Four day split workout routines, danger of soy products, eat well while working out to increase body mass

Q&A with Mike Furci

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Q: Hi Mike,

CurlsI’m a bit confused with the three-day-split and four-day-split per week routines. I’ve been working out for quite some time now, nothing too serious, just enough to stay in shape. I do realize a three day split simply means that you subdivide your body so you only have to work certain muscle groups per session. That’s fine and all; I just don’t understand what a three-day split, four days a week cycle, is. It’s the “four days a week” that I don’t get at all.

How does it work? Do I lift on a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and take Thursday off? If so, do I start back on a Friday, Saturday, Sunday and take Monday off? Or does the (three-day split four days a week) cycle mean that I workout Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and I repeat what I did on Monday on a Thursday, then I take a break on Friday?

If you could break it down for me, I really would appreciate it! I’ve searched the ‘net for a good answer, but they all talk about the regular three-day-split; and not the three-day split four days a week version. I received this answer via e-mail from A three day split means you will train all of the muscles of your body over the course of three weight training sessions. The four days per week part means you will simply be training four days per week.

Maybe you can shed some light on this one?


A: Conrad,

The only time you would be training more than three days per week on a three day split routine is if you are working each bodypart less than seven days per week. The following is an example.

Monday: Workout A

Tuesday: Workout B

Wednesday: Off

Thursday: Workout C

Friday: Off

Saturday: Workout A (starts the three day split over.)

Sunday: Workout B

Three day split, four day split, five day split, etc. doesn't necessarily mean per week.

Q: Mike,

I enjoyed your article, although it seemed to simplify a few matters about soy. I'm very weary of soy myself, so I'm not writing a blindly pro-soy email. I stopped consuming it myself, but for one thing, I thought that fermentation destroyed phyto-estrogens. And also, isn't the definition of tofu "fermented soy?" In your article, it says that tofu is not fermented.

Do you believe that soy comes in absolutely no safe form? Is edamame even dangerous? It seems so harmless. I'm really just trying to understand this completely.

Thanks very much,

A: Ellen,

Thanks so much for taking the time to read my articles and for emailing your questions.

Do I believe there are any safe forms of soy? For the average person who doesn't have a soy allergy, I do believe having some soy on occasion is not harmful. Although this does depend on the type of soy you are consuming, because some types are more can harmful than others.

Soy products such as misso, shoyu, tempeh and soy sauce are OK when eaten occasionally because they are fermented. The fermentation process deactivates some of the anti-nutrients contained in soy.

Tofu is not fermented and is not good for you. Will it hurt to eat it on occasion? Probably not, but why eat it? It tastes like shit, is highly processed, and contains high amounts of anti-nutrients and isoflavones. Edamame is garbage. You are eating the unprocessed beans. This product contains an outrageous amount of anti-nutrients. Other than eating soy beans right off the plant, there is no worse type. Remember, soy beans are indigestible without being fermented or highly processed.

Ellen, there is nothing natural about soy products. They are subjected to high heat, chemicals and even pressure. Somebody who wants to eat a diet containing whole, natural, unprocessed foods would be wise to stay away from soy.

Read "The Whole Soy Story" by Dr. Kaayla Daniel.

Q: Mike,

Just wanted to express my gratitude to you for the information you provide in a no-nonsense manner. I am 36 years old, and I have developed the discipline and commitment to work out regularly since after college, but I did not necessarily see the results I wanted, so I went searching for information and found your site on

After at first reading your columns with some skepticism (as I always do), I began to slowly follow your teachings, and the result is nothing short of remarkable. I can honestly say that you have changed my life, and I have never even met you! I now have made solid gains in muscle mass and I can tell visually that my body fat percentage has decreased significantly. In addition, your column on workouts to rehab shoulder injuries has basically cured a long-term shoulder problem I had when I played tennis, allowing me to play without any long term pain anymore. In short, I am now optimistic that I can achieve my long term goals, and that is a complete turnaround from my mindset before I started following your teachings. Bravo!

I continue to eagerly await your columns on and look forward to a lifetime of great learning about that which I am passionate: fitness/health. Again, you changed my life and I sincerely appreciate that gift. Let me know if you write any other columns other than on or if you have any books out there. I would be happy to help contribute to such a good person/cause. I live in Northern California if that makes any difference. Keep up the good work.


A: John,

Thanks for the kind words and taking the time to visit I have been involved in the fitness industry for more than two decades and have been very disgusted with the garbage magazines, books and so-called experts. I am just trying to give people some sound information in order for them to make positive changes in their lives.

Thanks again,


Q: Mike,

Soy has been linked in the AMA journal to reduced thyroid levels. I know this because mine died after seven years of over-use of soy, coupled with the lack of that molecule in the water I was drinking (iodine). I was lactose intolerant and looked to soy as a substitute.

I tell vegetarians or others who liken themselves that way "too bad your mind won't give your body what it needs."

I once had a friend who became a vegan. Her fingernails turned black and her stomach distended. There is no substitute for eating as wide a variety as possible of all clean foods, regular intense physical exercise and bright light. It is pure fact that my veggie friends have very poor muscle tone, and that’s because the body will metabolize its own muscle when there is not enough protein.

There is a lot of info on these subjects, but the real proof is: who leads a more energetic, productive, long life, and is able to accomplish more before we are put in a box? Who will be more healthy, and produce healthier children? The answer for me is that I will give my body the consumables that it needs.

Thanks for the info and you are free to use mine.


A: Thanks Joel.

You are correct -- 25 grams of soy per day has been shown to negatively affect thyroid function. Thyroid disease is an epidemic in Asian countries and is not much better here. Soy is absolutely a poison in our food. Under the FDA Poisonous Plant Database, which contains references to scientific literature that describes the toxic effects of plants, soy has 288 references.

What these vegetarians/vegans forget is that soy, in and of itself, is not digestible by the human body. To get it to the point to where our bodies can actually digest it requires an unbelievable amount of processing. I though these tree hugging, animal rights, granola types believed in organic natural foods?

There is nothing positive about this useless plant, except as the Chinese believe, it's great as a green manure.

Q: Hey Mike,

I'm 20 years old, 5-feet-10-inches and at last count was 111 pounds. I've always been a pretty small guy and was just wondering what you would suggest as being the best way to add on some weight - preferably at least 20 pounds to bring my Body Mass Index (BMI) to average. I'm thinking my metabolism is what's holding me back because even when I've eaten and eaten, I have never noticed a real change. I'm just looking for a starting ground as to what to do, and feel that I'm focused enough to follow through with it as long as I'm pointed in the right direction.

Thanks for your time!

Regards, Mike

A: Mike,

I had, and thankfully still have, at 42, a fast metabolism. I was also a kid who was very self conscious about being "skinny." I was fortunate to be athletic, but nonetheless, still skinny. At 5-feet-10-inches, I weighed an impressive 149 pounds the day before my senior year of high school started. However, to be 5-feet-10 inches and 110 pounds at 20 years of age! Mike, I feel for you.

Let me start by telling you what I did. I was very active -- like most boys used to be -- always running, playing basketball, football, etc. I had had it with being skinny and self conscious. I was muscular and knew I had potential to be bigger. I decided to start weight training.

I saw Arnold Schwarzenegger on Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show (currently, the Tonight Show with Jay Leno for all you youngsters!) when I was in second grade, and thought he was the coolest guy on the planet. I decided then that I wanted to be muscular. When I finally joined the Lorain Family YMCA I was very fortunate to meet the guys I did. Unlike most, I started off on the right foot from the beginning.

Like you, I thought I had been eating a lot of food and didn't understand why I couldn't gain weight. I asked one of the powerlifters what the best way to gain weight was. His reply, "Eat! If you're not gaining weight you're not eating enough."

Mike, I have to tell you, it's that simple. Eat! At 5-feet-10-inches and 111 pounds, you're not eating much at all. I've attached some nutrition guidelines I would like you to take a look at. I'm not only asking you to eat more, I'm asking you to eat more of the right foods.


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