#TheProgram Preface

We’ve never been ones to mock “resolutioners”. There is no more powerful force in the world than an individual with intent. Every great thing that ever happened in all of  human history began with a decision from a resolute person. As the page turns on the calendar year, cast aside the opinions of naysayers and focus only on the positive productivity of creating your best self, one well-intended day at a time. This the #TheProgram. Day one of the rest of your life… If you so choose. 

On #TheProgram, the goal is to maximize progress in minimal time. As such, you need to train more often, which is not necessarily the same concept as training more. We will increase intensity and increase frequency, while increasing calories. So we will do our best to decrease volume. As is the case with all the most ballistic and productive training programs, you will do less to gain more. I’d argue that you will do more with less, in less time. Heavy Duty, DoggCrapp, Positions of Flexion and all the rest, prioritize training harder but more briefly. I’m suggesting we train harder, more briefly, more often. Why? Because I love to train, I live to train. And at this point in my life, I train as much for my mind, soul, emotions and creative intellect as I do for my body. So let’s get in the gym seven days a week, for a month, do what we need to do quickly and with fewer sets than usual and get the fuck outta there.  

Studies indicate that natural testosterone, GH and the cascade of associated anabolic hormone output maxes out at around 45 minutes. Anecdotally, it is probably no coincidence that’s right around the time the mindwanders and the pump begins to dissipate. I’m arguing to make that 45 minutes your target window. And within that time period, focus on training the intended muscle group (and accessories) in the most thorough and efficient manner as possible. Get in. Get out. And feed the machine. No selfies, no texting, no emails. Just you and the iron sparring for 3/4 of an hour.   

The first cycle of #TheProgram will run in the month of January, for 34 full days and nights of training… An annual period of time which we have affectionately named the “Resolution Revolution”. Running a full five weeks from Tuesday, January 1st  to Sunday, February 3rd, we will push each other to grow through thirty-four templated sessions. As with #TheGCode books, this is not dogma. Not by the book, word-for-word, set-for-set workouts you must follow to the letter. Instead, these are suggestions made for you from the perspective of one dude and his friends, who have dedicated their lives to the iron. The magic is in the mentality. The spirit of #TheProgram matters more than the protocol itself. But by all means, feel free to adhere to the prescribed system and follow along.  

45 minutes of struggle and strain. 7 days a week. For five weeks. Eating more, but better. Talking less. Gaining greatly. And setting the tone for the future. if that sounds good to you, let’s get to work.  

No idea in #TheProgram is completely original. So as Big Daddy Kane beget Biggie beget Joey Bada$$, my influences in nearly a quarter century of lifting weights are too many to name. 

From Mentzer to Meadows… Weider, Charles Glass, Dante and Dorian… Vince Gironda to Vinny Galanti and unsung gurus like Greg Long, Coach Stan Liskowski, Henri Skiba, Gary Kamil and Big Al Fortney, I have humbly learned from them all. So sitting down at odd hours to bang out my own rough and rogue “training system” is little more than an homage to everyone who paid dues by paving the road upon which I now travel.  

I have created 29 of these sessions based on personal preference and life experience, with your bonus Saturday session coming from one of my friends–GCode athletes who have achieved on high levels in their chosen disciplines, and have cooked up their own special workout for you, in order to keep life interesting and to throw a splash of hot sauce on your gains. Take these suggestions and make of them what you will… Run with them, looking back only to see how far you’ve come. Make no apologies for your desire to do better and be more. This is #TheProgram. Our intentions are clear. 

#ThePROGRAM: Week 1

A fully developed back often separates the freaks from the flock. Few train it hard enough, often enough, which is why for us, it is a first-in-the-week priority. You can’t see it, so you have to feel it–stretch, pull, contract on every rep. Substitute bent-over barbell rows if you can’t fashion/don’t have access to a t-bar. -G

Supps: 2 scoops Bangin’ Black Cherry VICE preworkout

  1 scoop Invincible Iced Tea RISE intraworkout

  • T-Bar Rows: 4 sets x 12-6 reps
  • Wide Grip Pull-Ups: 4 sets x failure
  • One Arm DB Rows: 2 sets x 10 reps
  • DB Pullovers: 2 sets x 12 reps
  • Abs: 4 sets x 25 crunches

Cardio: 30 min incline treadmill / 2 mile outdoor walk

Warm up your shoulders properly with rotator work and/or band stretches. Among the most visually impressive muscle groups, they are also among the most delicate and intricate joints. I shudder to think of the mileage of 52 shoulder and chest workouts per year for twenty years. It is that mileage that must be combated with basic regular maintenance. “Behind-the-ass” is what it says… Let the dumbbell swing behind you instead of out from in order to maximize the stretch. -G

Supps: 2 scoops Legend Lime VICE preworkout

  1 scoop Code Orange RISE intraworkout

  • Standing Barbell Military Press: 3 sets x 12-6 reps
  • Behind the Ass DB Side Raises (Unilateral): 2 sets x 12, 8 reps
  • Bent DB Rear Lateral Raises: 3 sets x 10 reps
  • DB Side Lateral Raises: 1 set x 50 reps
  • DB Shrugs: 3 sets x 15 reps

Cardio: 30 minutes treadmill / 2 mile outdoor walk

One of the most fun body parts to train, arms also get hammered with pressing and rows, so keep this session quick and intense, without unnecessary overtraining. We’d always rather do too much than not enough, so if opportunities present themselves, sneak in an extra arm pump later on in the week. Feel free to substitute the straight bar for the EZ Curl Bar. -G

Supps: 2 scoops Cherry Swola VICE preworkout

  1 scoop Invincible Iced Tea RISE intraworkout

  • EZ Bar Curls: 3 sets x 6 reps narrow superset w/ 6 reps wide
  • Seated Incline DB Curl: 2 sets x 10 reps
  • Preacher DB Curls: 2 sets x 12 reps
  • Skullcrushers superset w/ Close Grip: 3 sets x 12-8 reps
  • Two Arm Overhead DB Extensions: 2 sets x 15-10 reps

Cardio: 30 min incline treadmill / 2 mile outdoor walk

Never skip leg day. Training legs is the most demanding and gratifying experience of a life in the iron culture, so learn to love it. It forces your whole body to grow, boosts natural test output and improves overall conditioning. Plus, few train them properly and consistently, so there is pride to be found in smashing legs every fucking week. We didn’t go nuts on squats, because there is ten more sets on deck on the “day of rest”. -G

Supps: 2 scoops Grindin’ Grape VICE preworkout

  1 scoop Code Orange RISE intraworkout

  • Squats: 4 sets x 10-6 reps
  • Bulgarian Split Squats: 2 sets x 12 reps per leg
  • Leg Extensions: 2 sets x 25, 10 reps
  • Unilateral Stiff Legged Deadlifts: 2 sets x 12 reps per leg
  • Lying Leg Curls: 2 sets x 12, 10 reps
  • DB Calf Raises: Left Leg/Right Leg/Both Legs x 10/10/15 reps
  • Bodyweight Donkey Calf Raises: 2 sets x 25 reps 

Cardio: None

“Big Friday” is a tradition decades old. It is rooted in these truths: 1) You had to earn the fun and gratification of training chest by blasting everything else first. And 2) This Friday chest training “benchapalooza” practice primes the pump for a night on the town. As bouncers in Atlantic City at the turn of the millennia, this practice became etched in stone. If you don’t have a pec deck, substitute push-ups to failure. -G

Supps: 2 scoops Pina Colada Crush VICE preworkout

  1 scoop Invincible Iced Tea RISE intraworkout

  • Flat Barbell Bench Press: 3 sets x 12-5 reps
  • Incline DB Flyes: 2 sets x 12 reps
  • Parallel Bar Dips: 2 sets of BW to failure
  • Pec Deck: 2 sets x 15 reps

Cardio: 30 min incline treadmill / 2 mile outdoor walk

  

Second brief but intense shoulder workout of the week, laid out by a true master, a guy we call “The GOAT” Vinny G. Vinny was on the magazine covers around the world and putting Jersey on the map when we were first touching the iron, and he is still going strong and improving to this day. A model of humility and inspiration, it is an honor to have his verbatim contribution to #TheProgram. 

Supps: Lemon Italian VICE and Invincible Iced Tea RISE, mixed together the night   before and refrigerated

  • Warm-Up: Rotator Cuff Exercises: 4 sets x 15 reps
  • Bent-Over Dumbbell Laterals: 4 sets x 12 slow reps
  • I do each side individual so I can really focus on the rear delt.
  • The rear delt gets lost in the mix, so I hit it first
  • Standing DB Side Laterals: 4 sets x 12-15 reps

I do my set of 12-15 and then to add a little more burn, I start doing partial reps with slight pause at the top.. During the entire movement…I keep my fist slightly dropped. This adds more focus in the side delts..

  • Superset: One Arm DB Standing Press SS w/ One Arm DB Front Lateral Raises: 4 sets x 12-15 Each
    With the overhead press, I do short range of motion, from chin level to just a little overhead., going as slow as possible for the burn,. Then I go directly into the front raise making sure I don’t go over my head, I also use a slight bend in my elbow.

Cardio: 30 min incline treadmill / 2 mile outdoor walk

On the seventh day, the Lord rested. But you do not have that luxury. You’re a mere mortal man with much still to create. As such, your day of rest will be spent with the king of exercises. Ten sets. You determine the weights and rep range. Don’t sell yourself short. This bonus workout necessitates extra calories earned, in the form of a tasty and easily digestible preworkout snack. 

Supps: 2 scoops of Legend Lime VICE preworkout

  1 scoop Code Orange RISE intraworkout

  1 large muffin or 2 Pop-Tarts as pre-training fuel

  • Barbell Squats: 10 sets x 20-1 reps

Cardio: None

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#EatLikeTheMan


As you would imagine to be basic common sense, to maximize #TheProgram, you’re going to have to eat. And get comfortable with eating. In the name of muscle growth you’re not going to abandon the precepts and structure of a traditional bodybuilding diet, by any means, but you are going to have to eat like a growing boy. Like a hard-working athlete, not an underwear model. You’re going to have to provide your high-performance vehicle, high octane fuel. I’m not merely telling you to eat like a man, I’m telling you to Eat Like THE Man… Envision your ideal self performing at his highest level, at his biggest and strongest. How would he eat? That’s your”diet”.

The Three Tiers of Fuel

Most easily stated, our body is a machine that must be fueled. The better the fuel going in, the better the performance. The more fuel that goes in, the stronger and bigger the machine becomes. You must Feed The Machine. But within reason, using common sense and considering optimal overall health and body composition. While the overarching calories consumed versus calories burned is the most simplified definition of basic “dieting”, I do not come from the “calorie is a calorie” camp. I am also not a practitioner of IIFYM (if it fits your macros) or any other trite acronym. You are, ultimately, what you eat. That said, I also do not believe that a few hundred calories of easily consumed “fun” food will sabotage the physique goals of a healthy, hard-training individual. And that many of the most consistent and busy among us often unintentionally undereat. Stop being afraid of calories, as food is the most anabolic (muscle building) substance on the planet. On #TheProgram, food is your friend. But just like in life, you must choose your friends wisely.

As I see it, there are three tiers of food… A qualitative hierarchy in terms of nutrient density. Put simply, as this entire program aims to do, Tier 1 consists of “clean” bodybuilding food you almost can’t eat too much of as you endeavor to build muscle. Tier 2 is made up of less processed, easily consumed snacks with some nutritious benefit that can work at certain times or when in a pinch. And Tier 3, which is made up of junk food, processed food, fast food and all of the world’s other most fun foods. Tier 3, in general, should be consumed strategically and infrequently, and other than giving something to look forward to in terms of “cheat meals” and bringing general joy to life, should be limited to the treats earned by adhering to a Tier 1-heavy diet from day to day. 

Some examples of our food hierarchy…

#MealinAMug

Life is hectic. And even with the appropriate preparation and necessary practical precautions, it can be difficult to eat what you must, when you must, to stay on point. Nevermind the Tupperware fetishes and food prep fantasy of social media, #TheProgram (and our brand in general) exists so real people in the real world can do extraordinary things, defiant to circumstances. Here’s a muscle-building life hack I have developed over the years to get it in when tight on life’s most valuable resource—time. It takes 30 seconds to prep and even less time to consume. It is easy and economical and it packs a punch. I call it a “meal in a mug”.

When in need of a quick meal, blend the following. Drink immediately.

  • 8 oz liquid egg whites
  • 8 oz milk
  • 1 scoop whey protein
  • 1 ripe banana
  • ¼ cup oats
  • ½ cup dry cereal (I like Cocoa Krispies)
  • 1 TBSP natural peanut butter

Words from “The GOAT”

“We all eat the same foods. From oatmeal to eggs to grilled chicken breasts. You just need to find out how it all works for you. High carbs. High protein. Carb rotation. Keto with high fats. Try it all. Commit to each philosophy. And truly see how your body responds. Don’t learn by what you hear. Learn by what you actually experience.” -Vinny Galanti

The Supps Game

Supplements, quite literally, exist to supplement your whole food nutrition. They are the icing on your “balanced performance and physique lifestyle” cake. They are not everything or the only thing, but they most certainly do make a difference. They might be the razor wire on the cutting edge between good and great. Those who are meticulous with their training and nutrition take their supplements very seriously. Those who aspire to greatness do the

ir best to leave nothing to chance.

It is with this fact in mind that we crafted VICE and RISE. Fully transparent formulas, sophisticated in their simplicity, scalable to the very individual needs of their users. Versatile and effective in powering you through your training sessions and your daily life… Allies on the grind. As @skonice put so succinctly, “They taste good. And they work.”

Basics have always been our emphasis, in the gym and beyond. Do the basics properly, consistently and with enthusiasm, for long enough, and you’re setting yourself up for success. The little things, over time, add up to something massive. With supplements, our approach is nothing different. A couple GCode staples, some micronutrients, a protein supplement and a secret life hack. Nothing that will break the bank, but little extras that could help provide the coveted edge you seek.

Here’s your stack

Vitamin C: Nature’s antibiotic. Use 1 gram 2x per day for immune support.

Vitamin D3: The sunshine vitamin is a wonder micronutrient—strengthening immunity, bone and teeth health, and even boosting testosterone. Take 3000iu 1x per day.

Fish Oil: Great for cardiovascular health, the joints and immunity. Three grams of fish oil per day, delivering 500-1000mg of DHA/EPA Omega-3 essential fatty acids is idea.

Whey Protein Isolate: An easily digestible source of proteins and amino acids, a good whey supplement is ideal for postworkout mixed with carbs or as a component of a homemade meal replacement shake aka a #MealInaMug

VICE Ambitious Preworkout: 1-2 scoops 15 minutes preworkout.

RISE Relentless Aminos: 2 scoops per day. 1 scoop intraworkout. 1 scoop in your water jug to be sipped on over the course of the day.

LifeHack Greens Shake

An alternative to the standard tableted multivitamin, we discovered this recipe while Tara was pregnant with Sienna. I cannot confirm any of this with anything more than anecdotal broscience, but I truly feel better when I consume one of these on a regular basis. Ideally every day. Improved immunity and better sleep are two of the most obvious benefits of a daily concentrated influx of veggies, fruits and fiber. I will provide the basic recipe, and then additions to use at your convenience and discretion. Blend all of this together with cold water, and smash. 

  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Green Apple
  • Banana
  • Carrots
  • Lemon Juice

Extras: Greens Powder, Berries, Turmeric, Cinnamon, Cayenne, Black Pepper, Raw Honey, Apple Cider Vinegar, Collagen powder, Code Orange RISE.