How Much Weight Should You Use During Workouts?

In the upcoming weeks John and I will seek to provide our feedback and insight on “trending” topics and questions from within the  AGR Community.

Today’s topic is a frequently asked question among our newest brothers in iron.  The question many people ask once they begin the AGR workouts is, “How Much Weight Should I Use?”


Adonis Golden Ratio: Solid Goals & Simple Metrics

Adonis Golden Ratio: Solid Goals & Simple Metrics

Unique to the the AGR program,  the repetition ranges are specifically designed for positive progression toward your “Golden” Adonis Index Score, which is based on the  Fibonacci Sequence and cyclical, periodized weight training.

It’s important to note  that a “repetition” or “REP” is directly related to a suggested level of effort.  The level of effort on a scale of  1 to 10, will determine the amount of weight that you train with.

Below is break-out of REP ranges and the level of effort that should be applied when lifting a specific amount of weight.




  • Give yourself permission to lift lighter weights, to maintain your form.
  • Always use a spotter if you are training with heavy weights.
  • It’s ok to train while “sore” but NOT while “hurt.”
  • Try, Fail, Adjust– Record the amount of weight you use and look for opportunities to SAFELY increase upon the weight used in previous workouts.

Men’s Guide to Eating for Muscle Gain

Here’s the next episode of the UNCENSORED Podcasts Season 2.

Today’s topic: Eating for Muscle Gain and Fat Storage

How much do you need to eat to build muscle?

How Do You Store Fat?

When we eat more calories than our body can use we begin to store those extra calories as fat. Although this process occurs  in  both men and women, the primary locations of fat storage differs betweeen the two genders.  For example, men tend to store fat in the stomach region while women in the hip/thigh region.  This genetic predisposition of fat storage leads to a variety of  body types or shapes: “Apple, Pear, Banana” just to name a few.

As a person begins to exceed the standard Body Mass Index (BMI) range their body shape eventually balloons into a rounded appearance.  Nevertheless, there is a popular belief amongst  people that even if they are below the BMI range known as obese, their body shape  is dictated by their genetic predispositions for fat storage.  However, this is only partially true.

There is no category of body shape that will restrict you from building  muscle only in a certain area.

Once you lose the  fat necessary to achieve the lean, ripped look we begin to look very similar to one another.  What will make the biggest difference is the size of your muscles. Everyone will look different at their ideal numbers of course, but the overall body shape will be the same. Once you lose the fat,  your body’s  fat storage patterns become irrelevant.

So it’s up to you, you can choose whether to let your genetic predispositions  dictate how you store fat or change your physical appearance through strategic training and add more size to your frame.

How Much Do You Need to Build Muscle

The second part of this podcast (maybe the more important to you) is about the amount of food/calories you need to consume to build muscle.

We’ve already explained why bulking is a bad idea, hell even Pilon tried bulking up slowly in the last podcast.

So it would seem that overeating doesn’t help. So what’s the answer then, how much do you really need to eat to avoid undereating, but also overeating? What do you have to do?

If you are asking yourself those questions you are missing  two critical  factors to your success.

The two factors that must be taken into consideration are birth and/or training age.

A 17 year old guy who just started training is a different case compared to a guy who is in his late 40s and has been training hard for the last 15 years.

Which is exactly what Brad Pilon and John Barban are going to discuss today. So, if that is something that interests you, just scroll down to log inside the AI cockpit and listen to this episode.

In today’s UNCENSORED training, you will also discover:

  • Whether there is anything you can do to improve your physique besides fat loss and muscle building
  • What  BMI/BF% range you will  need to be under to allow your muscles to dictate your body shape
  • What waist  percentage of your height is still safe for “bulking
  • Whether there is actually an amount of calories you need to eat to build muscle
  • What determines how much you need to eat to build muscle at the rate you want
  • Learn what  stubborn fat is  and whether it’s any different from the rest of your body fat
  • What it means when people store fat in as opposed to around the muscle
  • What it takes to add more muscle if not bulking
  • What role does birth and/or training age  play in your diet if your goal is building muscle
  • What do you do after you get to your ideal numbers? Do u need to keep training or Is it possible to grow even more?
  • How to eat for muscle gain according to your waist and shoulder measurements, when to stop and when to eat more to avoid under eating


IMMERSION Clients May Login and Download Podcast Here

Not an Adonis Index IMMERSION client? Click here to find out more… and hear a weird story too

Former Special Forces Officer Admits He Just Wants to Look Good

Today we have an interview with Pete.

Pete follows the Adonis Index workouts but has not competed in any of our contests, however his fitness lifestyle approach has rewarded him with a remarkable “contest-ready” physique.

Because of his amazing results we decided to interview him to learn more about how he achieved this “elite” level of fitness.

Check out his pictures:

Pete’s awesome transformation.

Pete’s background is ex-military; where he served as a Special Forces Officer.

We quickly discovered from Pete that the time, effort, and training that went into becoming a Special Forces’ Officer was simply mind-blowing.

However, when Pete left the army he continued his workout regimen as if he was still active duty.  His motivation to continue training was simply to be fit; not because he wanted to run marathons or go on long-distance rucksack  marches.  He continued his training because he wanted to look good  and believed this was the best way to maintain his conditioning.

Pete was very fit, his endurance and strength never dwindled.

But despite his level of fitness, he was carrying an undesirable amount of fat.

This is a perfect example of when being fit doesn’t translate into good looks.

Pete was hoping that one day all the hard work of his training would show up, but sadly, that day never came.

Adonis Index, Revelation or Disappointment?

Then Pete discovered Adonis Index.

He was fascinated by the concepts of the golden ratio, ancient Greek mythology, and loved the fact that everything was made based upon art and science.

After going through the materials  he decided to drop all the other fitness products,  tuned out all the other so called fitness “experts”, and gave this new program an honest try.

And the result?

Let’s ask him:

After getting out of the Army, I was still eating like I was in the military but my calorie intake did not equal my volume of training.    I slowly put on weight over a period of 5 years; the weight really increased when my son was born 3 years ago.

I can safely say now that not only have I returned  back to the body I had ten years ago,  but its even BETTER LOOKING!  I am well-proportioned and not just ‘functional’.

Sure, these days I would find it harder to carry a heavy pack for 30km, but who cares? I don’t NEED to, lol.

 I mentally struggled with this concept for a long time because the army style of training was so heavily ingrained into me – I was still training for function: a function I was no longer required to perform.  I’m so pleased to have found AI and apply their training concepts.

I signed up for immersion and never looked back.

Pete realized that the Adonis physique is what he really wanted this whole time, he just never knew how to train for that sought after “look”.

Cardio was always one of Pete’s greatest strengths, but he just wasn’t satisfied with the way he looked.

The results he longed for did not occur until he made a fundamental change in his attitude towards training.

He accepted the fact that looks were important to him; there is no reason why you should hide the fact that you want to look good.

Almost everyone in the gym tries to improve their max on bench press, increase their vertical jump for basketball, train for stamina and endurance and all the other sh*t while 99% of those guys really just wanna look good, that’s the reason why they got into “body building” in the first place, so why hide it?

If you are not willing to admit to yourself that that’s the reason why you work out, you will never build a good looking body.

It’s similar to people who want to build wealth for themselves and their family, but they believe having lots of money is wrong.

If you think focusing on training for looks and not performance is wrong, you will not be able to build a body you can be satisfied with.

Think about it, if you actually want to change the shape of your body, you must change your attitude.

Is the Fear of Overtraining Real?

Before you listen to the interview there is one more thing I feel like we should talk about and that’s the fear of overtraining.

On Friday we already discussed that it’s very unlikely you will overtrain and that training intensity and frequency is really just a matter of conditioning.

If you haven’t read that article, just go here: Are You Overtraining with Adonis Index Workouts?

Most people don’t realize what overtraining really means and today you are going to get information on this subject from the best source possible – former military.

Pete did 28 days of extreme training in the field. He performed all day/night field exercises while operating in a food and sleep deprived state.

This was actually a limit-breaker for Pete and it pushed him into a “over-trained” state where his body literally just crashed and shut down.

Although this is an extreme example of over-training, you can compare and contrast to your optimized diet and sleep with a couple of hours spent in the gym.

The lesson?

Don’t be scared of pushing what you think is your limit and get someone else to help you find what your limits are, hint – they are further than you think.

What would Pete advise himself a year ago:

  • Don’t wait for the contest to start, just start getting in shape today
  • Take this seriously
  • Do the program as it’s laid out including the intensity, don’t second guess it
  • Listen to all the podcasts
  • Don’t’ talk about fitness or what you are doing, make the change first
  • Put the energy into working out and what maters not discussing fitness
  • You should never have to explain yourself
  • Use the community and start posting updates there, benefit from the knowledge and support in there
  • Don’t try to push things towards the end
  • Follow the workout as written
  • Be consistent with workouts, measurements and diet
  • Take pictures
  • Ignore the scale
  • Trust the system

Interview links:

Read Pete’s experience with Adonis Index in his own words:

I was very fit aerobically but I couldn’t seem to get below 210-215 lb though. I was ‘stuck’. I mean, I was eating…Click Here to Continue Reading

In the interview Pete talks about lots of useful techniques. He also shares what supplements he takes, how he measures food intake, how to prepare for a photoshoot and set up your home for the shoot and also his DEXA numbers.

Listen to the interview here, and please “like” it when you’re done:

Why Weight Lifting Is Just Like Playing Music

Today we have an interview with Johannes Platz who placed 6th in the Open Level 1 category in our latest Adonis Index Contest.

Check out his pictures:

Johannes is Ripped!

Johannes is a musician which requires him to sit for long hours on end during performances and rehearsals.  He was never physically active growing up and combined with his work as a musician he began to experience  issues with back pain which prompted him to pursue more of a fitness lifestyle, specifically weight lifting.

However, Johannes journey into fitness was not without some setback and disappointment.

At first he went to a therapist, who got him to do some basic bodyweight exercises and later on prescribed a weight lifting program consisting of a few exercises of 3 sets with 15 reps.

After six months he saw some decent results.

It wasn’t exactly a complex fitness program, but at least he began to exercise regularly and was able to eliminate his back pain.

Be Aware of Goal Hijacking

When Johannes relocated to to Switzerland; he was away from his therapist and began to seek out a new fitness routine.

He jumped on a few weight lifting programs and got into a decent shape, but he fell victim to the conventional “eat bit to be big” approach.

After a while he realized two things:

  1. He never wanted to be huge like bodybuilders
  2. He gained muscle, but he became “pudgy” in the process

That’s what we call goal hijacking – you have a goal (getting in shape in this case) and you start moving in a right direction, but you fall off track on your way there (ex.: by aiming for the bodybuilder type of look).

The whole purpose of the programs Johannes tried was to get bigger by  gaining a ton of muscle – you know those claims like “gain 30 pounds of muscle over summer” programs.

Even though it worked to a certain degree, he had to prepare and eat meals up to six times a day, which is pretty time consuming, considering the fact he didn’t like the way he looked.

It wasn’t until one day when he discovered new role modes of an ideal shape from images of guys like Taylor Lautner and Ryan Gosling.  From that point, he realized that this is the body shape he wanted to achieve.

Through a few referrals he found Eat Stop Eat, the Anything Goes Diet and lastly the Adonis Index.

He  immediately started following the nutrition advice and doing the workouts.

Eat Stop Eat helped him understand that it’s okay to skip meals and he found it very freeing. Anything Goes Diet was a relief as well because somebody finally told him that he doesn’t have to worry about the food he puts in his mouth, and that there is no evidence of high caloric diet supporting muscle growth.

It even got him into cooking, which is something he never did before!

And once he saw Andrew Peter’s pictures he decided to  jump in and participate in one of the contests and take his physique to the next level.

Tips from Johannes: 

  • If you aren’t exercising. start weight lifting ASAP
  • There are a lot of fitness programs, but none of them are as flexible and simple to follow as Adonis Index (plus this one actually works)
  • Take before and after pictures to really see what amazing progress you have done
  • The little bit of bodyfat you drop can make a huge difference in pictures
  • People start noticing that you are in shape roughly at AI 1.5
  • Don’t compare yourself to others, it’s just your progress, everyone is different from genetic potential standpoint
  • Competitors are often times very genetically gifted and in some cases on drugs, so don’t take their bodies as your ideals
  • There is always someone who looks better than you
  • Be consistent with your effort in the gym
  • Stay in your calorie budget
  • Don’t be afraid of cooking the food yourself

Links from the interview:

Read Johannes’s experience with Adonis Index in his own words:

I found the adonisindex site a while ago, but didn’t buy the program until last summer. Before that I had a long journey going through different fitness programs, but I think I finally found what works best for me (…yours J).

The first time I was searching the web for muscle building I found…Continue reading here

Listen to the interview here, and please “like” it when you’re done:

9 Pounds Muscle Gain Since His Last Contest

Today we have an interview with Vivek who placed 3rd in our latest Adonis Index Transformation Contest.

The topic of this interview is muscle gain and how quickly it can happen.

Check out his pictures:

Make sure you set up good lighting or book a studio for the shoot.

This is the second time Vivek has placed in one of our contests.  To make matters more interesting, this is Vivek’s first year of weight training.

After the first contest, Vivek was very lean, however,  his  muscles were still undefined  and his abs weren’t visible.

For the second contest, he chose to focus on muscle gain; ensuring that any future weight gain would be from muscle and not fat.

He followed the Main AI 3.0 workout for the contest followed  by MBF.  He also recorded his DEXA scan measurements every four weeks to track his progress.  His training efforts  yielded a steady increase of 1-2 pounds  in lean body mass every month during the contest itself.

Vivek’s philosophy was, “you don’t know the change if you don’t know the data.”

Unfortunately, despite Vivek’s progress,  he developed tennis elbow and had to stop training to recover completely.  However, he continued his DEXA scans and observed that there was no change while he was receiving from the elbow issue, which is proof that muscle growth doesn’t occur when your body is resting, but only as a response to training (like some so called “experts” would have you believe).

Your muscles remain in an anabolic state because of the work performed and not your protein intake.

All that matters is the amount of work you did on that muscle group.

With this realization and experience, Vivek decided to do 10 workouts a week. Why? Simply because more work equals more muscle.

For his morning routine, he did the Hyperthrophy and Strength modules from the main workout; in the afternoon, he chose Strength Endurance and Specializations for his weaker areas like abs, chest or hamstrings.

Lots of people do some kind of cardio in the afternoon, however if you take away the health benefits, then you are really doing it for the calorie burning, so why not add some weight training instead since the usual cardio doesn’t stress the muscles?

And the bonus is that you will still get some health and conditioning benefits from the Strength Endurance workouts too, so it’s kind of win-win.

Double the Work, Double the Gains

Vivek doubled the work, made sure he followed the rest periods and took DEXA scans every four weeks to track progress.

Did double the work translated into double gains?

Since we interviewed him a few month after this contest he was prepared to share the results…

And the answer is…YES!

In the first month of doing this he gained 2.9 pounds of lean body mass, he kept doing that for another month and he gained another 3 pounds.

This was after the contest, but still part of his Adonis transformation and the results are just astounding.

And Vivek is not the only one who tried doing the workouts more often, one of our previous contestants Adam Murphy did the same thing.

Now, should you also work out twice a day?

Well, the answer is “It depends”.

If you are just starting out then the regular program as it’s laid out will be more than enough, also if you follow one of the more advanced protocols from the Adonis systems, then you won’t be able to add much more on top of that.

But if you went through the AI workouts at least once and you are familiar with how they work, then you can play with it, and maybe just like Vivek, do two per day instead of one, well at least if your lifestyle allows you to do that.

Ice Cream as Pre-Workout Meal?

Vivek has a pretty unique pre-workout routine. He likes to grab an ice cream, for no other reason than that he enjoys it. Now if we take the regular ice cream that Vivek gets it’s roughly only 150 calories (about two apples worth), so no big deal, but he was driving people nuts in the gym. Imagine everyone pounding protein shakes and pre-workout drinks and then Vivek walking in the gym at less than 6% body fat and ice cream in his hand.

What they didn’t realize was that their shakes probably had more calories than his small ice cream.

The point is, you can eat whatever you want. If you keep some balance in your diet and limit the amount, then there is no reason why you couldn’t have an ice cream before your workout.

Forget about the bad foods goods foods dogma and focus on the basics that really matters.

Take Lots of Photos

Here are a couple more photos of Vivek:

Vivek’s back muscle development over the months.

…And a few more:

Once you are at it and doing the photoshoot, make sure you take some pictures with your casual clothes, those photos can be handy.

Tips from Vivek:

  • “Use the permission to lift light approach”
  • “Make it a goal to stay away from injury”
  • “Lighter weights (still challenging though) in the combination with high reps can help you keep your joints healthy and will improve your strength endurance”
  • “AI approach works, at 38 years old I’m experiencing growth that’s similar to  juvenile muscle growth that only guys in their teens and 20s typically get”
  • “If your lifestyle and fitness condition allows it, train more often”
  • “Stop killing your time in front of TV and get to the gym, it’s a great stress reliever”
  • “Focus on building muscle without gaining fat mass”
  • “The name of the game is TRACKING, if you’re not tracking you’re likely not progressing”
  • “Learn the basics of dressing and body language to present yourself and your new body properly”

Links from the interview:

  • Main AI Workout – Workout protocol responsible for one of them most amazing transformations online
  • “MBF” – Muscle Building foundation is designed to help you gain size and optimize your AI ratio

Read Vivek’s experience with Adonis Index in his own words:

Competing in AT7 was essentially the challenge of increasing muscle mass while still keeping my fat mass low.  I had lost a lot of fat and had very low body fat percentages by the end of AT6. 

I started off with MBF right after completion of AT6, the week after thanksgiving.  Being able to eat at maintenance gave me a lot of energy to give it all I had with MBF.   When I started off MBF, my squat and Bench numbers were relatively low.  However by the end, I had almost doubled…Continue reading here

Listen to the interview here, and please “like” it when you’re done:

Gaining Weight vs Gaining Muscle

Gaining weight can be the result of adding muscle mass, fat mass, or water weight (in various forms).

Many guys who are interesting in ‘gaining weight’ are actually interested in ‘gaining muscle’ and they assume additional muscle will translate into a heavier bodyweight. But how do you know for sure how much muscle you can add to your body and how much weight you could possibly gain?

Factors to consider include:




Years of training experience

The genetic material of your body is the most basic starting point and will tell most of the story as to how much ‘weight’ and ‘muscle’ you can gain.

In this podcast we’ll discuss:

1. Weight gain vs muscle gain

2. Why anyone wants to gain weight in the first place

3. The difference between how you look with a shirt on vs with a shirt off

4. The relationship between how much you weigh and how you look at that weight

5. The normal fluctuations you can experience in bodyweight on a day to day basis.