Here is an example of what I am talking about:

Here is an example of what I am talking about:

femael WO modelHere is an example of what I am talking about:


Monday: Chest and Biceps Tuesday: Cardio Wednesday: Legs and Shoulders Thursday: Cardio Friday: Back and Triceps Saturday and Sunday–Off

Week 2

Monday: Chest and Biceps Tuesday: Cardio Wednesday: Legs and Shoulders Thursday: Cardio Friday: Back and Triceps Saturday and Sunday–Off

Week 3

Monday: Chest and Biceps Tuesday: Cardio Wednesday: Legs and Shoulders Thursday: Cardio Friday: Back and Triceps Saturday and Sunday–Off

Get the picture? Nothing fancy, no changing every week.

Just plain and simple routine with adequate rest.

****Side note****

Nothing in this program you are reading is groundbreaking.

You will not read about some fancy new supplement or some exciting new split routine.

This stuff is simple. That’s where the power lies.

Simple will win out any and every time.

Ask the pros.

They will tell you that keeping things simple is the best thing you can do.

I know its true for my own journey.

I used to try routine after routine and rep change after rep change.

I’d go from one training routine one week to a totally different one.

Believe me, I didn’t have much to show for it as a result.

I think Flex and Muscle and Fitness magazines did though.

Most of my hard earned money.


But one day I smartened up and started seeking out the best natural bodybuilders I could find and I started noticing certain patterns.

Most were doing the same things, over and over again.

They were using low reps, heavy weight, training each muscle group once a week, getting 2 or more days rest, doing basic compound exercises (squats, bench press, deadlifts) and other simple but effective things.

When I started doing the same things, I totally blew myself away.

I was finally starting to see great results and I became more motivated than ever.

But it was all right there, waiting for me all along.

I just was so busy training everything and anything, looking for the magic solution, that I kept missing it.

So please do not let simplicity fool you.

*****End Side Note******

The last part of rest I want to talk about is when to rest after weeks of intense training.

Years ago, before I knew any better, I used to train 5 to 7 days a week, just about year round.

And although I was pretty strong and muscular most of the year, I didn’t see any great results and my strength was pretty much the same year round.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t do this lifting stuff to stay the same year round.

I want more muscle and strength and I want it yesterday.

Well, I learned that some of the other natural pro bodybuilders were taking some time off after every 8 to 10 weeks of intense training.

In fact, like clockwork, after 8 to 10 weeks of hardcore training, they took a full week off and didn’t lift or do cardio at all.

When I first read that, I thought to myself that these people will forever be playing catch up.

I thought that by taking a week off every 8 to 10 weeks, they’d lose all they worked so hard for.

Boy, was I wrong. In fact, why did I even doubt the natural pros?

****Side note*****

I find it so funny today that I used to question the natural pros on what they were doing.

Now I wonder how I could have ever been so dumb.

Look, they’ve already achieved a certain level of success. In other words, they know what they are talking about.

So why not do some of the things they are doing?

Who knows, maybe we’ll get similar good results.

Today, after learning from many of these natural pros, I can tell you that YOU WILL get good results from following what they are doing.

Doesn’t it make sense to learn from their own trial and error so that you can shave off years of your own?

But this also works in any area of your life that you want to become better at.

Seek out those that have already achieved what you want and begin copying them.

If you want to learn about stocks, read books on the experts in investing like Peter Lynch or Warren Buffet.

If you want to learn anything, there are plenty of books out there written by people that can save you years of trial and error time.

So please be open to learning more each and every day.

As weird as it sounds, the best thing you can ever do to gain muscle and strength is to learn more.

To get better, you have to know better.

And you’ve done that, by picking up this program.

******End Side Note********

Where were we? Oh yeah, taking a week off after 8 to 10 weeks of heavy training.

I tried taking a full week off after 8 straight weeks of training and was it tough.

I mentally felt like I should be doing something, ANYTHING.

But I made it through the week without working out (I think I may have driven my girlfriend at the time nuts).

I went back to the gym after the week off and totally blew all of my lifts away.

It was chest and biceps day.

I added 10 pounds to my bench, 5 pounds to my incline dumbbell presses, 10 pounds to my straight bar curls, and 5 pounds to my alternate dumbbell curls.


But I also made a crucial mistake. Can you guess what it was by reading that above?

I was so sore for the next few days afterwards; I had to take more time off.

I made the mistake of not easing back into training. I went all out—“GungHo” and paid the price for it.

So now I take the week back to just go fairly easy on my exercises, picking weights that I can handle for 6 to 8 reps easily and I use this week to acclimate back into it.

So, I once was a doubting Thomas about taking a full week off from training every 8 to 10 weeks, but will never be again.

Trust me; take a full week off from any training after 8 to 10 weeks of hard intense workouts.

But it should make sense to you why you are doing this.

Think about it for a moment, you’re busting your butt for 8 straight weeks, putting your muscles and body through some pretty intense, grueling workouts.

The cumulative effect of these demanding workouts soon takes effect.  Like a snowball rolling down the hill gets bigger, soon you become a little more worn down, a little more tired, with a few more aches and pains.

Working out puts a lot of stress on muscle tissue and breaks it down.

If you don’t give it a chance to recover, it will not adapt to that stress and will not have a chance to grow.

weight and clock image

A full week off is often a cure for what ails you.

***Studies have shown that muscle atrophy (muscles getting smaller) DOES NOT OCCUR until approximately 2 weeks off from working out.

Meaning, those that were in the study did not lose size or strength when taking up to a full 2 weeks off.

Sure, a week may be all you need to rest up, but even if it extends a bit longer, do not be fearful you are going to “lose what you gained.”

It doesn’t happen that fast.  Like the studies have shown, you can still be fine up to 2 full weeks staying out of the gym.

Don’t underestimate the power of rest.

*****   This is one of those times that I mentioned in the beginning of this program to trust me. This is a proven and effective way to ensure your strength gains and muscle gains continue.

Take it on “faith” value that this is so and you will never “not” take another full week off after 8 to 10 weeks of training.

The deal with over training is this:

It WILL stop all of your gains, dead in its tracks.

Over training is the result of subjecting your body to more stress than it can handle.

It can not recover and keep up with the demands you are placing on it, so your body sort of “gives out” on you and forces you to stop and take notice.

You become less energetic, more tired, and sorer more often.

You do not look forward to your workouts like you used to and when you are working out, your strength, intensity, and drive are just not as high as normal.

If your weights you lift are staying the same and you feel you’ve hit a plateau, you could be over training.

Again, feeling tired more than usual is a sign of possible over training.

If you feel sorer than normal or just feel “sick”, that’s another sign.

So what’s the solution to over training?

Reversing what caused it in the first place.

Instead of overdoing it, you have to rest.

In fact, I would immediately take a week off from training.

Consume a few more quality protein calories to help maintain proper nutrition during this recovery phase.

Like you have to stay out of the sun with sunburn, you have to stay out of the gym if you’ve over trained.

When you return to the gym, you must change what caused and led up to the over training in the first place—which was too many reps, sets, and time spent working out.

Keep reps at 4 to 6 for heavy sets, and do no more than 2 or 3 heavy sets per workout.

Keep workouts between 30-40 minutes max and fully recover before stepping into the gym again to train that same muscle group.

Also, that week off we discussed after a full 8 to 10 weeks of heavy training will help prevent another bout of over training to occur.

Become familiar with knowing the signs of over training and be willing to make a change when you need to.

It really is a fine line between training heavy and with intensity and overdoing it.

You need to know how to walk that line.


Since only you know what works best for your body, learn to make changes if something isn’t working. Learn to listen to your body.

To summarize Step #4 in just a few words: Train only 1 to 2 muscle groups each workout, train no more than 5 to 6 days a week, getting enough rest during the week to recover, and when you are ever in doubt about whether you are over training, take some time off.

Step 6: Cardio–How, what, and when

I get many emails each week from people that ask me whether or not they should be doing cardio when they are already having trouble gaining weight.

I give them all the same answer.

Cardio is important for more reasons than simply burning calories and body fat.

Cardio is important to keep the cardiovascular system healthy and operating efficiently.

Even though you may not want to lose any more weight, you still want to keep the heart and lungs healthy.

So absolutely you should do cardio, even if you want to gain weight.

If done right, cardio can actually help you increase muscle tissue.

However, the amount and duration of your cardio will be different than someone who wants to lose fat.

If you want to gain weight or you’re having trouble gaining weight, you should still do cardio two times a week.

Any less than that and I’m afraid you’re not going to get the cardiovascular health benefits and any more than that and you are going to have difficulty putting weight on.

Again, this is only for those who are looking to add some size.

Now, it is possible to do more cardio than 2 days a week and still add some quality size, but you will have to ensure you are getting extra quality calories from your nutrition.

If we’re going to do cardio twice a week, this is what I suggest.

First, your cardio sessions MUST be done on non-weight training days.

This is a must, because if you do cardio on the same day as weights, you are going to run into problems.

If you do cardio before your weight training, you are going to expend too much precious energy and you will not be as strong as you should be for your weight training.

If you’re not as strong as you should be, it’s not even worth working out with weights.

Now, if you do cardio after weight training, you hamper your recovery time from weight training and also interfere with the very important post-workout nutrition window.

If you absolutely must do cardio and weights together on the same day due to time constraints, do your cardio and weights 6 to 8 hours apart.

That should give you enough rest time to adequately recover.

You could do cardio on Tuesday and Thursday and hit the weights Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

When you do your cardio, treat each session just like you would a weighttraining workout. Meaning:

Give it your most intense 100% all.

Do not fluff on cardio, put in a great effort and you can shorten the amount of time you have to do it.

Intensity of cardio matters–You can either walk lazily for an hour or run hard for 20 minutes–I know which one I’ll pick.

There is proof now that shorter, more intense cardio sessions have less negative impact on muscle breakdown.

This means that by keeping your cardio sessions short (15-20 minutes) and intense, you keep more of your hard earned muscle.

Personally, I’ve been having great results with 20-minute cardio sessions.  In fact, the results are as good if not better than when I was spending 30 minutes or more.

Even though the focus on this program is on gaining muscle and weight, not on losing weight, it’s still important to do cardio for health reasons.

Just put in your two sessions a week and do them well and you won’t have to spend much time worrying about cardio.

Again, test to see what works for you.

If you begin doing 2 intense sessions a week and continue to have troubles gaining weight, try adding some extra calories from a meal replacement or protein shake during your day.

If that fails, then you probably could drop a day of cardio and just do 1 day for a while.

But I think 2 days is better, one just doesn’t give you the health benefits.

What if you begin gaining too much weight or are concerned you are packing on a few more fat pounds than you want?

Start adding an extra cardio session during the week (now up to 3 sessions).

Or you can begin dropping a few calories from your diet.

Manipulate the cardio and the calorie amounts and test to see what works best for you.

To summarize this Step #5:

If you want to gain weight, do just 2 cardio sessions a week and keep them short and intense. If you still feel 2 sessions will stop you from gaining weight, start adding an extra protein drink/meal replacement or two during your day.

This extra boost in calories will help negate any calories you may have lost during cardio.