What would happen if your family was kidnapped and someone told you that in order to see them again you would have to gain as much muscle as humanly possible in 6 weeks?
What would you do?
You wouldn’t just train for an hour 3 or 4 times a week, would you?
I mean even with all the articles and splits in muscle mags, have you ever wondered what would happen if you trained all day as a natural athlete and did everything right?
What could you accomplish if your nutrition was on point, you slept like a baby, trained like an animal, and emotionally bought into the program?
Better keep reading if you want to find out…
I ran the experiment on myself and 3 other fellow personal trainees who were willing to subject their bodies to 6 weeks of brutality.
Personally, I gained 35lbs in those 6 weeks, saw fantastic hypertrophic gains, and hit lifetime personal records (PRs) without practicing the lifts specifically.
Maybe I’m just a genetic freak?
…Perhaps. But that wouldn’t explain how the other three trainees also gained 22lbs, 26lbs, and 16lbs in the same time period following the exact same protocol.
So what did we do to get such great GAINZ?
You better get your mind right if you’re planning to follow in our footsteps.
Overtraining? Never Heard of it…
Essentially, everything we did flies in the face of common practice.
We trained the same lifts with incredibly high volume almost every day of the week, and we forced our bodies to deal with it.
I’m not going to lie, the first 10 days of this program were soul wrenching. I felt hungover most mornings and my gastrointestinal system was taxed to its limit (more on the diet aspect shortly).
But as you might have guessed, our bodies were growing before our very eyes.
Alex Hormozi's Training Split
Here is how the 6 week program is set up:
- 3 days on, 1 day off for the entire 42 day training cycle.
- Estimated training session duration: 3 hours.
|DAY 1 (AM)||Sets||Reps|
|Barbell Bench Press||5-7||7|
|Banded Leg Press||7||25|
|DAY 1 (PM)||Sets||Reps|
|Incline DB Bench||5||8-12|
|Incline DB Fly||5||20|
|One Arm DB Row||4||15-20|
- Each new 3 day cycle, barbell bench is increased by 5-10lbs on day 1 and leg press is increased by 50lbs (Two 25lb plates).
- Don't lock out on the leg press, keep tension on the quads primarily throughout the movement.
- Incline DB flys can be substituted with incline stretch pushups off boxes.
- Keep the lat pulldowns moderate to light, the goal is more contraction oriented than weight related.
- For part 2 of each day you should be primarily focused on pristine technique and forget about the weight. We're primarily trying to focus on overloading the metabolic systems for hypertrophic adaptations. In other words, you should be primarily focused on chasing muscular fatigue and the pump.
|DAY 2 (AM)||Sets||Reps|
|Barbell Bench Press||5-7||7|
|Banded Leg Press||7||25|
|DAY 2 (PM)||Sets||Reps|
|Barbell Back Squat||3||20|
|Leg Extension||Varies||150 (Minimum)|
|Barbell Shrug w/Straps||4-5||25-75|
- Back squat are only performed every other 3 day training cycle (i.e. once a week).
- Mix up the set and rep combinations on quad extensions. We basically destroyed ourselves ala Tom Platz style.
- Utilize the same weight on barbell bench from day 1.
- Increase the leg press by 25lbs compared to day 1.
- We utilized a minimum of 315 on shrugs which necessitated the use of straps due to the high rep scheme.
|DAY 3 (AM)||Sets||Reps|
|Barbell Bench Press||5-7||7|
|Banded Leg Press||7||25|
|DAY 3 (PM)||Sets||Reps|
|A1. Seated Alternating DB Curl||4||15 Minutes EDT|
|A2. Tricep Rope Extensions||4||15 Minutes EDT|
|B1. Band Resisted Partial Curl||4||15 Minutes EDT|
|B2. Tricep Band Pushdown||4||15 Minutes EDT|
|DB Lateral Raise||5-6||150 Total|
|Arm Circles w/5lb Plate||Varies||100|
|C1. Leg Press Calf Raise||1 Superset for 15 Minutes||10|
|C2. Seated Calf Raise||1 Superset for 15 Minutes||10|
- A1/A2 denote supersets meaning the exercises should be completed nonstop, back to back for the allotted time period.
- EDT = Escalated Density Training
- Arm work exercise selection was rotated every 4 weeks but the concept remained the same - 15 minutes of EDT training.
- Utilize the same weight on barbell bench from day 1.
- Utilize the same weight on leg press from day 1.
- Cycle in banded lateral raises every 3rd shoulder workout for variety and growth stimulus.
- Calf work can be cycled with bodyweight calf raises (1 set of 80 reps - add 20 reps per session)
Your Stomach Isn't Ready for This, Trust Me
If you're interested in the study which sparked the idea for the nutritional side of this template, you can read about the study here.
These are the exact macros I followed:
- 800g Carbs
- 300g Protein
- 50g Fat
You may need to drop the carbs to 600 depending on your size as some of the other trainees weren't able to stomach 800 grams of carbs. Don’t fear carbs, they make you grow.
Also remember, you're working out for roughly 3 hours per day, 6 days per week, you need the energy.
Alex Hormozi's Diet and Nutrition
I basically ate the same thing every day:
|MEAL 1 - Cereal & Milk||Serving Size|
|Mini Wheats||2/3 Box|
|Skim Milk||1/2 Gallon|
|MEAL 2 - Bowl of Pasta||Serving Size|
|Tomato Sauce (No Fat Added)||1/2 Jar|
|MEAL 3 - Chipotle Bowl||Serving Size|
|Black Beans||Double Portion|
|Pinto Beans||Double Portion|
|Sour Cream||1 Serving|
|MEAL 4 - Protein Shake||Serving Size|
|Egg Whites||Half Carton|
|Whey Protein||1 Scoop|
|Oats||As much as necessary to reach 800g of carbs.|
Few things to note regarding my nutrition:
- The amount of cereal I got down each day was determine by when I started gagging. However, I always made up for it later in the day.
- Side note: no, I'm not sponsored by mini wheats. But after this, I should be.
- My daily fat intake came from the serving of sour cream in my chipotle bowl.
Supplementing For Size
|Creatine (Daily)||5 Grams|
|Citrulline Malate||6 Grams|
|BCAAs (Preworkout)||10 Grams|
|Dextrose (Postworkout)||120 Grams|
|Whey (Postworkout)||50 Grams|
There was no specific reasoning for using dextrose post workout as I'm well aware that the literature doesn't show any additional hypertrophic benefits from extremely high dosages of carbs within the post workout period. However, at any point in time, you're really just trying to slam as many carbs as possible for simplicity's sake.
Cool But What Actually Happened?
Before I get into the actual results from my crazy n=1 experiment, there's a few things that I should note in general:
- I'm always had an easy time putting on mass and weight in general when it comes to training.
- My lifetime high in bodyweight was 222 at one point but I had lost much of that due to work demands.
- I was returning from a layoff from training when I decided to complete these 6 weeks of insanity (i.e. muscle memory played a significant role).
- I've pulled 500 in my deadlift but we didn't train or test it during this period.
- My squat increased drastically despite zero heavy squat training, only 3x20@60%.
- I hadn't squatted anything heavier than 315 in a while due to a knee injury. However, my lifetime PR is 405x9 after a major peaking cycle.
|Stats||Start of Bulk||End of Bulk|
|Body Fat Percentage||15.8%||18%|
|Bench Press||245 (7x5)||305 (7x7)|
A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words
As you can see, these are pretty crazy before/after pictures. Ones that will be touted as steroid induced, photo shopped, or any other mechanism that internet trolls want to suggest. But it was real, it was natty, and it was awesome. I gained back most of the weight I had lost and then some.
Now, here's where things get really cool when we looked at the results from the other trainers and the study overall:
- I gained the most weight out of everyone even though everyone followed the same protocol - genetics matter.
- One trainer lost 3% body fat while doing this, which goes to show how much activity you can accumulate during 3 hours sessions and being on your feet working all day.
- ALL of us gained a ton of muscle and strength.
- All trainers put at least 40lbs on their bench press.
- Everyone hit all-time PRs for Bench, Squat, & Deadlift by the end of the cycle in spite of the fact that we weren't training heavy deadlifts or squats directly.
- Leg Presses will build up your squatting ability without really squatting (I don’t consider 3 sets with 60% a lot of squatting), which is very out-of-fashion in the strength world to say. Leg Pressing works to build stronger legs.
- 800g carbs/day = 4-5 bowel movements/day, regular night and day sweats (male menopause), and pretty regular feelings of nausea from fullness. This was truly force feeding.
Most won't believe me and I'm sure many will say no one can recover from all this volume naturally but it's obvious that you can so you need to change your mindset about what you think is possible. I am also not saying this is sustainable, I am just saying it worked for the brief 6 week stint.
This was eye-opening to me because it just shows how capable the human body is at adapting to new stressors. I went from one 60 minute workout per week to 6 workouts a week for 3 hours a day basically overnight. I was at such low volume because I had just opened a second gym and that took up most of my free time.
However, it tends to reinforce many of the beliefs I already had about training - most of the growth in my life has not happened over long periods of time, but in short bursts followed by long periods of maintenance. Not to mention my stance on hypertrophy: if you want to train something to grow, train it hard, almost every day, and I promise it will grow. Some people may respond better than others, but at the end of the day, you’ll respond more than you would have with less volume.
Silencing the Critics
I originally formulated this programming after coming across the following conclusion: if you're stuck in the gym and haven’t seen any gains in a long time, maybe you aren’t at your genetic potential, maybe you’re just not trying hard enough.
I thought I was at my genetic potential at 170@6% body fat which is where I stayed for almost 3 years barely improving on my lifts. I thought that was it, and it would be a couple pounds a year from there on out.
I was okay with it, I just thought that that was life. I thought I had pretty good genetics and good work ethic, but nothing crazy. I had started at 132, so I figured I had really milked out all gainz that my frame could carry.
But I was wrong, I was so incredibly wrong. And as soon as I shifted my view of "acceptable" volume and my genetic potential, I began to grow, and grow fast. People now call me a genetic freak.
I genuinely believe it's all in your mind. There have been some studies conducted on athletes who are told they're being given a new legal steroid and triple their gains in weeks depsite the fact they were merely taking a placebo sugar pill. Needless to say, the power of belief is huge.
Now, whenever I start any program, I tell myself I am going to respond to this better than anyone because I have superhuman genetics. My genetics are crazy, and you know what happens, I do gain more. But that never used to happen. I got realistic results, and mostly, because I expected realistic results.
Expect great things, and you will see what you are capable of. Run the program 6 days a week and just try to eat 800g of carbs daily and you'll soon see just how much of a challenge it is. You’ll be amazed the progress you can make if you actually decide to give it your all and make no exceptions.
Hey MS Team,
Do you what type of rest do we need to have between each sets ? Also, do we have to use the same weight for all reps & sets for a given exercise of do we have to adjust to the fatigue ?
Thanks in advance,
You can rest for 90 seconds between sets or supersets. The weight is up to you. If you want to try to get stronger, go up when you can. If not, stay where you are.
Hey M&S Team,
Just got a question about the day 3 with the 15 Min EDT :
DAY 3 (PM) Sets Reps
A1. Seated Alternating DB Curl 4 15 Minutes EDT
A2. Tricep Rope Extensions 4 15 Minutes EDT
As it is a superset, do we have to do A1, then A2 take a quick rest and then go back at the A1 & A2 superset for 4 set? Or do we have to complete the superset for 15 min straight ?
Thanks for it,
Hi, Erin. Do A1, A2, then rest. Repeat that for four total supersets. Hope this helps!
Hi MS team, hi Alex.
On day 3 should we do A1 and A2 or just one of both. Also this is my first time lifting weights formally. What are your best suggestions.
You should do A1 and A2 before resting. Repeat until you complete four rounds. Do the same with other exercises that have numbers and letters.
If you're new to training, then you would be best served by talking to a local trainer to help you master form and ask questions you have while training. Other than that, if anything comes to mind away from the gym, come on back, and we'll do our best to help as well.
Look at that hair growth alone. This article is a load of bullshit
Everyone please listen , the topic of optimal training frequency and volume has many legitimate peer reviewed scientific studies done by reputable institutions. None of those found results anything like what this dude is saying . 3-5 days a week about 150 reps per body part . Period. Not this nonsense . This guy is so clearly on gear . Which is also Clear from the overdevelopment of the traps and deltoids , where the highest concentration of androgen receptors are . I have no problem with people taking gear , but the ones who take gear and then lie and claim to be natty are a special kind of loser. The only other explanation for these gains is that this guy used to do gear , became untrained and then we are looking at an intense case of muscle memory in action. In any case , this article is a misleading piece of bullshit.
Dude, you're truly full of shit and exactly who he was referring to.i ran this program myself with some slight mods and a little decrease in cals. I gained 15 lbs 8 weeks. 4 years later, I after a 3year hiatus, I'm still sporting some of those gains. Is it impractical? Def! Is it for the faint of heart? Not at all! Nor is it conventional in the slightest, but bet your ass, it works! My best bench press ever came from this routine, as well as my best measurements. So, dont walk around spouting off bs. I'm really sick of ppl like you who suggest moderate results is all most are capable of achieving
Lol! man that transform is not even possible on steroids for beginners. Unless you use a lot of gear or you have already built a decent physique earlier. So it's muscle memory to help you.
I mean if you train for 10 years and leave exercising for 1 year you will lose your gains but then when you exercise again you will get them. for this type of muscle growth to be natural, it will take 5-10 years in my humble opinion.
Totally agree. This guys is spewing a bunch of nonsense. This is also making me question the business this guy promotes that he said he made a bunch of money.
What a pack of lies.
Check the first and third picture, it's the same one but in the second picture he has pulled up his shorts legs.
Of course Alex you must be on gear if you are a high level powerlifter, we all know if you are high level performer, you need to take something to compete.
You look great Alex but please stop the lies.
@Keith…they’re supposed to be pictures on the same day
What are other sources of carbs we can replace with given carb sources?can I drink post workout drink like protein?and Am workout is with empty stomach or meal one before workout? And how much before or after?
Am workout is after meal or before if before how much before and if after how much after? Please reply
Can I use brown rice brown bread or white rice as a source of carb.and is this diet include any veggies?if I eat all macros in 6to 8 meals is that ok?
This post is sick and Alex, you should be ashamed of yourself for blatantly lying just to gain attention.
As others have stated, this is NOT possible naturally. Even on juice these are pretty impressive gains, and I would otherwise be impressed if you weren't lying saying you did it "naturally" what a pile of B.S.
Don't believe me? Take a look at what a certain admitted steroid user said "I’d gone from 200 to 225. Up to that time, this was the biggest change I’d ever made in a single year.” - Arnold Schwarzenegger. Yes that's right, Arnold stated his best YEAR was a 25lb gain. And this guy claims to have pulled off 35lbs in 6 weeks - - - NATURALLY to boot. Granted his aesthetics are not as good but even if he went on a cut and lost 5lbs of mass he's still doing better than the most famous body builder of all time in about 1/8th of the time.
Point is, please do yourself a favor and know this guy for the LIAR he is. You can make great progress in a short amount of time especially as a beginner. Scientific studies have shown that beginners can gain 2-3 lbs of lean muscle in a single month, that is a great and REALISTIC goal to have.
You can gain and lose 30lb in a week if you know what you are doing. The title doesn't say anything about gaining 35lb of muscle, just 35lb.
This is very false results that are in in no way attainable naturally without the help of performance enhancing drugs. Your attempt to lure people in is only going to demoralize them when they cannot attain a tenth of the results shown in the image which will ultimately lower their self worth. Please post realistic, attainable transformations pictures, if not be honest about your steroid use, you never know how many people you could be l setting up for a future of unhealthy body relationships.
Ok so the program is for 6 days a week 2 times a day?
I did this program other than the bean meals. I gained 15 lbs, looks like most of it is still sitting in my stomach. Chest and arms got a little bigger
People underestimate the ability of the human body and spirit to accomplish amazing things if the motivation is there. With Hormozi's motivation, training history, genetics, and insane food intake, I can believe it.
yeah they think it takes at least 6 months to get in shape when it might take just a month it all depens on sleep and nutrition to me.
Is there any reasoning behind the mini wheats over other cereals?
A couple questions:
What is a Band Resisted Partial Curl?
On the shrugs, is it 4-5 sets of 25-75 *each*, or total? I find it hard to believe they were cranking out sets of 315.
Its BS like this that needs to be took down !!! This is steroid use !!! Impposible to gain that much muscle without drug use.... I dont get how they can lie to people so much, lost all respect for this website absolutely disgusting
I predict their may be some steroid use in Alex's past. This is not a stab or an attempt to accuse, I don't think he used for this experiment.
But seeing as he is a powerlifter, he has probably hit these mass heights in the past perhaps using gear, and so his body was able to get there due to muscle memory and having increased muscle fibers from his past results.
In any case, these results are just sick! Most lifters would not these gains WHILE USING gear!!!
Just a question about core work. The regiment doesn't have any dedicated core muscle work. Is that because squats/leg presses are enough or it's just not the focus? Could I add in core work on rest days?
I've been following this for a couple weeks, and like the early results. But, I feel like my abs/obliques are getting the short straw.
When I spoke with Alex regarding his programming, he never mentioned any ab work specifically. However, I would throw in an exercise or two daily (not just flexion based work either).
Hey Mike, I'm getting ready go try this out come dec. I wanted to ask will it have a negative effect to switch the workouts around, I work nightshift in construction and it would be much easier for sleep to do the shorter workout after work.
I read through the comments but couldn't nail down if the shake at the end is pre or post workout?
And it shows not do do back squats but once a week. So what would be good alternatives for that workout. Or do you skip it all together.
You can switch around the workouts but one isn't likely shorter than the other, they'll both probably take around 75-90 minutes depending upon your rest periods and given intensity. However, I foresee no issues with switching them if it improves adherence.
Just realize that if you're working nights you're already taxing your central nervous system due to disruptions in normal circadian rhythms. With a program like this you need to have your sleep nailed down as it's going to be increasingly challenging to mitigate recovery given the high workload of the program.
The shake at the end of the day is just to help nail calories, it doesn't need to be pre or post workout.
Back squats - are you saying you can't or shouldn't back squat? Or are you saying you want to back squat more? You're doing a leg press variation daily which will help to place more emphasis on the quads and limit some of the CNS fatigue from squatting with a barbell. The volume from this program coupled with daily squatting would crush nearly everyone so that's why they're once every 3 day cycle. If you're looking for an alternative, I would go with some of the suggestions (https://www.muscleandstrength.com/articles/pain-free-squat-alternatives)
Wow Alex, did training 3 hours a day also make your hair grow so fast you had to get it cut twice in 6 weeks? Come on muscle and fitness. This plan is dangerous and will only result in injury and fat gian. Obviously results pics are taken over a MUCH longer period then 6 weeks. Given the hair growth on Alex's head it's at least 6 months. Even that sort of muscle gain with out roids is impossible. Stop lying to your customers.
He didn't get his hair cut twice, he only got it cut once.
These are sets of two photos, showing before and after. For example, the first four photos are not a progression of four photos, it is two sets of two photos each.
The ones where he has longer hair are the "pre" photos, and the ones after the haircut are the "post" photos.
I have tried this plan out for about 6 weeks. As college student I followed the plan as closely as I could with my schedule and even without meeting the caloric intake suggestion I saw great results. I saw strength gains without even training heavy and feel more developed muscles coming off this routine. Would recommend
Does it matter how you eat your meals? Example not eating all the specified meal at the same time-spreading it out.
With that many calories it just comes down to getting them all in at the end of the day, whether that be 3 or 8 meals.
Question about subing ingredients. Is it ok to sub white rice for brown rice ,or wheat spaghetti for regular spaghetti ?
You can but I would not recommend it bc whole wheat/grain options have higher fiber amounts and will thus increase satiety, which in this case will be counterintuitive.
Are you saying that he didnt eat any meat or veggies at all through this whole process???
That's exactly what Alex told me when I was asking him about the whole process. There may have been some fajita vegetables in the chipotle bowl but for the most part it looks like there weren't many vegetables in the equation.
Now I would be willing to bet that his diet wasn't exactly the same every single day as chipotle would get expensive over time. But, you have to remember that fibrous vegetables will slow down the digestive process due to their fiber content not to mention they provide high satiety for little calories, thus defeating the purpose of Alex's 6 week experiment. Not eating vegetables for 6 weeks likely isn't too detrimental provided that the diet was "fixed" after the experiment was over. Would I recommend it in the long run? Absolutely not, most folks should be eating more vegetables.
If you run this experiment yourself, just use the macros listed and then adjust your nutrition to fit them - include some more fruits and vegetables (if you wish) but just remember that at some point (provided you're not trying to lose weight) there is a law of diminishing returns in which they begin to bring too much satiety without enough calories.
so, im 17 weigh about 158lbs and have about 8%body fat. im naturally skinny, but since about 3 years ago i started lifting so now i have a decent amont of muscle mass on me. But the gains i made took years. My real question is should i eat as much proteins and carbs and fats as Alex did or should i dial it down a notch.
At your age with your height, body composition, and hormone status, you should be crushing food and the weights.
The nutrition for this challenge is not hard if you pace&plan. Mike 1 last question. Is the last meal considered an egg white shake?
Yep. One of his friends commented on facebook remarking about the number of times their blender was used in this process to make all of the shakes he was consuming each night.
Is the diet the same on the off day
Would this be a good routine for a soon to be 17 year old? I am 5'10 and only 140, please let me know!
If you haven't been lifting for a number of years with a fair amount of experience and general understanding of your body then I would definitely not recommend it.
I have been lifting for about a year and a half, was at 160 at 15 and now like 138 at 16. I think I will give it a shot.
Hey mike ! Is the diet the same on the off day?