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Matt Kroc's 16 Week Strength Program

Matt Kroc's 16 Week Strength Program & Lean Gain Diet Plan

Average: 4.1 (31 votes)
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Muscletech and powerlifting/bodybuilding phenom Matt Kroc present a strength program designed to drive up gains by increasing intensity over a 16 week period.

Workout Summary

Main Goal:
Increase Strength
Workout Type:
Split
Training Level:
Beginner
Days Per Week:
4
Equipment Required:
Barbell, Bodyweight, Cables, Dumbbells, Machines
Target Gender:
Male & Female
Author:

Workout Description

Matt Kroc & MuscletechThis training program is designed around a four day training week with a split that alternates the assistance work every other week but the main compound lifts are trained following a weekly progression over a 16 week training cycle.  It is a challenging program but followed to the letter it will yield impressive gains in strength and size.

Before starting this program you will need to take true maxes on your squat, bench, deadlifts and standing military presses.  It is important that those numbers are accurate and never overestimate your maxes or this will lead to overtraining and a lack of progress.

This program is built around basic compound movements which will yield the greatest gains in size and strength when trained properly.

Training Week A

Training Week A - Weeks 1,3,5,7,9,11,13,15

  • Day 1 - Chest and Triceps
  • Day 2 - Back and Biceps
  • Day 4 - Shoulders
  • Day 5 - Legs
Day One
Chest and Triceps Workout
Exercise Sets Reps
Bench Press * See progression below    
Incline Bench Press (15-25 degrees, pyramid up in weight) 3 10, 8, 6
Dumbbell Twist Press ** See note below    
V-Bar Pushdown (45 seconds rest between sets) 4 15
Skullcrushers (45 seconds rest between sets) 4 15

** You perform these by starting just like a traditional dumbbell bench press but as you press the weight up twist your wrists so that at the top of the movement your palms are now supinated like a reverse grip bench press and touch the ends of the dumbbells together.

Start light and work up in small increments for sets of 10 reps until you can no longer fully rotate the dumbbells at the top.  Be sure to start light and take small jumps as this is much harder than a regular dumbbell bench press and at least 4 of these sets should be work sets.

Day Two
Back and Biceps Workout
Exercise Sets Reps
Deadlifts * See progression below    
Chin Up **   50
Kroc Row (2 warm up sets, then 1x20 as heavy on these as possible without straps) 1 20
Chest Supported Row (Pyramid up in weight) 3 10, 8, 6
Barbell Curl (45 seconds rest between sets) 4 15
Incline Dumbbell Curl (45 seconds rest between sets) 4 15

** 50 reps total in as many sets as it takes, rotate between 2-3 different grips (use a chin assistance machine if you can’t do at least 10 reps on your own).

Matt Kroc

Day Four
Shoulders Workout
Exercise Sets Reps
Military Press * See progression below    
Seated Dumbbell Power Cleans (Pyramid up in weight) 3 15, 12, 10
Leaning Dumbbell Lateral Raise 3 15
Bent Over Lateral Raise (Pyramid up in weight) 3 15, 12, 10
Barbell Shrug (Pyramid up in weight) 3 15, 12, 10
Day 5
Legs Workout
Exercise Sets Reps
Squats * See progression below    
Walking Lunge (You can hold dumbbells, use chains around your neck or carry a barbell on your shoulders in the standard back squat position) 2 30 steps
Leg Extension (Pyramid up in weight) 3 15, 12, 10
Stiff Leg Deadlift with Dumbbells (Pyramid up in weight) 3 10, 8, 6
Leg Curls (Pyramid up in weight) 5 15, 12, 10
Calf Tri-Set **    

** After warming up start with calf raises on the leg press machine and use a weight that allows 20 reps.  Get off the leg press and immediately start doing standing calf raises off an elevated platform with just your body weight for 25 reps.

Then go immediately to the seated calf machine and do another 20 reps.  Repeat this three times and you’re done for the day.  Rest for 2-3 minutes between sets.

Training Week B

Training Week B - weeks 2,4,6,8,10,12,14,16

  • Day 1 - Chest and Triceps
  • Day 2 - Back and Biceps
  • Day 4 - Shoulders
  • Day 5 - Legs
Day One
Chest and Triceps Workout
Exercise Sets Reps
Bench Press * See progression below    
Incline Dumbbell Bench Press (At 15-25 degree angle) 4 10
Dips (Using bodyweight) 3 Failure
Cable Tricep Extensions w/Rope (45 secs rest between sets) 4 15
Bench Dips (Put plates in your lap to add resistance; only 45 sec rest between sets) 4 15
Day Two
Back and Biceps Workout
Exercise Sets Reps
Deadlifts * See progression below    
Heavy Dumbbell Rows (2 warm up sets, then 1x20. Go as heavy on these as possible (use straps) 1 20
Wide Grip Lat Pull Down 4 15
T-Bar Rows (Pyramid up adding a plate each set - 45lb or 25lb depending on your strength level - until you cannot get 10 reps. This should take at least 4-5 sets) 4-5  
Seated Barbell Curl (45 secs rest between sets) 4 15
Dumbbell Spider Curls (45 secs rest between sets) 4 15
Day Four
Shoulder Workout
Exercise Sets Reps
Military Press * See progression below    
     
Shoulder Complex: **    
Front Lateral Raise   20
Side Lateral Raise   20
Bent Over Lateral Raise   20
     
Machine Rear Delt Laterals 3 20
Dumbbell Shrugs (Work up to max set of 10 reps then 3x10 reps heavy as possible) 3 10

** Use dumbbells for this and perform one continuous set moving immediately from one exercise to the next without rest.  Rest then repeat 3 times. 

Matt Kroc

Day Five
Legs Workout
Exercise Sets Reps
Squats *See progression below    
Leg Press ** 10 ~50
Bulgarian Split Squat (Reps are per leg) 3 12
Dumbbell Stiff Leg Deadlift 4 10
Seated Leg Curls 3 20
Calf Tri-Set ***    

** Leg Press - This is a technique I call an up and down set.  Make no mistake this will be brutal.  First warm up by working up to a weight that is about 60% of your 10 rep max and then you will do just one all out up and down set.  Trust me one of these will be enough.

This is how it works, perform 5 reps with the 60% and then hold it at lockout (the weight is never racked until all of the sets are done) and have your training partners add a plate to each side and do another 5 reps then hold it at lockout and they add another plate to each side.  Keep doing 5 reps at each weight and going up until you can barely get 5 reps (this should take at least 4-5 sets).

Even though your legs will be on fire we’re only half way done.  Now have your partners start stripping weights a plate at a time doing 5 reps at each weight until you get all the way back down to where you started.  Your legs should be burning like never before.  This should be around 10 sets total with about 50 total reps.

*** Calf tri-set - After warming up a bit start with calf raises on the leg press machine and use a weight that allows 20 reps.  Get off the leg press and immediately start doing standing calf raises off an elevated platform with just your body weight for 25 reps.  Then go immediately to the seated calf machine and do another 20 reps.  Repeat this three times and you’re done for the day.  Rest 2-3 minutes between sets.

Weight progression for squats, bench, military presses and deadlifts

  • Week One - 5x10x60% no deadlifts (5 sets of 10 reps @ 60%)
  • Week Two - 5x8x65%
  • Week Three - 5x5x70%
  • Week Four - 5x3x75%
  • Week Five - 5x10x60% no deadlifts
  • Week Six - 5x8x70%
  • Week Seven - 5x5x75%
  • Week Eight - 5x3x80%
  • Week Nine - 5x10x60% no deadlifts
  • Week Ten - 4x8x75%
  • Week Eleven - 4x5x80%
  • Week Twelve - 4x3x85%
  • Week Thirteen - 5x10x60% no deadlifts
  • Week Fourteen - 3x8x80%
  • Week Fifteen - 3x5x85%
  • Week Sixteen - 3x3x90%

Lean Gain Diet Program

Matt Kroc and MuscletechThis diet plan is designed to add the maximum amount of muscle while minimizing the accumulation of body fat. This is not the archaic off season bulking program of old where you cover your hard earned muscle with a thick coat of fat only to have to diet it off later.  This program will help you add a significant amount of muscle and still look good while doing it.  The macronutrient numbers listed are for a 200lb athlete with an average metabolism.

To adjust this to suit yourself simply divide your body weight by 200 and then multiply the macronutrient numbers and calories at each meal by that number and adjust the amount of food accordingly.  For example if you weigh 150lbs your number would be 0.75 (150/200=0.75) so for meal one your amounts would be 0.75x34=26g protein, 0.75x29=22g carbs, 0.75x21=16g fat and 0.75x450=340g calories.

If you are someone with a very high metabolism add 500 calories per day and adjust the individual quantities accordingly or if you have a very slow metabolism reduce everything by 500 calories per day.  Keep in mind these are only rough guidelines and adjustments may be needed during the program by simply reducing overall calories if you start to gain too much fat or increasing them if you’re not gaining muscle.

Training Day Diet
  • Meal 1: 3 whole eggs large, 2 additional egg whites large, 1 cup oatmeal (pre-cooked measure). Protein-39g Carbs-56g Fat-24g  Calories-600kcal.
  • Meal 2: 2 scoops Nitrotech protein and 2 tbsp all natural peanut butter. Protein-67g Carbs-12g Fat-19g  Calories-470kcal.
  • Meal 3: 6oz (cooked measure) lean meat (chicken breast, turkey breast, white fish) and 1/4cup walnuts or almonds, 1/2 cup brown rice (cooked measure). Protein-63g Carbs-37g Fat-27g  Calories-625kcal.
  • Meal 4: 2 scoops Nitrotech protein and 2 tbsp all natural peanut butter. Protein-67g Carbs-12g Fat-19g  Calories-470kcal.
  • Meal 5: (post training meal) 6oz (cooked measure) lean meat (chicken breast, turkey breast, white fish), 2 cups (cooked measure) white rice. Protein-61g Carbs-86g Fat-6g  Calories-660kcal.
  • Meal 6: 3 whole eggs large. Protein-21g Carbs-3g Fat-18g  Calories-275kcal.

Daily Totals: Protein-318g Carbs-206g Fat-113g Calories-3100kcal

Non-Training Day
  • Meal 1: 3 whole eggs large, 2 additional egg whites large, 1/2 cup oatmeal (pre-cooked measure). Protein-34g Carbs-29g Fat-21g  Calories-450kcal.
  • Meal 2: 2 scoops Nitrotech protein and 2 tbsp all natural peanut butter. Protein-67g Carbs-12g Fat-19g  Calories-470kcal.
  • Meal 3: 6oz (cooked measure) lean meat (chicken breast, turkey breast, white fish) and 1/4cup walnuts or almonds, 1/2 cup brown rice (cooked measure). Protein-63g Carbs-37g Fat-27g  Calories-625kcal.
  • Meal 4: 2 scoops Nitrotech protein and 2 tbsp all natural peanut butter. Protein-67g Carbs-12g Fat-19g  Calories-470kcal.
  • Meal 5: 6oz (cooked measure) meat from fatty protein source like steak, salmon or swordfish and a small salad with 1.5  tbsp of either extra virgin olive oil OR macadamia nut oil.  1 tbsp vinegar too, for taste if you'd like, and 4oz. sweet or red baked potato. Protein-64g Carbs-30g Fat-32g  Calories-675kcal.
  • Meal 6: 3 whole eggs large. Protein-21g Carbs-3g Fat-18g  Calories-275kcal.

Daily Totals: Protein-316g Carbs-123g Fat-136g Calories-2965kcal

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Comments (21)

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CSC
Posted Sun, 08/25/2013 - 12:21

Hey Matt,

I usually do weighted dips. Should I switch to body weight to failure? Or can I continue to use weights to failure?

Btw program looks awesome! Thanks for sharing!
CSC

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Matt
Posted Wed, 08/28/2013 - 23:01

Hey CSC,

Remember that this is an assistance exercise. If you prefer to do dips weighted, continue to do so. If you want to try doing the bodyweight version to a high rep scheme, go ahead. The element you should concern yourself with is forward progress, be that increased weight or reps. As with most routines, you can follow the main core of the program and give yourself freedom for small tweaks. An example would be, "I don't like working up to 40 reps. I am going to work towards achieving 25 reps before adding weight." Keep the high rep facet, but tweak it a little if you desire.

Btw so I don't confuse you I'm a different Matt. I am not the dude referred to in the program.

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mark
Posted Sun, 08/25/2013 - 17:58

This workout looks good to get muscle mass but I am 62 years old; do you think I would suffer injuries from it. Although I have been working out for years; is this a program for a 62 year old male. THanks mark

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Lorenzo
Posted Fri, 08/30/2013 - 02:42

Mark,
This program (strength/resistance) looks great, and is very similar to my weekly split as an advanced 26-year old lifter.
That being said, this exact program is NOT for you. However, the good news is that it's very easy to modify and adjust.
Being 62, I'm sure you have some aches and pains in those joints, even if no real conditions may exist, ie arthritis or other relatively unavoidable fitness hindrances.
Simply substitute the free weights or barbells for machines or cables. This will put less pressure on your joints and tendons/ligaments, which as you know, just ain't the same as they were 40 years ago. You can even keep the same rep counts and general exercises/targeted muscles. Maybe throw in some work with the stretch bands, TRX machines, and medicine balls. Oh and lose the 2nd set of curls for a bit of extra cardio or core/trunk work.
All this can keep your muscles growing and heart in great shape without risky injury or overexertion, which unfortunately is more likely as one gets older.
As for the nutrition plan, all I can say is it looks good, if you're a lame, broke cave-dweller who can't cook anything but eggs and slabs of meat over the fire.

Hope that helps!

-LR

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CSC
Posted Mon, 08/26/2013 - 18:55

Also,

If you don't have a gym partner. Will racking the weights, for example, squats and leg press, really hinder the regimen?/technique?

Thanks in advnace

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Sarah
Posted Thu, 08/29/2013 - 11:53

Can anyone explain the Shoulder Complex on day 4 of workout 2? There is no description of the moves themselves....

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Darpan Bhavsar
Posted Sat, 08/31/2013 - 03:24

the diet plan sounds good and also inspired a lot but please suggest a vegetarian diet plan

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Josh A
Posted Wed, 09/04/2013 - 11:59

Hey Matt,
Should we be working cardio into this plan? If so how much would you recommend? Thanks so much this plan is great!

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Travis
Posted Thu, 09/05/2013 - 08:03

Not seeing what to do on the first exercise of the group it says see below but I don't see it?

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pradeep
Posted Thu, 09/05/2013 - 17:49

Sir my body week I want to gain musicel plz sent me list of those prodect who we look like a body builder in short perod

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Matthew R
Posted Wed, 09/18/2013 - 23:02

What about abs? just do whatever?

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cody
Posted Wed, 10/16/2013 - 20:18

what kind of cardio is good to do along with this

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Augie
Posted Tue, 10/22/2013 - 15:24

What's the prescribed rest periods for squats, bench, military presses and deadlifts?

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Augie
Posted Wed, 10/23/2013 - 14:03

Most of the exercises don't have prescribed rest times between sets. Any idea what these should be?

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Ali Zafar
Posted Sun, 10/27/2013 - 15:00

I am 180cm tall weighing 85 kgs, my body at the moment looks unhealthy, i do not have an loose fat on my body im considered thin but i have a belly. Is the nitrotech supplement a good choice for me, do i need to follow a different diet plan as above or i need to consider a fat burner?.

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Matthew
Posted Mon, 11/11/2013 - 23:08

This may be a dumb question: What are you mixing the protein powder/peanut butter with? Making a shake? Or just rolling up a gnarly protein ball?! Heh

I'm working with my home gym I've pieced together. I have everything but the Dip station and leg press (for calves circuit) - What would be some good replacements for these, if any? I'm searching CL for the dip station but the LP with be out of my price range.
Looks like a great program, just what I'm looking for. Got all my max lifts done tonight. Going to hit the grocery store and start up in a few days.
Thanks

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Phil
Posted Wed, 11/13/2013 - 19:24

On week 9 of this program and loving it. I did however stop doing the kroc rows and started just doing 3 sets of 10. One question I have is why no deadlifts on the 10 rep days?

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Dave
Posted Wed, 01/01/2014 - 14:11

Hey Matt im 52 and have always had trouble putting on mass will this program work for me?

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Jared_Co
Posted Sun, 01/05/2014 - 21:20

I've been doing the program about two months now and it's great. Just wondering, on the "deload" days that take place every four weeks where all the lifts are at 60%, what should be done with the assistance in terms of progression? Should it increase, decrease intensity, cut out completely for that week? Thanks for the help.

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Modesto
Posted Sun, 05/25/2014 - 05:08

I comment whenever I especially enjoy a article on a website or if I have something to contribute to the discussion. Usually it's triggered by the fire displayed in the post I read. And after this article Matt Kroc's 16 Week Strength Program & Lean Gain Diet Plan . I was actually moved enough to create a thought ;-) I actually do have a couple of questions for you if it's okay. Is it simply me or do a few of the responses look as if they are written by brain dead people? :-P And, if you are writing at additional places, I'd like to follow you. Could you make a list all of your community pages like your Facebook page, twitter feed, or linkedin profile?

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oscar vera
Posted Tue, 06/03/2014 - 08:16

Im into my sixth week following this workout, i have been doing a four day split like the work out dictates, so after day 5 i start the next week's workout. Am i doing this wrong? Am i to take two more days off before i start the next week? There is a day off after day two, then start again with day 4 and day five. My workout partner is stating that we need to have THREE days off not one.

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