We embark on this journey together. One that will push us to our limits, but we have each other to help keep us going. There is no quitting. No more excuses. Only doing. Welcome to “Basic and Big”. This is my 12-week ‘lean bulk’ trainer. The plan is to get BIG in a old school basic way. Nothing fancy or complicated. Just big lifts programed in a strategic, progressive way for serious gains. These will be shorter workouts and less volume than I am known for, but will give us more recovery time to grow.
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 “Basic and Big” folder. So go subscribe.
Live Q & A’s: I plan to go live most Tuesday and Thursday afternoon’s 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: In general. We will adjust some weeks especially around the holidays. The first few weeks will look like this, but things will change as we proceed stressing other muscle groups more than others.
Monday: Thighs, Hamstrings, Calves, HIIT
Tuesday: Back, Biceps, Traps, Steady State (live Q&A)
Wednesday: Chest, Shoulders, Abs, HIIT
Thursday: Calves, Hamstrings, Thighs, Steady State (live Q&A)
Friday: Back, Triceps, Traps, HIIT
Saturday: Steady State, Abs
Download PDF’s of each workout HERE.
Guidelines and Nutrition
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 cardio throughout this program. We will be doing both steady state and HIIT (high intensity interval training) on alternate days.
Steady State: 15 mins stairs or your choice.
HIIT: 5 rounds of 20-30 secs intense and 30-40 secs moderate-light.
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: 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.
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.
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.