue. I’ve been meaning to have this person on for many years at this point. Let me give you a brief official background about him, and then I want to tell a bit of a personal story about my background with him. His name is Børge Fagerli, and he spent more than 25 years as a coach in the fitness and health industry and is known for his innovative approaches to nutrition, training, mindset, and lifestyle optimization. He’s the creator of the training method Myo-Reps, a highly efficient way to build muscle and strength while spending less time in the gym.

His work is characterized by a combination of evidence-based practices and holistic perspectives, a passion for innovation and deep thinking, and a dedication to helping individuals achieve their highest potential in body and mind. Now, I have some personal history with Børge that is really interesting, and something every time I think about, I remember how grateful I am for it. More than a decade ago, or about a decade ago, I published my first book that I wrote called Forever Fat Loss and Børge read this book, obviously, I didn’t know him personally at that time.

He read this book, and then he went to my website to purchase a program from me, a program that I was selling at the time called the Metabolism Supercharge Program, which was my latest thinking about nutrition and included a whole bunch of information on nutrition as it ties into the circadian rhythm, and at that time, the research was pretty limited as far as what we knew on that topic.

That specific topic of the interface of nutrition and circadian rhythm also happened to be an interest of Børge’s at the time, so he was spending time looking into that same subject. He did my program, and then I got an email from him maybe a few days after he purchased basically saying, “I’d like a refund and I think you’re wrong about this, this, and this. I bought this program, and I was hoping to learn more, but I’m pretty sure you’re wrong about your thoughts on this aspect of nutrition and circadian rhythm.”

At the time, I was very new into business, and so personally, I was a solopreneur, I didn’t have a customer support team working for me, so I was personally seeing emails requesting a refund. I saw this one from Børge saying, “Hey, I’m an expert in this topic and I know this research inside and out,” and so I said, “I’m happy to issue you a refund, but can we engage in conversation? I would love to learn from you if I’m wrong about something. Can we discuss this?”

That little conversation that started with him asking for a refund on my program that he had purchased, turned into this beautiful discussion and debate that he and I had for I think probably weeks if not months after that. He and I would go back and forth trying to figure it out, and we engaged a real dialectic where we were both open to learning from each other and trying to arrive at truth together and figure things out together, “This study says this, and this one seems to contradict that one,” and we formed a friendship out of it.

He ended up coming to Florida for a period of time and stayed with me, and then we ended up building out a whole bunch of content on nutrition and circadian rhythm and other aspects of lifestyle that ended up being actually the origins of the brand that I built, The Energy Blueprint. I’ve always had a lot of gratitude in my heart for you Børge for emailing me asking for a refund, and then what turned into this great conversation where both you and I I think learned a lot from it and became good friends in the process. With all of that said, it’s a pleasure a decade later to now be interviewing you on my podcast.

Børge Fagerli: Thank you for that introduction, and it’s quite an interesting backstory there. This is a good thing to be reminded of and probably the best response I’ve ever received to a refund request so [chuckles] just goes to show that you’re a startup guy and really have the scientific integrity that’s sorely lacking amongst your peers.

Børge’s background in bodybuilding and body composition

Ari: Yes, likewise. Well, the feeling is so mutual, and we’ve gone our separate ways since then, and I focus more on energy, and you focus more on the fitness side of things. You’ve gone very deep in this, and you’re one of the most respected experts out there, especially you’re very well known in Europe, but also known to people in the US fitness scene, and you’re known as the creator of Myo-Reps, this unique methodology of training. I’m not sure if that’s the best place to start, but I know we will get into that, maybe tell people about your background in fitness and how you got into bodybuilding and a focus on body composition.

Børge: Well, I guess it’s the same foundation story that many in the business have that a small, weak, lacks self-confidence and found my passion in lifting weights and being able to transform my body and also obviously a profound change in my mindset. Just the fact that you can go into a gym and see something progress that you can actually measure and see the numbers go up was– I’m like a big nerd by heart and anything that can be measured that I can just dig my fingers into and try to figure out and adjust the levers and see things moving in the right or the wrong direction, that just made me stick to this. Being an engineer by education, I obviously didn’t pursue that for very long.

I didn’t want to work with machines, so I wanted to work with the human body. I would figure out certain things that will work in myself, and they either worked way better in my clients or they didn’t work at all, and those that didn’t work, I had to figure out how to make things work. I guess I always learned more from the ones that I couldn’t figure out things than I learned from the ones that everything just ran smoothly.

I guess that’s just the way life works, that you need to solve problems in order to evolve and grow, so that kept me in the business for probably too long. I tend to get very obsessive and OCD about things, minor details sometimes. One of my challenges has been to be able to zoom out and look at the bigger picture, and when I do, I’m able to see more context and nuance and try to fit the pieces together, so it’s like a big puzzle to me.

Common problems in evidence-based fitness circles

Ari: Yes. I’ve followed your work for many years, I’ve read a lot of your posts on social media, and I love your commentary, your meta-level perspective about how we are thinking about this process of muscle building and strength development, and also your critiques of a lot of what goes on in that domain and that sphere of evidence-based fitness circles, and I want to get into that with you.

I want to get into how you think about things, and I want to get into some of the problems that you see in those evidence-based fitness circles about how people think about this. Now, I want you to understand, however, that my audience is a bit different from the typical evidence-based fitness circle audiences. My audience is not a bunch of fitness freaks necessarily who are bodybuilders or aspiring bodybuilders or physique competitors who are already really deep indoctrinated into this world and understand all the different competing training methodologies and philosophies of training and all that kind of stuff.

With that in mind, can you give people a broad overview of that landscape as you see it, and the different ideas that are out there that are prominent and maybe where you land on that spectrum as far as your philosophy or methodologies of training?

Børge: Oh, that’s a really great question, and I’m a big fan of zooming out because I think the problem with the fitness industry as it were, they’re way too zoomed in on the details, hung up on details, and arguing back and forth about minor nuances that probably don’t really matter all that much on an individual level, so to me, it can be very simple. You can make it very complex, but I think it’s unneeded complexity that just tends to be popular because it’s the only way to get attention these days.

That’s I guess don’t hate the player, hate the game, it’s the social media and so many people trying to make a name for themselves and there’s a lot of finger-pointing and projection biases and just generally arguing about things that don’t help to elevate our common knowledge about how to change for the better.

Ari: Yes, there’s this financial incentive to differentiate oneself if you’re a fitness influencer. This exists in many domains, not just fitness, but in wellness more broadly and lots of other spheres and business and finance and every niche you can think of, but you have this financial incentive for people to try to say different things, to come up with a different angle so that they can get attention so that they can get more virality, more people paying attention to them so that ultimately, they can make more money.

There’s this financial incentive that is pushing people in the direction of looking for differentiating factors which almost it incentivizes people to come up with different approaches, let’s say in the fitness domain, like somebody’s interested in muscle building, how do I compete with these other 100 guys who are teaching people about muscle building? Well, I got to come up with a different angle, I got to say why their way of doing things is wrong and why my way is better, and my way is right, and when you have a whole landscape of so many people playing that game, the end consumer of all of this information is left with a distorted perspective of how much those details, those differences that all these influencers are arguing about, how much those differences actually matter.

Børge: Yes, that’s just spot on. I don’t think they even realize how much this confuses their followers because it seems like they’re disagreeing on 90% when they probably agree on 90% and only disagree maybe not on 10%, perhaps even just 5%. We all deep down want to just help people improve their bodies and minds and life, that’s at least for me if I really want to [unintelligible 00:13:24] and just step away from it all and reflect on, “I’m I still involved in this?” That’s my primary purpose. Looking at the industry now and all of the finger-pointing and shouting and name-calling, we’re not doing that anymore. [chuckles]

I keep saying that the picture has been the same for probably the last two to three decades, and we’re only getting more details in the picture, but we haven’t changed the picture, but to people that are just trying to learn about this, it seems like we’re all talking about different pictures. That’s why I try to be a voice of reason and more like, “Hey, guys, these are the fundamentals, we need to zoom out, look at this long term.” Remember that you are only going to grow a muscle as big as your genes and hormones determine, that’s your upper ceiling, so how quickly you get there, doesn’t really matter if you plan to train for let’s hope the next decade or two or three.

I plan to train for the next 3 decades, and I’m 50. Whether it takes you 3, 5, or 8, or maybe 10 years to get there, doesn’t really matter at that point, so let’s just try to zoom out and offer advice to people can actually use in the gym. I keep using the analogy of getting a sun tan because I think is a good metaphor for stimulus and physiological adaptation. You apply sunlight, and then you stay in the shadow until the skin has time to adapt, and it’s the same thing with muscle, you stress it, stimulate it, apply some duration and intensity of a load instead of light, and that muscle will respond by growing bigger and stronger.

Now, what people are arguing about, is what is the optimal way to get a sun tan without defining your skin color, your sensitivity to sunlight, your geographical location, how much cloud cover there is? They’re all arguing about, “Well, you should be just spending as much time in the sun as possible with a strong sunlight as possible.” That’s essentially what they’re pointing in the direction of, and obviously, that’s a very flawed way to advise on how to get a sun tan because you need to look at the person in front of you and cover their skin tone and sensitivity to sunlight.

Ari: Yes, that’s a great analogy to explain it. I’m sitting here in Costa Rica, and you’re over there in Norway, and I think you have snow in the background behind you in the window there. Is that snow outside you in the house across the street?

Børge: Still snow, yes.

Ari: Yes, so there you go. [chuckles] If you traveled here to Costa Rica and got sunlight and went surfing for me, I’m hoping to maybe go for a surf session right after this podcast. I have some good conditions right now for it, but if you went surfing with me in the middle of the day here in Costa Rica, it’s a good bet that your skin’s probably not going to be conditioned for it.

Børge: Exactly.

Ari: There are some people whose ancestry, they can’t even be conditioned for it, right?

Børge: Right.

Ari: With that said, let’s go into this 90% that you’re referring to, the fundamentals. Given that my audience is not, maybe some people are, but most of them are not going to be well versed in knowing all the different training methodologies that exist in these fitness circles. Let’s say you’re taking people through this, so you have a person sitting in front of you, and they don’t have any real knowledge beyond– let’s say they obviously have some awareness that exercise is healthy, exercise is good for them, I should exercise because exercise is healthy.

I know that I’m supposed to maybe do some cardio because that’s good for my heart and I know that I’m also supposed to lift weights because that’s good for keeping my muscles strong, but beyond that, I don’t really know anything about how I should approach weightlifting, how often I should do it, how intense, what are the training parameters, how many sets and reps, and what types of exercises I should do and how frequently, and how much rest I should have in between, or maybe it’s the type of person who is doing some weight training, but they’re going to the gym, they do half an hour sessions a few times a week and every time they go, they do the same routine and after 5 years of doing it, they’re still lifting the 12 pound dumbbells for the same 3 sets of 10 reps that they were doing 5 years ago, right?

Børge: Yes.

Ari: If you have a person like that in front of you, and you have, let’s say, the next 30 minutes to teach them, “Here are the most essential fundamentals you’ll need to be successful in training,” where do you start?

Børge: Wow.

Starting out an exercise routine

Ari: Again, I know you’re used to having more advanced conversations about all the details and the nuances and the debates, so now I’m asking you to just describe the fundamentals.

Børge: No, that’s good. I have a lot of newbies that just want to– again, a voice of reason, “Where do I start? What do I do?” We start with strength and muscle growth because they’re really closely intertwined, closer than most tend to think. You can obviously train for strength separate from muscle growth, but the biggest powerlifters are also the strongest, and the strongest are the biggest, so there’s a correlation there.

I think we all need to start by talking within the context of effort, so I think it’s really hard to get anything to happen unless you apply effort. Instead of going to the gym and doing hour-long workouts, I teach people to spend a couple of sets of warmups to practice technique if you want to, but you need to at least start with one hard set. That’s a good starting point as any for most, even more advanced. I would even say those who have been training for 5 to 10 years and are still doing the same thing, you’re probably not applying effort. If you are, you’re applying effort over too many sets, too long workouts, so scale it all back and just do one hard set.

I think for most, three workouts per week, is a very good compromise and even optimal for most because we need to consider their overall lifestyle and stress because the stress from lifting weights also should be summarized with your overall life stress. If you have a lot of life stress, then you should probably not even spend three days in lifting weights, but I think three days is a very good template to start with for most. It’s also highly probable that you can train the body in each workout. At some point, this will become more difficult to recover from, but it’s also a very good starting template.

Now, instead of thinking of the body as having hundreds of muscles, and you need to do one exercise for each, you can mostly use compound lifts that train a lot of muscle per exercise and do your five, maybe six different exercises in the workout.

Compound lifts

Ari: Just explain what that means for people who are unfamiliar with that term, compound lifts.

Børge: A compound lift is something that involves the muscles in each direction of movement for the upper and lower body. For the upper body, we have horizontal pushing and pulling, that will be like chest press or bench press on a row. We have a vertical pulling and pushing, which would be a shoulder press and a pull-down or a pull-up if you’re strong enough for that. For the legs, we have what we just define as knee dominant, which would be like a squat or a lunge or split squat, and a hip dominant, which would be something that moves the hips but not the knees like a back extension or a deadlift type movement.

Those six movements will generally hit most of the muscle mass and be a very good starting point depending on biomechanics and all that kind of stuff, but get a personal trainer to help you look at your technique. Many people tend to think that you should only do free-weight movements like very unstable movements because that builds more functional strength. To me, I’m not so sure that that’s– If you were to get a big deadlift, you always need to deadlift, but if you just want to get the muscles stronger, then you might as well do some type of machine exercise or something that’s more stable because it allows you to actually train the muscle instead of learning to coordinate.

You’ll get more rapid gains if you pick machine exercises that are more stable, but feel free to use the warmups for training movements like coordination, that’s perfectly fine, but not everyone should be loading squats or deadlifts or bench press, it’s heavy. There are way too many injuries worldwide every year due to lifting too heavy and not having the biomechanics for that.

That either way, two to three warmups of one hard set where you don’t really need to go to absolute failure where– let’s define it as technical failure, where your technique breaks down, and you start to cheat or use your body in a way that it’s not supposed to be moving under heavy loading. You might stop rep from failure and this is important because many people are too afraid of lifting or pushing themselves in the gym or actually have more than five reps in reserve if you actually push them.

I’ve spent many years in the gym training people one-on-one, and even people with 5+ years of training experience, when they say, “Yes, I’m done now. I only have one more rep in me,” and you motivate them, and you push them and other clients do 10 more reps. In that case, if you’re only doing warm-up training in the gym, I define that as a warm-up set, not a true hard set, then you’re not going to get any gains, so let’s start with one hard set.

Intensity and effort in resistance training

Ari: I feel like it’s worth digging into that point of differentiation a bit more because I think only people who have been training for several years at a relatively high intensity will really get what you’re talking about there. There’s a difference between having a weight and doing your set of 10 reps versus having a weight and doing a set where you are really getting 2 or very close to true muscular failure.

What you’re talking about is intensity and effort as you’re describing it, where you’re alluding to the idea that the magic of stimulating these adaptations and strength and muscle building, really relate very strongly to being able to exert an intensity of effort that’s very close to your maximal intensity of effort for those repetitions, getting close to true muscular failure. Is that accurate to say?

Børge: Yes, that’s just what I’m trying to say here. I would also say that most should probably be spending more time in the 5 to 10-rep range. If you do way more reps than that, your perception of effort will be higher than the actual stimulus simply because it’s hard on the cardiovascular system, it’s burning and uncomfortable, so most tend to hold back unless they’re very experienced. At the other end of the scale, if you’re lifting loads that are heavier than your five rep max, people tend to be scared of that and maybe not willing, or maybe they shouldn’t even push really hard on their one, two, or three rep max unless it’s a very safe machine isolation movement.

I tend to think the 5 to 10 rep range is a very good sweet spot for most to actually learn how to apply effort to their lifting, and many will just get some amazing gains for the next 2 to 3, maybe up to 6 months with just 1 hard set.

Ari: This is an important thing I think for women, especially in my experience. I spent many years as a personal trainer in my 20s, so I have a lot of experience training women where I see that almost no women who are not fitness fanatics, who haven’t spent time with a personal trainer or really studying this field, almost without exception, none of them work in the 5 to 10 rep range, they almost all will work 12 reps to 25 reps or 12 to 30 or 50 reps in their sets.

What you said a minute ago I think is really important for women to hear especially, and also maybe a lot of men as well, but I think your phrasing was that when you choose a rep range that’s much higher than 5 to 10, I think you said the perception of the effort will be higher than the actual stimulus on the muscle tissue to create an effect, to create an adaptation. Can you explain what you mean by that?

Børge: Yes, sure. You can build muscle, we have research showing that, all the way up to 30 reps, you can build muscle, but in these studies, they’re usually employing a leg extension, and they’re highly motivated subjects and the researchers are pushing them really hard, so they’re actually able to train to their 30 rep max. What we also see is that this creates a lot of muscle damage and soreness, and it’s generally just harder to recover from, and again, most people can’t on their own volition train to that point.

I think the reason most are drawn to the higher rep ranges is because their subjective perception of training a muscle is higher, but all they’re actually sensing there is burning from lactate production and metabolic stress. Metabolic stress can absolutely enhance the stimulus at a lighter load, so it helps us to load the muscle at those loads, but they also prevent you from actually training the muscle effectively. Like I said, the fatigue from the type of training tends to require more recovery.

Since most people are also drawn to this because they get more fatigued, they get more exhausted, and they think in their mind that this is going to burn more calories and burn more fat. Now, the difference in calorie burning is minimal because you’re only burning as you’re lifting the weight, and when you have to rest between the sets to catch your breath, you’re not actually burning more calories. The after-effect, the epoch as we call it, is smaller than we thought, so don’t use the gym for burning fat, use the gym for getting stronger and building muscle, and use diets or activity in general to get the fat off, that’s my recommendation.

Doing higher reps is actually just preventing you from applying a proper stimulus. Fatigue doesn’t cause the muscle growth, it’s the unavoidable side effects of lifting weights to stimulate muscle growth, so it goes along with the stimulus, but the fatigue is something you need to recover from. The more fatigue you create, the more recovery you’re required to actually be able to stimulate the muscles to grow again, so we need to figure out what is called the best stimulus-to-fatigue ratio. More stimulus, less fatigue, and that’s why I think 5 to 10 reps is a better sweet spot.

Ari: Right. What would you say to a woman listening to this who has been doing some training in the gym with weights because she knows it’s good for her, but really staying in the low weights and higher rep ranges like 15 to 20, 15 to 30 rep ranges with the same weights without really moving to heavier weights even after several years of training and who feels intimidated to try to work in the way you’re describing, in the 5 to 10 rep range, which means heavier weights and using 5 to 10 rep range where you are getting close to muscular failure, which again, means each rep is going to be much more strained, much more intense, and I’m going to arrive at the point of muscular failure much more quickly.

It’s a different sensation to really use a heavy weight that challenges you after only 5 or 6 or 7 reps compared to using, let’s say, the proverbial 10-pound dumbbells for 25 reps of bicep curls where you don’t even really feel them to be heavy until you get to rep 15 or 20. It’s a different sensation that you have to get used to. If a woman listening to this feels intimidated to start shifting her rep ranges lower and using heavier weights, or has the typical thing of being afraid that they’re going to build too much muscle, which is common among women that they’re afraid to get big and bulky, what would you say to a woman who’s thinking that way?

Børge: Well, it’s the same as if you invited me to Costa Rica now, I obviously couldn’t stay out surfing with you the first day, I would have to build gradually up to it. Start with where you are now and just begin adding loads because many people have thought for years that progressive overload is what causes their muscles to grow, but it’s the opposite, it’s like a chicken or egg paradox. Your ability to lift heavier loads or the same load for more reps means that the stimulus-to-fatigue ratio is good, it means that you’re applying a stimulus, and you’re recovering from it, and you’re getting stronger.

First, you might even try to just add more load and see if you can get the same reps, that would be like the first order of business. If you’re doing 15 rep sets now, try adding load and see if you can hit 15. If you can hit 12, then that’s fine maybe stay without load until you hit 15 again. You don’t need to jump straight to 10 reps or your 5-rep max. Now, over the next few weeks or even months, you can gradually and slowly progress down to the 10-rep range and then maybe 8 reps, and then you can start switching it up and doing like one set of 8 reps and one set of 10 to 15, that’s also a good way to do things.

We even have good research showing that if you enjoy your training, the rep ranges you’re doing, the exercises you’re doing, you will get better progress than if someone tells you what to do, so if you like training with higher reps, then do higher reps. If you like leg presses instead of squats or vice versa, then do what exercise you enjoy doing. Try to expand your comfort zone by doing things you’re not used to, and perhaps you will begin to enjoy that better and get better progress. It’s usually tied to better progress, but don’t feel like you have to absolutely do something.

If you are stuck at the same place, not getting any progress, then you need to do something different, that’s basically what I’m trying to get at here.

Do you become bulky from lifting weights as a woman?

Ari: What would you say to the woman who’s afraid of lifting weights or lifting heavy because she doesn’t want to get big and bulky?

Børge: I work with like 16-year-old boys with raging testosterone levels, gulping protein shakes, and creatine, and it still takes years to build muscle.

Ari: [laughs]

Børge: It’s not as if you’re going to suddenly wake up and [crosstalk].

Ari: I was that 16-year-old boy [laughs] and I’m sure you were too, that’s why it’s funny for us given that experience of being in our teens and our 20s dying to gain muscle and killing ourselves in the gym and consuming way more food and protein than we should be, and still experiencing how hard it is to gain muscle, and so when we see a woman who is afraid of turning into Arnold Schwarzenegger by using 15-pound dumbbells instead of 10-pound dumbbells, it becomes this interesting thing where you have to spend time like, “No, trust me, you’re not going to become too big and bulky too fast.” I wish I had that problem. [laughs]

Børge: Yes, yes, yes, most of us wish we had that problem. It would kill 99% of debates if it was that easy. We wouldn’t be arguing about this stuff if it was that easy. Maybe they’re scared because they’ve seen some really muscular woman online or like a fitness influencer, but you need to keep in mind that this is probably a decade, maybe two of really hard training and dedication to their nutrition. They’re not just doing three-full-body workouts, they’re probably doing some type of splits with five to six days in the gym, tons of cardio, and even let’s face it, some pharmaceutical assistants.

Ari: Yes. I will say in all my years of training, I have only seen one woman, it was when I was a trainer, I was training one college athlete, and I think she was of Polynesian ancestry, maybe half or full, and she was just built like a tank, and she had like tree trunks for legs. It was almost like you could watch her muscles grow in real-time, a few months of training, and her legs would get three inches bigger. I wish I grew muscle as easily as this woman did, so I think it exists rarely, there are certain genetic freaks out there who can grow muscle really easily with some weightlifting, but it seems to be extraordinarily rare.

Børge: I would even say that the most dramatic physique transformation is gained from losing body fat, not necessarily building a lot of muscle, but just getting the fat layer over the muscle to shrink so that the muscle underneath is more visible. I’ve even had many female clients that are competing in fitness, and they lost maybe 20 pounds of weight from their off-season shape and getting into a [unintelligible 00:40:00] condition, and covered up in clothes, they looked really tiny, but when they take their clothes off, they look really huge and muscular.

They’re weighing 100 pounds on stage, so it just looks like it’s a lot of muscle. I even had the same transformation myself, I had the same body weight, but I just lost a lot of body fat and obviously built some muscle in the process as well. I’m probably 20 pounds lighter now than when I used to do bodybuilding and use steroids and all kinds of stuff. It just looked like I was huge, but in person, I’m really not, so it’s a visual illusion basically.

Fundamentals for training effectively

Ari: Effort and rep ranges are some of the fundamentals that we’ve covered so far. What else would you put in this category of fundamentals that people need to know to train effectively?

Børge: I would say the most underestimated aspect is actually resting between sets, and resting between workouts. The more ambitious and motivated you are, you’re probably not resting long enough between sets. I would say you not only need to catch your breath, but you actually need to see that you can perform just as well or sometimes even better in the next set, so for most, I will be two to three minutes between sets.

If you just bring out the stopwatch, many feel like they’re getting effective workouts and only resting 30 to 60 seconds between sets, that’s fatigue, that’s perception of effort, but you’re not actually stimulating the muscle appropriately because you’re accumulating so much fatigue that the fatigue is preventing you from actually stimulating the muscle to grow.

Two to three minutes of rest between working sets, especially if you’re doing more working sets for the same muscle is very critical. We have lots of studies showing that shorter rest periods limits muscle growth, and you can double the rest period and double the gains essentially.

Ari: Wow.

Børge: Yes, resting long enough between sets and then also resting long enough between workouts because, like I said, when you stimulate the muscle to grow, you also accumulate fatigue doing long workouts with not only the warm-up sets but the hard-working sets. Using a lot of muscle in the big lifts, you should probably try to strive having one day of rest or low-intensity activity in between. If you have a week full of interval training and sports and just general high-intensity, and you’re doing strength, or bodybuilding on top of that, then you might not be recovered to actually get results from the training, so having rest days in between there is a good idea.

Ari: Yes. I’m a bit in that category myself these days, I can’t tolerate nearly as much heavy training and training to failure as I used to because I’m surfing and playing tennis and doing jiu-jitsu, all of which can be very high-intensity cardio, so I’m getting a lot of exercise. Sometimes, I’m between surfing and tennis and weight training, I’m doing four or five hours of exercise in a given day at pretty high intensity. Some cases, the waves here in Costa Rica can be big, and paddling out can be exhausting and sometimes also scary. You get adrenaline dumps if the waves are really big. Tennis can be a killer cardio workout if you’re playing against a hard opponent.

Børge: Oh, yes.

Ari: I’ve noticed that if I push myself training in the gym the way that I used to before I did tennis or when I wasn’t surfing so frequently, my body gets burnt out, and if I do too many sets at too high of an intensity, training to failure with heavy weights, I’ve really learned that I have to back off that volume and back off the effort, the opposite scenario of some of the other people we were talking about earlier, where I have to not do as many sets training to failure in order for me to not create too much fatigue on the system.

Børge: Yes. That’s, again, trying to look at, on an individual basis, where are you on the spectrum. If you’re already used to pushing [unintelligible 00:45:07] high degree of effort, pushing to failure, and you are adding volume on top of that, I think we should first define proximity to failure before we even start discussing volume, so if you want to add volume, you should stay further from failure.

That’s probably the only way you can recover from it because now you’re adding, since going to failure, dramatical increases the fatigue like the final one or two reps dramatically increases the fatigue compared to the reps before that. Even though you get more stimulus, it’s a trade-off that might not be worth it if you are also adding volume to that, and you have a lot of high-intensity training, so definitely for you and for others listening to this that are similar to that, I would recommend scaling back the effort and also the volume for a while.

Ari: I have to admit, and I feel a little bit like a dummy because of this because I’ve been learning exercise, studying exercise science, teaching exercise science since I was a teenager, really starting at age 13, so this is almost three decades now for me, and it’s taken me to my very late 30s to realize what you just described, [chuckles] to really understand that I can train smarter and not be fatigued all the time if I just stop taking every set to failure and stop pushing that hard on every single set because I used to be of the mentality that the set in the gym didn’t count or wouldn’t have an effect if I didn’t take it all the way to failure.

For training so long, I became used to taking everything to failure and doing a high volume to failure, and it took me so long to figure out that if I just back off, I can still do the volume, I can still have a high intensity, but if I just don’t push all the way into complete muscular failure on every set, I can still have a great physique, I can still train hard, and have a great training effect, but without so much fatigue from the exercise.

Børge: Yes, that’s just it. Have you even seen clients that are training to absolute failure, just do one rep in reserve and go from stagnation and even regression to progress?

Ari: Yes.

Børge: Just from saving that single rep on each set, so it can be a game changer.

How often should you train?

Ari: Yes, that’s exactly the realization I have, and it was a game-changer for me for sure. Let’s get into some other fundamentals in terms of– and you’ve alluded to some of these components, but how often should somebody be training, and how long should each training be and how much volume per muscle group?

Børge: I think from, not only the research, but my experience, and that’s almost three decades now, I can say that if you’re staying at lower volumes, you can probably train each muscle group three times per week like every other day, and even more frequent, but that tends to require that you don’t train to failure. If you’re doing powerlifting or weightlifting, then you’re doing sub-maximal training, and staying more reps reserve, and now we can practice the lift more often basically.

I would say a sweet spot is probably training each muscle group every three to five days like twice a week on average, that’s a good next step in your progression. If you’ve been training once at too or close to failure on compound lifts, full body training three times per week after four to six plus months, it’s probably a good idea to start switching it up and training upper body in one session, lower body in the next or some type of split. It’s a good idea at that point.

Ari: What’s your favorite body part split?

Børge: Mine is, at the moment, either upper, lower or I have this hybrid type split now, which is push-pull legs three days in a row and then a day of rest, and then I do upper body and lower body, so it’s five days of training. It just fits my schedule perfectly.

Ari: Okay, explain to people what push-pull legs means.

Børge: That’s like ball pressing for the upper body, so vertical and horizontal pressing, the shoulders, and chest, and triceps. The pulling would be the back muscles and biceps, and legs is legs, everything downstairs.

Ari: You have three distinct training days per week, and then you try to rotate. You’re training each of those days, each of those muscle groups roughly two days every seven or eight days, somewhere around there.

Børge: Yes. It’s five training days, so three days on the push-pull legs, one day of rest, upper, lower, one day of rest. That allows me to train each muscle group twice per week. The second session like the upper training session, I can have different rep ranges, less sets. I can focus more on some muscle groups than others. I’ve been lifting weights for 30 years, so I’m at a point where I’m beginning to refine things. Most aren’t close to that point and can just do regular or upper or lower splits depending on what they want to focus on.

Is ”muscle confusion” a thing?

Ari: What about exercise consistency versus exercise variety in terms of the specific types of exercise that one is doing? I know that there’s been debate among some gurus. Some people say, “Stick with the same exercise for months and focus on just increasing the load.” Then there’s these other ideas in part popularized like some pseudoscience-y stuff that’s just been marketing gimmicks. I forget the effect, but I think P90X popularized– I think the term muscle confusion, the idea that if you do different exercises every time you work out, you confuse the muscles which creates a superior effect.

Then you have this play between, are you actually doing progressive overload or not? If you’re constantly rotating to a different exercise, you don’t have the consistency to know, are you actually increasing the load? Whereas there’s the other side of it. Whereas if you stay with the same exercise always, then you maybe are lacking different kinds of stimulus on the muscle and you’re limited by that factor, so the muscle becomes accustomed to that particular exercise and it loses its stimulus. How do you see the balance between those variables?

Børge: Great question. Muscle confusion to me means that the person is confused.

Ari: [laughs]

Børge: You can’t confuse the muscle. It’s like a piece of meat, it just responds to electrical signals. The brain can be confused, however, and that’s what sends the electrical impulses. What happens if you constantly change exercises, at least if it’s a very complex, technical exercise, is that it takes a while to relearn or learn that movement before you can appropriately stimulate the muscle. That’s a waste of time to me.

If you’re doing more stable isolation-type movements or machine-type movements, then you can certainly switch without actually needing to relearn. There’s a lower coordination demand, so you can easily or readily stimulate that muscle involved in movement without having to go through some weeks of neural learning to achieve that. I do think it’s good to have a certain core type of list of exercises that you train consistently or variations thereof, but you can freely rotate, vary your isolation movements and less technical movements.

I would say the more advanced you get, the more exercise variety you should probably have to properly and fully train each muscle group because you can look at the muscle as having different segments, at least when you start looking at muscle groups, so the back is 10 to 12 different main muscle groups, and the legs is about the same. Just the front of the leg responsible for extending your knee, that’s four different muscles, the quadriceps. Quad, that’s four muscles.

Not all muscles are trained equally well with just one movement, so you’d be in different resistance curves and movement types to appropriately train them as you get beyond a certain level of development. I tend to add complexity, meaning add more exercise variety, the more advanced you get. It’s not really needed at the beginner level, but for psychological reasons, some tend to get bored if they train the same thing over and over and over again, so for that reason alone, it’s worth trying something different once in a while.

If you’re a novelty seeker, then for sure, that personality type probably needs more variety than those who are more scared of change and want to stick to what they’re used to.

Ari: That’s another variable to add to that mix is that our brains become bored with what’s routine, so adding novelty factors into motivation to work out and to push yourself hard. If you always have the same routines every time you go to the gym, it can be demotivating for the brain or vice versa. If you have some novelty of new exercises, new challenges, new types of exercise routines, or new body parts splits, it can add some excitement and motivation at the level of the brain to your workout, so you end up training harder and going to the gym more consistently and that sort of thing.

Børge: Yes. Again, working with clients one-on-one, you need to gauge what type of client that is, and do they need a lot of variety to stay motivated, or are they scared of too many changes? That’s going to vary across the spectrum. I try to not change just for the sake of changing, but because it can actually help the client to get better gains. For some, they actually need to learn to stick to a certain routine for long enough for us to actually get information on whether the program is working or not because your progress is telling us whether the program is working or not.

The value in consistency in training

Ari: Talk to me about consistency. I think for you and I, we’ve been doing this since we were kids, so it’s like brushing our teeth or taking a shower. It’s just something you do every day or every week, it’s routine. There’s no question of whether you go to the gym and whether you do your workouts, you just do it, it’s a part of you. For a lot of people, it’s not like that.

For a lot of people, they don’t like going to the gym. It’s painful. It’s uncomfortable. They don’t have a positive association with it. It’s not something they look forward to, it’s more something that’s, “Okay, it’s a burden. I know I’m supposed to do exercise because it’s good for me, but I don’t really like it.” With that said, given that, we know that consistency is obviously vital to getting results. How do you see this variable of consistency?

Børge: To even learn or evolve or grow anything, we need just the right amount of challenge. If it’s too demanding or challenging, we’ll stop doing it, but if it’s not challenging enough, we also will stop doing it, we’ll get bored. Actually, like we said at the beginning, you need some level of effort to actually make anything happen. On an individual level, I emphasize consistency because what you can stick with is the best diet, training, and whatever in life.

You need to apply something long enough for it to matter instead of trying to chase a new shiny object syndrome, basically. You just have to ask yourself, if you’re not enjoying what you’re doing, how can you make it more enjoyable? Just the right amount of challenge because not everything should be easy, but it shouldn’t be excessively hard either. Again, I can sit here and say out loud that 5 to 10 reps is the best, but if you hate 10 reps or 5 reps, then do 15.

If you hate squats and deadlifts, then do something you enjoy. Find some enjoyment, push yourself, but without pushing yourself so hard and getting so sore, and everything just being painful, that you stop doing it. That’s where every person needs to find their own sweet spot, I guess.

How many sets are necessary?

Ari: One thing we talked about in passing earlier in this conversation is these incentives on the different fitness influencers to come up with their own unique training methodologies and say, “These other people are wrong, and this is the right way.” One of, I think, the most contentious issues in that regard is volume, training volume, and training intensity to some extent, but which factors into this as well.

We have everything from when people are talking about the optimal number of reps, or sets and reps, total volume per muscle group per week to get the most amount of growth. We have everything from high-intensity interval– not high-intensity interval training, HIT training, high-intensity training, Mike Menser-inspired one set per body part to the people who advocate 30, 40, or 50 sets. I think there’s some research that goes up to 40 or 50 sets per muscle group per week.

You have all these debates, as you well know, between different fitness influencers who are arguing one way or the other. Describe to people how you see that landscape of that debate of the different camps, training camps out there, or ideologies that are out there, and where you land on that spectrum, which direction you think is the better way to go?

Børge: I had the researcher behind the 50-set study on my podcast last week. I had some good closure on the topic because we got to dig into the data and also the subjects. He has also been working as a personal trainer and really passionate about training. They spent decades. He had 80 publications in the exercise science field.

I think, assuming out that we first need to define proximity to failure first, as long as you’re training hard enough, one rep to failure because a lot of studies aren’t really pushing the subjects hard or they’re not used to being pushed, so they’re subconsciously staying further from failure than they should. If you’re training to a certain proximity to failure, like hard enough, then we can say that one set already provides 50% of the maximum gains. That’s pretty good. Then every subsequent set adds gradually less stimulus until you reach a point of diminishing returns where you can probably not recover from it.

Ari: Where that stimulus-to-fatigue ratio starts to have too much net fatigue relative to the stimulus.

Børge: Exactly. That seems to be around four to six sets for a certain muscle group in a workout. You can, if you vary the exercise sufficiently– Let’s say that for the chest, the chest is a fan-shaped muscle. If you’re doing four sets of pushing downwards, like a decline press or a chest press where your arms are moving downwards, you can probably do four sets of that and then four sets of incline where your arms are pushing upwards and stimulating a different segment of the muscle.

In general, around four to six sets is where we see a sharp drop off in the amount of muscle growth that you’re getting from each additional set. For most, it’s probably not worth doing that. Legs, perhaps, can tolerate slightly more from the research we have, but the upper body, certainly not. I think that’s more useful as a starting point versus the weekly sets because that’s entirely determined by how quickly you on an individual level can recover from those sets that you’re doing.

Frequency is probably the most individual variable because some of us have constraints on our recovery ability. Sleep, nutrition, overall mental stress, just going through an exam period or divorce or whatever, will severely put a constraint on your ability to recover and probably prolong it by two to three more days. How many stimuli you can get within a week will ultimately determine how many weekly sets you can do. At the very top end of the range, you can do 6 sets three times a week and get 18 weekly sets.

If you have more reps in your reserve, if you’re not pushing yourself really hard, again, returning to the proximity to failure debate, then you can probably make up for that by doing more sets. We can’t at this point say that that’s better because there is a fatigue cost to every set you’re doing, even if you’re not really pushing to failure. I spent some time trying to consolidate the different training styles. What we see is that some have a personality type where, like yourself, it’s almost hard for you not to train to failure.

Holding back is hard for some people. They just thrive on that and are motivated by pushing really close or hard or beyond the failure, beyond the point of failure. For these, we should probably limit the volume and try to determine, how long does it take you to recover from that. You have a Mike Menser-type routine. On the other side of the spectrum, you can see, somewhat have a repeatability. They can do a set of 10 reps, swear that they’re training really hard, but do another set and get 10 reps.

For whatever reason, whether it’s psychological or muscle fiber types or work capacity or recoverability or whatever, these people can probably also tolerate more volume per session and even per week. Those are some indicators we can use to determine, that I use when I train clients to say whether they should have a lower volume in the frequency or a higher volume and higher frequency, perhaps.

Ultimately, if you can recover from that volume, determined by whether you are able to progress the next time you go into the gym and are you able to do another rep or a load, the same number of reps, then yes, now you have figured out what recoverability you have versus the number of sets you did for that muscle group and how hard you were training. I will tend to think because we need to have sustainability in the larger perspective, what can you do for the next few years?

If you max out on volume, now, remember, if one set provided 50% of the stimulus, and you need five more sets to get close to 100%, that’s a very poor return on investment. For some, it might be worth it, but can you recover from that? Can you do that consistently for the next 5 to 10 years? Most can’t.

Ari: That’s part of what figures into this, adding further complexity is if your goal was to generate the most amount of hypertrophy, the most amount of muscle growth in the next six weeks, which is how a lot of these studies are designed, they’re trying to assess how can we create the most amount of muscle growth in the shortest time frame, if that was your goal, you might design your training in a way where you’re doing the most amount of volume possible with the most amount of training sets that you can tolerate to failure as possible.

As soon as you incorporate the longer-term picture, our goal is not just the next six weeks, but the next six months, the next year, the next several years. How do we train in a way that will lead to sustainable improvements in strength and size and not leave us feeling exhausted all the time because we’re overdoing volume and training to failure? Now that picture changes a little bit, and maybe that training methodology that looked in that six-week study to be the best training methodology for muscle growth doesn’t necessarily extrapolate out to long-term sustainability.

Børge: Yes, exactly. That’s just a point I’m trying to make these days, that you have highly motivated researchers and subjects in a study spanning maybe 10 to 12 weeks at the most, but how repeatable is that? How sustainable is that? Very little. Even Professor [unintelligible 01:10:27] did a 52-set study, he said that, “Well, we just recently collected data from a study where we used 12 to 14 weekly sets, and we had the same growth as in our 52-set study.” Why do 52 sets when you can do 12 weekly sets or four [unintelligible 01:10:46]?

Also, a lot of studies are confounded by not accounting for swelling. Even getting a sunburn, your skin will have inflammation and swelling. A lot of these high volume, high effort studies, short-term studies don’t account for the inflammation. It’s not actual muscle growth, it’s just temporary swelling that tends to dissipate once you allow the subjects some rest. Many of these studies, they can grow. I also posted a picture showing like 0.2 centimeters, 2 millimeters, which is, I don’t know how much of a fraction of an inch, but it’s absolutely–

Ari: It’s very small. It’s like one 16th of an inch or something like that.

Børge: Exactly. We need fine instruments to measure this muscle growth with these highly intensive volume protocols over the short term. We can’t extrapolate that into infinity. It doesn’t happen. We’re getting a full sense of optimalism from short-term studies incentivized by– the researchers need to have results to display, to defend their funding. Me having worked with clients for almost 30 years, 5,000 clients at the last count, I see trends when I work with people for several months and years. They are just so far off from the optimalism that everyone is screaming and shouting on social media about, and it’s way less and it’s more sustainable.


Ari: Tell people about Myo-Reps and what exactly that is, how that figures into this landscape of what we’re just talking about with reps and sets and volume and how close to failure you should go and that sort of thing.

Børge: Briefly speaking, it’s just a way to extend the sets because like we said at the beginning, you need high effort. It’s a way to train with not the heaviest loads. I prefer to use loads where you could get at least eight reps and up to maybe 15, 20 at the most. I would tend to stick to the 8 to 15-rep range with Myo-Reps. As you get into that proximity to where you are applying high effort, you are also activating a lot of muscle mass at the same time, simply due to how our neurology and physiology works, this makes sense that instead of resting two to three minutes to get to that level of effort where does that count, why not just insert the rest and do another few reps?

It’s essentially hard set, short period of rest where you put the weights down, another three to five reps, and then you repeat that sequence, basically it. Instead of doing three to five traditional sets, we just do one wide set. This is called a rest-pause, I think. What separates Myo-Reps from traditional rest-pause is that rest-pause emphasizes going to failure. As we have hopefully learned by now is that going to failure has a high risk-reward ratio and also a low return on investment ratio. The stimulus-to-fatigue ratio for that final rep is so poor that I recommend as default to stay one to two reps from failure throughout.

You’re just getting to that sweet spot and staying there with this technique. You get really high stimulus and manage fatigue instead of chasing it and emphasizing fatigue that many other training techniques do. That’s just to describe a typical Myo-Reps that it would be picking an exercise that you can safely do and put down the load without expending a lot of effort to pick it back up.

Maybe do a set of 10 reps, put the weight down, take three to five deep breaths. Pick up the load, do another three to five reps, and repeat that process for maybe three to five minutes as ten, four plus four plus four, stop, something like that. Now that’s the equivalent three to four additional sets and you spend 70% less time in the gym for the same effect. It’s the same effect, but it’s way more efficient because you do get more stimulus in less time.

Ari: You’re doing this one extended set where you have more, what you call, or called in literature, I don’t know if it’s your term or the the literature term, but effective reps. It’s reps that are close to failure where you have maximal muscle fiber recruitment, and therefore, those reps are the ones that are creating the most stimulus on the muscle tissue to make adaptations.

You’re trying to prolong the number of reps in that range by doing this one extended set in this repetition range, and this is equivalent in terms of the effect that it has on the muscles as compared to three or four traditional sets. It’s like a time-efficient way to get essentially the same effect. It’s the businessman’s approach. You can get the same effect on the muscle in 20 minutes as compared to maybe 40 minutes.

Børge: Yes, that’s exactly it.

How to start out at the gym

Ari: To wrap up, let’s say that there are people listening to this who just don’t have the level of familiarity with weight training and some of these different terms and effort and intensity and reps in reserve and sets per week and weekly volume and rep ranges and all these kinds of things. Let’s say it’s just too much for some people to handle, and this conversation is a bit over their head. They’re feeling frustrated, not understanding how to implement this information.

How can you leave people with a simple blueprint of how to start going in the gym, and how they should design a new weightlifting program or change their existing ones? What are the key things that they should focus on? I know we’ve covered this all in passing, but can you just put a neat little bow on it and just say simply, “Here’s how often you should work out. Here’s what you should be shooting for as far as the type of exercises, and here’s how much volume you should do.”?

Børge: Make sure you properly work out. I would say two workouts in a week is a good place to start. If you can get three, that’s a bonus, but two will get you very far. Now, pick one movement for each movement plane. Pressing overhead, pulling overhead, [unintelligible 01:18:40] from you and pulling towards you. I also [unintelligible 01:18:47] where two exercises for the legs, one for [unintelligible 01:18:51], and one for the front, so some type of squat movement or leg press. Back extension or maybe just a leg curl, like machine. Lying machine or sitting machine where you just curl your legs.

A couple of warmup sets, warmups, and one hard set. Apply a high effort and see if you can do more reps or a higher load next time. Have a long-term perspective on it. If you felt like the set you just did really hit the spot or you weren’t sure if you managed to train hard enough, then feel free to do another, but for most, you can get in and out of the gym in 30, maybe 40 minutes, including warmups and have great gains for the next few months. That’s basically all it takes. Also, make sure to rest until you can [unintelligible 01:19:53] breath and feel ready to go for a next [unintelligible 01:19:56] or set, so two to three minutes. The overarching principles to start with, and it’s fine to use machines for all of this. Don’t actually need to use very unstable free-weight exercises. If all trying to do is get stronger and build muscle, then machines and more stableness are perfectly fine.

Ari: Great. If you were going to leave people with one piece of mindset advice, what would it be?

Børge: Your ability to delay gratification will be your best– that’s basically the secret to everything in life. Trying to be aware of your need for instant gratification and use your mind to shift the focus into delaying that gratification, so having long-term perspectives, focusing on something that you find sufficiently enjoyable, yet challenging, so that you will get gradually better at it. That’s my best takeaway.

Ari: Beautiful. Børge, tell people where they can find you, wherever you want to send them as far as how they can follow your work or get in touch with you if they want to do your programs or work with you one-on-one. Let people know what services and programs you offer.

Børge:, my homepage, I currently have quite extensive course with creating a nutrition mindset. I plan to shift my platform into more focusing on mindset behind the scenes here, but that’s my current prior offer. I also do one-on-one coaching online. I have a YouTube channel where it’s currently interviews with some muscle growth training experts, but it will gradually shift more into mindset than psychology because that’s my main interest and passion these days. You can also find–

Ari: You’re tired of the forever wars of debating how many sets per workout is optimal with all the other fitness influencers?

Børge: Exactly. That’s where I’m at right now, which is, it’s probably very evident if you go to my Instagram and see my last few posts.

Ari: Yes. Børge, it has been an absolute pleasure to reconnect with you. It’s been way too long and we need to do another one. Let’s do another podcast, talking more about mindset. I know you have a lot of thoughts on nutrition as well. We’ll do two, three maybe podcasts. It’s really a joy to reconnect with you and I feel a lot of gratitude in my heart for meeting you a decade ago and for you asking for a refund on my program, and then engaging with me in discussion and then forming this beautiful conversation that we had where I learned, I hope you learned too, but certainly, I learned a lot from it, and I think we–

Børge: I also got a lot, just to make that clear. [chuckles]

Ari: Yes. I think it’s a beautiful friendship that we’ve had all these years. I’ve had a lot of love and gratitude in my heart for you even through many years that we haven’t even had any communication, but it’s a real joy to reconnect with you and let’s do it again. Maybe next week we’ll do part two.

Børge: Yes. Likewise, Ari, it’s been an honor and [unintelligible 01:23:32] and really great to reconnect.

Ari: Likewise, brother. All right. Talk to you soon.

Børge: Yes.

Show Notes

00:00 – Intro
00:40 – Guest intro Børge Fagerli
05:40 – Børge’s background in bodybuilding and body composition
08:51 – Common problems in evidence-based fitness circles
20:00 – Starting out an exercise routine
22:50 – Compound lifts
26:26 – Intensity and effort in resistance training
33:00 – Do you become bulky from lifting weights as a woman?
41:30 – Fundamentals for training effectively
48:40 – How often should you train?
52:07 – Is ”muscle confusion” a thing?
58:05 – The value in consistency in training
1:01:00 – How many sets are necessary?
1:13:24 – Myo-Reps
1:17:50 – How to start out at the gym

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