Build Muscle AND Get Lean With Controlled Chaos

By Travis Stoetzel
Author of Unbreakable Badass Blueprint


One of the most common questions that I get asked is that of how to get lean and build muscle all at once.

It's the million dollar question as it's been the most common question I received from lifters for years but now, people want to take it even further.

Not only do people want to know how to get all leaned up and shredded, but now they want to also know how to perform like a high-level athlete as well.

In other words, getting stronger, more explosive, highly conditioned, and just achieving more athleticism overall is of major focus and is what a lot of lifters are now after instead of just looking good.

The major BONUS feature here when you start focusing in on improving these specific attributes all at once is that you will in fact build more muscle, burn fat, and transform your body (as long as your nutrition is set in place of course).

If you think about it, what good is it to you if you look good, but can't perform good?


Improve Performance = Improvement on overall goals.

For this very reason, when I develop programs I always design them in such a way that performance is of major focus.

So, how do I help you do this all at once?

Well, anytime improving overall performance is of major importance, having structure within your training program is absolutely critical.


The problem most people have these days is lack of structure and actual programming.

Too many people are falling into the "do a random workout every day" type of mentality that may produce results at first, but over time won't get you the results you want.

When you get to a certain level and if your goal is to improve in overall performance all while improving your physique, this is where you need more structure.

That being doesn't all have to be by the book…

In addition to this, what I like to add in with the control at the same time to keep things a little fresh is to add in a little bit of what I like to call, "Chaos"


This is how "Controlled Chaos" was born.

With this, let me get into some details on how I design "Controlled Chaos"-based sessions so you can get a better view of how these sessions are laid out.


"The Control"

First Focus - Power Work

  • Focus is on total explosion
  • Reps - sets of 1-3, usually no more then 15-20 total
  • Typically only loaded with bodyweight but bands, and light weight loads can be used
  • Set rest periods - 30-90 secs depending on fitness level and level of advancement
  • Typical movements used: Olympic lifts Lifts and variations, max effort jumps, plyometrics, DB or KB snatch and clean variations

Second Focus - Heavy Strength Focused

  • Focus is on pure strength
  • Low rep sets of 5-1
  • QUALITY vs QUANTITY is the key
  • Set rest periods - 30-90 secs depending on fitness level and level of advancement
  • Typical movements used - All variations of squats, deadlifts, overhead presses, bench, weighted pull ups, jerks, squat cleans,
  • Progressive loading - usually a steadily increase in loading over a 3-4 week cycle

Next movements - Strength / Power Assistance Work

  • Focus is on assisting the main strength / power movements used in session
  • Light-heavy loads used - based on fitness level
  • More volume - reps of 6-12
  • Short rest - to help improve overall conditioning - creates a nice Strength / Conditioning mix
  • Used within different supersets, triceps, strength circuits
  • Typical movements used - All variations of bodyweight, DB, KB, barbell, sandbags
  • Progressive loading used while progressive rest intervals


"The Chaos"

Final Movements:

  • Focus is ALL on High Intensity Conditioning
  • Short and sweet - only 4-20 mins max
  • More randomized in overall programming for variety
  • Can blend the use of short to mid distance running, bodyweight movements, light to heavy strength movements, power movements - anything goes
  • Chaotic in nature - prepares you for anything - how to be strong while fatigued

So, that's a basic layout of what I work with that helps create these types of sessions. Of course, it's never as easy as simply just selecting a bunch of different movements from a template. There's always got to be a "method to the mayhem", so to speak, in order to create highly effective programs.


Here's a Sample "Controlled Chaos" Session

1A) Max Effort Broad Jumps x 10 total single effort jumps
***Rest 60 secs and repeat - go for max distance each rep

2A) Deadlift 5 x 2's - get heavy with your 2's
***Rest only 60 secs and repeat -
***Ascend in loading - go moderate for first few sets then heavy on the last sets

3A) Front Loaded Barbell Lunge 3 x 8 / leg
3B) Barbell Power Clean Pull 3 x 3 - HEAVY
3C) Weighted Pull Ups 3 x submax reps
***Rest only 60 secs between movements and sets

4A) "The Chaos" / Conditioning

Complete the following:

1 Min AMRAP of low to medium height box jumps

***Rest 1 Min Then Complete:

3 Rounds for time of:
a) Double KB or DB Squat Clean Thruster x 5
b) Hand Stand Push Ups x 10 (OR pike presses x 10
c) 100m Shuttle Run (25m sections)

***Rest 1 Min

1 Min AMRAP of low to medium height box jumps

***Score = Total amount of jumps completed, height of box, plus time and loads used for middle 3 round tri-circuit



That's a nice look at the design and layout of a "Controlled Chaos" method of training.

One thing's for sure, these sessions are NOT meant to be easy.

For a beginner, this may seem a little too difficult, but there's always a way to progress into it. The best way to attack a training session such as this is to do it at YOUR level and if need be, take more rest between movements.

Loads will all be dependent on the lifter or athlete as Form and Technique should be of major focus before ever increasing the weight loads.

Keep these primary rules in place and use the template from above for some serious gains in strength, power, of conditioning.

Oh, I can't forget the best part…


When you train like this consistently in a progressive manner, you'll get lean and build muscle all at the same time.

Also, if you want a FULL A to Z guide that's built around the "Controlled Chaos" method, check out The UNBREAKABLE BADASS Blueprint.

Travis Stoetzel Front Squats


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