Jim Stoppani's 12-Week Shortcut To Size - Build Muscle & Gain Strength!

There is no secret cure to being weak, but there are shortcuts to size! In 12 weeks, I can help you gain major strength and more muscle!

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The human body is a complex collection of tissues, chemical compounds and nutrients. To maximize results in the gym, you must understand how all of those combine to make muscles grow. From the labs of Yale to the pages of Muscle & Fitness, I've spent my entire career studying how to accumulate knowledge and then apply it in the gym for unreal gains.

12-Week Shortcut To Size Training Overview
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My 12-Week "Shortcut to Size" distills everything I've learned about muscle growth into one program. It's science-backed, gym-tested and Jim-approved for men and women, beginner and advanced. If you want to build muscle and strength, this program is for you.

The key to the program is periodization, a method that involves changing up your training at specific times to maximize results. You begin with light weights for high reps and progressively change to heavier weights and lower reps. Continued cycling of those rep ranges keeps muscles confused, so they don't stagnate, and you keep making progress as you go through each of the three phases. The end result is an athlete who is both stronger and more muscular.

A typical periodization program switches every 4-6 weeks. The problem is, your body adapts more quickly than that! This program changes rep ranges and weight every week, a period called a "microcycle"—a week-long period where you stick with the same weight and rep range.

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This is a 12-week program in three phases. Each phase lasts 4 weeks. Each week is a different microcycle. Regardless of the week, you'll work every body part once per week in the 4-day split.

Workout Split

  • Monday: Workout 1: Chest and triceps
  • Tuesday: Workout 2: Back and biceps
  • Wednesday: Active Rest
  • Thursday: Workout 3: Shoulders
  • Friday: Workout 4: Legs
  • Saturday: Active Rest
  • Sunday: Active Rest

Use active rest on your off days. Don't lift weights, but certainly consider doing other activities. Play basketball, go hiking; do specific cardio workouts, particularly if you want to focus on losing body fat while you're building muscle.

Workout Duration

Workouts 1 and 2 may take 75-90 minutes.
Workouts 3 and 4 can usually be completed within 60 minutes.

Your rest periods between exercises will vary from 2-4 minutes, depending on your experience. If you have already built muscular endurance, your rests will be shorter. As you take the shortcut to size, become stronger and increase endurance, your rest periods will get shorter and shorter.

Rep ranges exist for scientific reasons. Maintain that range! Your rest periods between sets are determined by how long it takes you to recover so you can effectively complete the rep range with good form for each microcycle.

For abs and calves, you'll notice that the rep ranges are a little bit higher as you go through each microcycle; this is because these muscle groups generally fare better (as far as the results you get in both strength and size) when the reps ranges are a bit higher.


Log the weights you use during each microcycle so you know how much to increase your weight by on the next microcycle. It's a good way to look back to where you started and where you ended up at the end of the program. Trust me, it's going to be impressive.

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Main | Training | Microcycles | Nutrition | Supplements | Meal Replacements | Start Program