How to Increase Your Confidence by 300%

Boom!  Another busy week, increasing my workload, but also hitting the gym like a BOSS.

Last night I stayed up until 6AM watching Pumping Iron by Arnold Schwarzenegger.  He’s the fucking man in that movie.  Totally worth checking out if you want to see someone with 100% belief, and at the top of their game.

So I had another realization over the past few days…  My confidence just sky rocketed to another level!

But the confidence is only indirectly related to the slow change in my physique, it’s more about the ACTION I’ve been taking in the gym.

Each repetition, each inch of movement, I’m thinking about taking action. I’m thinking about MONEY. I’m thinking about pain, will power, pushing myself, and BLASTING through my comfort zone.

Working Out is the Originally Self Development

At the end of every session, you WILL be healthier, your physique will change for the better and you grow stronger.

I’ve been working on my abs for the past few weeks, and I think this was what pushed me over the edge and into obsession in the gym.  It’s not that I’m vain and need to get huge muscles to feel a sense of worth, I do it because I can.

Like Arnold mentions in Pumping Iron, when I look at my body, I look at it through the eyes of a sculptor, and what needs work is what I hit up the next session at the gym. (Check out the pic below to see a work in progress… Abs just starting to pop. :D )

But I didn’t realize how intense it is to get this damn 6 pack, it takes full commitment, the same level of commitment I’ve put towards the other areas of my life.

I’ve done that before.

So I’ve gone full immersion style, and just get fucking JAZZED at the gym.

I want to go everyday.  I’ve hit that point where I just feel so good while I’m working out. Not even because of the “runner’s high” or the pumped feeling, it’s a full on self development session.

It’s like the movie The Secret, and their visualization exercises on STEROIDS.  (I don’t take steroids ok, that would be stupid.)

But as I’m hitting that last rep or 2, and my whole body is about to shut down, I start picturing that gorgeous girl that I’ve been afraid to approach, that same pain/fear that holds every guy from approaching, and how…  Here it is…  Pain in every part of my body, and I’m pushing through it!

I think about driving that Ferrari, the frustration and doubt that comes from building a business, and know that IN THIS MOMENT I am proving to myself I can handle any type of adversity, whether it be bankruptcy, or the 300 lbs. of iron pulling down on my legs.

I look at myself in the mirror, and I see what needs work.  I head to forums and find the best exercises to sculpt that muscle.  I check out youTube to do the exercises properly.

(I”m currently having a tough time pumping up my upper chest, gonna try out this chest workout today, we’ll see how that goes.)

Action Plan

For those of you guys on the low end of the spectrum, who haven’t been to the gym in years and scarily sit at 25%+ body fat, remember this is like ANYTHING else.

If you look at Arnold, and think “I’ll never get there!” you are looking way too far ahead of yourself.  And on a side note, I don’t think many people ever want to get to that level, there are some fucked up looking dudes in that movie that you can tell are fully steroided out.

What can you start focusing on and change today?

Start cutting carbs, and start building will power.

That same energy and focus it takes to deny yourself from ordering a pizza, is the same muscle you use to approach a girl in the club, which is the same muscle that pushes you through that last repetition in the gym.

It’s all synergistic, and it all starts with that first choice.  Check out The Primal Blueprint, start going to the gym once/twice a week.  Start seeing some results and the ball of motivation will start rolling.

Also a few dudes asked about my ab routine, and lately it’s been a mixture of:

Planks – 90 seconds, 80 seconds, 60 seconds
Oblique Twists – 4 sets of 20 with a 10 lb. weight
Cable Crunches – 4 sets of 40 with about 50 lbs.
Decline Bench Crunches – 2 sets of 20, 2 sets of 15
Squats – 3 sets of 5 max weight, 3 sets of 10 max weight with 30-60 sec rest period.

I time myself in between sets as well, and keep it between 60 seconds for all exercises, except squats which is a 180 sec rest between sets.

47 replies
  1. Dheeraj
    Dheeraj says:

    Nailed it bro.

    I get EXACTLY what you’re saying.

    I actually find the pain enjoyable.

    There’s this vid where someone asked Muhammad Ali how many situps he does.

    And the dude goes i count them when they start hurting.

    Pain = change is happening.

    Great article.
    Love it.

  2. Broheim
    Broheim says:

    Bro what kind of Iphone case is that?

    Also you’re looking pretty lean but skinny bro, why not focus on building some actual mass especially on your lats, shoulders, and chest before trying to get any leaner? If your legs are on par with your upper they are probably pretty skinny too.

    • Brad Branson
      Brad Branson says:

      Haha, yep, it’s partially cuz half the pics I took made me look skinny with definition, and the other half I looked more jacked but couldn’t see the abs. I chose the abs. :) I agree though, last week I decided to hit my Lats more, which I’ve only kind of did with Lat pull down, but gonna hit those way harder. As for the lean style, I’m sure I could pump up quicker if I started hitting more calories, but i like the style where you gain slower, but keep beach physique.

      I think it’s harder to cut than build, so I’m trying to first hit my ideal bodyfat %, and then add even more protein, which I’m prolly about 150 grams a day, I could probably double that if I really wanted to start bulking, but that is a shite ton of protein…

  3. JoaMero
    JoaMero says:

    Man try out the Mani Pacquiao Ab workout. 10minutes with exercise variations, and body tension exercises to destroy ur core. Hardest exercises are gymnastic and climbing body tension exercises.

  4. d4fl0w
    d4fl0w says:

    Awesome article!!

    But I am way more intereseted in your Nutrition. I know you are on Paleo but how exactly do you manage it.

    • Brad Branson
      Brad Branson says:

      I try to do a 14-16 hour fast every day, so I usually eat from 4PM-Midnight, and eat as much as I can. I also work out around 2-3PM, so I work out on an empty stomach, it actually feels better, more of a clean workout.
      Then when I eat, I stick to pure proteins like bacon/ground beef/spinach omelettes, prosciutto, hamburgers without the bun, salmon, steak, lots of steak, salads, and I have a smoothie everyday with mixed berries, green vibrance veggie powder, maca, bee pollen, unsweetened acai, and 20 grams of protein powder mixed in a magic bullet. In between I eat cottage cheese, cans of tuna, more protein shakes, a kombucha or 2 to satiate cravings, and I drink sparkling water with a dash of OJ for drinking. And a coke zero/sugar free red bull here and there, but I’m trying to cut those out. Pretty much everything is organic, except I haven’t found good grass fed beef yet, but I did find some full USDA organic beef from costco, so I’ve been slamming that a lot. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I’m definitely running on a calorie deficiency to cut further, but also trying to keep my protein intake to AT LEAST a gram per lb. of mass, but I’ve heard you can go up to double your weight in grams of protein, so I’m trying to start boosting that.
      SUPPLEMENTS: I’ve been taking BCAAs since i was in Buenos Aires, which a friend suggested for muscle recovery, as well as a pre energy workout mix to get AMpED in the gym.

  5. Obstinance Works
    Obstinance Works says:

    I’ve been told that BCAAs are nothing special; just use a quality whey protein. I don’t know though.

    • Brad Branson
      Brad Branson says:

      Yeah, I haven’t noticed a difference at all, they were from Brazil too, so I don’t know the dosage, I might try some US ones and do some more research once I run out. But yah, I think you can get whey proteins with BCAAs in them…

  6. Jimbiz
    Jimbiz says:

    Brad, making great progress on your abs etc, but I remember from when I spent 6 months cutting like that,running 3 miles a day, yes I looked awesome ( of course, ;) ) but ultimately once my target (holiday) was over, I was fed up of denying myself pizza etc, plus I couldn’t bench what I wanted on just protein and limited calories. I would do this for however long you need to (maybe up till RSD summit) and then try some weight gain and use something like HIT or power lifting training, lots of compound movements on maximum rep to bulk up, and then from your stronger position of being bigger/able to lift more for a few months you will then be able to hit your cut phase from a position of being bigger and stronger so when you hit your abs again it will look better, etc etc. Are you doing deadlifts? How much are you bench pressing?

    • Brad Branson
      Brad Branson says:

      Whatup man, no dead lifts, but I was doing 3 sets of 5 clean, snatch, pulls at 135lbs. and my bench last time was 3 sets of 5 at 205 lbs. then 3 sets of 10 at 175. I usually do the 3 sets of 5 max weight for strength building, followed by 3 sets of 10 at a lesser weight with rest periods between 30-60 secs based on how easy it is…

  7. Bond
    Bond says:

    I’ve been going to the gym EVERY DAY for two months now, I’m seeing some progress (gone from ~25% bf to ~19%). My goal is exactly something like your physique, skinny, defined, clean. I’d like to know what’s better? A simple ‘fat loss guru’ diet – or paleo? The latter is much harder for me.

  8. Tim
    Tim says:

    Aren’t you concerned about the health risks of eating shit loads of red meat?

    Especially cured meats or do think that its scare mongering and not that bad for you?

    • Brad Branson
      Brad Branson says:

      Nah. People always bitch that red meat is bad for you, then a scientific article comes out debunking the original claim. That argument will never die, but I aim to eat grass-fed meat. That is especially important for meat with high fat content since a lot of the nasty additives are stored in the animal fat.

  9. Apurv
    Apurv says:

    Yeah pumping Iron is THE shit!

    Great article btw, can definitely relate to pushing yourself in the gym and feeling entitled!!
    Great abs too ;) hehee….

    Check out this article called “The Iron”, think you’ll like it : )

  10. Brad Branson
    Brad Branson says:

    Cool, thanks for the link. Nah, I never view any demographic as being “bitchy” or any other stereotype. I always assume that I will get a positive response and every girl I talk to wants me.

  11. Nick from Holland
    Nick from Holland says:

    Hey Brad, a friend recommended your website and videos and I indeed like it!
    Nice to see you are just as addicted to fitness as I currently am, and also in about the same physique state. About your upper chest lagging behind: focus more on incline bench training. So do it first in your chest workout, even before normal bench. Do normal bench afterwards. For width do flies at many reps. Helped for me!

    A guy/website you will definately like: Check his videos on youtube, very inspirational and helping at the same time! He’s one of the top fitness models in the world.

    Good luck with your website!

    Greetings from Holland,

    • Brad Branson
      Brad Branson says:

      Sweet man, I’ll definitely rock the flys for pec width, that makes a lot of sense. And ya, been focusing solely on incline to really max out the upper chest. Glad you enjoy the site. :)

  12. Nate
    Nate says:

    Hey Brad, i just started following your articles and i gotta say your stuff is awesome man! Do you ever hit San Diego at all?

    • Brad Branson
      Brad Branson says:

      SD is one of my favorite cities, but we don’t have tons of bootcamps there. I love it though and hope to get back in the next few months…

  13. Pawel
    Pawel says:

    Best post ever! Motivates the shit out of me. Finally someone explained the link between bodybuilding and self developement, which is willpower. It’s amazing how big of a difference having willpower can make in your life, how it affects almost every aspect of it.

  14. Joe
    Joe says:

    Interesting on your results. When I wanted a bigger chest I simply did a combination of a pushup & pullup routine everyday after my original workout. Example goal is 200 pushups in one day. You can do them sporadically throughout the day as long as you reach 200. I would also open up my grip on the bench press to get the sides. For the upper just hit that incline hard maybe try some DB action.

  15. VD
    VD says:

    Yo dude, you already topped the body I have in my own visions board. Congratulations man.

    I also do the visualization thing when I go out to run, it’s fun and you don’t get tired that way ’cause you are already feeling the win in your body.

    It is hard to keep ourselves conscious and mindful of how we use our time. I particular get very motivated before going to bed. I just need to find a way to move that enthusiasm to the moment I wake up and shit will improve even greater.

  16. Reggie
    Reggie says:

    Hey man have you ever tried p90x or any of those crazy workouts? I did it for only two months and i dropped twenty pounds and got my six pack back!!

  17. john
    john says:

    hey check out lean gains. Best bulking/cutting system ever. Seriously. Plus its perfect for people with crazy schedules like yours brad…

    • Brad Branson
      Brad Branson says:

      I think I basically follow that anyways… I’ve read through a bunch of the site, he doesn’t really give specific diet recommendations. But the 16 hour fast, BCAAs before fasting workout, and eating protein + carbs (veggie and berries) diet, is identical I think…

  18. Rod
    Rod says:

    Hey Brad,

    Regarding diet and nutrition you should definitely watch two documentaries: Forks Over Knives and Food Matters. The science behind them are pretty compelling, especially in Forks Over Knives.

    I really enjoy your blog and how open you are with your readers.


  19. Jacob
    Jacob says:

    eh, iv been working out for like 4+ years and the biggest change iv ever had was the last half a year following rock climbing + primal blueprint + gymnastic ring workouts

    check out IDOPORTAL, hes like the leading all around fitness freak of the world right now with the same mentality Tyler has :P its golden. I don’t like posting links but

  20. Colby
    Colby says:

    Brad, first off love your site, your energy and outlook on life. Started reading your blog awhile ago and its been super inspirational, got me out of a rut with the gals i had gotten into from the move from the teenage to adult life

    As for this post i totally agree with the ‘synergistic’ concept that working out relates to other aspects of life, you learn to kill it with the weights eventually your gonna wanna go just as hard at whatever else you do.

    also respect for puttin up the primal blueprint link on your site, just discovered that too and my health, energy and body have gotten to new heights.

    keep up the hardwork brother,


  21. J-ROC
    J-ROC says:

    Fasting? sounds shitty, check out max after-burn technique with Mike Chang. it kicks up your metabolism like crazy for 48 hours after you workout. Here is his youtube channel, I’m betting you can look around for yourself and notice the SHIT TON of value he posts for free. He is a great mentor for getting jacked and i’ve seen his stuff really take shit to the next level for myself and for some close friends…. been a lot like RSD but for getting jacked.

    try “monster bicep peaks” or “bowling ball shoulders” someday to get a feel for what max afterburn feels like for the rest of the day. lol yeah hes also good at marketing.

    hope you get into that shit, or at least jeet kwon do sumthin out of it. :)

  22. Tom
    Tom says:

    Just curious, seen you recommend “hit the gym 1-2x a week…” a few times now — is that how often you go in, or is that you just setting the bar low in terms of how easy it should be to get started?

    • Brad Branson
      Brad Branson says:

      When I started consistently hitting the gym, about last November, I’d go between every 5-10 days. So less than twice a week. After about 3 months, I was able to up that as my travel schedule permitted. Then I got addicted, so now I’m at between 3-5 times a week. I do think you can get great gains from once or twice a week and going to extreme failure on large muscle groups a la primal blueprint style, but I usually hit it at about 80% to max reps, and keep a smaller recovery time, as well as alternating muscle groups, so if I do chest one day, I’ll make sure to go legs the next, and then back, then maybe a day rest before doing shoulders or arms. And I try to do abs and calves every session if I’m up for it…


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