The Success Formula

These days it seems all everyone wants are compliments, puppies, hugs, smiles, and quick fixes.

Nobody wants to get down n’ dirty and work hard to get what they want anymore.

People now want instant gratification and overnight results.

They want to enjoy the sweetness of the fruit without suffering through the pain of any labor.

It’s become an epidemic of grand proportions.

It’s out of control, and it must stop NOW.

When I was an athlete at Clemson University, our coach used to pound the ill effects of instant gratification into our heads on a daily basis.

He would say “gentlemen, if you seek instant gratification, you’ll never become champions. You must have a passion to do, and a patience to wait. Trust in the work you’re putting in – it will pay off in the long run”.

The sad fact is that 99% of the population will probably never become champions…only a select few. The 1%. It’s not because the 99% doesn’t WANT to become champions…they just may not want it BAD ENOUGH to do what it takes to achieve it. I’m not trying to get political here; I’m just making a point. Numbers don’t lie.

You don’t really have to do any complex statistical modeling to figure out that there are more failures than successes in society these days. You literally see it everywhere. People failing in the gym, failing at work, failing in their relationships, and failing at life.

You don’t have to look far to find them…just check your Facebook mini-feed or Twitter timeline right now and I’ll bet you’ll see tons of people complaining about their “situations” or how “person X did them wrong” or how “it’s everyone’s fault but theirs”…

I hate preaching, I really do…but whatever happened to planting a seed and then working hard to see the fruits of your labor? Since when did getting cut n’ jacked become easy? Since when did making millions of dollars become easy? Since when did making relationships work become easy? Since when did LIFE become easy??

Most of the things you see people bitching about now days all require patience and hard work. Getting cut n’ jacked is HARD. Making millions of dollars is HARD. Making relationships work is HARD. Life isn’t fair, it’s HARD. Nothing worth achieving is ever easy…it’s always HARD.

There is an intellectual attribute called deferred gratification (also known as impulse control, self-control, will power, or low time preference in economics). This attribute is considered a positive trait in sociology and it denotes a person’s ability to wait in order to attain something that he or she wants.

Many psychologists agree that this attribute is an important component in a person’s emotional intelligence level. In fact, good impulse control has been noted by several studies as being psychologically important for success in life/school/work; and people who lack the trait (people who need instant gratification) usually fail to reach goals and aren’t as successful in their lives as those who exhibit such traits.

The Stanford Marshmallow Experiment shows compelling evidence that backs this up.

There is a saying: “all that glitters is not gold”. To a certain extent this is true. Flashy supplements, fad diets, designer tv workouts, and dangerous drugs are prime examples of glittering fake gold. Instant gratification is a deadly virus that will kill your goals, dreams, and aspirations faster than you could ever imagine. Avoid it at all costs.

When it comes to getting results in the gym or in life, the formula remains quite simple.

In fact, here is a formula to follow that will put you on the path to success instantly…

Got all that?

Relax, I’m totally joking. The formula for success isn’t complex or difficult…it’s actually quite simple. It’s so simple n’ easy, an average idiot like me can even figure it out!

Here is my simple success formula that’s been proven to work inside as well as outside the gym: Belief + Strategy + Effort = Winning

Got all that? Good!

Of course there are other variables that go into this equation such as patience, perseverance, determination, focus, etc but the basic 3 fundamental components will always remain the same.

Here’s a simple outline of each three major components:

A) Believe In Yourself Belief is the psychological state in which an individual holds a premise or proposition to be true. Before you can achieve anything, you’ve got to believe that what is inside you is greater than any obstacle in your way.

If you’ve read this blog for a while you’ll know that I HATE cliché, super cheesy quotes so I’m not going to sit here and tell you that “if you believe it, you can achieve it” or “what the mind can conceive and believe the mind can achieve” because these types of sayings just aren’t practical. You will never be able to shoot fire out of your eyes, fly, toss city busses with one hand, or do anything else ridiculous like that…

What I’m saying is that you should just have 100% confidence in yourself that you can achieve any ATTAINABLE goal that you set for yourself.

Sure, there will be people who will say you can’t do it and others who may hate, put you down, and try to discourage you…but a strong belief in yourself will force others to eventually believe in you as well. Start a movement.

B) Have a Strategy Complex strategies and formulas usually just create frustration and confusion (see the formula above if you’re not sure what I mean). However, even the most simple strategy will screw you up if you don’t follow it correctly. For example, you don’t ‘ready, fire, aim’ you ‘ready, aim, fire’.

It’s quite simple, your strategy must give you a basic outline that will help you get to your desired outcome. There are usually several components that go into your fitness and health strategy: a nutrition plan, a workout plan, and a supplementation plan. Each one should work hand in hand to help you reach your desired goal.

Note: For the purpose of this post, I’m going to outline my entire workout and nutrition plan from last week. Feel free to swipe them and use for yourself. They are quite simple and should be easy to follow.

Workout Plan: Here is my entire workout schedule from last week. I also posted this on Facebook last week in case it looks familiar. Feel free to try it if you need something new.

A few things to keep in mind:

1) I’ve been trying to do the bulk of my heavy lifting on the weekends when I’m fresh. Saturday is day one of my split.

2) I’ve been trying to train legs every 3rd day. Legs are the foundation of any strength training program and should be trained as such.

3) I’ve been trying to train back at least twice per week.

4) I try to keep most of the movements basic but use variations in tempo, rest periods, and weight amounts to keep things interesting.

5) My training style has become a hybrid combo of old-school bodybuilding, football style strength training, powerlifting, mma, and self-testing of ‘nonsense’ I make up on my own.

Note: Tempo example: For a tempo of (4/0/2) you would take 4 seconds to lower the weight, have no pause at the bottom, and lift the weight with a 2 count.

Saturday (Back/Biceps)
Pullups 100 (usually 10 sets of 10)
Barbell bent over row 15,12,10,8,6,3 (with 185,225,275,295,315,335 lbs)
Bent over two-arm long bar row 3X10 superset with lying t-bar row 3XFailure
Elevated cable row (sitting on dumbbell) 3X10
Close grip front lat pulldown 3X10
Tri-set – chin-ups + barbell curls + inverted row 3X10 each
Hypers 3X15 (tempo 3/0/2)

Sunday (Legs)
Front squats (2 second pause) 4X8 w/ 275lbs
Leg Press 12,10, 8,8,6,6,6 (start with 4 plates/side, end with 8/side)
Reverse hack squat 10X3 superset with jumping barbell squats 10X3 w/ 135lbs
Leg extensions (1 and a half’s) 20X5 w/130lbs
Plate pushes w/45 pound plate 3X

Monday (Shoulders/Triceps)
100 regular pushups
100 dips
Barbell military press 5X8 with 135lbs
Power cleans 5X8 with 155lbs superset with dumbbell front raise with 30lbs
Lat raise 3X10 with 15lbs
Tricep complex (cables with two second pause)
Spiderman pushups 3XFailure
Handstand holds 3X:30-:60 seconds superset with hindu pushups to failure

Tuesday (Rest)

Wednesday (Hamstrings/Calves)
Lying hamstring curl 6X10 (tempo 4/0/2)
Seated hamstring curl 6X10 (tempo 3/0/1)
Seated calf raise 10X10 (2 second pause/squeeze at top)
Sumo Deadlift (barbell) 5X10 with 225lbs
RDL (barbell) 4X10 with 135lbs
Hypers 3X10 with 45lb plate
Donkey calf raises 4X15 (3 second pause/squeeze at top)

Thursday (Chest/Abs/Smash)
Scorpions 3X8/side
Windshield Wipers superset with Ab wheel 3X20
Hanging leg raises superset with Ab wheel 3X20
Rope crunches superset with Ab wheel 3X20
Incline dumbbell bench press 6X8
Incline barbell bench press 3X10
Cable Crossover 3X12 superset with Pushups 3X15
Jumping dive bomber pushups 3X10 superset with jumping bosu pushups 3XFailure
Handstand holds (3X:60 seconds)
Heavy bag 50 kicks/side
Shadow boxing/heavy bag 3X2:00 rounds

Friday (Rest)

Nutrition Plan: This is the most critical aspect of your entire strategic plan.

I’ve been doing a ton of research lately and have found many of the applications and methods taught in The Renegade Diet to be very beneficial so I’ve been experimenting with this style of eating for the past 3 weeks.

The basic premise of the diet is to have a period of fasting that typically lasts from 14-16 hours where you eat nothing from dinner the night before until sometime the following late morning or afternoon. This allows the liver to detox, replenishes your body’s enzyme pool, and reduces much of the stress digestion places upon the human body.

After the fast is up the overfeeding phase begins and it typically lasts for roughly 4-8 hours. This strategy of fasting/under eating during the day and overfeeding at night allows leptin levels to remain in check while boosting glycogen stores at the same time. This has been shown to improve the fat burning and muscle building response. I’ve been testing this method out for almost three weeks now and I like the results I see so far.

Everything taught in the book goes against what you have been conditioned to believe when it comes to nutrition, but if you’ve been spinning your wheels and are looking to evolve, grow, and improve, I highly recommend you check the book out. ( You can download it at )

Here’s one of my sample renegade diet style daily meal plans:

Meal 1 12pm – 30g protein shake, 1tbsp Athletic Greens, 6g Omega 3 Fish Oil
Meal 2 2pm – 25g egg whites, 1 cup spinach, 1 serving raw cashews
Meal 3 4:30pm – 8oz bison steak, 2 cups jasmine rice, 2 cups steamed kale
Meal 4 7pm – 8oz grilled chicken breast, 1 sweet potato, unlimited green veggies, apple cider vinegar
Meal 5 8pm – 1 cup raspberries, 1/2 cup sliced strawberries

After meal 5 there is a 16 hour fast until around noon the next day. Then there is the 4-8 hour overfeeding period.

Here are a few things worth noting:

1) Breakfast is not the most important meal of the day. I don’t think there is one single “most important meal of the day” actually. They all should work together synergistically to help you achieve your goals.

2) You don’t need to eat 6 meals per day to get cut and jacked. You also don’t need to pound a bunch of protein all day either. The research doesn’t lie – people selling you expensive diet programs and supplements do. I’ve been eating less frequently and allowing my digestive system to rest & recover. I feel much less tired during the day and stronger in the gym as well.

3) Eating and drinking raw is great, but there are shortcuts you can use that save you a ton of time and energy. Using a greens supplement can help the cause and save you a bunch of time and effort. Juicing is awesome but it can be a real pain in the ass sometimes.

4) Focus on optimizing health first (especially digestive health) and physique second. If your health sucks, you’ll never see results. I’ve been obsessed with digestive health ever since I first got sick with intestinal inflammation (“Crohn’s Disease”) over ten years ago – it should be the foundation of every nutrition program.

5) Supplements are great, but they should only be used to back up what your nutrition plan is already doing. Right now I am using a greens supplement, omega 3 fish oil, bcaa, and whey protein.

6) There is more than one way to ‘skin a cat’ so experiment and see what works best for you. Then switch it up again. You must constantly evolve and not get stuck in certain “popular” ways of thinking for long periods of time. Learn, evolve, grow, and optimize upon what you’re currently doing. If you continue doing the same thing day in and day out you’ll probably get the same results.

C) Put Forth Effort This part is completely up to you. You get out what you put in. If you work hard, you’ll see better results. If you slack off, your results will probably suck. If you don’t already know this, you’re probably reading this post from your high chair or playpen. Perhaps even a nursery.

I posted the picture below on Facebook yesterday and it received a tremendous response. Over 1000 likes in less than an hour. It’s proof that whatever your situation, whatever your excuse, there is always someone else that has it much worse than you who is kicking serious ass and not making excuses.

Click to view full image

This picture tells us that:

1) These guys may not have much but that doesn’t stop them from working hard and pursuing their goals.

2) If you really want it you’ll find a way. Do what you can with what you have. You can always make good out of a bad situation.

3) Anyone can gather whatever resources they have and pursue fitness and health.

4) You don’t need to use expensive supplements, eat six meals per day, workout at the finest gym, jump on fad workouts, or follow expensive nutrition programs to become a monster in the gym – but that a couple of plates, a barbell, and a strong will can take you a long way.

5) The next time you complain about anything at your plush air conditioned gym you should feel like a true asshole.

Remember, always keep it simple. Belief + Strategy + Effort = Winning. Go forth and conquer.

Do you have a success formula that has helped you in the past? Feel free to share it in a comment below. Thanks for reading!

Jamin Thompson
Over the past 10 years, Jamin Thompson – actor, sport & fitness model, and former world ranked tennis player – has appeared in or on publications such as Men’s Fitness, Muscle & Fitness,; as well as worked as a sponsored athlete for and/or been featured in commercials and print ads for Nike, Reebok, ESPN, Wilson Sporting Goods, Powertec Fitness, Gifted Nutrition and more. Using his real world, in the trenches experience, writes to help others dominate in the gym, on the field, and in life. His book, The 6 Pack Secret, has been sold in over 50 countries and has helped thousands of folks from all walks of life get cut and jacked the healthy way.
Jamin Thompson


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Jamin Thompson
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10 Responses to The Success Formula

  1. Randy Morris April 3, 2012 at 1:17 am #

    Great article. I like the simplicity and will try to follow the workout and nutrition outline as best I can. I’m not sure I am advanced enough to complete the entire workout split as shown, but will try my best. Question. Do you feel hungry at all during the fast? I always thought skipping breakfast slowed down your metabolism. This is definitely a new way of looking at it!

    • Jamin Thompson April 4, 2012 at 12:11 am #

      During the first week or two you may feel a bit hungry in the morning but your body will adjust. Try it out and see how it works for you! Keep me posted

  2. Hasan April 3, 2012 at 1:49 am #

    My success formula would be sorta similar. Work + Focus + Smart Plan + Determination = Success!!!

  3. Zalaba April 3, 2012 at 3:55 am #

    About the “morning is the most important meal of the day”…I used to think that every meal is important as:first meal because u break the fast and u need the nutrients,pre workout that gives u strenght,post workout for recovery,last meal don’t eat carbs so u dont get fat…so all this made me think…ALL ARE IMPORTANT…and u said that there is no such an important meal,so is kinda the same…All i’ve been informed about nutrition,fitness has inplemented an idea in my head that looks exactly the same as you said…And about that picture…YOU ARE 100% right…I don’t know what to say,but i see that if u are poor,u get more chances to be succesful in life:))BTW GREAT REPORT,i totally suport you man!

    • Jamin Thompson April 4, 2012 at 12:10 am #

      Good stuff, I’m glad you enjoyed the article! Do you follow a diet plan or meal schedule similar to the one outlined above?

      • Zalaba April 4, 2012 at 2:47 am #

        I made my own diet plan:) Veggies+prot every meal except last meal when is protein+fat and the before and post workout meals that are prot+starchy carbs…I like the 12 a.m. first meal thing i’m starting it now…Hope it works as u said…adjusting to it in 2 weeks…I just need some help on cravings…They screw up my plans

        • Jamin Thompson April 7, 2012 at 9:11 pm #

          Oh that’s cool. Good luck with it & keep me posted on how it’s working for you

  4. Zalaba April 8, 2012 at 4:38 am #

    Ok after 2-3 days of 12:00 a.m. first meal…Piece of cake…a little bit of feeling that u need to eat something,but totally fine…Really great,this is going to work

  5. @perfectbodyrx February 2, 2013 at 10:55 pm #

    The Success Formula

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