The Advice of Mike Israetel – Viable For 100% True Natty Brahs Or Another Hallucination?

| by Truth Seeker |

Ph. D/muscle-building professor/exercise scientist Mike Israetel has become one of the most popular muscle-building shamans on the Internet.

He routinely presents “scientific” training regimes with a heavy focus on slowed and controlled execution.

As usual, the important question is – do the tactics work for 100% true naturals?

First, let’s make a summary of the strategy:

  • Fairly frequent training
  • Focus on exercises that put the muscle in a maximally stretched position so that it has to work harder with less weight.
  • Slow execution of the eccentric (negative phase of the lift)
  • Elimination of momentum
  • Some form of progression over time (cycling)

So, does this method work for naturals?

The answer is yes. If you follow this protocol, you will have results. It’s also better than the perma-bulking advice from people such as Rippetoe as it focuses directly on hypertrophy rather than doing barbell voodoo inspired by the powerlifters from the 1970s.

That said, I can’t ignore some side effects that a natty might face after getting sucked into the Renaissance Periodization vortex.

Those would be:

  • 99% of the trainees in the videos are hormonized 

Israetel and Jared Feather are open about their use of anabolic drugs. So, we don’t have a case of the fake natty here.

However, the subconscious of a natty overloaded with so many drug-powered physiques has no choice but to start hallucinating some miraculous growth and raise expectations to the roof.

There is no way around it. This is how we are built. The more we are exposed to something, the more natural it becomes to us.

Hence people often say that Jay Cutler currently looks small even though he’d be among the most muscular guys in 99% of the gyms on the planet.

So, once again, it will be necessary to get real.

I’d also like to point out that even the hormonized brahs Israetel and Feather progress quite slowly. Now, imagine natty growth.

Sorry, but that’s the case regardless of how you train.

  • Too much love for unnecessary slow eccentrics

I am a fan of performing exercises strictly and with a pause, as promoted by RP. This way you get the job done with a lower load and save your joints and CNS.

But I think the guys in the videos are slightly overdoing it to please Mike and get a “nice work, dude” from him.

There is no need to be as obsessed with doing the movements as slowly. Just lower the weight in a controlled fashion instead of begging for extra points.

  • Too much stretching

Some people just can’t get into the extreme stretch shown in the videos. For instance, Mike has a special way of doing flies that involves pushing your chest up at the bottom for an even bigger stretch.

The technique is not technically bad, but its ROI is practically zero whereas the extra chance of injury is not.

I’ve never been a fan of flies, to begin with, apart from using them for a warm-up and/or to stretch the area. I’d never do heavy flies let alone increase the stretch for some minuscule extra gains that will happen only in some altered universe.

But natties love training tweaks and often think that some minor detail here and there will catapult them into growth. Not the case, bros.

  • The gear subject is ignored

Israetel says he doesn’t talk about gear because “it’s not interesting” to him. Maybe that’s true. I can’t speak for him.

But it’s also true that gear is not marketable and is illegal in most countries unless it’s for medical use.

So, the subject is, of course, dropped altogether even though bodybuilding is all drugs as the legend GH15 would say.

Nothing wrong with that. It’s his choice, but a natty may be indirectly led toward the conclusion that gear plays a much smaller role than it does.

I can assure you that the RP hosts and guests invest a lot more time studying drug-induced hypertrophy than training.

Optimal According To Science Does Not Equal Optimal For You

Manny natties out there think that science will save them…that there is a mathematical formula consisting of special exercises done for a very specific number of sets and reps each leading to almost drug-induced hypertrophy.

In a collaboration video, Mike talks about a study concluding that progressively increasing the volume to 52 sets per body part a week leads to “optimal hypertrophy”.

Here’s the deal.

None of this matters. People are obsessing over very minor details that make no practical difference.

It’s also crucial to understand that satisfying “science” is not as important as satisfying your particular context. 

No, I am not saying that your body is super unique and needs some ultra-personalized formula. We are quite similar physiologically. What isn’t similar are our schedules, momentary capabilities, desire to train, free time…etc.

So, if you fail to satisfy the latest study out there, don’t beat yourself up. Just find a way to schedule consistent work on the body parts that you want to develop. Select exercises that agree with your joints and just lift.

If you don’t see progress after a sufficiently long period (e.g., 6 months), you may have to press the issue harder by increasing the volume and/or the frequency.

TL:DR; 

RP isn’t a bad way to train but don’t perform “pervertedly slow” negatives/eccentrics and adjust your expectations to reality. just control the weight, pause, and get it up.

Until next time

– Natty

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14 comments

  1. Nick

    Hi could you do 3 post on basement bodybuilding and natural hypertrophy doug brignole on there training methods been reading your stuff from the beginning and got some of the e books thank you for everything you do your content is awesome bro

    1. Truth Seeker Post author

      I am not familiar with them. A future analysis will be needed.

      1. CJ

        Natural hypertrophy is an idiot. There you go

  2. zsary

    Hi, I also think that he is the first adult strength viral guru father-like looking who is acting in very inapriopiate and obscure way in his videos, talking about sex, hentai etc. You would expect different behavior from a muscular PHD dude, especially in public. Maybe that is just a jew thing like usual. Correct me if Im wrong. Also, I dont like this guy’s physique as he looks very unpleasing, if you arę short dont do roids or atleast grow a beard and dwarfmaxx. I would focus on gymnastic skills personally, like planche. Peace

    1. Truth Seeker Post author

      I agree that he jokes about him being attracted to other men a little too much as in every video. It’s clearly meant to be funny, but at one point, it’s just annoying.

  3. Ahmed Salem

    Everyone is on steroids in all professional sports. I believe that most men are too broke mentally and financially to have morals anyways.

    1. Truth Seeker Post author

      In general yes, but some sports just don’t require steroids. (skateboarding, BMX, MTB…etc.)

      1. John L Sullivan

        The number of athletes performing at an elite level who are natural are virtually non-existent. They may not all necessarily be on steroids but are all on some form of performance enhancer.

        I competed in mma in the relatively early days (when we were getting paid very little) and I knew guys who even then were openly telling me that they were taking steroids even though all they got for winning was pocket change and a trophy.

        I even saw an article where it stated that some people competing in Curling had failed for PED’s. You know that drug use in sports has reached the saturation point when even curlers are using.

  4. A Long Time Fan

    Hey Truth Seeker! Can you make a post about Alex Eubank? He was all the rage in 2022-23 and now – not so much. Greg Doucette made videos about suspecting him not being natty. Just an idea for future article.

    1. Truth Seeker Post author

      I have to analyze him.

      1. John L Sullivan

        Here’s another one who you should look into:

        John Jaquish the fraud/con artist who is selling a resistance band system (X3 Bar) for $550 and claims that it’s 3x times superior to weight training.

        He’s also stated that he gained 60lbs. of muscle while losing 16lbs of fat over a three period, in his 40’s, without drugs using the X3 bar exclusively, doing half reps with resistance bands in only 10 minutes a day!

        And people actually believe this clown and shell out $550 for his magical “muscles in minutes” gimmick.

  5. John L Sullivan

    I saw one of the training templates that Israetel used to sell on his site ($100 for a spreadsheet) and the volume was ridiculous. It went from high to outrageous and by the end of a training cycle he had you working out for 2.5 hours a day for 4-5 days a week.

    I feel sorry for any natural who was fool enough to try it and actually expect to see results from it.

    1. Craig

      Hes one of these guys who has been on gear so long hes become detached from natural training realities. He has good points but hes also got a lot of bad points. Hes overly obsessed with the ‘stretch’ to the point of absurdity. Hes also one of these guys that is overly critical of others form yet does similar things in his own videos. I also dont believe he has built any additional size or strength with these techniques or programmes he promotes to others and uses himself. He needs to spend a few years training naturally (which he wont do) using the programmes and methods he promotes and then report back on his progress which id hazard a guess would be minimal to non existent. One thing he does do thats good is he exposes these stupid ‘celeb’ workout routines for what they are and also points out that you dont need several different exercises for the same muscle groups within a workout.

    2. twptwp

      From all of these gym gurus I think Kinobody has one of the best workout plans for natties, despite himself not being a natty. Last time I checked it was 3 times a week with 5-6 sets per muscle group per week. You can also spread that workout to 4 times a week.

      trough the years I have tried almost every high volume PPL bullshit from Layne PHD Norton, Jeff Nippard, Gred Doucette, etc… and every time I ended up in a plateau, fatigued and lethargic. Not only plateaued, but also lost strength, slept like 12 hours and probably my testosterone was crashed.

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