Choose Your Program
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“My favorite thing about Ben is his practical attitude forwards fitness. He doesn’t make workouts so hard that I can’t walk the next day or have enough energy to make it through the day. But, they’re extremely effective and have amazing results. I think that’s the key to keeping up a consistent workout routine.”
“I’ve always enjoyed working out with Ben! Whether you are looking to get back into shape, rehab an injury, or train for high performance – he can help you reach your goals, just like he did for me!”
“I’ve been weight training for over 30 years, and in one single training session with Ben, I learned more practical tools than in previous two decades. I’m not aware of any other training program or trainer with such potency of technique and science-based tools.”
Dr. Andrew Huberman
“Training with Ben is the most fun you’ll have while getting your ass kicked. He’s super knowledgeable and knows how to make efficient adjustments to get the best out of me, while keeping the environment light.”
“Not only is Ben one of the best trainers I’ve ever worked with, he’s also one of the best people I’ve ever known. He’s very encouraging with a wonderful sense of humor. My workouts are so much fun! I always leave feeling refreshed, proud of myself and slightly sore.”
“I’m really proud to say that Ben is an “MBSC guy” but prouder to say that we are good friends. Ben’s wit and wisdom have really made a dent in the training world.”
“Ben Bruno is the best in the business. I’ve watched him transform NBA players during their off-seasons for years & he’s personally helped me get back in the best shape I’ve been in since I finished playing college basketball almost a decade ago!”
“Ben Bruno is one of the best trainers & coaches on the planet! Ben’s knowledge, humor, soul, experience and ability to find results is the reason I would trust him, indefinitely, with anyone.”
“Ben is a rare gem in the fitness industry. Unlike most fitness authorities, he actually loves training people in real life and spends the majority of his time in his gym working with elite clientele. He’s also freakishly strong and smart. He graduated from Columbia and has been the top 3 most influential coaches over the last couple decades. He’s the real deal!”
This program is called ‘The Sequel’ for a few reasons.
First and foremost, it’s meant to be done AFTER completing the 6-Week Starter Pack program. I don’t want you thinking that the second program is better than the first program and skipping ahead. Imagine watching the sequel to a movie without first watching the original movie: it wouldn’t make sense, right? Same concept here.
The second program builds upon the original 6-Week Starter Pack, so if you haven’t done either yet, start there and do that first program all the way through before moving on to The Sequel.
I promise you’ll get more out of it than you would if you just skipped ahead and started with The Sequel first.
Here’s the thing, the 6-Week Starter Pack will never go out of style, and that’s where I want everyone to start. The Sequel is meant for people who have the Starter Pack and want to delve deeper into more advanced progressions and some of the more ‘fun’ stuff, so to speak. The basic structure of The Sequel is the same as the Starter Pack.
It’s a 6-week program consisting of two 3-week phases that build upon each other in a methodical, progressive fashion. And you still get in-depth video tutorials of each exercise, so it really is as close to training with me in person as you can get without actually training with me in person.
Let’s start by addressing the pink elephant in the room. The number one question I get asked by women who are embarking on a strength training routine for the first time is: Won’t strength training bulk me up?
Short Answer: No.
Long Answer: Nooooooooo.
I kid, I kid. I’m actually not kidding about the fact that following this workout program won’t bulk you up, but the question deserves a more nuanced answer.
As a man who has trained women for 15 years, I fully understand why a lot of women might think that strength training is going cause them to bulk, and I’ve worked really hard to debunk that myth. We’ve made a lot of headway, but there’s still a long way to go before strength training for women is widely accepted.
First off, I think a lot of women—understandably, but incorrectly—associate strength training with bodybuilding and get visions of huge men lifting weights. Moreover, a lot of training routines are designed by men with themselves in mind, so I can definitely see how women could feel like their goals and needs aren’t being met.
That’s exactly why I created a separate men’s and a separate women’s programs. I actually struggled with whether to do separate routines or just offer one ubiquitous program, and truth be told, most people advised me just to do one routine to make it easier.
But when it came down to it, I don’t train women the same as I train men in most cases, and I want this program to mimic the way I train my in-person female clients. The exercises are all the same; there are no gender-specific exercises, after all. But the way we program the workouts is different, not due to gender but due to differing goals. The women I train in person largely have different goals and want to focus on different parts of the body than the men I train; and call me Captain Obvious, but different goals necessitate a different plan of attack. This plan is the result of 15 years of asking women THEIR goals, and programming accordingly.
If you’re a bodybuilder trying to get huge or a powerlifter trying to bench press a Buick, this program ain’t for you. To quote the great Austin Powers, “that’s not my bag, baby”.
My bag is training guys who want to attain a lean, muscular, athletic physique. Furthermore, I believe that the best way to look the part is to play the part, so my programs are designed to not only improve your body looks-wise, but also improve the way it performs.
If you’re a guy who still likes to play sports and be active then this will obviously resonate with you, but even if you don’t care much about athleticism anymore and just want to look good, I unequivocally believe that if you’re seeking an athletic physique, training in a performance-oriented fashion will get you to your physique goals faster than traditional bodybuilding methods.
I’ve trained loads of professional athletes in many different sports, and most of them have amazing physiques that most dudes would kill for, solely as a byproduct of training for their sport. As such, the way I train most dudes is a slightly toned-down version of how the pro athletes train, utilizing full-body workouts centered around compound exercises that take the body through all the key movement patterns.
Full-body workouts might require a paradigm shift if you’re used to do doing body-part splits, or even an upper/lower split like a lot of guys do. Like many guys who first learned training from bodybuilding magazines back in the day, I started with body-part splits, then moved to an upper/lower split after a few years, then switched to full-body workouts about 10 years ago and never looked back.
I absolutely believe that full-body workouts are the most efficient and effective way to attain a lean yet muscular physique.
For one, it allows you to train each muscle more frequently, but because the volume is relatively low in each given workout, you shouldn’t experience as much soreness after each workout. And moreover, for people who don’t have a ton of time to devote to doing additional cardio, or for people who just don’t like cardio (*raises hand*), full-body workouts are more metabolic so you get more bang for your buck.
First off, exercise should never hurt. If something hurts, don’t do it. If one of my clients has an injury, I refer them to a physical therapist and/or doctor to treat that injury and then we work AROUND the injury, not through it. So, that’s what I recommend you do, too. Seek medical help from a qualified professional, and then when it comes to the workouts, focus on what you CAN do rather than what you can’t do.
Yes, you can definitely reduce the rest periods. BUT, make you aren’t rushing the workout and that you’re fully-to-mostly recovered when you do your sets. I deliberately made the rest periods a bit longer than you might be used to because I wanted to counteract the urge to speed through the workout in an attempt to make it into cardio. So, if I recommend 60 or 90 seconds of rest between exercises you don’t necessarily need to wait that whole time, but I don’t want you flying through each exercise without resting at all. If you finish a set and are immediately ready for the next set, I’d say you might not have pushed yourself hard enough on the set.
Each week consists of three full-body strength workouts. The exact days you do the workouts is up to you, so don’t feel pressure to stick to a rigid routine if you have a busy or irregular schedule. Ideally you’d give yourself a day into between each strength workout, so it might look something like Monday-Wednesday-Friday or Tuesday-Thursday-Saturday/Sunday.
That said, if your schedule is such that you have to (or want to) train on consecutive days, that’s totally fine. One of the great things about full-body workouts is that the volume is relatively low for each muscle group per workout, so we aren’t damaging the muscles to nearly the same degree or causing soreness, so we can train on back-to-back days without worrying about overdoing it.
So all that to say: take a day between strength workouts when you can, but don’t stress if you work on back-to-back days occasionally if your schedule gets jammed.
Along those lines, if life gets busy or you have to miss a scheduled workout for whatever reason, don’t skip that workout entirely. Just pick up where you left off and keep going. If you only get two workouts in one week, for example, just start the next week with Workout 3.
Your main priority should be completing your three strength workouts each week, but assuming you’re doing that, you can also do some additional lower intensity exercise on the other ‘off’ days of the week. I think it’s a good idea to give yourself at least one day completely off each week—sometimes two—but that gives you 2-3 days to get some additional exercise on top of the weight workouts.
Potential options include:
– Formal ‘gym’ cardio
– Mobility Circuits
– Swimming/Pool Work
This is your chance to add in other things that you enjoy because we don’t want your exercise routine to feel like a chore. While the strength workouts stay routine and consistent, the ‘off’ days are your chance to switch it up and incorporate different modes of activity that you enjoy.
The only rule here is that the activities you do on ‘off’ days shouldn’t be so hard that it leaves you sore and negatively impacts your scheduled strength workouts.
For both programs you’ll need a foam roller and a band for the warm-up.
For the women’s program you’ll only need dumbbells and a bench. I’d love for you to have a TRX (or similar) and a kettlebell too, but if you don’t, we have modifications.
For the men’s program you’ll need dumbbells, a bench, a trap bar, a TRX (or similar), and a landmine. However, if you don’t have a landmine, ab wheel, trap bar, or TRX, we have modifications.
The reason for the differing equipment is that prior to creating the program, I polled my followers to see what equipment they had at their disposal because I’m trying to make this useful for the most amount of people. Most of my male followers reported that they had a trap bar and landmine, while most of my female followers didn’t.
If you’re doing the women’s program and have a trap bar and/or a landmine and want to include it, that’s totally fine.