Welcome to my 12-Week Lean Muscle Program Training Overview. I want you to watch my video, but I’m also providing you with a lot of additional information in this text about what you should do before you begin this program, which I’ll explain below.
As I mentioned in my introduction video to this 12-Week Lean Muscle Program, I have carefully designed every element to help you build muscle, improve fitness, decrease fat, and enhance performance. In order to get the results you desire, you need to follow all of my recommendations exactly as I’ve laid them out. Remember to train safe and train smart
The workouts are intense—and the weight training gets more challenging as the program progresses. But, in order to get the lean-muscle results you want, you have to be prepared to train when you’re sore, depleted, and perhaps a bit unmotivated. Trust me, your motivation will shoot through the roof and plummet through the floor at various points during these 12 weeks. That’s why I emphasize discipline over motivation as the primary driving factor in achieving your goals.
Here’s a brief overview of what you can expect over the next 12 weeks:
I change things up a little bit from one week to the next throughout this 12-Week Lean Muscle Program, but the main split goes like this each week:
DAY 1 MONDAY: Legs
DAY 2 TUESDAY Back
DAY 3 WEDNESDAY Chest
DAY 4 THURSDAY Shoulders
DAY 5 FRIDAY Arms
DAY 6 SATURDAY Active Rest and Recovery
DAY 7 SUNDAY Active Rest and Reevaluate
You’ll train your abs 2-3 times a week, and I change up the days for working your midsection from one week to another. The same goes with calves. Sometimes you’ll train them with your legs, and sometimes you’ll train them on other days of the week—generally hitting them 2 days a week. You’ll also perform work for your traps, sometimes working them with shoulders and sometimes with back.
To see what you’re going to perform each day, you’ll need to watch each of my daily videos, and you can print out the workout listed on every day’s page or access it through your phone when you’re at the gym.
While the body part split will only vary slightly from one week to another, I will be including many different training strategies throughout this 12-Week Lean Muscle Program.
These include some you are likely familiar with such as supersets, giant sets, and circuits. We’ll also use drop sets, negatives, rest-pause, and even some techniques that I developed including my Dramatic Transformation Principle (DTP). I’ll provide details on each of these when I introduce them into the program so the difference between each of these is clear.
At this point, I just want you to know that things are going to change radically from week to week even though the training split is fairly consistent. The exercises will also change from week to week. Trust me, you aren’t going to be bored. With that said, it’s important that you watch each video and read the accompanying content every day.
You’ll perform cardio every day during this 12-week program. I explain my rationale for what you should perform, what time of day, and what style of cardio throughout the program. You’ll want to read each day’s description and watch the videos to see precisely what you’re supposed to do each day.
With that said, though, let me provide you with an overview of my philosophy on cardio, and how it will work during this 12-Week Lean Muscle Program.
For the first week, you’ll perform 1 session of 15 minutes each day. On your legs day, you’ll perform that session as soon as you finish training your legs. The rest of the week, you’ll perform steady-state cardio immediately upon rising, taking in only supplements and water before or during this session. During the second week, you’ll begin performing 2 sessions of cardio each day. The length of these sessions will vary from person to person based on the “reevaluation” tips I provide on the 7th day of each week.
Here’s my rationale for my various cardio recommendations:
*Steady-state cardio performed first thing in the morning burns calories
When you perform steady-state cardio first thing in the morning, the most accessible calories you have available are those stored as body fat, and so your body is likely to release stored fat to fuel your cardio. However, this can also lead to catabolism (muscle breakdown). In the past I have always eaten food prior to cardio to prevent catabolism, but now we have access to an ideal ratio of essential amino acids in AMINO SYNERGY to support Muscle Protein Synthesis. You can drink this along with fermented GLUTAMINE before and during cardio without the need for food. Cardio revs your metabolism and gets you ready for the day. It also helps reduce delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) from previous workouts, which can be fairly intense in the mornings.
*Steady-state cardio performed immediately after training burns out lactic acid
As I mentioned, you’ll often perform cardio after training your legs. This will help reduce soreness the next day, which will help you train harder the next day when you train back. You’ll also get in a cardio session upon waking a few hours before you train back — but never immediately — to get you ready for this workout that you’ll perform a couple hours later.
*Steady-state cardio revs metabolism to help burn more calories while you sleep
After the first week, you’ll perform cardio later in the day as well as upon rising. The second session provides two primary benefits 1) It burns calories, helping you reduce stored fat; 2) It boosts metabolism to encourage your body to burn more calories while you sleep.
*Perform 2 cardio sessions per day
You’ll always split your cardio into 2 sessions after the first week to accrue these different benefits from cardio. I do not want you to pair these sessions together. Don’t think you’re getting the same benefits by performing 40 minutes upon waking as you would by performing 20 minutes upon waking as well as 20 minutes later in the evening.
*Cardio intensity should be moderate
You don’t need to go balls-to-the-wall during your cardio sessions, but you should break a sweat and you should feel as though you’ve performed exercise. On a 1-10 scale, the intensity should be about a 7, where it’s beginning to get difficult to carry on a conversation. Warm up to this level, and then cool down afterwards. Remember the goal of each session, and save your most intense training effort for your weight workouts!
*Additional cardio techniques and types
Throughout this 12-Week Lean Muscle Program I’ll make different cardio recommendations such as high-intensity interval training (HIIT) based upon your individual needs. Regardless, I do recommend that you should vary the type of cardio you perform throughout the program. I believe the Stairmaster® is superior to all other forms of cardio for fat loss but a combination of different forms for variety is also suggested. Sure, you can have your go-to type of cardio, whether that’s a treadmill, Stairmaster® or elliptical trainer. But I want you to make an effort to work in different types such as mountain biking, jogging outside, or going on a hike. Variety is not only the spice of life, but it also helps you achieve your physique goals more efficiently.
*Reevaluate your cardio needs
I’ll provide tips on the 7th day of each week to help you determine how much cardio you should be performing. Kai and Danielle, my two clients, began following the same program, but I made individual recommendations to them based on how each of them was progressing. It’s important that you reevaluate at the end of each week.
Saturdays and Sundays will always be Active Rest days throughout the entire program. You’ll perform 2 sessions of cardio on each of these days, and it should essentially be the same as what you perform during the week but I encourage you to have at least one of these sessions outside. Just remember to ALWAYS split your cardio into 2 sessions after the first week on this 12-Week Lean Muscle Program.
On the 7th day of each week, you’ll not only perform your Active Rest cardio, but you’ll also take stock of your progress and make adjustments in your program. These changes are highly individual, and I will provide you with detailed guidance so you can make the adaptations that are best for you. Let me remind you that, while Kai and Danielle were following the same program, I made different adjustments to their programs based on their results, week by week.
To make these adjustments, it’s crucial to establish clear baselines before you begin my 12-Week Lean Muscle Program. Here are my recommendations for what you should do before you begin this program:
PREPARE FOR YOUR 12-WEEK LEAN MUSCLE PROGRAM:
Before you begin this program, I strongly recommend that you do all of the following, which will support you in achieving your physique goals.
1) Get a body fat test
It’s important that you have an accurate record of your body fat level before you begin my 12-Week Lean Muscle Program. You can use a basic test such as a body fat caliper test. If you choose this option, then it’s essential that you have the same person check your body fat level throughout the program—I’ll ask you to do this about every 3-4 weeks to determine how much body fat you’re losing as you progress. If you want a more accurate reading you may have access to an InBody® Machine, available at more and more gyms.
2) Weigh yourself
Before you begin this program, I want you to weigh yourself first thing in the morning before you consume any food or fluids. You can even do this for 2 to 3 days and average the number if it varies. I want you to establish a baseline bodyweight at the beginning of your 12-Week Lean Muscle Program. While the goal is not to only reduce bodyweight, it is important to know your bodyweight at the beginning of this program because we’ll be using your shifting bodyweight to make adjustments in cardio and calorie consumption throughout the program.
3) Take “before” photos
I believe that it’s crucial that you have a visual record of the progress you’re making on this program. I want you to take photos at the same time that you weigh yourself. I’m going to ask that you take photos of yourself on each of your Active Rest and Reevaluate Days to keep a photographic record of how you’re progressing. I’ve found that many people either believe they’re making far more or far less progress than photos reveal. Photos help keep you honest and/or inspire you. Here are my tips on taking photos:
*Take them at the same time of day each week
*Take them in the same place each week
*Take them with the same lighting each week
*Wear the same clothes each week
*Use the same photographer (even if that’s you)
*Pose in the same way each week
I recommend taking shots from the front, back and both sides. Hold your body in the same way each week. Don’t let your body hunch and gut sag at the beginning only to improve your posture in subsequent photos. The key is to remove variables so the photos provide an accurate account of your actual progress.
4) Begin a journal
You can keep a hand-written, or digital journal or diary. Either way I believe it’s essential for you to have a detailed record of all the cardio, weight-training exercises (and sets and reps), foods you consume, and supplements you take. I’m going to remind you about this several times throughout the program, and I want you to use the info you’ve recorded to help you make decisions about the best way to shift your program on your Active Rest and Reevaluate Days, which come on the 7th day of each week during this program. This journal will also be a valuable tool the next time you follow a program like my 12-Week Lean Muscle Program.
5) Establish accountability
I think it’s very important that you hold yourself accountable when you’re following a transformation program such as my 12-Week Lean Muscle Program. One of the best ways to do this is to tell your friends and family that you’re going to be shifting your schedule and that you will be changing your eating habits for the next 12 weeks. It’s important that you don’t place a burden on them: You must take full accountability for always having the foods you need with you—but more about that in the Nutrition Overview that follows.
In addition, I recommend that you announce that you’re following my 12-Week Lean Muscle Program and tag me on social media. Make sure you hashtag my name, too, so I’m sure to see it. It’s important to establish yourself as a part of a community with a common goal. When you follow a program that’s as challenging as this one, it’s easy to give up if you don’t have accountability and support from others. We have a Kaged Facebook Group that I also encourage you to join.
In addition to achieving your physique goals, you may also make some new friends!
That’s it for your Training Overview. In the next video I’ll go over your nutrition objectives and help you get prepared for what may be the most challenging aspect of my 12-Week Lean Muscle Program: eating properly at every meal every day.
I’ll see you on the other side!