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Day 17:Back

You gotta do the work to get the results. Your diet should be kicking in at this point, but you should be accommodating to the mindset it takes to get you through these challenging workouts while you’re not eating everything you want to fuel and refuel for your next workout.

Keep in mind that calories aren’t the only way to support recovery. Supplements and the calories and macros I’ve recommended, will also support you on Operation Aesthetic. One of the tricks of the trade is to encourage your body to release fat from storage to fuel your workouts. Supplements help support your efforts in the gym to achieve that. Keep your carbs low before workouts, and then use them immediately after workouts to refuel the muscle glycogen you burned out of your muscles.


*Choose a handgrip that allows you to feel your back working in the places where you know you have your greatest weakness. You may be able to lift more weight when you target strengths, but you’ll get a more complete physique when you choose weights and positions that target weaknesses.

*Burnout sets are a great option when you’re not as strong because you have less gas in your tank. These lower-weight sets with little rest also help create more detail in your muscles, which will become more visible as you shed body fat.

Early morning cardio


25 minutes

Perform this session upon waking before consuming food.



Bent-over barbell rows

I go with slightly wider than shoulders for my handgrip.

6 SETS /12, 10, 7, 3, 15, 15 REPS

One-arm machine rows

Keep your torso pressed into the pad and bring the handle back as far as you can.

4 SETS / 12, 9, 6, 15 REPS

Lat pulldowns

SUPERSET: Hold your torso steady while you perform this move—don’t use momentum.

5 SETS / 12, 10, 7, 3, 15 REPS

Straight-arm pressdowns

SUPERSET: Use a really short rest-pause to get through the last reps of this superset, if needed.

5 SETS / 12, 10, 7, 3, 15

Rack pulls

Finish this move like a soldier—shoulders back, body upright.

5 SETS / 12, 10, 7, 3, 15 REPS

Post-Workout cardio


25 minutes

You can also perform this later in the day.

TIP: I’ve emphasized the importance of training, nutrition, and supplementation in Operation Aesthetic, but don’t forget that daily lifestyle is also crucial for supporting muscle growth while dieting. Make sure you get in plenty of sleep—at least 7 hours if not more while dieting. Turn off your phone and computer and get in a quiet activity such as reading or meditating before bedtime to promote calmness and better quality recovery.

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