Getting Jacked For Dummys

Getting jacked for the most part isn’t that tough to do.  People tend to make things out to be much harder than they really are.  Getting jacked doesn’t even need to be hard work; it just takes time and some dedication.

People need to start looking at strength/size training from a long term perspective.  Everyone gets in the gym and wants to go full throttle right away.  They wake up the next morning and can’t move.  Then don’t go to the gym because it hurts to freakin’ much.  You can’t think of this battle as a sprint.  It’s more of a marathon.

Breaking it down – If you do one pushup every day, and at the end of every week you add 1 rep, at the end of the year that’s 52pushups in a row that you can do.  At the end of 2 years, that’s 104 pushups, at the end of 4 it’s 208 pushups.  Seems slow, but if you stay consistent, you make very big jump when compared to those jackasses at your gym that maxed out every time they lifted, and are still lifting the same amount of weight they did when you first got there.

If you look at things short term, you’re the guy that does 3 pushups every day and stops lifting.  If you look at it long term, you’re that crazy jacked dude that can bang out 200pushups in a row!  Your dedication and programming dictates your reputation and progress at the gym!!

Typically, in my experience, the hardest problem most of my “average Joe” clients have is NOT the exercise program.  The workout dedication aspect is easy for them.  They pay to come in and have me to design proper programming and yell at them or encourage them when they need it.  Lifting for most people is the easy part.

The hardest part for them is the, “diet” or healthier lifestyle.  Most people have had bad eating habits their entire lives.  Even an 18 year old, trying to change their 18 years of bad eating is tough.  Imagine with an adult?

It takes over 10,000 repetitions and over 500 hours to invoke a change in motor pattern.  That’s a lot of work.  Same principle applies to eating habits.  It takes practicing the right way to change the bad habits.   But just like performing a new motor pattern, you don’t want to do things 100 mph right when you start; otherwise you’ll quit the pattern or you’ll develop bad habits.

Here’s a suggestion:

If you eat 3 times per day, make 1 meal per day healthy for the first two weeks.  Then make 2 meals healthy for the next two weeks and then make all three meals healthy.  It’s a slow way, but it’s a sure way to stick to your plan.  Everything you do is about progressing into it.

Look at smokers, not many people quit cold turkey.  People have the most success weaning themselves off the addiction.  Eating bad food is very addictive, approach as you would cigarettes and it will be much easier to overcome.

Nutrition – Easiest way to sum up proper nutrition is: Stay away from processed foods.  If it doesn’t walk/grow on the Earth or swim the sea, then don’t eat it!

Make sure you eat multiple times per day.  It doesn’t have to be the usual five to six times per day.  It can be as little as three times per day.  Just make sure every meal is balanced.  And here’s the best part, you can pretty much eat as much as you want!

Protein source:

Red meat, poultry, fish & nuts (protein powders are acceptable)

Carbohydrate Sources:

Fruits, vegetables & grains

Fat Sources:

Nuts, fish & seeds

Example meals:

  1. 7 egg whites, handful of almonds, 1 orange, 5 strawberries, 1 banana
  2. 1 pound steak, 2 large sweet potatoes, 1 stalk of broccoli with olive oil
  3. 10oz salmon, 2 cups brown rice, 20 spears of asparagus
  4. Protein, almond or rice milk, avocado oil

Eating Transition 6 – Week Cycle (3 meals per day)

*Here’s an ACTUAL example of one of my clients diets*

Usual Day

  • Breakfast – Coffee Egg Mcmuffin & donut
  • Lunch – 2 slices of Pizza and Soda (or Wendys)
  • Dinner – Mac n Cheese, some fried chicken and a couple of beers

Weeks 1 & 2

  • Breakfast – Coffee Egg Mcmuffin & donut
  • Lunch – 2 slices of Pizza and Soda (or Wendys)
  • Dinner – Water, grilled chicken, sweet potato & baby spinach with oil & vinegar

Weeks 3 & 4

  • Breakfast – Coffee Egg Mcmuffin & donut
  • Lunch – Protein, almond or rice milk, avocado oil
  • Dinner – Water, grilled chicken, sweet potato & baby spinach with oil & vinegar

Weeks 5 & 6

  • Breakfast – Whole and egg whites, oatmeal mixed with natural peanut butter & water
  • Lunch – Protein, almond or rice milk, avocado oil
  • Dinner – Water, grilled chicken, sweet potato & baby spinach with oil & vinegar

Workout guidelines –

  • Lift 3-4 times per week
  • Have 4-5 exercises in each lift
  • Perform 8-12 reps with each exercise
  • Progress each exercise by 2 reps each week

Make sure you’re thoroughly warmed up before each workout.  Solid warm-up is half the battle with maintaining an injury free & healthy.

Make sure to incorporate:

  • Mobility work
  • Exercises to elevate body temperature
  • Prehab/rehab
  • General physical preparedness (GPP)

Progression – Make sure, whatever it is you are doing is CONSTANTLY being progressed in one way or another.  If you’re not progressing, you are standing still!

Here’s a simple progression –

    Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Week 5 Week 6
Exercise Weight Sets/Reps Sets/Reps Sets/Reps Sets/Reps Sets/Reps Sets/Reps
DB Press 100lbs 3×8 3×10 3×12 4×8 4×10 4×12
Inclined DB Bench 80lbs 3×8 3×10 3×12 4×8 4×10 4×12
Low Cable Flies 60lbs 3×8 3×10 3×12 4×8 4×10 4×12
Mid Cable Flies 60lbs 3×8 3×10 3×12 4×8 4×10 4×12
High Cable Flies 60lbs 3×8 3×10 3×12 4×8 4×10 4×12

Now, once you’ve finished 9 weeks of the program (5×12) you can do one of two things:

  1. Up the weight
  2. Up the Time Under Tension

Here’s an example of upping the TUT –

    Week 1   Week 2   Week 3  
Exercise Weight Sets/Reps Tempo Sets/Reps Tempo Sets/Reps Tempo
DB Press 100lbs 3×8

2121

3×10

2121

3×12

2121

Inclined DB Bench 80lbs 3×8

2121

3×10

2121

3×12

2121

Low Cable Flies 60lbs 3×8

2121

3×10

2121

3×12

2121

Mid Cable Flies 60lbs 3×8

2121

3×10

2121

3×12

2121

High Cable Flies 60lbs 3×8

2121

3×10

2121

3×12

2121

And again, after 9 weeks, you can increase the TUT again or simply add weight.  The simpler you keep things, the better off you’ll be.  One of the biggest misconceptions of the industry is that you need sexy exercises to get results.  That’s not the case. It’s not the exercise; it’s the method of execution! 

Recovery

What most people can’t quite possibly grasp is the concept of recovery.  Lately, people are associating recovery with deloading.  Hypertrophy is really just general work capacity; you don’t typically perform hypertrophy at high enough percentages to cause enough CNS stress to need a traditional deload.  However, it is necessary to take proper precautions when attempting to excel in anything.

Here are some relatively inexpensive suggestions to utilize for recovery purposes:

  • Ice baths
  • Contrast showers
  • Electric stim
  • Foam/laxball rollout
  • Massage
  • Stretching
  • Mobility Work
  • Slow paced walks
  • Concentric sled work

On days that you feel like garbage but haven’t worked out for a few days utilize concentric sled work.  It’s an awesome way to get extra volume while limiting CNS stress.  The brain processes concentric work differently.  There is no eccentric stress, therefore there’s no delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) so there is no need to repair torn muscle.  All it does it is shuttle blood to the muscle and adds some volume, which in turn adds size.

Some may look at this training program and think there’s not enough in it to make any difference.  The whole point of training in this fashion is to prevent you from overtraining.  It’s very difficult to recover from being over trained.  Sometimes it can take weeks.  If you’re constantly monitoring your training and slowly progressing, you won’t run into this issue very often.  It just takes proper planning.

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