12 Week Muscle Builder – Weeks 1 & 2 Review. Reps Ahoy

Previously, when I have finished a workout program, I feel the need to take a week off.  I find this break allows me to mentally prepare for the next challenge.  However, after completing the Modern Phyique program, I felt I need to jump straight back into things.  I wasn’t challenged enough.  I didn’t feel the workouts were taking me to the point where crawling out of the gym was an option.  Yes, the results were ok, but not as dramatic as I hoped.  Compared to my previous programs, I didn’t feel as though I was pushed enough to warrant a week off.

I’ve decided to go back to my roots.  I’m going back to the program that encouraged this website in the first place and from which I saw some tremendous gains the first time round.  The program which saw me gain 14lbs in 12 weeks, 10 of which was muscle.

Kris Gethin’s 12 week muscle builder is f****** insane.  It is not for the weak at heart.  It previously took me to the depths of dispair.  I had to reach into a place in my soul that I never want anyone to see in order to get through the workouts.  But the results for this skinny fella were outstanding and I want to share them with you over the next 12 weeks.

It will be tough.  It will be hard.  There will be moments when I don’t want to do it anymore.  But it will be worth it.

Training – Weights

The first 3 weeks of the 12 week muscle builder begin with something known as Yoda 3 Training (Y3T).  Yeah, the person who has created this has referred to himself as Yoda!  Anyway, when performed on it’s own, Y3T works in 3 week cycles.  Week 1 looks at heavier reps with lighter reps (type 2B muscle fibers), week 2 is medieum weight and reps (type 2A) and the final week looks works type 1 muscle fibers, which are more endurance based.  Then repeat.

For the purposes of the 12 week muscle builder, the Y3T is seen as the ideal introduction.  The majority of the program is based on high volume training and the steady increase over the first 3 weeks helps ease you in.  Week 1 focused on a lot of compound exercises, espcially for legs.  I had forgot what a full leg day felt like 48 hours later.  Trying to perform a soccer demo when being unable too stand properly due to sore quads, hammy’s and glutes is not easy.  I have missed that feeling.  Though I haven’t missed shuffling out of bed because of it!

Week 2 saw an increase in reps.  Though recommended to try and keep the weight the same, this was not always possible due to the reps in the required rep range I hit previously.  It should be noted that I was lifting a lot heavier than when I performed this before.  I believe this is because of the strength gains made in the Modern Physique program, furthering my view that it is an ideal program for beginners.  It was very noiticeable and extremely satisfying.

Training – Cardio

The cardio for the 12 week muscle builder never changes.  15 minutes post training, 30 minutes on weekends.  Post-weights, the cardio involves any version you want (treadmill, row, bike, swim etc), but you must peform 3 minutes at a steady pace, followed by 1 minute sprinting, 3 times.  Added to a 3 minute cool down this translates to 15 minutes of HIIT.

I made the mistake of skipping this previously and it showed.  The high volume takes up a lot of oxygen.  The cardio training assists with this as well limits a decrease in muscle mass.  Though the thought of how much of an impact too much cardio will have on breaking down muscle is questionable, as a skinny fella we need carbs to put on weight.  Too much cardio will take the nutrients of some of those carbs and calories.  Therefore you will be missing out on some of those additional calories when bulking.

Again, thanks to the HIIT tarining from teh Modern Physique, I felt and still feel fine when performing these activities.  I expect this to change slightly the more I get into it, but that is to be anticipated with the increase in weight.

Diet & Supplements

Hey, I’m not Joe Wicks but that’s not a bad effort for a 15 minute meal!  The 12 week muscle builder’s eating plan is sick.  And I don’t mean the cool, teenage version of the word.  Calories upon calories of food, with weekly increases.  As a skinny fella with a light appetite, this is brutal.

The calculator included in the nutrition page states that at 170lbs, I should aim for 400 grams of carbs and 270 grams of protein a day to begin with.  Protein-wise, this is the equivalent of 12 tins of tuna, or 45 eggs a day. For carbs, try 18 sweet potatoes, or 12 servings of brown rice.  Imagine trying to eat that for a moment.  Fats are at a resonable 80 grams, enough to get the valuable monounsaturated and polyunsaturated versions in, as well as a reasonable amount of saturated fats.

It’s fair to say that I have been feeling bloated for 2 weeks.  Most days I feel as though someone could stick a pin in me and I would fly off like a balloon.  Plus, due to the high amount of fiber in the complex carbs I have been eating, I’m now on first name terms with my bathroom!  However, in order to get results, a large amount of food needs to be eaten.

Thankfully, liquid calories are allowed & encouraged (notably because Gethin is promoting his own brand of supplements, which are highly rated but too expensive IMO).  My whey and casein protein powders have come in handy.  With 24 grams of protein in each scoop, having half of each with my breakfast, a during and post whey shake and an end of night casein shake is allowing me to get an additional 100 grams of protein into my system…far easier to digest.  I have also limited my intake of both carbs and protein, to 340 & 240 grams respectively.  The research I have done suggest this is the maximum amount of protein for my bodyweight for optimal protein synthesis.  Carbs wise, this is still a lot more than I was eating previously.


Up 1.8lbs in 2 weeks.  Despite my choice to drop the recommended caloriees, this is a good gain.  My arms are feeling a little thicker, as are my shoulders.  Unfortunately, so is my belly, though it does not necessarily look the case.  Still, nothing is a confidence killer ike a little buddha belly feeling on a night out.


  • Don’t skip the cardio – you’ll need it in the weeks to come
  • Limit the recommended amount of food if needed.  Still keep the calories higher than you have been eating.

This post contains affiliate links.  I never recommend anything unless I use it. 

Email This Post Email This Post





Related Post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *