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.
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
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
Thursday: Shoulders and Abs
Friday: Arms and ‘Weak Point Training’**
Saturday: Home Workout (HIIT and Abs)
**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
Saturday: Home HIIT 7 rounds
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
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.
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
*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
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
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.