In the next 8-12 weeks, I will be documenting and detailing my preparation here for the forthcoming Shear Fitness Nutritionals Photoshoot for the year 2013. Hopefully this will give my followers an idea of what is involved in getting our bodies in tip-top photo ready condition and hopefully take away some tips which they may apply on their own to get into the shape they want.

Every week, I will be revealing whats in my gorceries basket, the foods that I eat, the supplements that I take and the nutritional strategies that I use, as this is every part as important as the training. My training will be detailed here (with videos where appropriate), explaining why I train the way I do and what benefits can be gained from the various principles of training.

The first phase is the Mass Build or ‘Bulking’ phase where I’m training and dieting to gain lean muscle mass. The second phase will be the Rip or ‘Cutting’ phase, when I will be dieting and training to lose as much bodyfat as possible in the run up to the photoshoot.

This blog will be updated as I progress. As I embark on this journey, I hope for this to be educational as well as inspirational, even for myself as I am still finding ways to take it further every time. The sky is the limit!


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If you have any questions on anything feel free to post it at the bottom of this page and I will answer them.

I hope you enjoy it!




WEEK 1 – Monday 16th July 2012



‘Before’ Photos of me weighing in at 76.7kg (in maintenance mode), 5ft 8″, at about 10% bodyfat. Not too shabby, but not fantastic either. OK I own up, I was being abit slack and just enjoying my food and cruising with my training. I needed to ‘chase’ after a new goal to give my body a rude awakening and take it to a new level! So the journey begins here! I’m excited and hope that this can be of some inspiration to others 🙂



To start out in my first week, I am using a pretty straight forward weights regime, using single sets (occasionally superset) per exercise, using the ‘Hypertrophy’ (mass) protocol of 8-12 rep range. As the weeks progress I will be chopping and changing by using various training principles in addition to Mass, such as Strength and Endurance. I will use different rep ranges, number of sets, varying intensity and volume. Many varying bodybuilding techniques will be employed. Due to the short time scale that I have to prepare for this, I prefer to use ‘Non-Linear Micro-Periodization’, never allowing my body to adapt, so my training regime is continuosly changing every week as you will see. I find that my body responds best to this, in the short time frame.

Note that for beginners or those with less experience, it would be more advantageous to stick with a fixed programme for a few weeks before moving onto another. Gain more training time under their belt first before attempting more advanced stretegies.


Day 1: Legs – Glutes, Quads, Hams, Calves.

1) Barbell Back Squats 4×8, 1×15

2) Single Leg Press 4×8, 1×15 > superset with Calf Raises 4×20

3) Machine Leg Extensions 3×10

4) Barbell Traditional Deadlift 2×8

5) Barbell Sumo Deadlift 2×8, 1×15

6) Machine Leg Curls 3×10

Note: ‘>’ = Superset

Here is a sample Barbell Back Squat I had done previously:












My legs were pretty much totally wasted by the end of this workout. Now is time to put my feet up and rest them, and focus on feeding them like I’ve never fed them before! Which leads me to the best part….




1) x2 Wholegrain Toast with a healthy slab of peanut butter and lots of honey!

2) x2 medium boiled eggs with a splash of soy sauce and ground pepper.

3) Mixed berry fresh fruit power smoothie. Here is my Recipe.



Some of the ingredients you see here I’ve had to substitute as I ran out of my usual ingredients and had to use whatever that is left in my fridge. You can see all the intended ingredients for my ‘Power Smoothie’ in my Recipe.



Well here they are, the end product! Doesn’t look like a lot but should last me a couple of hours until my next feed.

Over 40g of the best protein and 70g of complex and natural simple carbs 🙂



1) 8oz Sirloin Steak with boiled canary potatoes and rocket salad.


Steak is one of the best muscle builders. High in creatine for strength and iron. Don’t be put off by the higher than usual saturated fat content (I cut out all of the fatty edges anyway) as it is required for testosterone production (one of the prime muscle builders!). Plenty of carbs from the potatoes ensures that I’m adequately fuelled up for my next workout.


POST-WORKOUT MEAL: Carbs & Protein Shake (Almost 1000kcal!)


1) 40g Shear 100% Whey Protein

2) 100g Organic Jumbo Rolled Oats

3) 50g Grounded Oats

4) 50g Dextrose

5) 5g Creatine & 5g Glutamine

One of the most important meals in your training day so take full advantage of it! As you can see there is quite a lot in it and makes about 1 Litre of shake! Contains almost 1000 calories. This is a full blown meal! Contains Whey protein for muscle building and a mix of simple and complex carbs to reload and refuel my muscles ready for the next training session.


LATE AFTERNOON MEAL: Shear Fitness Lean Mass Gainer Shake


This gives me an instant 500kcal per serving to keep me going until I get a chance to eat my next solid meal. Contains 35g of protein and 84g carbs. Helps me keep my hunger pangs at bay whilst I’m busy training my clients!



1) 125g Basmati Brown Rice

2) 4 pieces of chicken (thighs and dumsticks)

3) A bunch of Cherry Tomatoes


I swear the chicken shrunk by half! This is to show that we should all be buying organic meat whenever we can! I was still hungry after this lot!



1) 400ml Skimmed Milk with a drizzle of choc for flavour.

Usually I would have eaten more than this but it was late and I ran out of time eating (yes, literally!). I didn’t want to eat too much carbs before bedtime. The milk protein has a bit of carbs and is a good source of slow release protein to drip feed my muscles while I sleep.

Due to the physical nature of my job and my high metabolism, I find myself having to consume in excess of 3500 calories per day to gain weight, so gaining lean muscle is a full time job in itself!  I will get more into the lean muscle gain nutrition in due course. Watch this space!



WEEK 1 – Tuesday 17th July 2012



Day 2: Chest, Biceps and Abs.

1) Dumbell Flat Bench Press > Dumbell Flat Bench Flyes 4×8, 1×15

2) Barbell Incline Bench Press > Dumbell Pullovers 4×8, 1×15

3) Ez-Bar Standing Bicep Curls > Dumbell Hammer Curls 3×10

4) Standing Dumbell Curls w/180o rotation > EZ Bar Behind the neck BentOver Curls 3×10

5) Dumbell Weighted Reverse Crunches 3×10

6) Decline Weighted Upper Crunches 3×10

7) Barbell Roll-Outs 3×12

Pecs and guns and Abs! The bits that eye see instantly and as such some of the more favourable parts that we like to train and get big first 😉


One of the more advanced ‘superset’ techniques that I use to break training plateus..


I love cable curls for its ability to keep the biceps loaded (High Time Under Tension) throughout the whole set.


 Reverse Crunches hitting the lower abs.


To give you an idea of the condition I’m aiming for this time round, below is a pic of me in a shoot done in 2010. I aim to surpass this in terms of muscle mass and be just as lean (5% bodyfat) if not even leaner.


Here are more pics from that same shoot:



 WEEK 1 – Day 3



BREAKFAST: Scrambled eggs, Smoked Salmon, Wholegrain Toast, Mix tomato salad, MIx fresh fruit smoothie.



LUNCH: 2 portions of seeded brown rice, Half a barbequed chicken.



SNACKS: PhD Oat Cookies! – I have these with me at all times in case I’m caught out with work and have no time to eat I turn into a cookie monster and chomp one of these babies down! Over 300 calories/cookie!




Day 3: Back & Triceps.

1) Pull Ups 3×10

2) Machine Pulldowns 4×8,1×15

3) dB Bent Over 1 Arm Bench Row > Ez bar Bentover Rows 4×8 Superset

4) Weighted Tricep Dips 4×8, 1×15

5) Tricep Rope pushdowns > Tricep Reverse grip pushdowns 3×10 Superset

6) Tricep Cable Kickbacks 3×10





WEEK 1 – Day 4



LUNCH: King Prawn Spaghetti in Tomato Based Sauce with fresh Cherry Tomatoes and grated Parmesan (one of my favourite dishes!).



DINNER: x2 Spatchcock Chicken, 125g Brown Rice, 8 medium-small tomatoes, Broccoli Tenderstems, Chilly paste.




Day 4: Shoulders, Traps, Abs

1) Seated Dumbell Arnold press 4×8

2) Seated Barbell Behind the Neck Press 3×10

3) Dumbell Front Raise 3×10

4) Dumbell Lateral Raises 3×10

5) Dumbell Reverse Flyes 3×10

6) Barbell Wide Grip Upright Row 3×10

7) Barbell Shrugs 3×10

8) Barbell Close Grip Upright Rows 3×10

9) Hanging Straight Leg Raises 3×12

10) Cable Oblique Crunches 3×12

11) Weighted Upper Crunch 3×10



WEEK 1 – Day 5


LUNCH: Pasta with Chicken and mushroom in fresh tomato sauce.



DINNER: 125g Brown Rice with diced chicken breast, king prawns, onions, green peppers, cabbage and chestnuts.



A big pecentage (60%) of my diet consists of carbs at the moment as I’m in the Mass Building Phase. My body is also very carb tolerant which means that I need alot of carbs in order to pile good weight. All Good, I love carbs! Note that the carbs that I’m eating are good clean carbs and not from bad refined sources from confectionary which you want to avoid to minimise fat gain. However my macronutrient ratios will drastically change when I enter the Cutting Phase.. so I’m just enjoying my carbs now to the max while I can.

I’m also very anal about my meal timings as timing is everything! Fail to time and you are timed to fail! There is not enough emphasis being placed on meal timings. Getting the right nutrients in the right quantities at the right time in your body is crucial to maximise absorption, utilisation, training support and recovery! I eat every 2.5 to 3 hours, placing extra emphasis on 3 of the most crucial meals of the day – Breakfast, Pre-Workout and Post-Workout.



Day 5: Chest and Back.


SUPPLEMENTS: Here are the supplements that I currently use for this preparation. The Shear Fitness has a complete range for all your extra nutritional needs that you body demands.


For details of the complete range of Shear Fitness Nutrition.


Day 6 & 7: REST!

Week 1 End Summary: Feels great to be back in the game again! The training is in order, the nutrition is in place to support my training and getting adequate rest is of vital importance. It makes a whole world of difference when you have a new goal set. My focus is renewed, body re-energized and commitment set. Its tunnel vision from here on, focussing on nothing else but the light at the end of the tunnel 😉




Weigh-in: 77.2kg


Not too bad seeing as its my first week. Once I’m fully loaded up on carbs and creatine in the next 2-3 weeks I should expect my gains would be higher weekly.


Groceries: Here was my weekend groceries for the coming week!


3 dozen free range eggs. At this rate it’ll be cheaper buying a couple of hens and put them to work!


Meat!: x1 Chicken thighs, x2 diced lamb, x2 seasoned chicken breast, x3 Duck Breast fillets.


Veggies n Fruit: Bananas, Red onions, Tomatoes, Chestnut mushrooms, Strawberreis, Blueberries.

I keep the veggies and fruit in my weekly groceries to a minimum and just get what I need on the day when I run out as it is fresher, seeing as they perish quickly.


Grains: Lizi’s Granola, Organic Jumbo Wholegrain Oats, Wholegrain Basmati Rice.



This week I’m going to turn up the heat a bit and start doing Coumpound and Isolation supersets on the same muscle groups and start to venture into a bit of basic strength training and eventually transition into full strength cycle next week.

Week 2 – Day 1: Legs – Glutes, Quads, Hams, Calves.

1) Barbell Alternating Lunges 4×8

2) Double Leg Press 4×8, 1×15

3) Stiff Leg Deadlift 5×6

4) Single Leg Curl 3×10

5) Seated Calf Raises on Leg Press Machine 3×20 (10reps 2s hold on plantarflexion)



Protein Pancakes (Home made!) – Breakfast and/or snack:

Ingredients: Jumbo Wholegrain oats, Chopped apple, Whey Protein powder, Cinnamon, Egg Whites. Strawberries (or fruit of your choice).

Protein Pancakes

Protein Pancakes1

Protein Pancakes2

Doesn’t look very appetizing I got to admit, but its soooo good for you. Best sources of carbs, protein and vitamins right there! Pow!




Week 2, Day 2: Chest, Biceps and Abs.


1) Barbell Flat Bench Press 5×6, 1×15

2) Barbell Incline Bench Press 5×6, 1×15

3) Cable Chest Flyes 3×10 (3 varying height positions)

4) Seated Double Dumbell Curls > Seated Double Dumbell Hammer Curls 4×8

5) Seated 45o Incline Dumbell Wide Curls 4×8

6) Seated Cable Curls 4×8

7) Hanging Twisting Leg Raises 3×12

8) Cable Oblique Side Bends 3×10

9) Weighted Upper Abs Crunch 3×10




Week 2, Day 3: Back and Triceps.

1) Wide grip weighted Chin-Ups 4×8

2) T-Bar Rows 4×8, Last drop set (drop twice – 10 rep, 12 rep drop)

3) Seated Wide Grip Rows (2s hold at peak contraction), Last drop set (drop twice – 10 rep, 12 rep drop)

4) Behind Neck Cable Pulldowns 4×8, 1×15

5) Ez Bar Skull-Crushers > Dumbell lying Tricep Extensions, 4×8

6) Dumbell French Press > Close Grip Pushups 4×8>12



Week 2, Day 4: Shoulders, Traps & Abs.

I love punishing my shoulders! Time to get some weight under these boulders!

1) Seated Barbell Shoulder Press > Barbell Front Raise 2×6>8, 2×8>8, 1×15

2) Seated Barbell Behind the Neck Press 4×8

3) Dumbell Lateral Raise 2×6, 2×8, 1×15

4) SIngle Arm Dumbell Reverse Flyes 2×6, 2×8, 1×15

5) Barbell Wide Grip Trap Raise > Barbell Upright Rows 4×10

6) Cable Weighted Reverse Crunch 4×10

7) Weighted Oblique Crunch 3×12

8) Med Ball V-Sit Twists 3×12


Feels great to be hitting compound strength training again! Has been a while due to injuries from various ‘X-Games’ activities I have not been able to engage in any form of heavy strength training. Theres no feeling quite like shifting a ton of weight. Time to get strong and powerfull again! 😉



Week 2 Summary: Slight muscle soreness has started to set in due to the change in my training programme and intensity. The additional supplements that I’m on should start kicking in round about now. I should expect my weight to be going up quite a bit more from the muscle glycogen replenishment and from the creatine cell volumization as my muscles gets fully topped up with carbs and water; in the next 3 days of eating and sleeping good.




Weigh-in: 78.0 kg



Weight is climbing steadily. Bodyfat is in check and have not put much on at all if any. Bodyfat gain is minimised from eating ‘clean’ foods, often and regular, whilst controlling the correct portion size and not eating more than the amount that your body can digest and assimilate at one time. This is different for everyone just as everyone has unique features. Through years of training and experimenting with diet you get to know your body and exactly what it responds to, then you can just play it like an on/off switch. Those who are new to this its not all doom and gloom. A good, experienced Personal Trainer who knows about nutrition and has been through it themselves would be able to work with you and help you determine your body type and work out a suitable nutrition plan that would work for you.





1) 70g Porridge Oats with 200ml Skimmed Milk, Honey. 40g Shear Whey Protein Shake.

2) Mixed berry fresh fruit power smoothie. Here is my Recipe.

3) Supplements: Shear Fitness CLA x1, PhuelPak x2, 5g Glutamine, 5g Creatine.



Time to step up the pace and get strong with strength training programme this week.


Legs: Glutes, Quads, Hams, Calves, Abs

1) Barbell Front Squat 5×5

2) Single Leg Machine Press 5×6, 1×15

3) Stiff Leg Deadlift 5×5, 1×15

4) Calf Raises on Leg Press Machine 4×20 (10reps 2s hold on plantarflexion)

5) dB Weighted Reverse Crunches 3×10

6) Preacher Bench Hanging Inverted Crunches (Straight) 3×12

7) Preacher Bench Hanging Inverted Crunches (Twisting Obliques) 3×12


WEEK 3 – Day 2

TRAINING: Chest & Biceps

1) Barbell Flat Bench Press 5×5

2) Dumbell Incline Bench Press 5×5

3) Dumbell Flat Bench Press 1×15

4) Dumbell Incline Bench Press 1×15

5) Dumbell Chest Flyes > Dumbell Pullovers 3×10

6) Standing Ez Bar Curls 3×6, 2×8, 1×15

7) Standing Cable Supinated Curls > Standing Cable Hammer Curls 4×8


SUPERSETS : This is indicated by the greater than sign ‘>’.

Supersets are 2 exercises performed back to back without any rest in between. This targets each muscle group with a much higher intensity than a regular straight set.




DINNER: x1 Spatchcock Chicken, x1 Chicken Breast, Brocolli Tenderstems, Baby Asparagus Shoots, 50g Brown Rice, x1 can Minestrone Soup.


Eating much less brown rice than I usually do in this meal as I had quite a lot of carbs already during the day.



WEEK 3 – Day 3

TRAINING: Back & Triceps

1) Barbell Widegrip BentOver Rows 4×8

2) Cable Lat Pulldowns 4×8, 1×15

3) Dumbell 1 Arm Bench Row 2×6, 2×8, 1×15

4) Cable French Press > Vertical weighted dips 4×10

5) Cable Reverse Pushdowns > Cable Kickbacks 3×10



WEEK 3 Day 4

TRAINING: Shoulders, Traps & Abs.


1) Seated Dumbell Shoulder Press > Dumbell Front Raise 4×8

2) Front Cable Lateral Raise > Barbell Behind the Neck Press 2×8

3) Rear Cable Lateral Raise > Barbell Behind the Neck Press 2×8

4) Cable Reverse Flyes > Cable Upright Rows 4×8>10

5) Barbell Trap Raise 3×12

6) Cable Rotator Cuff Laterals 3×12

7) Hanging Weighted Leg Raises 3×10

8) Hanging Weighted Leg Twisting Raises 3×10

9) Hanging Inverted Crunch 3×10





WEEK 3 Day 5

TRAINING: Back and Chest

I’m fully fuelled up and ready to go!!! Stepping up the pace so decided to hit Chest and Back twice this week as I have trained them already earlier this week (although paring with arm). Blasting the biggest muscle groups for the upper body for more mass! Arms are small in comparison and they get trained anyway as secondary muscles so its a sound choice.

1) Wide Grip Weighted ChinUps 5×6, 1xFailure (Bodyweight)

2) Narrow Grip Lat Pulldowns 5×6, 1xFailure (Bodyweight)

3) Wide Behind Neck Lat Pulldown 4×8, 1xFailure

4) Widegrip Seated Rows 2×8, 1xFailure

5) Widegrip Seated Rows (Supinated grip) 2×8, 1xFailure

6) dB Chest Flyes > dB Flat Bench Press (Pre-Exhaust) 4×10>8

7) dB Pullovers > dB Incline Bench Press (Pre-Exhaust) 4×10>8



FAILURE SETS: Failure sets are performed until you cannot do another rep with good form. This is a great technique used to break plateus but use it sparingly!

PRE-EXHAUST SETS: See explaination a little further down..



Just in reverse for ‘Pre-Exhaust’ technique.


WEEK 4 – Day 1

Weigh-in:  80.3 kg


Phew! Had to get through a lot of food and training to get here! Weigh is still going up and hopefully will continue to do so for another week or two before plateauing. Aiming to hit 82-83kg, limiting bodyfat gain to a max of 1-2%. When I hit this goal, the cutting cycle will begin. Can’t say I look forward to this phase as I just love my food too much! Don’t we all?! But hey, the pain is only temporary, it will all be worthwhile when its all done. This keeps me sharp, disciplined and focused which are invaluable traits to have. Once honed I can apply it to all other areas of my life and success will inevitably come! 🙂



This week I will be training Anterior & Posterior Split as opposed to Upper & Lower Body Split. Also intensities will differ and various techniques used to periodise the programme, keeping the body guessing..

WEEK 4 – Day 1: Chest, Delts, Abs

1) Barbell Bench Press > dB Pullovers 3×10

2) dB Incline Bench Press > Cable Flyes 3×10

3) Machine Press > dB Front Raise (3s -ve, 3s +ve) 4×8

4) Single Arm Cable Lateral Raise (Double reps) 4×8

5) Machine Reverse Flyes 3×10

6) Barbell Behind Neck Press > Widegrip Barbell Trap Raise 4×8>10

7) Decline Prisoner Torso Twists 4×12/side

8) Weighted Upper Torso Crunches 3×10

9) Weighted Obliques Crunches 3×10



WEEK 4 – Day 2: Glutes, Hams, Back, Calves

1) Machine Leg Curl > Barbell Conventional Deadlift 4×10>8

2) Leg Press Machine Calf Raises 4×20

3) Barbell Bent Over Rows > 1 Arm Bench Row 2×6, 2×8, 2×10

4) Narrow Grip Lat Pulldown > Behind Neck Lat Pulldown 4×8


WEEK 4 – Day 3: Traps, Triceps, Abs

1) Barbell Shrugs (2s hold on peak contraction) > Dumbell Wide Trap Raise 3×10

2) Ez Bar Upright Rows 4×8, 1×12 (Rest Pause)

3) Weighted Vertical Tricep Dips (3s +ve, 3s -ve) > Lying Dumbell Tricep Extensions 3×10

4) Rope pushdowns > Close Grip Pushups 4×8>10

5) Cable Reverse Crunches 4×10

6) Kneeling Rope Crunches 4×10

7) Kneeling Rope Oblique Crunches 4×10


CONCENTRIC & ESSENTRICS: This is indicated by ‘3x +ve, 3s -ve’. This mean 3 seconds to lift and 3 seconds to lower. Another way of putting it is – 3030 tempo. This increases the Time Under Tension (TUT) of the exercise, together with the correct number of reps causes increased ‘Sarcoplasmic Hypertrophy’ within your muscle fibres. This causes the volume of fluid in your muscle cells to increase, causing an increase in the overrall size of the muscle.




WEEK 4 – Day 4: Quads, Biceps

1) Close Stance Leg Press 2×6, 2×8, 1×8>10>12 Decending Pyramid

2) Leg Extensions 4×8, 1×8>10>12 Decending Pyramid

3) Ez Bar Wide Grip Bicep Curl (3s +ve, 3s -ve) 2×10

4) Ez Bar Close Grip Bicep Curl (3s +ve, 3s -ve) 2×10

5) Standing Rotating Dumbell Curls 4×8



WEEK 5 – Day 1

Weigh-in:  82.5 kg



Oh yeah baby! Steam rollin towards my target weight of 83kg! Feeling rather bloaty tho but that is to be expected from the large carb intake and water retention as a result. I love all kinds of foods but I gotta say, eating clean and sometimes semi-clean, do make me crave for some naughty treats sometimes.. Tunnel vision all the way! I can eat all I want, what I want after all this is done! First I have to earn it!

Feeling BIG and strong! All my shirts are pretty tight right now! I’m having trouble getting into my jackets! Arms and shoulders won’t fit! :oO  Now I have an excuse to go clothes shopping. Winter collection here I come! No, I wish. I will shrink a little bit when I cut up. In a way I feel like staying big but then won’t look sharp, so its one or the other but its good to know that you can play it like a switch once you know your body, and get it to look how you want, when you want it. You play it depending on the season 😉


TRAINING: Legs & Biceps

Time for ‘Pre-Exhaust’ technique of legs! This is going to painfull as the word ‘pre-exhaust’ may suggest. The whole idea behind this technique is to get your ‘prime movers’ (the muscle you are targeting) pre-exhausted by doing an isolation exercise before you superset onto a compound exercise (ie, dB Chest Flyes superset with Bench Press). So by the end of the set, you prime movers and secondary supporting muscles can be maxed out at the same time. In a typical superset you would start with a compound and finish with an isolation. In this setting, your secondaries (ie triceps) are likely to fatique first before your primaries (chest), leading to failure of the set before you are able to max out your primaries. This is one of many techniques used to effectively break plateus as it changes the way your muscles are shocked.

With the Bicep routine this week is also going to be nasty (the nastiest of the nasty!). 3 second Concentrics and Essentrics. By employing concentrics and essentrics, the time-under-tension (TUT) is increased dramatically in the set. Unlike a normal 1s up, 1s down repetition set, in this instance you are in the pain zone all of the time and prolonging it so this is not for the faint hearted! It is very draining. The weight used would be alot less than a traditional set. It is painfull but again, a great plateau breaker.


1) Machine Leg Extension > Machine Leg Press 4×10>8

2) Machine Leg Curls > Barbell Traditional Deadlift 4×10>8

3) Machine Calf Raises 4×20 (1st 10 reps, 2s hold on Plantarflexion, then 10 fast reps)

4) Ez bar 3s concentric & 3s essentric standing bicep curls 4×8

5) Dumbell 3s concentric & 3s essentric seated Hammer Curls 3×10

6) Cable 3s concentric & 3s essentric standing bicep curls 3×10



WEEK 5 – Day 2

I have not had much time to update this last week as it has been pretty manic. Training went well, still getting stronger and body responding well to the various training stimulus. Muscle soreness is much less due to the frequency in training. I get asked alot about whether the absence of muscle soreness means that they have not worked out properly or enough. It is not an indication at all of not having trained hard enough. Some people don’t get much DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) or if any at all no matter how hard they train. Sure in pretty much every case you will get DOMS if you haven’t trained for a while and then hit the iron hard initially but your body will quickly adapt and for some, DOMS is a thing of the past in subsequent training sessions.


TRAINING: Chest & Abs

1) dB Flat Bench Press 3×6, 3×8

2) dB Incline Bench Press 3×6, 3×8

3) Standing Cable Flyes > dB Pullovers 4×8

4) Kneeling Cable Crunches 3×10

5) Kneeling Cable Oblique Crunches 3×10

6) Hanging Side Twist Oblique Crunches 3×10

7) Weighted Cable Lying Reverse Crunches 3×10





WEEK 5 – Day 3: Back & Triceps

1) Machine Lat Pulldown 3×6, 3×8

2) Horizontal Cable Row 3×6, 3×8

3) Behind Neck Cable Lat Pulldown 3×6, 3×8

4) Weighted Horizontal Tricep Dips 3×8, 3×10

5) Kneelin Cable French Press 3×8, 3×10



WEEK 5 – Day 4: Shoulders & Abs

1) dB Seated Arnold Press 3×6, 3×8

2) dB Seated Behind Neck Machine Press 3×6, 3×8

3) Cable Front Raise (Double partial reps) 4×8

4) Cable Lateral Raise 3×6, 3×8

5) Single Arm dB Reverse Flyes 3×6, 3×8

6) Cable Shrugs 4×12




WEEK 6 – Day 1

Weigh-in:  82.7 kg



Not so much weigh gain this week as I was cautious with the fat gain so cut the calories a little. I can feel that my body is starting to plateau and my diet will have to soon be changed drastically prompting me to start my cut cycle (lose bodyfat and lean up). We will see how much more lean weight that I can squeeze out of this week which is probably going to be my final week on ‘Mass Phase’.


TRAINING: Legs & Abs

1) BB Back Squat 3×6, 3×8

2) BB Lunges 4×8

3) Leg Extensions 4×8

4) dB Deadlift 3×6, 3×8

5) Leg Curls 4×8

6) Calf Raises > Weighted Hanging Leg Raises 4×12

7) Hanging Weighted Crunches 3×10

8) Hanging Weighted Oblique Crunches 3×10

WEEK 6 – Day 2: Chest & Biceps

1) dB Flat Bench Press 4×6, 1×6 > BB Bench Press 12 Reps

2) dB Incline Bench Press 4×6, 1×6 > BB Incline Bench Press 12 Reps

3) dB Flat Flyes 2×8

4) dB Incline Flyes 2×8

5) Ez Bar Preacher Curls > dB Seated Hammer Curls 4×8>8

6) 45o Seated Incline dB Curls 4×8


WEEK 6 – Day 3: Back & Triceps

1) Machine Lat Pulldown 4×6, 1×6 > Drop Set 12 Reps

2) dB 1 Arm Bent Over Bench Row 4×6, 1×6 > Drop Set 12 Reps

3) Behind Neck Cable Lat Pulldown 4×6, 1×6 > Drop Set 12 Reps

4) Weighted Horizontal Tricep Dips 4×6, 1×6 > Drop Set 12 Reps

5) Kneelin Cable French Press > Reverse Tricep Pushdowns 4×8 > 10



WEEK 6 – Day 4: Shoulders & Abs


1) dB Seated Overhead Press 4×6, 1×6 > Drop Set 12 Reps

2) BB Seated Behind Neck Overhead Press 4×6, 1×6 > Drop Set 12 Reps

3) Cable Lateral Raise 4×6, 1×6 > Drop Set 12 Reps

4) Single Arm dB Reverse Flyes 4×6, 1×6 > Drop Set 12 Reps

5) Cable Shrugs 4×10

6) Weighted Lying Cable Reverse Crunches 4×10

7) Lying Incline Cable Weighted Crunches 4×10

8) Kneeling Cable Oblique Crunches 4×10


WEEK 6 – Day 5:

Mass Phase Review (End of Mass Phase!)


I believe that I’m approaching the end of my Mass Phase as I can feel my body has started to adjust and plateau in any lean mass gains. At this stage it would make sense to transition into the Cutting Phase as if I proceed further I would end up gaining more fat weight rather than lean weight. There is only so much you can do with nutrition periodization and there comes a point of diminishing returns. This is my green light for the time to get ripped! 🙂

On one hand I’m super excited to get lean and shredded but on the other, I know it is going to be a long hard road to endure and I am going to miss all that scrumcious food! I love my carbs!

In the following week, my Cutting meals will be posted here and I will get through all the various nutritional strategies to go from being quite lean to lean, and lean to shredded just before going on stage for competition or in my case, a photoshoot. 

Upon weighing in on a Sunday at the end of Week 6. I weighed in at 83.5kg. Having started at 76.7kg 6 weeks ago, I gained 6.8kg in total. Approximating that I had also gained about 2% bodyfat, this means that I have gained around 5kg of lean muscle mass. This is close but slightly better than I had expected.







Starting out at 83.5kg with around 12% bodyfat. The pictures doesn’t really show enough detail to see the mass gains but I have indeed gained quite a lot of size as indicated by the way all my clothes are very tight and people keep telling me I’m huge! I can cetainly feel it too but not nearly as much as what people are telling me! Now its time to get lean, and then shredded!






In fat loss training, the focus would be on lifting heavy most of the time with some cardio added. There is a misconception that in order to lose fat you have to do lots of cardio and focus on doing lots of reps which means using lighter weights. This is not the best way in retaining lean mass whilst dieting on a calorie deficit diet plan. I will explain why.

During the cutting phase the aim should be to keep as much lean mass that you have built as possible whilst burning off as much fat as possible. It is rare to be building lean mass whilst cutting at the same time unless you are fatter than the average person and have very low lean mass to start with, when this is not uncommon.

The key to retaining lean mass is to load up your muscles as much as possible which means using heavier weights than usual. This tells your body that your muscles are heavily needed so it will try its best to preserve it and via a low carb, calorie deficit diet, your body will start to utilize fat as a primary fuel source for energy. Your muscle fibres are further bolstered from being metabolised for energy from the high protein content in the diet. So as you can see the synergistic effect of heavy weight training, together with a low carb, high protein, calorie deficit diet, can help you retain your hard earned muscles and get leaner.

High reps, light weight training builds endurance, type 1 muscle fibres, that we use on a daily basis, such as wallking, jogging etc.. These low intensity activities are common to the body and does not provide our body with enough stimulus to warrant preserving our muscles to ensure survival. Our bodyfat is our survival fuel and as such takes precedence in its preservation over lean muscle when our body thinks that it is being starved! (those who starves themselves to get thin, take note!!). Before I get carried away you can read this article for further info on this topic.


CUT WEEK 1 – Day 1: Legs, Abs

1) BB Back Squat 4×6, 1×6>12

2) Leg Extensions 4×6, 1×6>12

3) Romanian Deadlift 4×6, 1×6>12

4) Machine Leg Curl > Leg Press Calf Raises 4×6>15, 1×6>12

5) Hanging Straight Leg Raises 4×10

6) Lying Dumbell Weighted Crunches 3×10

7) Lying Plate Weighted Oblique Crunches 3×10

8) Standing Cable Straight Leg Woodchops 3×12/side



CUT WEEK 1 – Day 2: Chest, Biceps

1) BB Flat Bench Press 5×5, dB 1×12

2) BB Inclne Bench Press 5×5, dB 1×12

3) Incline Cable Flyes > dB Pullovers 4×8>8

4) Ez Bar Curls 21’s 3 sets

5) Standing Cable Curls 4×8

6) Standing Cable Hammer Curls 3×10

7) Steady State Threadmill Cardio Jog 20mins


** Sorry folks, I was in the process of changing webhosts and the clowns messed it up so my site was down for a few days and I was not able to do any updates.. Hopefully all fixed now. **


TEMPO Training: OK, its time to introduce tempo into the routine. This is similar to Concentrics and Essentrics, but worst. This is one of the nastiest and most painfull part of any techniques used due to the prolonged duration in the ‘pain zone’ whilst your muscles are saturated with lactic burn casued by the build up of hydrogen ions from the waste by-product of muscle contractions.  

Tempo 1010 means 1s lower, no pause at the bottom, 1s lift, no pause at the top.



CUT WEEK 1 – Day 3: Back & Triceps


1) Seated Machine Wide Grip Lat Pulldown 4×6 (Tempo 1210), 1×6>12 (Tempo 1010)

2) Cable Wide Grip Row 4×6 (Tempo 1210), 1×6>12 (Tempo 1010)

3) Kneeling Cable Behind the neck Lat Pulldown  4×6 (Tempo 1210), 1×6>12 (Tempo 1010)

4) Seated Machine Narrow Grip Row 4×6 (Tempo 1210), 1×6>12 (Tempo 1010)

5) Cable Tricep Pushdowns 4×6>8 (Rest Pause between superset)

6) Cable Tricep Kickbacks 4×6>8 (Rest Pause between superset)

7) Horizontal weighted Tricep Dips 4×6>8 (Rest Pause between superset)


REST PAUSE SETS: This is essentially a Superset except you rest for 10 seconds between each exercise.


NUTRITION: Heres some of my cutting foods that I eat.


Cut Diet Brkfst

Breakfast: 1 Bagel with Peanut Butter & Jam, 1 slice Gammon, 2 whole eggs, chestnut mushrooms. 1 Pint fresh of fresh berry smoothie with 4 egg whites.


Cut Diet Lunch - PrawnsnChkn

Lunch: 90g Garlic Prawns and 190g Chicken Breasts.


Cut Diet - Cod

x2 Cod Fillets, Brocolli Tendershoots, Fine Green Beans.


Snacks: 200g Prawns/Chicken/Beef. Either one or a mixture of each. These I have in between my breakfast and lunch, lunch and dinner.



CUT WEEK 1 – Day 4: Shoulders, Traps & Abs


1) Machine Overhead Press 4×6>8 (Rest Pause between superset)

2) dB Lateral Raises 4×6>8 (Rest Pause between superset)

3) Machine Seated Reverse Flyes 4×6>8 (Rest Pause between superset)

4) Cable Upright Rows > Cable Shrugs 4×8>10 (2s hold at top of Shrug)

5) Weighted Reverse Side Twist Crunches 4×10

6) Weighted Cable Oblique Crunches 4×10

7) Weighted Kneeling Cable Crunches 4×10

8) Steady State Threadmill Cardio Jog 20mins


It is very easy to get this exercise wrong and ineffective. The loaded arm has to be locked in, and the crunch at a 45 deg angle in order to hit right on the obliques! If your arm gets tired and/or you don’t feel it in your obliques, you are doing it wrong.



CUT WEEK 1: Day 5 – Steady State Threadmill Cardio

1) Moderate Jog 35-45 mins




Weigh-in: At the end of Week 1 of cutting, I weigh in at 81.7kg. Lost just under 2kgs. Initial lost will be quite high due to lack of carbs and reduced muscle glycogen.


Day 1 – Legs, Biceps & Triceps

Supersetting Anterior and Posterior Chain in the legs with a slower tempo for increased time-under-tension and Sarcoplasmic Hypertrophy (see above for info).


1) Machine Leg Press > dB Romanian Deadlift 4×10 (Tempo 2020)

2) Machine Leg Extension > Machine Leg Curl 4×10 (Tempo 2020)

3) Calf Raises 4×15 (Tempo 2121)

4) Ez Bar Bicep Curls 4×8 (Tempo 3032), 1xFailure (Tempo 1010)

5) Seated Cable Curls 4×10 (Tempo 3012)

6) Vertical Tricep Dips 4×10 (Tempo 3030)

7) Cable Kneeling French Press 4×6>8 (Tempo 2010)

8) Cable Tricep Pushdowns 4×8 (Tempo 2010)


CUT WEEK 2: Day 2 – Chest, Abs, HIIT Cardio


1) BB Bench Press 3×10 (Tempo 3020)

2) BB Incline Bench Press 4×10 (Tempo 3020)

3) Standing Cable Flyes 4×10 (Tempo 3030)

4) Hanging ‘Prisoner’ Crunches 4×10

5) Hanging ‘Prisoner’ Obliques Twisting Crunches 4×10

6) Reverse Cable Twisting Crucnhes 4×10

7) High Intensity Interval Cardio (Threadmill):

30s Max Intensity Sprint > 1m Recovery Walk (6 sets)

> 5 mins easy Jog

> 20 mins Moderate Jog

> 5mins Cooldown



CUT WEEK 2: Day 3 – Back, HIIT Cardio


1) Seated Machine Wide Grip Lat Pulldown 4×6 (Tempo 1210), 1×6>12 (Tempo 1010)

2) Cable Wide Grip Row 4×6 (Tempo 1210), 1×6>12 (Tempo 1010)

3) Kneeling Cable Behind the neck Lat Pulldown  4×6 (Tempo 1210), 1×6>12 (Tempo 1010)

4) Seated Machine Narrow Grip Row 4×6 (Tempo 1210), 1×6>12 (Tempo 1010)

5) High Intensity Interval Cardio (Threadmill):

30s Max Intensity Sprint > 1m Recovery Walk (7 sets)

> 5 mins easy Jog

> 20 mins Moderate Jog

> 5mins Cooldown



Heres one of my dinners:


Cut Diet - Topside BeefnPrawnsnChkn

2 slices Topside Beef, Prawns, Chicken Brest Fillets, Brocolli Tendershoots, Fresh Tomatoes.



Note that this diet works for me as the macronutrients and calories have been carefully worked out for my requirements. It doesn’t mean it will work for you. For it to be effective, the diet has to be customised and tailored for the individual by starting with your daily calorie requirements. This is where a good qualified sports or fat loss nutritionists comes into play!


CUT WEEK 2: Day 4 – Shoulder, Traps, Abs

1) Machine Overhead Press 4×10 (Tempo 3030)

2) Cable Lateral Raises (Front) 2×10 (Tempo 3030)

3) Cable Lateral Raises (Back) 2×10 (Tempo 3030)

4) BB Wide Grip Upright Rows 4×10 (2010)

5) Weighted Decline Upper Ab Crunches > Ab Rollouts on Toes

6) Seated Weighted V-Torso Twists 4×12/side

7) Vertical Hanging Straight Leg Raises 4×12


CUT WEEK 2: Day 5 – Steady State Threadmill Cardio

1) Moderate Jog 35-45 mins



Weigh-in: 79.5kg.

Lost another 2.2kg this week. 




Day 1 – Legs & Abs

1) BB Double Partial Front Squats 4×8

2) Machine Leg Extensions > Donkey Calf Raises 4×8>12 (Tempo 2020)

3) BB Sumo Deadlift > Machine Leg Curl 4×8>8 (Tempo 2020)

4) Hanging Oblique Crunches 4×12/side

5) Weighted Decline Bench Crunches 3×10

6) Weighted Decline Reverse Bench Crunches 3×10




CUT WEEK 3: Day 2 – Chest & Biceps

1) dB Flat Bench Press 10×10 (GVT)

2) BB Incline Bench Press 10×10 (GVT)

3) dB Double Arm Bicep Curls 10×10 (GVT)

4) Cable Seated Cable Bicep Curls 10×10 (GVT)

5) Steady State Threadmill Cardio 35 mins


This equates to 200 reps per muscle group! Sometimes I do as much as 400 reps per muscle group. However, for my objectives this time round, 200 reps in this instance is more than adequate.

GVT (German Volume Training): This is a form of high volume endurance training. With a low weight and low rest times. In the final week prep (next week) run up to the shoot, a different type of training is required to prep the body for carb depletion (to come next week..).



CUT WEEK 3: Day 3 – Back & Triceps

1) Machine Lat Pulldown 10×10 (GVT)

2) Machine Narrow Grip Row 10×10 (GVT)

3) Vertical Tricep Dips 10×10 (GVT)

4) Cable Tricep Pushdowns 10×10 (GVT)

5) Steady State Threadmill Cardio 35mins



Another one of my dinners:

Cut Diet - TroutnPrawns

x2 Trot fillets, King Prawns, Fine beans, Cucumber.


CUT WEEK 3: Day 4 – Shoulders, Traps & Abs

1) dB Overhead Press 10×10 (GVT)

2) dB Lateral Raises 10×10 (GVT)

3) dB Reverse Flyes 10×10 (GVT)

4) EZ Bar Upright Rows 10×10 (GVT)

5) Floor Double Crunches 4×20

6) BB/dB/Wheel Rollouts 3×12


CUT WEEK 3: Day 5 – Steady State Threadmill Cardio

1) Moderate Jog 35-45 mins



Shoot Day = Day 5




Weigh in: 78.2kg. Lost a total of 1.3kg this week. I’m much leaner here as the veins as showing up in my abs, altho far from shreded. Even tho my bodyweight is now about the same as I was over 7 weeks ago whilst I was on the mass cycle, the difference lies in my body composition. I’m now about 6% bodyfat as opposed to around 11% bodyfat, so not only am I bigger than I was 7 weeks ago but also much leaner! Big n ripped, that is the goal! 🙂

This week is shoot week! This means that my whole training and diet is going to be different as you will see. Its going to be hell. I will be carb depleting my body both in training and nutrition as I will be on very low carbs..

This week is all about the cherry on top! Getting my body from lean to ripped/shredded. Contest wise, if your bodyfat is not already in the single digit, its too late and you’re not lean enough and have no business in carrying on with the strategies that I’m about to reveal as it would not make a big enough difference. The first thing is manipulating water in my body to prepare for that shredded look on the day of the shoot. The second thing is manipulating sodium but I will leave sodium out of it as there are far too many conflicting theories. I felt that the best course of action is to leave it normal in my diet. The third thing is carb loading. There are many strategies and methods used to prepare for contest/shoot day. Some works better than others, whilst some would work really well for one individual but fail miserably for others. So there isn’t really a right or wrong way of doing it as no one body is identical and as such it is a case of finding what works well for your body and then fine tuning it until you find a method which works best for you.


SHOOT WEEK: Day 1 –  Full Body Carb Deplete Training

1) Leg Press > dB RDL 6×12>12 (Tempo 3020) (30s rest between each set)

2) dB Incline Bench Press > dB Incline Bench Rows 6×12>12 (Tempo 3020) (30s rest between each set)

3) dB Bicep Curls > Rope Tricep Extensions 6×12>12 (Tempo 3020) (30s rest between each set)

4) Steady State Threadmill Cardio – Jog 30mins


SHOOT WEEK: Day 2 –  Full Body Carb Deplete Training

1) Machine Leg Extensions > Machine Leg Curls 6×12>12 (Tempo 2010) (30s rest between each set)

2) BB Flat Bench Press > Cable Lat Pulldowns 6×12>12 (Tempo 2010) (30s rest between each set)

3) Ez Bar Tricep Extensions > EZ Bar Bicep Curls 6×12>12 (Tempo 2010) (30s rest between each set)

4) Steady State Threadmill Cardio – Jog 30mins

 Carb deplete training video to come…

SHOOT WEEK: Day 3 –  Upper Body Carb Deplete Training

1) Machine Overhead Press > dB Lateral Raises 6×12>12 (Tempo 2010) (30s rest between each set)

2) Machine Seated Reverse Flyes 6×12 (Tempo 2010) (30s rest between each set)

3) Cable Upright Rows > Cable Shrugs 6×12>12 (Tempo 2010) (30s rest between each set)

4) Steady State Threadmill Cardio – Jog 30mins


SWEET CRAVINGS MANAGEMENT!: Heres a video of my high protein, low fat, low carb, diet Chocolate Souffle to kerb sweet cravings for late in the evenings! During my cut diet phase I get intense carb cravings especially in the evenings, so I’ve come up with this recipe to help me get through it and still stay on track with my diet. Whenever I had the cravings, I just make these to keep it under control. They are very easy to make and takes about 10 minutes to prepare and 8 minutes to bake.






SHOOT WEEK: Day 4 – Rest Day. Carb Loading Day! 🙂

NUTRITION!: Today is all about reloading my depleted body with carbs! Whoo-hooo! My body will think its birthday or something.

The body is first depleted of all carbs to prepare for this stage where by the carbs that I eat at this point are all absorbed into the muscle cells more than usual. Our body super compensates and ‘reloads’ as much carbs as possible in case it gets depleted again. This has the effect of filling out the muscle making it fuller than usual. So on stage I will look not ripped and flat, but shredded and pumped!

The danger of carb loading is not knowing how much to eat and when to stop! Especially when it seems you had carbs in your past life as it has been so long, you are very tempted to take this opportunity to just binge till you’re exploding! Too much carbs would result in overfill which makes you look too full and bloated; and too little, would leave you looking flat. You do not want to mess up your 12 weeks of hard work in just one day!! The fact that this often happens to even the pros shows how difficult it is to get this right. You are trying to second guess your body’s reactions. Only experience will see you through here.

So I’m done with training until shoot day tomorrow. Today is all about getting the nutrition spot on. Here is an example of my carb reload breakfast (Oh yea! Apart from the post shoot meals, I can say that this is the second most satisfying meal of my life!):


Carb Load Brkfst

x1 Bagel with peanut butter, honey & Jam

x1 Bagel, x2 eggs, x3 slices of bacon, x3 slices of smoked salmon, 1/2 tin baked beans, 1/2 pack of chestnut mushrooms, x2 med tomatoes.

1 pint of fresh strawberry, blueberry & raspberry smoothie, with x4 egg whites, honey.


My next 3 subsequent meals consists of 360g brown rice, with 90g prawns and 100g chicken breasts per meal.

My last 2 meals consist of a few rice cakes with jam/honey.

Water: During the 3 days of carb deplete training I consume around 10-12 Litres of water/day. No water from the afternoon onwards before the day of the shoot and none on the day of the shoot.


I can get pretty shredded with these strategies, although there is always room for improvement. Only from experimenting and from the experience gained from each competition/shoot could you hone this to perfection. None of the theories in the world matters end of the day.

If you are looking to get to this level of aesthetics, then get yourself a knowledgeable and experienced trainer; and also if not more importantly, someone who has actually been through it themselves, to keep a watchfull eye on you and tailor your training and nutrition programme requirements accordingly. Well researched theories are all well and good but are not universally applicable, just as no two individuals are the same.



Here are some of the photos from the shoot:





Here I weight-in at 76.5kg and a little under 5% Bodyfat.

More photos from this shoot can be found here:





It has been a long 12 weeks on this journey but at the same time it came and flew by quickly. Was it worth it? All I can say is that it is priceless. I learn something new about myself every single time, even after 20+ years of training. Invaluable experiences and deeper insights gained in every one of my journeys, helps me evolve and be my better self. It is not just about how you’ll look at the end but more who you’ll become in the process. Lessons which can never be bought or taught by others but only realised through self sacrifice and perseverence. I am better equipped each time to help other like minded people improve their health & fitness lifestyles and to realise for themselves, in this lifetime, how it can benefit them in nearly every single aspect of their lives so they can live it to its fullest that each deserves.




Steven Wong


Anyone who aspires to go through a complete body transformation, feel free to get in touch for your free consultation!