Managing Cheat Meals

Even while cutting I still have ways to incorporate my favorite foods like Mexican, Pizza, and other treats. The secret is to make it all part of the plan versus eating on the whim. Having my favorite foods at the right times makes dieting easy for me and actually helps the fat burning process. My “Diamond Cutter” program uses a ‘gentle’ carb cycle. My last article covered what a typical ‘medium’ carb day looks like for me. View that HERE. I am currently having one cheat meal weekly which is going to typically be Mexican or Pizza. Here are the steps I take to incorporate these meals into my overall plan for success:

  • High Carb Day: I have my cheat meal on Saturday which is also strategically a higher carb day.
  • HIIT Cardio: Saturday is also a HIIT cardio day which is part of the strategy to keep the metabolism burning hot.
  • Drop Supplement Carbs: I personally have 30g of dextrose around my gym sessions (10g at the beginning and 20g in my post workout Re-Kaged). I do not add these carbs around my Saturday home workouts even though they are intense. I do keep my other workout supplements the same: Pre-Kaged, In-Kaged, and Re-Kaged).
  • Lower Carb Lunch: Even though its a high carb day I keep lunch very low carb typically sticking to 2 cups veggies and 8-10oz of lean protein.

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Following these steps allows me to eat out with the family and basically get whatever I want within reason. Here are my favorite cheat meals and further steps I take:

  • Carne Asada Street Tacos, borracho beans, and chips n’ salsa: I order this from my favorite place down the street because it’s amazing. I do limit the number of chips I eat by placing a set amount on my plate versus eating from the bag/basket. I order borracho beans instead of refried beans. I love carne asada street tacos and they don’t come with cheese which keeps the fat content down.
  • Pizza: My favorite is always pepperoni. I go with thin crust to keep carbs to a minimum. But since pizza is higher fat and carbs I will generally eat some veggies and drink some water with Kaged Muscle Hydracharge before the pizza comes so I am not absolutely starving and overeat.
  • Donuts: If I have a few donuts Saturday or Sunday morning I will skip any other carbs for breakfast and typically lunch too.
  • Killer KC Strip Steak: I do not really consider this a cheat meal. I will actually have these on my off-low carb Sunday’s for dinner just like you see below. The rest of that day is absolutely clean and low carb. I pick the cut and cook it at home myself. I can honestly say it tastes better than any restaurant. Between the Saturday cheat meal and the killer steak sticking 100% to plan the rest of the week is easy and the fat just falls off me.

-Wittig, ISSA CPT
IPE Natural Pro
Kaged Muscle Athlete
All socials: WittigWorks

Start my 12-week shred program “Diamond Cutter” free from Day 1 HERE. It includes daily videos, downloadable PDF’s, and nutrition/supplementation guidance.

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My Daily Nutrition: Medium Carb Day

I started my cut this year 7 days ago and I am making it a free program for all called “Diamond Cutter“. The program guidelines outlines the macros and the gentle carb cycle the program utilizes, but I’ve had several requests to show exactly how I am eating. So here I am going to break down one of my Medium Carb days (which there are 4 of each week) for you here.

Medium Carb Day

6:30am: 1 scoop Kaged Muscle whey isolate (upon waking)
7:00am: 3/4 cup oatmeal w/cinnamon and berries, 1 egg & 9 whites
Supplements: multi-vitamin, KM Ferodrox, Hydracharge

10:30am: Pre-Kaged
11:00am: 1 scoop whey isolate (during start of workout w/10g dextrose), In-Kaged during workout
1:00pm: Post workout Re-Kaged (w/20g dextrose)

2:00pm: 10oz lean protein & 2 cups veggies
Supplement: KM Ferodrox, Hydracharge

6:00pm: 10oz lean protein, 2 cups veggies, 1/2 cup rice or mashed sweet potatoes
Supplement: Hydracharge

10:00pm: 1 scoop KM Kasein protein (before bed)

Note: I count all macros for my daily counts including supplements and condiments.

*Get 15% off everything Kagedmuscle.com with my code “Michael15”.

Start “Diamond Cutter” anytime from Day 1 free. It includes daily videos, downloadable PDF’s, and nutrition/supplementation. Start HERE.

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‘Diamond Cutter’ Program Guidelines

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Program Guidelines

This program has been years in the making. Originally I started working on it as an e-book program like my many others, but as I started experimenting with ‘daily video trainers’ I thought you all could get more out of it in that format. If you are not too familiar with me I am a ISSA Certificated personal trainer who works at Elite Training Tulsa (Tulsa, OK, USA) on a daily basis as well as my personal online platform (WittigWorks). I was recently recognized by ISSA as their Honor Graduate here in 2018 out of 300,000 trainers world-wide. I am also a IPE Natural Pro competing in Men’s Physique and Classic Physique. I do this 100% naturally at highly tested events at age 41 (will be 42 Aug 21st) against many half my age. We will be doing this 12-week program together as a prepare for two Natural Pro shows this September. One key element I try to always include in my programs is ‘personalization’. I do this by incorporating ‘weak point training’ which will be different for each of us and weekly evaluations where I will give nutrition and cardio suggestions based on your individual weekly results.

I have personally been eating in a calorie surplus and working to build muscle the last 6 months. I tapered off cardio a good while ago specifically so it would be more effective during this cut. This week before the program starts I am going to taper down my calories closer to program numbers. If you are just coming off another program I highly suggest taking a ‘De-load’ week before starting this program: workout at 60% volume and weight stopping before failure. I look forward to seeing and hearing about all your hard work. Please tag me on social media as you are working and posting about this program.

Stronger Together,

Michael Wittig

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Michael Wittig is a nationally recognized (Flex, M&F, Train Magazines) ISSA certified trainer, published author of 5 programs, produced 2 daily video trainers (Basic & Big, Extreme Load Training), IPE Natural Pro (Men’s Physique and Classic Physique), and a sponsored Athlete with Kaged Muscle Supplements, Ryderwear, and Swole O’Clock.

All socials: WittigWorks

WittigWorks.com

Here is how this trainer is going to work:

The Workouts: I will be filming the full workouts daily on my Instagram Story and Snapchat (WittigWorks both) live as I am doing them. The sets and reps will be laid out along with tips. At the end of the workout I will screen shot a summary of the entire days work. I encourage you to save the videos you need and screen shot the summary. Later each day I will upload the entire workouts to my Youtube.com/WittigWorks under the “Diamond Cutter” folder HERE. Please go subscribe. I will also upload a detailed PDF of each workout here: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/qo0m64semmuxm7d/AAAhHkSEdpSCrRtcDt2vfn69a?dl=0. Both the video and PDF’s will be uploaded every afternoon starting June 4th.

Live Q & A’s: I plan to go live multiple times a week mainly during my steady state cardio sessions in the early afternoons. Watch for me. You can also send me questions through any of my social media.

The Schedule: Below is the split that will be used to start the program. There will be changes as we progress. Shift the days as needed, but I recommend keeping this order. The off and home workout days can also be interchanged to whatever fits your schedule best.


Monday: Back and ‘Weak Point Training’**
Tuesday: Chest and Abs
Wednesday: Legs
Thursday: Shoulders and Abs
Friday: Arms and ‘Weak Point Training’**
Saturday: Home Workout (HIIT and Abs)
Sunday: Off

**Weak Point Training: Working on your personal weak areas. On Monday’s I will concentrate on Side Delts. Notice this is several days before actual shoulder day. Then on Friday I am working on Back width specifically and this is separated from actual back day. Pick your ‘weak points’, space them properly like I have, and then follow my sets/reps methods during the program.

 

Cardio: We will start with minimal cardio in order to retain as much lean muscle as possible during the program. Based on your end of week weigh-in average we will make adjustments each weekend.

Monday: 15mins steady state
Tuesday: HIIT 7 rounds
Wednesday: 15mins steady state
Thursday: HIIT 7 rounds
Friday: None
Saturday: Home HIIT 7 rounds
Sunday: Off

My steady state go-to is the Stair Master. I personally never do steady state or any type of cardio fasted.

 

My HIIT favorites are the following:

A. Battle Ropes: 30 secs on and 30 secs off.

B. Recumbent Biking: 40 secs moderate and 20 secs high resistant sprint.

C. Outside Running Sprints alternating with walking back to start.

*I always do my HIIT immediately following my weight sessions. We will sometimes get creative with our HIIT as the program progresses.

 

Abs: I will be hitting Abs three times a week. Feel free to change the days around for your ab work, but make sure there is at least one day between sessions. Sometimes I will work abs separate from my weight session.

 

Guidelines and Nutrition

The Guidelines:

Journal: I highly recommend, no demand, that you keep a lifting journal noting the day, workout, exercises, sets, reps, and weights used. Be as detailed as possible. I will show photos of mine daily. Mine typically looks like:
Date, Body part: 


1. Exercise: reps/weight reps/weight reps/weight
2. Exercise: reps/weight reps/weight reps/weight

Sleeping: Do your best to get at least 7 hours of sleep each night. You will be working hard and putting a significant strain on your body. The recovery process is just as important as the lifting. The more rest you can get the better.

Weight Selection: Use a weight that allows you to hit muscular failure on or near the rep ranges indicated. If a weight is too light or too heavy continue to failure, but adjust the weight accordingly on the next set. It’s ok to repeat a set if the weight was way too heavy or too light. Keep your journal accurate so you can select the correct weight in future workouts.

Warming up: It’s always a good idea to warm up before lifting weights. I will typically jog, ride a stationary bike, or jump on a rowing machine for 5 minutes before lifting. Then on the first exercise of every superset I recommend doing 1-2 warm up sets with light weight in the 12-15 rep range.

Stretching: Stretching for a few minutes after your warm up is also a good idea especially before working your legs or back. I always spend time on my lower back and hamstrings.
Breathing: You should exhale while exerting force and inhale while performing the negative. Never hold your breath while lifting weights.

Lifting Partner: I do recommend you find a lifting partner with the same drive as you. Iron sharpens iron. Not only can lifting partners help motivate you, but they can help keep you safe. A few of the techniques I am going to share with you in this book are best done with a lifting partners assistance.

Lifting to failure: This means to do as many reps as possible with strict form until you cannot do another rep. Always ask yourself if your form is correct. Are you isolating the muscle you are working? It is best to have a lifting partner to spot you. Most importantly be safe!

Imbalances: Many people including myself have strength imbalances. One arm might be stronger than the other. In these cases only use DB exercises. If I have a barbell exercise listed, switch to a DB version. Always let your weaker side dictate the weight and number of reps. Don’t ever do more reps on your stronger side. If you are doing unilateral exercises start with your weaker side. Eventually, your strength levels will even out. Make sure you are using proper form on your weaker side otherwise lower the weight.

Daily Weigh-in: Before you start this program weight yourself and take key measurements including calves, thighs, waist, chest, and arms. Note these in your workout journal. Do this first thing in the morning upon waking before food and water. Since this is contest prep for me I will be weighing daily to get weekly averages. My goal is to lose 1.0lb a week. Each week, probably Sunday, I will have a evaluation day and PDF where we will talk about the weeks results and how to adjust accordingly.

Lifting belts and straps: I feel weight lifting belts and straps are useful. But I don’t always recommend using them. You want your lower back and grip strength to develop naturally. So I personally only use my belt when I am squatting, deadlifting, or shoulder pressing very heavy weight. My light and moderate sets I do without a belt, so my lower back strengthens. But also, do what makes you feel safe. When it comes to wrist straps again, I only use them when necessary. You don’t want your grip to give out before the muscle you are working. Wrist straps come into play for me on heavy deadlifts, straight leg deadlifts, barbell shrugs, DB rows, and maybe super heavy pulldowns. If you use them all the time your grip strength will not develop.


Nutrition:

How we eat is the foundation of any fitness program. This is often the most difficult part for many. If you can put your head down and be consistent all your hard work in the gym will pay off with killer results. We will be eating high protein, low fat, and cycling carbs gently. Our bodies need all the macronutrients: Protein, Carbohydrates, and Fats. I recommend determining food intake by macronutrient amounts. Read labels and use Google to figure out what macronutrient profile your food contains.


Protein: 1.5 grams per pound of body weight
Carbs: Low Off day: 0.75g, Med: 1.0g, High: 1.30g
Fats: 0.25-0.27g
*1 pound = 0.454 kg

If you are overweight, out of shape, and over 230lbs use 230 for your calculations until you are below 230lbs. If you are over 230lbs, but muscular, use your own body weight.

Monday: Medium Carbs
Tuesday: High Carbs
Wednesday: Medium Carbs
Thursday: Medium Carbs
Friday: Medium Carbs
Saturday: High Carbs
Sunday: Low Off

 

Nutrition Guidelines:
1. Drink more water. The Institute of Medicine determined that an adequate intake of water is roughly 3 liters (about 13 cups or 1 gallon) per day. I try to drink at least 1 gallon a day.


2. Avoid processed foods. This includes most things in boxes, cans, and wrappers.


3. Don’t add salt, sugar, or butter. Use natural seasonings whenever possible. Check out http://www.flavorgod.com for natural seasonings that taste incredible.


4. Spread your meals, snacks, and shakes out over 6-8 servings a day. Upon waking try to eat every 2-3 hours. You should bring in more calories before high energy events. Fewer calories before long periods of sitting or sleeping.


5. Regarding ‘Cheat Meals’: I do give myself 1-2 cheat meals a week up until two weeks before a content. But feel free to be hardcore and have zero. That is up to you Eat and drink whatever you want until you are comfortably full. Plan ahead and eat a little less before and after these planned cheat meals. I will typically have this on my High carb weekend day.


6. The key to eating healthy and bringing in the proper amount of food on a daily basis is proper planning. Always think ahead and make sure you have the foods available and prepared before you run into trouble. Consider a meal management bag so you are always prepared. I use bags by Fitmark. Check them out at Fitmarkbags.com. Get 15% off with my code Wittig15.


7. Drinking a high quality Whey protein shake immediately after workouts is always a good idea for recovery. I personally take Kaged Muscle’s Re-Kaged after every workout. More information on this in the supplement section.


8. Try to avoid fast food unless it is for a planned cheat meal. Even the “healthy” choices are typically not very healthy.


9. Eating properly and exercising with intensity are priority. If you are doing both of those things some supplements can help assist with your goals. They are not a requirement, but can definitely help. Read the Supplement section for my recommendations.

Part articles and videos you might find useful:
Lean Bulk vs Cutting Diet
My Go To Lean Snacks
My Lean Bulk Nutrition
5 Healthy Snacks
My Daily Nutrition

Supplements:

I have never taken steroids or any illegal performance enhancing drugs and do not recommend that you consider taking them. I exercise for health first and then physique. Supplements are not absolutely necessary to reach your goals, but they can surely help if used properly. Remember if you are not eating correctly or working out with intensity, supplements can be a waste. Let me put it this way, “Extra-ordinary lifestyle requires extra-ordinary nutrition”. I am honored to an official Athlete for Kaged Muscle supplements. When I stand behind any company it’s because I am personally passionate about it. Read the Supplement guidelines below to see what I am personally taking and recommend.

Here is why I am a Kaged Muscle Athlete:

  • Manufactured in FDA inspected and NSF certified facility.
  • Banned substance free- BSCG certified.
  • 3rd party tested for label accuracy.
  • No artificial flavors, colors, or dyes.
Highest quality ingredients in the correct dosages for maximum results.
  • Every ingredient and dosage is on the label.

Get 15% off everything Kagedmuscle.com with my code “Michael15”. If you dig and appreciate this trainer please use my code as it helps me and allows me to continue releasing free trainers to you.
Re-Kaged: Fast digesting whey protein. Drink immediately after workouts and sometimes between meals when you are in tight situations. These macros are calculated in my daily intake.


Pre-Kaged: Pre-workout primer. Drike 30 minutes before workouts.


In-Kaged: Takes off when Pre-Kaged starts to taper down. Start sipping about 15mins into your workout.

Whey Isolate: This is a brand new Kaged product just releasing. I always have one scoop of whey upon waking and another scoop at the very beginning of my workout.


Hydra charge: I often drink this in 16-20oz of water with meals and following to make sure I stay hydrated and keep me from over eating. Twice a day I add Kaged Muscle Glutamine and BCAA’s to the mix for that extra recovery edge.


Kasein: Slow digesting protein ideal to drink before bed to help prevent muscle breakdown while sleeping. The chocolate is bomb. These macros are calculated in my daily intake.

Clean Burn: Metabolism booster and attacks fat loss at multiple angles. I have two caps with each breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I always take Clean Burn when cutting for contest prep.

Ferodrox: New testostrone support matrix. Ideal for men/women over the age of 30 to help boost natural testosterone production. This will be my first contest prep taking this product and I’ve been happy with using it so far.

 

In addition to these Kaged Muscle products I will also be taking the following:

Multi-vitamin: There are several brands I trust and I take these in the morning with breakfast.

Dextrose: This is plain, flavorless dextrose. I personally use the brand Now in a big orange tub purchased on bb.com. I add 10g to my whey isolate at the beginning of my workouts and 20g to my post workout Re-Kaged. This carb count is calculated into my daily total.

“Diamond Cutter”- Free program coming June 1st.

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I had the idea for my “Diamond Cutter” program over a year ago and originally planned to release it as an e-book. Then earlier this year I got into the ‘daily video trainer’ kick, but have been in muscle building mode the entire time…until now. After so many requests from you guys I am excited to announce my first daily video shredding program ”Diamond Cutter” starting June 1st. This will be a 12-week cutting trainer designed to slowly drop body fat while retaining as much muscle as possible while keeping our metabolisms healthy. I will be making daily videos for you as well as downloadable PDF’s. This is not a ‘transformation’ program as I find many of those tend to be too aggressive and facilitate muscle loss. You will be able to follow along with me as I prepare for my September natural pro shows. I will have program info, guidelines, and nutrition guidance ready the week before the program starts on May 27th. So who is in? Sign up now HERE!

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ISSA Honor Graduate!

As many of you know I am not just another online trainer, but a personal trainer certified through the International Sport Sciences Association (ISSA) firstly. The ISSA was the very first organization to offer fitness certifications. I choose them because one of their founders is Fredrick “Dr. Squat” Hatfield. Since becoming certified I not only was hired by an awesome company I am still with to this day (Elite Training Tulsa), but my career and new opportunities continue to grow at an exponential rate. I was recently notified by the ISSA about a great honor that I want to share with you…

ISSA is proud to announce that Mr. Michael Wittig has been selected the ISSA 2018 DEAC Honor Graduate.  He was the 1 graduate selected out of 300,000 ISSA students from 91 countries as part of the larger DEAC group of 86 accredited schools with over 1,000,000 + students worldwide selected to earn this honor.

I will be traveling to San Diego, CA soon to meet with the president of ISSA and to accept this great honor in front of industry leaders. I want to thank you all for your years of support and allowing me to share my passion with you. If you are interested in starting a career in fitness I highly recommend ISSA for your education. Get started through this special link HERE.

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Two Silver Bullet Workouts for Calves

My Calves were one of my biggest physique weak points. After prioritizing calves I feel they are starting to get respectable. Here are two recent workouts that had my calves screaming and are sure to get you on the path of gains. These workouts are from my current “Extreme Load Training” program which is a 8-week ‘extreme muscle building’ trainer. I will include links to watch the video down below. You can start the full program FREE from Day 1 HERE. It includes daily videos, downloadable PDF’s, and nutrition guidance.

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Calf Workout #1:

Seated Calf Raises: 4 sets of 25, 20, 15, 10 ELT
(Note: On Set 2 take a short ‘pause rest’, only 8-10 sec rest, while increading weight by 10lbs. Do two of these increased weight pause rest rounds on Sets 3&4.)

Superset: Do these two exercises back to back with no rest for one set. Do 3 sets total.
A. Standing Calf Raise: 3 sets of 10 reps
B. Donkey Calf Raise: 3 sets of 10 reps
(Note: I used the standing calf machine for these with the shoulders bars at the lowest setting. These can also be done on a smith machine rigged up.)

Watch this entire leg workout video HERE.

Calf Workout #2:

Seated Calf Raises X-Sets: 4 sets of 10’s, 8’s, 6’s, 4’s.
(Note: Start with very light weight, I started with only a 25 plate, for 10 strict reps, increase the weight by 10lbs and hit another 10 reps, continue doing this until you hit absolute failure. Then after a short rest increase starting weight and do repeat this process again for Sets 2-4 with 8’s, then 6’s, and finally 4’s.)

Superset: Do these two exercises back to back with no rest for one set. Do 4 sets total.
A. Uni-Lateral Donkey Calf Raises: 4 sets of 10-12 reps each side alternating.
(Note: I don’t have access to a Donkey machine so I used a Standing Calf Machine set at the lowest setting. Watch today’s video to see how I did it. These can be rigged up easily on a smith machine as well.)

B. Calf Jumps: 4 sets of 30-40 secs.

Watch this entire leg workout video HERE.

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“Extreme Load Training”: 8-week ‘extreme muscle building’ trainer guidelines

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Extreme Load Training” is a highly intense method of training I developed over the last few years and now this 8-week ‘extreme muscle building’ daily video trainer. Releasing this program has been in my mind for over a year and I am honored to share my ‘Extreme Load Training’ methods with you. I touched on E.L.T. during the final weeks of my recent “Basic & Big” 12-week ‘lean bulk trainer’, but now we will dive into the full depths of intensity. I would recommend going through my “Basic & Big” program first to get you conditioned for this type of training. You can start from Day 1 HERE.

I have always been a fan of “pause-rest” and “negative” repetitions so I devised a way to combine them in a organized sequence even for those who train alone. I have found that by “pause-resting” for 5-10 quick seconds our bodies restore enough ATP (energy) to not only do additional reps, but more weight as well. We are naturally stronger on eccentric (negative) movements than the concentric (positive) so I take advantage of this strength and also use increased weight. Negatives are often times difficult to do when training alone, but I have techniques to safely do negative repetitions for many exercises. You will want to watch my daily videos to see how many of these negatives are pulled off. This is all a very intense way of training and requires mental toughness and proper recovery.

Here is an example of how a series of E.L.T. sets would go:

  • Warm up. Then Set 1 is 10-12 reps to failure.

  • Set 2 we up the weight to hit failure in the 8-10 rep range and do one-pause rest round with slightly increased weight (5-10lbs).

  • Set 3 we up the weight to hit failure in the 6-8 rep range and do 2 pause rest rounds with slightly increased weight each set if possible (5-10lbs).

  • Set 4 we up the weight again to hit failure in the 5-6 rep range, do 2 pause rest rounds with slightly increased weight (5-10lbs), but incorporate the slowest negatives possible on each final rep. When possible we will also do final ‘negative’ only repetitions with increased weight (5-20lbs).

**There are a handful of variations we will be doing including higher repetition ranges, no final negative sets, drop sets, supersets, etc. I will explain each variation as it comes up.

Here is how this trainer is going to work:

The Workouts: I will be filming the full workouts daily on my Instagram Story and Snapchat (WittigWorks both) live as I am doing them. The sets and reps will be laid out along with tips. At the end of the workout I will screen shot a summary of the entire days work. I encourage you to save the videos you need and screen shot the summary. I will then later upload the entire workouts to my Youtube.com/WittigWorks under the “Extreme Load Training” folder. Please go subscribe. I will also upload a detailed PDF of each workout HERE. Both the video and PDF’s will be uploaded every afternoon starting Feb 19th.

Live Q & A’s: I plan to go live most Wednesday afternoons to answer any questions you all may have. Some weeks I might pick other days. The times will vary. Watch for me. You can also send me questions through any of my social media.

The Schedule: We will start with a 4-day gym split for maximum recovery. After the first 4 weeks we will switch and finish with a 5-day gym split. There will always be home Saturday workouts.


Monday: Chest and Biceps
Tuesday: Legs
Wednesday: Off
Thursday: Back, Traps, and Abs
Friday: Shoulders and Triceps
Saturday: Home Workout
Sunday: Off

Guidelines and Nutrition

The Guidelines:

Journal: I highly recommend, no demand, that you keep a lifting journal noting the day, workout, exercises, sets, reps, and weights used. Be as detailed as possible. I will show photos of mine daily. Mine typically looks like:
Date, Body part: 
1. Exercise: reps/weight reps/weight reps/weight
2. Exercise: reps/weight reps/weight reps/weight

Sleeping: Do your best to get at least 7 hours of sleep each night. You will be working hard and putting a significant strain on your body. The recovery process is just as important as the lifting. The more rest you can get the better.

Weight Selection: Use a weight that allows you to hit muscular failure on or near the rep ranges indicated. If a weight is too light or too heavy continue to failure, but adjust the weight accordingly on the next set. It’s ok to repeat a set if the weight was way too heavy or too light. Keep your journal accurate so you can select the correct weight in future workouts.

Warming up: It’s always a good idea to warm up before lifting weights. I will typically jog, ride a stationary bike, or jump on a rowing machine for 5 minutes before lifting. Then on the first exercise of every superset I recommend doing 1-2 warm up sets with light weight in the 12-15 rep range.

Stretching: Stretching for a few minutes after your warm up is also a good idea especially before working your legs or back. I always spend time on my lower back and hamstrings.

Breathing: You should exhale while exerting force and inhale while performing the negative. Never hold your breath while lifting weights.

Lifting Partner: I do recommend you find a lifting partner with the same drive as you. Iron sharpens iron. Not only can lifting partners help motivate you, but they can help keep you safe. A few of the techniques I am going to share with you in this book are best done with a lifting partners assistance.

Lifting to failure: This means to do as many reps as possible with strict form until you cannot do another rep. Always ask yourself if your form is correct. Are you isolating the muscle you are working? It is best to have a lifting partner to spot you. Most importantly be safe!

Imbalances: Many people including myself have strength imbalances. One arm might be stronger than the other. In these cases only use DB exercises. If I have a barbell exercise listed, switch to a DB version. Always let your weaker side dictate the weight and number of reps. Don’t ever do more reps on your stronger side. If you are doing unilateral exercises start with your weaker side. Eventually, your strength levels will even out. Make sure you are using proper form on your weaker side otherwise lower the weight.

Weekly Weigh-in: Before you start this program weight yourself and take key measurements including calves, thighs, waist, chest, and arms. Note these in your workout journal. Then at the end of each week weigh yourself again. You can wait until the end of the program to re-do measurements. The goal is to gain 0.5 to 1.0 lb. of lean muscle per week.

Cardio: This is a ‘lean bulk’ program meaning that the plan is to put on the max amount of lean muscle while staying relatively lean. I have worked this way for the last several years to stay looking lean enough for modeling and sponsor work while putting on muscle. It’s a slower process, but I feel healthy and will keep you looking better. As a result I will be doing some minimal cardio throughout this program and only short steady state sessions. I will be avoiding HIIT only because E.L.T. is so demanding on our body and central nervous system we need cardio to be on the lighter side for recovery purposes.

Lifting belts and straps: I feel weight lifting belts and straps are useful. But I don’t always recommend using them. You want your lower back and grip strength to develop naturally. So I personally only use my belt when I am squatting, deadlifting, or shoulder pressing very heavy weight. My light and moderate sets I do without a belt, so my lower back strengthens. But also, do what makes you feel safe. When it comes to wrist straps again, I only use them when necessary. You don’t want your grip to give out before the muscle you are working. Wrist straps come into play for me on heavy deadlifts, straight leg deadlifts, barbell shrugs, DB rows, and maybe super heavy pulldowns. If you use them all the time your grip strength will not develop.


Nutrition:
Don’t fool yourself. If you don’t eat properly, you will not get the results you want. Nutrition is just as important if not more than the exercise in your quest to get fit. Read and follow the Nutrition guidelines below.

Let me just say plainly that if you are not eating right, you won’t get the results you want. You have to take nutrition seriously. This will be difficult for some of you, but if you are going to sweat in the gym don’t you want maximum results? I will break this down for you and make it as simple as possible. Our bodies need the macronutrients: Protein, Carbohydrates, and Fats. I recommend determining food intake by macronutrient amounts rather than calories. Read labels and use Google to figure out what macronutrient profile your food contains.
Gaining Lean Muscle:
Protein: 1.5 grams per pound of body weight
Carbs: 1.5 to 2.0 grams per pound of body weight
Fats: 0.65 grams per pound of body weight
*1 pound = 0.454 kg
I recommend starting with 2.0 grams per pound of carbs. If you start gaining too much body fat lower the amount of carbs down to 1.5g. If you are overweight, out of shape, and over 230lbs use 230 for your calculations until you are below 230lbs. If you are over 230lbs, but muscular, use your own body weight.

Nutrition Guidelines:
1. Drink more water. The Institute of Medicine determined that an adequate intake of water is roughly 3 liters (about 13 cups or 1 gallon) per day. I try to drink at least 1 gallon a day.
2. Avoid processed foods. This includes most things in boxes, cans, and wrappers.
3. Don’t add salt, sugar, or butter. Use natural seasonings whenever possible. Check out http://www.flavorgod.com for natural seasonings that taste incredible.
4. Spread your meals, snacks, and shakes out over 6-8 servings a day. Upon waking try to eat every 2-3 hours. You should bring in more calories before high energy events. Fewer calories before long periods of sitting or sleeping.
5. You can allow yourself several planned cheat meals a week. Eat and drink whatever you want until you are comfortably full. Plan ahead and eat a little less before and after these planned cheat meals. I typically give myself 2 cheat meals a week plus a sweet treat.
6. The key to eating healthy and bringing in the proper amount of food on a daily basis is proper planning. Always think ahead and make sure you have the foods available and prepared before you run into trouble. Consider a meal management bag so you are always prepared. I use bags by Fitmark. Check them out at Fitmarkbags.com. Get 15% off with my code Wittig15.
7. Drinking a high quality Whey protein shake immediately after workouts is always a good idea for recovery. I personally take Kaged Muscle’s Re-Kaged after every workout. More information on this in the supplement section.
8. Try to avoid fast food unless it is for a planned cheat meal. Even the “healthy” choices are typically not very healthy.
9. Eating properly and exercising with intensity are priority. If you are doing both of those things some supplements can help assist with your goals. They are not a requirement, but can definitely help. Read the Supplement section for my recommendations.

Part articles and videos you might find useful:
Lean Bulk vs Cutting Diet
My Go To Lean Snacks
My Lean Bulk Nutrition
5 Healthy Snacks
My Daily Nutrition

Supplements:
Supplements are not absolutely necessary to build muscle. If your nutrition and exercise are not on point supplements are a waste. But if you are eating right and working out with intensity the right supplements can give you more energy, help you build muscle, and recover faster. Let me put it this way, “Extra-ordinary lifestyle requires extra-ordinary nutrition”. Read the Supplement guidelines below to see what I am personally taking and recommend.

I have never taken steroids or any illegal performance enhancing drugs and do not recommend that you consider taking them. I exercise for health first and then physique. Supplements are not absolutely necessary to reach your goals, but they can surely help if used properly. Remember if you are not eating correctly or working out with intensity, supplements can be a waste. Let me put it this way, “Extra-ordinary lifestyle requires extra-ordinary nutrition”. I am honored to an official Athlete for Kaged Muscle supplements. When I stand behind any company it’s because I am personally passionate about it. Read the Supplement guidelines below to see what I am personally taking and recommend.

Here is why I am a Kaged Muscle Athlete:

  • Manufactured in FDA inspected and NSF certified facility.
  • Banned substance free- BSCG certified.
  • 3rd party tested for label accuracy.
  • No artificial flavors, colors, or dyes.
Highest quality ingredients in the correct dosages for maximum results.
  • Every ingredient and dosage is on the label.

Get 15% off everything Kagedmuscle.com with my code “Michael15”. If you dig and appreciate this trainer please use my code as it helps me and allows me to continue releasing free trainers to you.

Re-Kaged: Fast digesting whey protein. Drink immediately after workouts and sometimes between meals when you are in tight situations.
Pre-Kaged: Pre-workout primer. Drake 30 minutes before workouts.
In-Kaged: Takes off where Pre-Kaged leaves off. Start sipping at the beginning of your workout and slowly until the end.
Hydra-Charge: I often drink this in 16-20oz of water with meals and following to make sure I stay hydrated and keep me from over eating. Twice a day I add Kaged Muscle Glutamine and BCAA’s to the mix for that extra recovery edge.
Kasein: Slow digesting protein ideal to drink before bed to help prevent muscle breakdown while sleeping. The chocolate is bomb.