5 years for a great body? I'll never make it! DO NOT PANIC. You can make fantastic gains, lose slabs of fat and raise your performance 100% in several months. Sometimes that is all a person needs. I realize that not all people want what I want. My goal has been to see how far I can take myself, how ripped I can get and so on. You need to temper my advice with your own personal goals. SO !





How often should you train? How much is enough? What is TOO much? Do I need to max out? If so, how often?
All of these questions are just some of the questions the average training individual asks. The following material answers the ultimate question, how can I build a fantastic body?

The Foundation
Go back and read our free online course on the basics of strength and then come back and read this. Now that you have done that, we can begin. It takes 3 to 5 years to build a base for a well built body. Sometimes it takes longer. In these years you concentrate on the basic exercises with free weights. You practice the principles of cycling your yearly training as I am about to discuss with you.

Cycle Training
I go in depth on this but in a nutshell you train 3 to 4 months focusing on conditioning and basic strength. Then you go 3 months using all strength training. Next you go to a full bodybuilding routine pre-contest mode for 3 to 4 months to really shape up. Then, you repeat the cycle, year after year. Each year you attempt to hit a peak of strength (during the power phase) and a peak of looking great during the pre-contest phase and a peak of cardio fitness during the conditioning phase. Years ago during a conditioning phase I did 33 chins in a set. On the second set I did 26 reps. My conditioning was superb at that time.

Longer Cycles

Another valuable cycle is the LONG CYCLE. This type of cycle is described in great detail in the book, "BRAWN" by Stuart McRobert.
This cycle is purely for gaining strength and size over a long period of time. Basically you stay on a building cycle (a strength cycle) for months or years till you max out (can go no further, go stale) or till you get hurt. You make very small weight additions to the weight bar in basic exercises, training once or twice a week at most on exercise like squats and deadlifts and other "big" movements.

After you break into this schedule you will find yourself training at your maximum (weight) limit for quite a period of time. And even though you are always adding weight to the bar it is done in small (8 ounces or 1 pound at most) increments and the change in weight is often imperceptible. After several months of adding 1 pound to the bar a week, let's say you started at a 200 lb bench for 6 reps, you would end up in 6 months at a 230 some bench for 6 reps or more. In a year a 300 bench. You can really build up training like this, but you have to really recover fully between workouts, or you won't grow. A week of rest is often taken between workouts. If you are squatting hundreds of pounds for reps you will need the rest time to recover and then grow. Many people return to the gym before GROWTH HAPPENS. This type of training is fun and productive and is very hard work. This is because you are training with your max weights ( plus: adding 8 oz to a pound each week) at every workout for months or asl long as the cycle lasts. Once you top out you start again. Usually I get hurt, have to rest for a time and then build up again at a later date. Your body takes a real beating training with heavy weights and nothing else. This is one of the reasons I suggest not training heavy all the time. Heavy training is productive but can be rough on the joints over time.

You have to be very motivated on this program as you are literally training at your max weight limit every time you touch the bar.


You will need to create a schedule based on the weather in your area and the best times for you to perform certain exercises. I have always been stronger in the winter and have set up my training to match this natural rhythm of my body. However, it took 10 years of training to figure out this fact ! For a beginner, just do your best to get one yearly cycle under your belt and start from there.