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THE KEY TO BUILDING MUSCLE… and burning more FAT!!

You are only going to be as successful as your level of DISCIPLINE. It is not cliché to discuss discipline in a muscle building blog when you understand that discipline is the ULTIMATE KEY. Motivation, although it often gets the most hype, is not reliable like discipline. When you form habits thus making it a consistent lifestyle you set yourself up for long term success… discipline is exactly that.

Ok-ok, the primary key in life happens to be the same as the primary key to building muscle, and that is discipline. I am not going to sugar coat it, if you do not have the ability to grind through difficult situations on a day-to-day basis then you are going to struggle gaining muscle. Muscle building requires that you push through pain by way of muscular fatigue and hydrogen ions flooding your muscles (the burn you feel). If you can learn to enjoy that feeling through consistency and purpose you pass step one of building muscle.

Programming for building muscle can be complex, but learning to simplify it in to a model that fits your goals, physiology, and personality is necessary. For some, high volume (more reps and sets) will be required to a greater degree. While others, moderate volume with high intensity might be a better program protocol. The customization to the individual, although vital, is not the most important thing. Discipline, on the other hand, means you are not going to skip days… not going to skip reps… and you are willing to show up even when you 100% do not want to. You need to form discipline around a program that fits you, both in goals and in temperament.

The most vital thing to find programs that fit you is by simplifying your approach, program and nutrition…

Simplify your Training

Don’t get distracted with changing exercises all the time… stick to basics…

The primary principles of any successful training program focus on the training variables rather than varying the exercises constantly. If you are looking for success in your training program you need to start with a more simplified approach. Here is a guide to help you begin…


  • Limit your exercise selection to 15 lower body and 20 upper body

  • Lower Body selection must at least include: Back Squat – Front Squat – Split Squats Walking Lunges – Bulgarian Squats – RDL

  • Upper Body selection must at least include: Bench – Incline Bench – Military Press – Lateral Raises – Pull Ups – Pulldowns – Cable Rows – One Arm Rows

Sets & Reps:

Apply my 3-4-5 model to all big compound multi-joint exercise. In addition, have the rep count counter the model by descending doing a 12-8-4 model. Here it is put together for the compound multi-joint movements:

  • Week One @ 3 sets x 12 reps

  • Week Two @ 4 sets x 8 reps

  • Week Three @ 5 sets x 4 reps

This is a blanket programming model and can be varied slightly depending on the goal of the individual. The isolation exercises and auxiliary movements can just simply stick to 3 sets of 12-18 reps...

Number of Exercises per workout:

This variable is going to change a lot depending on your goal, length of workout, etc… I’d generally suggest something like the following split and number of exercises for physique training looking for a 4-day split:

  • Day 1: Lower Body @ 4 exercises

  • Day 2: Upper Body Push @ 3 chest & 3 shoulders

  • Day 3: Rest Day… OR Arms workout @ 3 biceps & 3 triceps

  • Day 4: Lower Body @ 4 exercises

  • Day 5: Upper Body Pull @ 4 back exercises & 2 Traps exercises

This is simplified and can be varied but this set up will discipline your program and workouts.

How to get started…

  1. Create your exercise library for upper body & lower body

  2. Set up your weekly routine, I’d suggest using the one I suggested to start

  3. Have it written out on a journal and fill in all the exercises

  4. Once filled in, create week 2 and 3 with the same exercises

  5. Finally, fill in all the variables following the 3-4-5 set model complemented by the 12-8-4 rep model for the multi-joint compound movements…

Ok, now that your program is dialed in let’s talk about your PURPOSE to train…

Be Realistic with your Goals

Are you disciplined to do it daily? How much will you sacrifice to attain your goals?

What is the difference between a DREAM and a GOAL? A DREAM is something you want with no plan of action in place. A GOAL is something you want with a descriptive plan of action in place. Finally, a GOAL has measurable along the way that can track progression.

We need to set goals and remind ourselves daily (by reading them loudly) of what those goals are. We need to read them as if they have already happened and I suggest doing this in the early morning (first thing) and late at night (last thing). How do we set Goals??? Answer these three questions:

  1. What is your goal? Be as specific as you can with this one…

  2. What is it going to take to achieve this goal? You should have a plan of action

  3. Why is this goal important?

One major mistake people make is they compare themselves to some professional who the envy, thinking they want to look like a specific person when in reality they have no clue what that person is doing to allow themselves to look like that.

Instead, align your goals with your strengths and find a purpose for every activity you have to do to reach that goal.

Lastly, recognize that each goal requires an extreme amount of sacrifice to attain. You will be making a conscious decision, choice, to pass up short-term gratification for long-term success… trust me, it is worthy!!

**If you have any specific questions or are interested in finding out more information email me at for online programming, nutritional guidance, and more…



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