How To Get Shredded By Summer

Mike Matthews – Verified Straight Shooter – Practice what you preach.

When you hit the beach this summer, are you going to turn heads, or turn stomachs? Okay, maybe a little dramatic, but seriously, summer is only a few months away, and you don’t want to be that guy playing beach volleyball with his shirt on. Fortunately, it’s not too late. You have time to get shredded for summer, but you need to do it right, and you need to start right now. Let’s get to it.


Here’s a simple little fact most guys want to avoid: If you want to get big and strong, you have to lift heavy weights. Muscle grows in response to increased tension within the muscle. In order to keep stimulating growth, you have to keep increasing the tension caused by lifting that is, you have to keep adding weight to the bar. I think Ronnie Coleman said it best!

Ideal rep ranges are a never-ending debate, and I don’t want to waste your time summarizing the many views on the subject, so I’ll just cut to the chase. If you’re not on steroids, working in the 12-15 rep range for 20-30 sets per workout is only going to lead to overtraining. Forget supersets. Forget drop sets. Forget giant sets. It’s time to follow Professor Coleman’s words of wisdom, and lift some heavy ass weight. What does that mean, exactly? Well, here’s what I want you to do: Warm up, and then lift in the 4-6 rep range with weights at about 80% of your 1RM. Once you hit 6 reps, add 5 lbs if you’re working with dumbbells, and 10 lbs if you’re working with a barbell, and carry on. Work with that new weight until you can do 6 reps, and move up again. I know forum warriors will cry bloody murder and say you can’t grow for shit working in this rep range…but they’re wrong. Research has shown that this is the ideal rep range for increasing strength (and I think we all know what happens to muscles as they get stronger), and through my work, I’ve been fortunate enough to work with hundreds of guys that have made startling gains in both strength and size working exclusively in this rep range.


Machines suck simply because they don’t stimulate muscle growth like free weights do. If you want to maximize your muscle growth leading up to the summer, then you need to keep your hands off the machines, and on the barbells and dumbbells. If you want to build a big chest, then you’d better be bench pressing. (And not on the Smith Machine.) If you want legs, then you’d better be squatting (and again, no Smith machine allowed). If you want a big back everything, then you’d better be deadlifting. Heavy ass free weights only until summer. Hoorah.