In the early days of my bodybuilding journey, I was very much focused on gaining mass because I had always been the smallest in my class. I was short and thin with little athletic ability; however, what I lacked in genetics I luckily made up for in determination—the determination to not be the smallest and weakest person I knew.

I would read magazines featuring the world's biggest guys and follow exercises they recommended. Yet, after working out five days a week for a long period of time, I still hadn't gained much muscle at all (if any). So I decided to stop reading magazines and start from the beginning.

I began using exercises that challenged the whole body rather than those that isolated certain muscles and muscle groups. I had seen local powerlifters doing movements such as deadlifts and squats, and while they weren't bodybuilders, they certainly had the big back and big legs that I always wanted. Therefore, I decided to cut down my sets/reps and the amount of time I trained in order to focus on only a few movements. This way I could see which exercises worked and which didn't.

After a year of trial and error, I finally started to see a lot of progress very quickly, and this was with doing about half the sets and reps I had originally started doing. At age 17, I had 18-inch biceps, a 44-inch chest, and 29-inch thighs, and I was ecstatic with the results. My diet had changed a lot as well. Instead of focusing on low fat diets, I decided to eat whole eggs daily, steaks, some cheese, milk, chicken breasts, and tons of cabbage, broccoli, and spinach. My carbohydrates changed frequently because I got bored, but I really loved to eat basmati rice, sweet potatoes, and pasta.

One thing I have passed down to younger bodybuilders over the years is that it’s not about the amount of sets and reps you do, it's about how much effort you put into each set. I have seen many people do five sets of lat pulldowns, but four of them were pretty much too light (as in no more than a warm-up) because everyone likes to save themselves for that final set. I always believe that building intensity is the main thing, as well as focusing on only a few movements per workout.

I have designed the program below for those who are beginners or intermediates, and this is to be done for one month. After the completion of that month, report back to me regarding your results. I can guarantee that you will see an increase in muscle mass, and your strength will go up, too!

As for your diet, I would suggest eating between three to five meals per day, making sure to consume those meals every three to four hours. I would suggest eating steak (sirloin/fillet) once a day and at least whole eggs in the morning. The rest of the day you can eat things such as chicken breast or tuna fish. The carbohydrates are  really up to you. However, I would start by eating 100 grams at each meal, excluding your post workout meal which should include about 200 grams of carbohydrates. I found oats, basmati rice, sweet potatoes, and baked potatoes to be the best carbohydrates for me. I would only use whey protein powder right after my work out, but you should be focusing on whole foods and not supplements at this point. If you want to take supplements, buy some Multi-Vitamins, Vitamin C, Fish Oils, Desiccated Liver Tablets, and Calcium.

Sleep is something that is just as important as your diet. I would suggest that you get over eight hours of sleep per night, and take a nap when you can. While this can be difficult for most, try your best to fit it in. As for the rest of the day, do as little as possible—just recover and grow.

When working out, wear a lot of clothing to keep you warm. (Sweat pants, jumpers, hats—anything that covers your body and keeps it warm). I don’t want to see anyone wearing a vest. Oh, and don’t look at yourself too much in the mirror during this month. Too many people get obsessed with looking at themselves, and they make the decision to end their programs early because they think they are losing muscle mass. I would suggest that you follow this program for a month—you won’t lose mass; you will gain it. I have seen it time and time again with clients.

Below is my three-day bulking routine for beginners/intermediates. Follow as prescribed—nothing is to be changed. I wrote it this way to get the best results, and changing it will limit its effectiveness.

Monday: Back/Biceps/Traps

1. Deadlifts: Do two warm-up sets of eight reps. Then, do two work sets of eight reps, increasing the weight each set.

2. Plate-Loaded Lat Pulldown: Do two warm-up sets. Then, do two work sets of 12 reps. Bring the weight down and hold the contraction for three seconds. Then, release back up; however, keep the negative slow by taking four seconds to reach the starting point. If you cannot hold the weight for three seconds, reduce the weight and start again.

3. Bent Over Barbell Rows: Do one warm-up sets, and then do two work sets of 15 reps.

4. Narrow Grip Cable Upright Row: Do two warm-up sets, then do two work sets of 20 reps.

5. Seated Incline Hammer Curls: Do one warm-up set, then do two work sets of eight reps.

Wednesday:  Quads/Hams/Calves

1. Back Squats: Do two warm-up sets of 15 reps, then do two work sets of 15 reps.

2. One-Legged Leg Press: Do each leg separate, and don’t lock out fully—stop just short of lockout. Take five seconds to lower the weight and five seconds to push it back up. Do one work set of 20 reps per leg.

3. Romanian Deadlifts: Do two warm-up sets, then do one work set of 15 reps. Take five seconds to lower the weight and three seconds to bring it back to the top.

4. One-Legged Seated Curls or lying Hamstring Curls: Do one work set of 20 rep per leg.

5. Standing Calve Raises: Do one set of 50 reps.

Friday: Chest/Shoulders/Triceps

1. Barbell Incline Press (slight incline):  Do two warm-up sets, then do two sets of 12 work sets to failure. Take five seconds to lower the weight, then take three seconds to bring it back to the top again.

2. Flat Cable Flies: Do one warm-up set, then do two work sets of 15 reps. Hold the stretch at the bottom portion of the movement for two seconds and contract hard at the top. This should be very challenging on both sets so don’t hold back.

3. Dumbbell Shoulder Press: Do one warm-up set, then do two work sets of 15 reps. Take three seconds to raise the weight and three seconds to lower.

4. Wide Grip Upright Rows: Your grip should be wide, and you will pull the weight up to your sternum and then lower it back down, bending at the waist slightly. When you bring the weight up, hold the contraction for three seconds and then lower back down slowly. Do one warm-up set and one work set of 20 reps.

5. Triceps Pushdowns: Use your full range of motion. Do one warm-up set and two work sets of 15 reps.

Each week you should be aiming to increase the weight on most exercises and to decrease the rest periods (unless this causes you to have poor form—then just keep the weight the same until you can increase). I would start with rest periods of two minutes and then decrease each week. The workout should be very brief, and sometimes you will want to do more. However, if you want results don’t do it—just rest! You are building muscle mass when you are at home watching television with your feet up. When you are in the gym you are doing the opposite. I have seen so many people break down as much muscle as they are building, so don’t be a sheep and follow what everyone else is doing. Instead, do something that works.

If anyone has any questions regarding my program, I am always willing to help. However, please don’t email me regarding anabolic steroids or other drugs because I won’t give advice on this topic. My email is Thank you all for reading.