I doubt I'm the only one who wants to see 2021 in the rearview mirror as quickly as yesterday. I thought 2020 sucked, but 2021 takes the cake, and I have heard plenty of other people say the same thing. I know I'm not alone. I have been enjoying the process of putting my plan together for the last week or so, and I have finalized it.

Wrote a song about it.

Wanna hear it?

Here it go...

I will not mention my injuries that took up most of 2021. I said I wouldn't talk about them and I won't. I will just say that I will come into 2022 with no issues, and I am excited to look forward to what I consider a clean slate. That's my mental approach, anyway. If there is one good thing that has come out of 2021 it is that I was forced to train smarter and get better and reading my body. After almost 40 years of training, I thought I was pretty damn good at it. I wasn't wrong as much as I wasn't as in tune with my body as I had previously thought. I have been forced to listen and be more proactive -- take less risks and better assess cost-to-benefit.

Training is at the top of the list. As much as my goal is to get into my best condition ever (and likely my smallest -- of which I will get to later), training is my first priority. The obvious reason is because I can't afford to lose any more time to major injuries. I'm just too fucking old to lose any more large chunks of time. I don't plan on dying anytime soon (much to the chagrin of some of the internet trolls who respond to my articles), but every month is another month I could still be progressing and getting better. I am very clear that these months are in limited supply vs when I was in my 30s. I might have another 10 great years of training or I could have less than 1. I plan to take full advantage of my training and build off of what I learned this year.


I am already training with less volume than I have in years -- maybe decades.

To an old-school guy, that is not an easy thing to do, let alone stick with. We have all cut volume at some point, but almost all of us have also slowly increased that volume over time, too. I am going to keep the volume low. I learned during the latter part of this year that I respond very well to it physically, though not as well psychologically. 

I will not change my split. After training for as many years as I have, I have come to a few black and white conclusions and one of them is that the current split that I am using ALWAYS works the best. Like most, I have tried to change it up and every time I do, the results are lackluster, at best. I end up sticking with the new split longer than I should because my brain likes the change. The problem is that my body doesn't and if I'm not growing, progressing, and recovering well, I don't want to even bother with it. My split is boring and predictable but it works the best for ME:


hamstrings, quads, calves


chest, side and front delts, abs

spend time at your mom's house


wake up at your mom's house, go to the gym and train:

back, rear delts, traps


arms and abs

Saturdays and Sundays

text your mom about next Wednesday

By keeping the rotation and the schedule the same week to week, I remove one more variable that I don't even have to ponder, anymore. Instead, I can focus on keeping volume at a level that I can recover, and keep intensity in check.


I no longer take every working set to failure. This pains me. I hate calling a set a working set and not going 100%. However, I hate not progressing more than I hate not going to failure on every working set. So, my structure looks like this:

2 working sets per exercise (exceptions are hams and calves)

The first working set I will try to leave 2 or 3 reps in the tank (I refuse to say in "reserve" because I abhor these cliche' labels)

The second working set is all out at 100% to failure

I typically will do 3 exercises for small body parts and 4 for larger body parts.

Target reps are almost always 12-15 for the first set and 10-12 for the second set. This is just a target, though. 

Reps are much higher when I'm at your mom's house doing hip thrusts. 

I blast for 2 weeks and cruise for 1 week. My cruises are a little bit different in that all working sets will usually look like the first working set on a blast day (about 2 or 3 reps shy of failure). However, I do lower the weights just a bit on cruise weeks. 

The exercises remain the same for the 3 weeks (1 cruise week and then 2 blast weeks). I have never kept the exercises and the order of the exercises the same from one workout to the next. I am challenging myself to take this new approach because it allows me to accurately measure whether I am increasing strength either in weight lifted and/or repetitions.  I change exercises during the cruise week so that I can play with different exercises and see how they feel before the 2 weeks of blasting.


I don't know; I'm not than anal. I can say that I am moving as quickly as I can, so that I don't waste time. I start the next set when my breathing is no longer labored. I do not like to set black and white times between sets because different exercises will require more or less recovery between sets. EG: If I do lat pulldowns, I need less time than if I am doing Pendlay Rows. 


My main goal this year is not as much to build more muscle but to get leaner than I've been in years. I touched on this earlier by using the word "small." My plan is not to get small as much as it is to get absurdly lean and if that means I lose a little bit of size, I'm ok with that. I explain what I want to do as getting as lean as possible, but to go deeper into what I want to do, I want to make my waist as small as possible. I want it smaller than it has ever been. I have been doing vacuums with great success. My waist right now is as small as it was when I was 10-12 pounds lighter. I struggle to explain why this is important to me, but it is. Whether that goal will change as I get leaner, I can't know for sure. This is the goal right now, though. 

To help accomplish the smaller waist, I am going to continue to do what I have been doing for the last few months, and that is keep my skiploads much smaller and cleaner. Anyone who follows me on IG or FB knows that I typically load with farm-to-table restaurant foods like salmon and quinoa wraps, ahi-tuna and rice wraps, acai bowls with granola, boiled whole eggs, etc. I usually work in a sweet snack after my last meal of the day. Typically, it is a doughnut or a couple of cookies -- possibly a half-pint of Ben and Jerry's, etc. I can't eat a lot of snack foods after my last meal of the day because I am usually pretty full and not very hungry. Where my waist used to take 2-3 days to return to the same belt size (lifting belt) as the day prior to the skipload, I am close to the same size the day after the load now, and I hit the same waist size 2 days later -- like clockwork.

Diet meals are 7 per day instead of 6 so that I can spread the same amount of food over more meals. This decreases the volume of food at each meal. I also do not drink much water with the meal (enough to get the food down) but instead drink most of my water between meals and not all at once. For years I would drink about a liter at one time about halfway between meals. Now, I will drink that liter over the course of the 2.5 to 3 hours between meals. My goal with food and water is to minimize "stretching" the stomach, TVA, abs, skin, etc.

Protein is lower than usual at roughly 260 grams per day (I do not count train macros). This will climb another 60-80g when I step on the gas a couple months into the new year. I am currently TRT. 

Fats are only in half of my meals (I don't count trace amounts of fat).

Carbs make up the rest of my calories and I manipulate carb intake first, when I decrease calories.

I will do ZERO cardio. I have not done cardio for almost 3 years, and I was in incredible shape in 2020 at roughly 5 weeks prior to a show when I tore my glute. I am not against cardio as much as I want to continue to prove that though cardio works, it is overrated for most people. If you think I have a gifted metabolism, you are very wrong. Anyone who knows me knows that I can get fat as hell very quickly. I have a horrible metabolism, and yet I can get peeled with no cardio.

I will, however, go back to doing nightly walks to increase my NEAT. If you want to count this as cardio, go ahead. I don't because I am walking leisurely without any real pace or target HR. I do it more so that I am not sitting on my ass and can get outside and get my heart rate up. I would guesstimate my HR at 90-100 MAX. It gives me wife and I something to do so that we aren't sitting on the couch not moving. 

That's it. It isn't complicated; it isn't rocket science. I prefer to keep things simple and focus on consistency and execution. 

Stay tuned if you are interested in how it all plays out.



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