T Nation

Adam's Quest for Valhalla


Dear Adam,
Just in case you forgot...
You weighed in at a whopping 171 lbs. after busting your ass in the gym for the past 7 years. One hundred and seventy one, soft, weak, malnourished pounds. You almost ruined the best relationship of your life, flunked out of school, and dramatically screwed up your metabolism.

You know why???
You put far too much emphasis on the mirror and chasing the pump. But here is the thing: The eyes can be deceived, but the numbers will never lie.
Sure, thatâ??s a fairly corny quote, but it holds merit. Your workouts over the past 7 years had no direction. Sure, you may have trained with intensity, but the structure was minimal. Periodization? That shit is for nerds and powerlifters... until now.

The definition of insanity: Doing the same things over and over, but expecting different results. Blah, blah, blah. No, bro. That shit didnâ??t apply to you.
You were a fool. A slave to the entire system. Hooked into the bodybuilding scene ever since you picked up your first Muscular Development, or Flex, magazine. You followed all the rules to pack on slabs of muscle, worked out twice per day, put in hours of fasted cardio, and took all the supplements.

Instead of becoming an Alpha Male, like you were promised, you became a slave. You were a slave to the clock: having to eat every 2 and half to 3 hours. A slave to the high volume workouts like all the bodybuilders of yore. The broscience was strong with you. God knows you put in the work, 7 days a week. You prepped all of your meals. You always had a plan. For what? To look like a holocaust survivor up on stage?! Not only look like a cancer ward patient, but probably just as strong at that moment.

No... Thatâ??s not why you started. You wanted to be like those pictures in those bodybuilding magazines. Thatâ??s good, but the wool was pulled over your eyes from the beginning. You failed to realize that those men only look like that for about 1 week per year. The rest of the year they are a bloated, oil-filled walking piece of shit.

So Adam... was all of that effort worth it? All the cooking? Living in the gym 7 days per week, getting to the point where lifting seemed like a chore? Going to the gym used to be enjoyable, but when? Can you remember a time when you were excited to go lift?
I guess it was the summer with Mike. You were doing the workouts that you were taught in football. This was before you even picked up a bodybuilding magazine. This was before you meal prepped.

You would meet Mike at the gym, go for a jog, and then lift. The basic movements with weights that would always challenge you. Supplements really didnâ??t exist in your life, other than a protein shake post workout. You werenâ??t even in the gym on the weekends. 4 to 5 days per week total. Jogging outside was the preferred method of cardio. You were not bound to the stairmill. You were outside. Enjoying and embracing the challenge.

You were so excited to lift because you could see yourself getting bigger, stronger, and leaner. You were there pushing Mike to lose weight. His motivation motivated you! Ever since that time you have been lifting alone. Is there a correlation there? Hell yeah there is!

Instead of chasing the pump, you were competing with Mike, and, more importantly, the weight on the bar. That was 7 summers ago. You have been a loner. The only way you have been pushing yourself is to perform the workouts you find in magazines or online performed by drugged up professional bodybuilders. LOL, yeah, more like ghostwriters. Sixteen sets of different triceps pushdowns are going to give you massive gainz and arm-splitting pumps, but not the drugs. So weâ??ve returned full circle:

The eyes can be deceived, but the numbers will never lie.
Today, you sit in your office wondering what it is you really want in terms of your body. Letâ??s break this down in a few different aspects:
Overall Goal?
Body Composition?

Overall Goal: To get Bigger, Stronger, and Leaner. To become a true Alpha Male. Instead of looking like a holocaust victim, strive to look like He-man. Train like savage, attacking the weights like a Viking. Instead of obsessing with your looks, obsess with the amount of work, effort, and weight you are moving.

Workouts: You will have to start out slow. Rome wasnâ??t built in a day, neither is an Alpha Male. You will need to build a base. To get bigger, you will need to be able to move heavy ass weight. This means you will need to reestablish your strength. The Candito Six week program seems like an ideal program to start. It is a 4 day split. You will be burning to get into the gym each session. Just like the days of yore with Mike, you will have purpose in the gym again, and you will be competing with something other than the mirror. Side Note: The Agile 8 should become a staple on lifting days! Sundays will be complete rest days!

Body Composition: Simple, get as big and muscular as possible. You are small and muscular. The scale and tape measure will keep you honest. You will take weekly measurements: Weight and Hip Circumference. As long as the weight on the scale is increasing, and the tape measure around your hips isnâ??t stretching, you are heading in the right direction. How?

Diet: K.I.S.S. Keep it simple, stupid. There is no magic diet or supplement that will put on massive amounts of muscle. Your body requires nutrients. You saw firsthand what happened when you deprived your body of the proper nutrients. On the days that you lift (4 days/wk.) you will eat a little more than the days you do not. The only things that you should focus on should be protein and water intake.

The only supplements you should be taking should be a protein powder (which is actually food, not a supplement) and a multivitamin. Maybe the occasional pre-workout drink or post-workout carbohydrate shake when deemed necessary. But your supplements should not cost more than your groceries. Here is an example of a K.I.S.S. day:

5 Whole Eggs, Coconut Oil
3/4 cup Oatmeal(or Brown Rice Cereal), Scoop Protein Powder
8 oz. Chicken, Rice/Potato
5 Whole Eggs, Pancakes (1 serving), sugar-free syrup
Turkey Burger Patties, 2 tbsp. nut butter; or 2nd Chicken Meal
Shake, or sludge, if necessary

You wonâ??t limit yourself to â??clean eatingâ?? like you have been for the past 4 years or so. You wonâ??t force feed yourself either. Eat when you are hungry. Could be 2 hours, could be 4 and a half. Donâ??t shy away from carbohydrates, but do your best not to mix the two. Eggs are a cheap source of protein and should be a staple in your diet. When in doubt, make an omelet!

Cheat meals are fine, just find something that will provide your body with some nutrients and protein. Ice cream wonâ??t hurt if you are attacking every day with a savage mentality. You are an Alpha Male, not a physique competitor diva. As long as you are big and strong and look intimidating, no one will criticize your little bit of back fat!

Cardio: Whatâ??s the point of being big and strong if you canâ??t sustain performance over an extended amount of time? You used to have a passion for distance running. Now I am not saying that you need to be out running 13 miles on the weekends again, but you need to hit the streets/trails again. You need to go outside. Experience the world.

If you remember, the Candito training program is a 4 day split. There are 3 days of no lifting. What will you do on those 2 days (Sundays are rest days, except walking)? You guessed it, cardio! Jogging, cycling, swimming, weighted carries, rucking, hiking, rowing, sprints, walking, and just about anything that requires you to sweat. Unlike the past, have a plan! The only time I want you to perform cardio inside would be pre/post-lifting, weighted carries, â??storm the beachâ??, cycling sprints, plyometric, or during inclement weather. Always push the pace, duration, and intensity. There is no excuse not to become athletic.

Mentality: You will have to be extremely patient on your path of getting Bigger, Stronger, and Leaner. In terms of getting bigger, getting big too fast will lead to too much fat accumulation. Strength training, and getting stronger, will require the most patience. You tendons and joints need time to get acclimated to the heavier weights. Do not pile weights to the bar!

Stick with the Candito program, and you will slowly increase weights at a safe pace. Now in terms of getting leaner, you know that you must first fix your metabolism. Do not get frustrated if you put on bad weight in the beginning. Youâ??ve already put on some since your contest, but keep in mind that the more muscle your body accumulates, the more calories it will burn on its own. In the big picture, to get leaner, you will need to pack on more muscle.

This means you will eventually need to add calories to your diet (SLOWLY). Carbohydrates should not be avoided, and should be the first macronutrient added once youâ??ve reached your ideal protein intake.

Admit, you know very little about the Big Three lifts. Sure, youâ??ve been performing them, but you have yet to master the proper technique. The first attempt of the Candito program will almost solely be dedicated to technique, especially focus on your squat form. You cannot lift heavy weight with poor form, or if you are injured!

So Adam, do you remember what you looked like on stage? Do you remember all the damage you caused to get into holocaust condition? Never forget. You were an idiot and fooled by the industry. Instead of spending the last 7 years getting Bigger, Stronger, and Leaner, you spent it looking at your reflection in the mirror. You let your eyes be the judge. Itâ??s time to let the weight on the bar and your strength be the judge. Progress. Get Bigger. Get Stronger. Get Leaner. Become an Alpha Male, a Savage.

Itâ??s time to work.


Cliff Notes:
Just finished competing in Natural BB show
Felt small
Time to get big.

Running Candito 6 Week Program to jump start strength
Created thread to hold self accountable.
Posted Note written to myself the day after my competition.

Will post last weeks workouts tomorrow when I have my notebook.


Good manifesto, and great epiphany! Welcome to the dark side! Now, get to work… :P"