Case Study #1 - How Mike S Gained 41% More Strength in 12 Weeks!

May 30, 2017

This is a real life case study on one of my clients Mike S. He joined my personal training program at the end of January. He has been following the personal training program I've developed for him for 12 steady weeks. Here's his story and results so far.

Mike S is a hard working male in his mid 30’s who has been training seriously for over 8 months and is in pretty good shape. Mike’s goal is to build more strength and mass particularly in the bench press, squat and shoulder press.

When Mike S first came to me for help he was more than a little confused and frustrated with his lack of progress. When Mike first came to me he was floating around from program to program trying all different methods and techniques to try and improve his strength levels. His main problem was that when he performed a new program he was always plateauing 4 to 5 weeks into the program. He would gain a bit of strength but soon after all of his gains would disappear because of he was running into training plateaus. When he first came to me he was using varying types of strength programs such as the 5 x 5 programs and using different methods to build strength. Ultimately, no matter what he tried he ended up in the same training plateaus situation.

Mike works in a job that requires long hours in which he is on site for two weeks and off site for one week. That is, he is has to travel to an offsite location (on job) for two weeks and then he comes back home for one week (off). When he’s on the job his company has a small training facility that has a Vector machine, benches, squat racks, dumbbells and barbells. When he’s at home he has access to a full commercial gym.

After a few consultations I came to the conclusion why Mike wasn’t gaining any strength. Mainly because of the following:

  • No organized cyclical training progression system
  • No organized nutrition program
  • Two different types of training environments
  • Muscular imbalance between the right and left sides of his body
  • No muscular training volume
  • Weak supporting muscular structures
  • No organized supplement schedule

Mike’s programs (before joining my personal training program) were all one dimensional and he wasn’t allowing his body to grow. Like a lot of aspiring weight trainers in his situation he was convinced that the only way to get big and strong was to lift heavy using low repetitions. His main routine type was using a 5 x 5 type program pyramiding up to progressively heavier and heavier weight.

His nutrition was very sporadic and the only supplement he was using was a weight gainer taken on his training days (not on his days off).

I’ve seen this problem many times in the past.

It’s not that Mike was naturally weak because he has a large frame with a relatively large bone structure which is more or less built for strength. His main problem is letting go of the “heavy weight / low repetition” mindset. This was the key. Ultimately I wanted Mike to let go of the heavy weight mentality so we can start “re-programming” his mind and body to improve his muscular volume and endurance. Doing so will improve his strength and allow him to reach his goals. With that in mind I developed a program that would:

  • Work with his busy work schedule;
  • Develop a weight training system for both workout environments which worked synergistically;
  • Develop strong supporting muscular structures to improve his priority lifts;
  • Develop independent strength for his left and right hand sides of his body;
  • Develop muscular volume and endurance;
  • Increase his daily calorie intake;
  • Develop a proper weight training and nutrition progression cycle;
  • Develolp a properly timed supplement schedule to boost results

I have to admit, when Mike first checked his new program out he was a bit hesitant because of the way it was set up. I got rid of all barbells, heavy weight, low repetitions, and unnecessary exercises that he was used to doing.

My priorities were as follows for Mike:

Priority 1 - Develop high muscular volume and endurance;

Priority 2 - Strengthen each side of his body independently;

Priority 3 - Improve his supporting muscular systems for his main lifts (bench, squat and shoulder press)

I developed two programs for him. He had a work program for which he performed at work (built for that gym) and a home workout which he performed at his commercial gym. Each workout was different but each complimented one another. I wanted to develop a workout system that allowed him to continuously get stronger and stronger in each of his workout settings without a training interruption.

His workout program for his work gym was 3 days a week. His home workout for his commercial gym was a two day a week workout program. Each program used complimentary exercises which allowed him to continuously get stronger and stronger.

I got rid of most of his barbell movements and implemented a strong dumbbell protocol for all his big movements such as the bench press, shoulder press and rowing movements. I implement a steady high repetition progression starting at 15 repetitions. I also got rid of all the heavy weight. Instead I started his progression cycle using light weight only. I steadily increased his repetition rate up to 20 at which point I dropped the repetitions back to 15 and progressively increased his work loads and started the cycle over. The key here was to know when his body was starting to turn around which was at about the 6 week mark. I knew his body was starting to respond to the new training protocol at which point I knew his body would be very receptive to using heavier weights.

Both of routines were created around a strength building training protocol BUT I didn't include the same "heavy weight / low rep" progression. Here's his workout schedule:

At Work Routine (2 week stretches):

  • Monday: Strength Program A
  • Wednseday: Strength Program B
  • Friday: Strength Program C

At Home Routine (1 week stretch):

  • Monday: Strength Program A
  • Thursday: Strength Program B

Each program compliments one another so that Mike receives the optimal amount of rest for his muscles while providing the right amount of muscular stimulation for optimal growth.

Here's what I did:

  • Used dumbbell compound movements
  • Used supporting compound movements to improve his main lifts (bench press, shoulder press and squat)
  • Increased his repetitions to 15
  • Decreased his work loads
  • Once Mike was able to complete 15 repetitions with a certain weight I increased his repetitions range until he got to 20 at which point I lowered his repetition range back to 15 but increased his work loads.
  • I started to "stagger" his repetition scheme once his body started to adapt to more muscular training volume. When this happened his body became much more receptive to using heavier weight
  • Slowly reduced his repetition rate and increased his workloads using the "staggered" repetition approach

Once I knew his body was turning around I started increasing the weight and reducing his repetitions. The real trick here is to understand how to reduce his repetitions without tiring his body while taking advantage of that all-important final work set. We built up his muscular volume and endurance so his body was JACKED to start heavy training again.

He was ready.

Using a staggered approach to his repetitions I gradually increased his weight and reduced his repetitions. The end result was a much more versatile muscular structure which translated into vastly improved muscular strength. I have to admit, I was surprised at how strong he became. I knew he would become strong I just didn’t know how much stronger he would become. To top it off is that this is just the beginning. We are only 12 weeks in and I have much BIGGER plans in mind for Mike. Over the next 12 weeks he can expect to use his new found strength to really build some serious muscle mass.

I developed a diet which vastly increased his daily caloric intake. Before his new diet he was consuming about 3,000 inconsistent daily calories. I increased that to 4,500 calories concentrating on a high carbohydrate diet protocol. I determined that to first increase muscular volume he needed A LOT of high octane fuel. The only way to do this is the have him fill up on high quality carbohydrates. I also increased his protein intake so that he was following a high carbohydrate, high protein diet protocol.

I also totally revamped his supplement schedule. When he first came to me he was taking one serving of a weight gainer only on his training days. I totally revamped his supplement schedule and introduced new supplements on a staggered approach. That is, once I knew his program was working I introduced new supplements based on his results only. This way I absolutely knew without a doubt that any new supplements would only enhance his results (which they did). This included pre and post workout in addition to setting up a consistent supplement schedule.

I'm not going to give you Mike's program because he paid for his results. I pride myself on being able to provide the best solutions and results to those clients who are serious about transforming their body.

Besides, his program has been built specifically for his body type, gender, weight, goals, activity levels, daily schedule and strength profile. His program probably won't work for you just because of the differences.

Let’s take a look at Mike’s journey:

Goal: Gain strength

Name: Mike S

Height: 6’ 5”

Weight: 231 Pounds

Weight after 12 weeks: 245 Pounds

Age: 35 years

Gender: Male

Occupation: Superintendent in Construction

Strength profile at beginning of the program and 12 weeks into the program:

1 rep max start
1 rep max 12 weeks later
net strength gain
Dumbbell bench press
70 LBS
105 LBS
125 LBS!! (update June 11)
50% increase
78% increase
One arm dumbbell row
70 LBs
95 LBS
36% increase
Incline dumbbell bench
70 LBS
90 LBS
29% increase
Seated dumbbell press
50 LBS
80 LBS
95 LBS!! (updated June 11)
60% increase
90% increase!!
225 LBS
275 LBS
325 LBS!! (updated June 11)
23% increase
44% increase
Close grip bench press
135 LBS
190 LBS
40% increase
3 x 6 reps
3 x 12 reps
50% increase
Net strength gain
41% net increase
52% net increase!! (update June 11)

41% strength increase using Building Muscle 101's personal training program

As you can see, over the course of 12 weeks Mike S gained 41% increase in strength and gained an additional 14 pounds of body mass.


(Update - June 11 2017 - Mike has gained even more strength! he is now at 52% net strength gain increase!! Unbelievable!! He's gained an extra 55 pounds on the dumbbell bench press (That's an extra 55 pounds per dumbbell!). He's gained an extra 45 pounds on the seated dumbbell press (45 pounds per dumbbell!!) - He's gain a full 100 extra pounds on the squat!!

I'm going to start Mike on an advanced muscle building program on June 17. Mike is now in a optimal position to start using his new strength gains to build muscle. Yes folks, this is how it's done. If you want to build big, dense muscle mass you need to get strong first. Once you've built your strength base up it's time to use that new strength to build big, dense muscle mass. Remember!! Gaining strength is all about finding your personal "Sweet Spot". Find that and you will get very strong, very fast. Mike's new program will take his development to much higher levels. After the next 12 weeks he will look like an entirely different person!!

If you want your very own personal training program (like Mike's) go to the bottom of this page and fill out the form. If you're tired of jumping from program to program and not getting any results, let me help you. I'll design you a personal training program that works!! The sooner you get started the sooner you can expect results! This is a PAID program but it's well worth it. Get started today!! Go to the bottom of this page and fill out the form.


You have to remember, Mike is no beginner. Before joining my personal training program he was considered an advanced weight trainer with 8 months of prior weight training. I have very big plans for Mike and he is very excited to see where he goes from here. I want to switch up Mike’s training protocol and revamp his methods so that we can further his strength progress but this time, start adding some SERIOUS muscle mass. He is now in a much better position to start gaining some big time muscle mass.

Are Mike’s results typical? No they’re not but my program is very new. Mike has been with me the longest and he was the very first client I signed up to my program 12 weeks ago.

I don’t use the same old methods or techniques because in my 28 years of direct experience I know for a fact, what works and what doesn’t.

You see, what you may think is the right approach to reaching your goals may not be the “correct” approach to reaching your goals. There is just way too much misinformation on the internet today and it causes too much confusion. When Mike first came to me he was convinced (based on the crazy information online) that the only way to get big and strong was to use heavy weight and low reps. He was basically going around in circles trying to apply the same information to solve the same problem which needed an entirely different approach.

The human body will always grow it just needs the right “motivation” and “direction”. Provide an optimal growth environment and it will do absolute wonders whether you want to get big and strong, lose weight, gain lean muscle or get fit and healthy.

The trick is to develop a progressive cycle of weight training and nutrition that suits YOUR body and job/family situation. This is the key. It’s a lot like a jig saw puzzle and once you figure it out you can expect to reach your goals a lot sooner. Once you figure out your personal training program everything will fall into place including which have you feeling full of energy and life!

Here's what Mike S has to say about the program:


I've been lifting weights for over 6 years now and my progression saw minor improvements but I felt I never left the beginner stage. At 6'5" tall I was always reading online articles, trying different nutritional and work out regimes to attain more strength and muscle mass. I never could climb above that plateau I was on.

Since I obtained Blake to design a specific program for me, centered around chest development, I have seen improvement every week. He reset my approach and has shown me the right way for my body to gain the strength I need to develop the muscle I want.

From the phone app, to the nutrition plan and the phone consultations, Blake has shared with me his more than 2 decades of experience. Blake's and Building Muscle 101, unique approach has given me hope for real improvement in the gym and finally got me passed the beginner phase.

- Mike S -


I have some big plans for Mike for his next program. I'm going to implement a new strength training protocol but this time around I am going to use certain body building elements and techniques to really boost his muscle growth. The trick to really unlocking his potential will be to know when to add more weight, when to add more repetitions, when to alter his sets, and when to add certain intensity boosting techniques. Mike has hired me to use my 28 years of direct experience to make sure his program works! This is exactly what I'm doing.

His phase 2 program will include a new:

  • Diet program and foods;
  • New supplement schedule (new and exciting supplements that work);
  • New training protocols and system;

This is going to be an exciting journey for Mike! I can't wait to update you on his progress.

Listen, if you’re a serious person who is serious about reaching your physical goals, whether it is to:

  • Get big and strong;
  • Build lean muscle and ripped body;
  • Get toned and shapely;
  • Get fit and healthy;

Then please, use the form below to contact me. I’ll be happy to tell you what you need and how you can join my new online personal training program. Why wait? If you have the will to reach your goals, why put in on hold? Take action today and you can get on the road to reaching your goals sooner rather than later.

Beleive me, you won't find this information floating around the internet. You get what you pay for and if you're looking for that magical "free" program on the internet that will magically transform your body...I hate to say it but you won't find it. If you are tired of jumping from program to program and getting absolutely nowhere, think about joining my program.

Perhaps your older person looking to get back into shape, add some muscle, lose stomach fat and feel like you once did, I can do that. I know how our bodies change and how we have to change our training protocols to match our age. I know exactly the type of program you need. Regardless of your age, gender or situation I can help you reach your goals!

The program is one of the lowest cost online personal training programs on the internet and it works! Use my 28 years of direct experience and knowledge so you can get the body you’ve always wanted.

Reserve your spot today!! Fill out the form below and I will contact you for a consultation and explain what you need to reach your goals!

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Yours in health,

Blake Bissaillion
Owner, Building Muscle101