Muscle-Building 12-Week Workout Overview

Workout Program Section Links
12 Weeks of Workouts
Workout Program Overview
Frequently Asked Questions

Welcome to the Muscle-Building 12-week workout program, provided by Mike Clausen, founder and co-owner of DIAKADI Body training gym, voted best personal training gym in San Francisco by CitySearch in 2006.

The Muscle-Building 12-week workout program kicks off on Tuesday, September 18, 2007 with the first week of the program. Every week we will add another week of the program, for a total of 12 weeks of workouts designed to help you develop real strength and a more muscular body. You can start with us on September 18, or, if you get a late start, just begin with week one.

This 12-week workout program will help you build muscle size and strength, improve your cardiovascular health, and develop flexibility, balance, and coordination. Like the Strong and Lean program, the Muscle-Training program focuses on the development of functional strength you can use in sports, athletics, and everyday living.

Of course you'll also develop larger, stronger muscles and a leaner mid-section that will look great at the beach, but you’ll do it the right way, using movements and exercises that are natural to the body.

Build muscle size and strength: Three to five days of intense strength-training exercise will rapidly increase your muscle strength and size. Be sure to eat a well-balanced diet in conjunction with this program; your muscles will need it!

Improve cardiovascular health: The Muscle-Building 12-Week workout program does not build muscle at the expense of cardiovascular health. The program includes cardio exercise several times per week to ensure you build cardio strength to match your bigger, stronger muscles. In addition to the strict cardio activities, the Muscle-Building 12-week workout program uses supersets extensively, which will keep your heart rate elevated even while you lift.

Have a blast: Working out should never be a drag. This 12-week workout program changes continuously to keep your body guessing and includes a weekly “extra credit” exercise day outside of the gym. By continually mixing up your exercise routine, you'll find yourself more energized and excited about working out.

PROGRAM SPECIFICS's Muscle-Building 12-Week workout program is broken into four distinct segments:
  1. Week 1: Wake up muscles, check form and strength
  2. Weeks 2 to 4: Focus on building individual-muscle strength
  3. Weeks 5 to 8: Increase weight, train multiple body parts
  4. Weeks 9 to 12: Explosive power training
The weekly workouts are the same within any segment. The first week focuses on warming up your muscles, working on your form, and reawakening your strength. For weeks two to four, you'll build up your strength using primarily individual-muscle exercises that target specific muscles. In weeks five to eight, you'll increase the weights you use to build bigger, stronger muscles, and you'll up the ante even further by training with more multi-muscle exercises that pack a two (or three!) in one punch. The final weeks of the program, weeks nine to 12, you'll focus on explosive power training to stimulate additional muscle growth and strength gains.
Clausen developed the Muscle-Building 12-Week workout program specifically to help you build a stronger, more muscular body Don't expect a boring routine of biceps curls and bench presses! No matter what level you are at—beginner, intermediate, or advanced—you can use the Muscle-Building workout program to develop overall strength, improve cardiovascular health, and train balance, flexibility, and coordination.

Beginners: You should begin the program slowly and consider extending it beyond 12 weeks by repeating challenging weeks multiple times until you feel ready to move on to the next week. For example, if you find the first warm-up week very challenging, do that segment a second or even a third week before starting the next segment of our program. There is no hard rule saying this program must be completed in 12 weeks. Listen to your body!

Intermediate and advanced users: The Muscle-Building workout program will challenge your body in entirely new ways, help you develop stronger muscles and a more balanced core and musculature, and get you excited about working out again. You can tailor this program to your individual needs and increase the difficulty as needed. For example, try the more advanced variations of some exercises.

Body builders: Try the Muscle-Building 12-week workout program to see how periodization and supersetting can help you achieve new gains. Learn new muscle-building techniques and shock your body into additional muscle and strength gains with Clausen's heavy use of supersetting.

Remembering how and when to do each exercise in a new training program can stop you before you even start. We've included the following printable pages on each day of strength training so you can easily follow the Muscle-Building 12-week workout program.

The workout: Print the tabular workout plan including supersetting information, the name of the exercise, the muscles worked, your goal reps, weight target, and blank columns so you can bring it to the gym and fill in your actual reps and weight for future reference.

Exercise descriptions in brief: This table briefly describes each exercise so that you don't have to print out entire exercise descriptions before you head to the gym. For a more detailed description with photo demonstrations, click on the exercise name.

Exercise thumbnail photos: Since we know a picture is worth a thousand words, we included exercise thumbnail photos to help you remember how to do each exercise.

Always consult your doctor before you embark on any new exercise regimen. Your doctor can help you determine if you are healthy enough to take on a program like the RealJock Muscle-Building 12-week workout program.

About Mike Clausen: Clausen is the founder and co-owner of DIAKADI Body training gym, voted best personal training gym in San Francisco by CitySearch in 2006. He has been actively involved in sports and weightlifting since high school, and continues to use that knowledge when training his clients. Clausen is both A.C.E. and N.A.S.M. certified and has been training clients professionally for six years. He enjoys making his clients stronger, both physically and mentally, giving them the tools to create an efficient body and to do things they thought were not possible.