The Next Level

About a year ago I wrote a chronicle of my body transformation called The Beast Evolves. This article proved to be very popular and many think it's the most influential piece I've ever written.

However, there were some things I just didn't like about the article. For one, I was too vague in my nutrition and training guidelines. Also, I've made some pretty significant improvements since that article was published. I've learned a lot since then and I've applied that knowledge to my own physique goals.

So I've decided to write a new article series detailing the training, nutrition, and supplement strategy I employed to make drastic improvements to the quality of my physique. Hopefully it'll give you some motivation to better yourself, as well as a few tools to help you reach your goals.

First, let's take a look at my own "mutation":

In the Beginning...

I'm of the opinion that a strength coach must be able to do what he asks of his athletes, not necessarily to the level at which they perform, but a good coach should be able to go through the process. With my Olympic lifting background, I have the strength and power portions covered pretty well as far as credibility goes. And with my first body transformation, I think I've established myself as someone who can drastically change the physical appearance of a client.

Having played football, hockey, soccer, baseball, rugby and golf for several years, I believe when it comes to training athletes I know what I'm talking about! The only aspect of the strength game that was left unexplored for me was bodybuilding.

Considering that at least 50% of the people training with weights do so strictly for aesthetic reasons, I felt I was leaving out half of you! How could I become more rounded? Enter a bodybuilding competition, that's how!

I prepared for 12 weeks, bought a pair of posing trucks, and went up on stage. Many felt this was a bad move because if I did poorly it would hurt my reputation as a strength coach. However, I believe that the whole experience is more important than the actual results.

Now, let's get some stuff out of the way right up front: I prepared for the show naturally. I didn't use any anabolic steroids, growth hormone, insulin or any other bodybuilding drugs. Those who've competed naturally know how hard it is to lose virtually all their body fat without losing too much muscle in the process. I felt I accomplished that. I started out at 220 pounds and ended up at 204, which is approximately the same weight I carried after my first transformation but with a few less pounds of fat.

In the process I actually kept gaining strength up until the last two weeks. During those two weeks I wasn't doing much strength training, only enough to maintain my muscle mass. I can't say I gained a huge amount of strength, but I did improve on most exercises I used.

Obviously I'm no danger to Mr. Olympia, but I feel that the second transformation was pretty impressive for someone who was already in good shape and who didn't use any prohormones or illegal drugs.

In this article series, I'll detail everything from my training program to my nutritional regimen and supplement intake. You don't have to follow the exact same plan, but those who do will get amazing results!

Phase 1: Weeks 1-3


To increase muscle mass while maintaining the same amount of body fat.

To gradually change my dietary habits.


Strength Training: 4 times per week

Energy System Work ("Cardio"): once per week

Training Program for Phase 1


A1. Bent over barbell row

A2. Decline cable pullover

B1. Seated row to the neck

B2. Rear delt raise (bent over lateral)

C1. Reverse grip preacher curl (with straight bar preferably)

C2. Forearm roller


A1. Bench press

A2. Dips (no added weight)

B1. Close-grip bench press

B2. Decline dumbbell triceps extension

C1. Seated dumbbell shoulder press

C2. Lean away lateral raise


A1. Front squat

A2. Leg extension

B1. Romanian deadlift

B2. Lying leg curl

C. Back squat

D. Seated calf raise


A1. Weighted chin-up

A2. Close-grip lat pulldown

B1. Barbell power shrug

B2. Hise shrugs on standing calf machine

C1. Cable crossover

C2. Flat dumbbell flies

D. Back extension


A. 15 minutes of slow pace energy system work.

B1. Cable crunches

B2. Crunches on Swiss ball

C. 12 minutes HIIT energy system work:

D1. Incline Russian twist

D2. V crunch

Nutrition Program for Phase 1

In this first phase, I started by reducing my caloric intake slightly as well as reducing the amount of carbs I consumed. I got rid of all "crappy" food. My caloric intake was set at 16 kcals per pound of bodyweight (220 x 16 = 3500 kcals) on average.

I say "on average" because on any given day the amount would fluctuate by 250 kcals up or down. However, the average was still at 3500 kcals per day. I made sure I consumed around 450 grams of protein per day, half of it from regular food and the other half from Low Carb GROW!.

I consumed 150 grams of carbohydrates per day, all of them after my daily workout (100 grams in my post-workout meal, 50 grams two hours later). I also consumed around 100 grams of fat, half of it from good oils such as fish oils, flax seed oil and CLA, and the other half coming from my regular food.

I ate seven times per day:

Supplement Program for Phase 1

I used several supplements during this phase, mostly those that would help me gain muscle mass while reducing body fat. I obviously used a lot of Low Carb Grow!, fish oils, and CLA. On top of that I also used daily:

TRIBEX: three capsules, three times per day

Creatine: 10g in each of the two meals following my training session

Vitamin A: 10,000 IU per day

BCAA: 10g three times per day (morning, during workout, post-workout)

Although I used HOT-ROX in this 12-week transformation, I didn't start with it right away. I preferred to save it for when I really needed that extra boost to increase fat loss.

During this first phase I went from 220 down to 217 pounds but lost quite a bit of fat. My strength continued to increase during the whole phase and my mood was pretty decent (that would change later on!)

The TRIBEX, M and RED KAT trio provided me with a natural anabolic boost. TRIBEX increased Testosterone production by stimulating the pituitary to release LH. M improved the Testosterone to estrogen/progesterone ratio, and RED KAT–along with coaxing the testes to produce more Testosterone–drastically lowered SHBG, which meant that more of the added Testosterone produced would be in free form, which is the active form of the hormone. For people wanting to really increase their anabolic drive without touching legal or illegal androgens, I feel that this is by far the most effective stack to use.

End of Phase I

This first phase of training really helped with my body composition since I was able to add muscle while shedding some fat. As I mentioned in the original "Beast Evolves" article, I have just about the worst genetics in the world when it comes to getting lean. So if I can do it, so can you!

Try the first phase of this program and let me know what you think. Summer is just around the corner; isn't it time you started getting in shape?