T Nation

8 weeks of Dan John's Mass Program


#1

Hey all,
Dan John's "10 Secrets To Building Mass" program article (http://www.T-Nation.com/training/10-secrets-to-building-mass) really hit home with me as something I can latch onto and keep up with my current schedule of 3x per week.

It's a fantastic program, simple but very challenging, and aside from mass gains, it's also great for strength gains. This program helps keeps me focused and I thought it would be good to post the progress for anyone thinking about trying the program.

Starting Info - 29 yr. old, 5'4", 162lbs, about 10% bf

Nutrition/Supplementation
I take my nutrition and supplementation very seriously and contribute a lot of my gains over the previous year to these incredible supplements from Biotest. I only started training seriously in a gym about a year ago.

Before that, I was a FFB who flubbed around for a while not sure what to do, eventually I found P90X and went through that a few times. While the program certainly has its flaws, it leaned me out and gave me a good foundation of strength. Then, in March of 2013, I decided it was time to get serious and join a gym.

From day 1 of going to the gym, I was taking Indigo, SWF at the time, MAG-10 and eating clean. I started on the Indigo Hypertrophy plan and did all 3 phases, and continued with other programs from various coaches on this site.

Currently, and for the past 8 or 9 months, I'm still using Indigo, Plazma, MAG-10, and eating clean. Here's the usual training day nutrition:

-Breakfast - protein shake and nuts: unsweetened almond milk, ice, 2 scoops MD protein, 1 serving unflavored greek yogurt, 1/2 cup frozen organic blackberry/raspberry/blueberry/strawberry combo. Nuts - 1.5 oz mixed raw nuts - peanuts, almonds, brazil nuts

AM snack - MAG-10, 1 oz mixed nuts

-Lunch - 2 servings chicken breast or lean ground turkey, lots of veggies, spinach, brown rice pasta, organic no sugar added tomato sauce.

-Pre workout - MAG-10, Finibar

-Peri workout - 2 scoops Plazma

-Post workout - MAG-10 before dinner if I'm busy and can't make my dinner right away, otherwise I go straight to the post workout meal.

Dinner - organic grass fed beef, lots of veggies, spinach, cream of rice or brown rice pasta.

I believe the consistency of outstanding supplementation and clean nutrition have contributed significantly to my progress in the gym over the year. Although I still consider myself a beginner and am always learning as much as possible, I feel this website and the coaches here have given me a lot of information.

Workouts
I started this program the first day Dan John posted it with workout A.

Workout 1 - A (this one was a lot of trying to find the right weight for the rep scheme)
A. DB Clean Press 3x5
45'sx5, 45'sx5, 45'sx5

B. Back Squat 3x10
225x10, 245x10, 275x10 (until this point I was doing all 4-6 rep ranges, I could have gone heavier here but wanted to play it safe on the first workout)

C. Straight Leg Deadlift 1x20
85x20 - Good stretch here.

D. Machine Back Row - 5x5
170x5, 170x5, 170x5, 170x5, 170x5

E. Pull Up - 25
8,5,4,6,5

F. Bench 3x5 - 225x5 has been a goal for me for a while now, I think this program will help me get there.
195x5, 200x5, 205x5

G. BB Bicep Curl 3x5
70x5, 70x5, 80x5

H. Farmer's Walk - 1
60's 1 round around the gym floor - about 45/50 seconds


Rob's Road to Hercules: Contest Prep
#2

Workout 2 - B/C Combo

Since I started workout A on a Wednesday and I’m too OCD, I combined B/C into a Friday workout, and started workout A the following Monday, sticking with the A-B-C cycle.

A. DB Clean Press 5x5
50sx5, 50sx5, 50sx5, 50sx5, 50sx5

B. Back Squat 5x10
235x10, 250x10, 275x10, 285x10, 300x10

C. Straight Leg Deadlift 1x20
85x20

D. Machine Back Row - 3x5
170x5, 180x5, 190x5

E. Pull Up - 12
9,6

F. Bench 3x5
200x5, 205x5, 210x5

G. BB Bicep Curl 2x5, 1x10
80x5, 80x5, 65x10

H. Farmer’s Walk - 2
110lb dumbbell front loaded x1, 120lb front loaded x1


#3

3/24 Workout 3 - A

A. DB Clean Press 3x5
50sx5, 50sx5, 50sx5

B. Back Squat 3x10
250x10, 280x10, 305x10

C. Straight Leg Deadlift 1x20
85x20

D. Machine Back Row - 5x5
180x5, 190x5, 200x5, 205x5, 205x5

E. Pull Up - 25
9,7,6,6

F. Bench 3x5
200x5, 205x5, 210x5

G. BB Bicep Curl 3x5
80x5, 80x5, 80x5

H. Farmer’s Walk - 1
120lb front loaded x1


#4

3/26 Workout 4 - B

A. DB Clean Press 5x5
50sx5, 50sx5, 50sx5, 50sx5, 50sx5

B. Back Squat 3x10
260x10, 285x10, 315x10

C. Straight Leg Deadlift 1x20
85x20

D. Machine Back Row - 3x5
185x5, 195x5, 200x5

E. Pull Up - 15
10,7

F. Bench 5x5
200x5, 205x5, 210x5, 210x5, 215x4 +1 w/spotter

G. BB Bicep Curl 3x10
70x10, 70x10, 70x10

H. Farmer’s Walk - 2
130lb frontloaded x1, 65’s suitcase x1


#5

3/28 Workout 5 - C

A. DB Clean Press 3x5
50sx5, 50sx5, 50sx5

B. Back Squat 5x10
250x10, 275x10, 295x10, 310x10, 320x10

C. Straight Leg Deadlift 1x20
85x20

D. Machine Back Row - 3x5
190x5, 200x5, 210x5

E. Pull Up - 12
12

F. Bench 3x5
200x5, 210x5, 215x5

G. BB Bicep Curl 2x5, 1x10
90x5, 90x5, 70x10 + partials to fail

H. Farmer’s Walk - 2
70’s suitcase x1, 120lb front loaded x1


#6

3/31 workout 6 - A - starting to feel stronger in these exercises!

A. DB Clean Press 3x5
50sx5, 55sx5, 55sx5

B. Back Squat 3x10
265x10, 300x10, 325x10

C. Straight Leg Deadlift 1x20
85x20

D. Machine Back Row - 5x5
185x5, 195x5, 200x5, 205x5, 210x5

E. Pull Up - 25
12,8,8

F. Bench 3x5
205x5, 210x5, 220x5

G. BB Bicep Curl 3x5
90x5, 90x5, 90x5

H. Farmer’s Walk - 2
120lb front loaded x1, 70s suit case x1


#7

4/2 - Workout 7 - B

A. DB Clean Press 5x5
50sx5, 55sx5, 55sx5, 55sx5, 55sx5

B. Back Squat 3x10
275x10, 300x10, 330x10

C. Straight Leg Deadlift 1x20
85x20

D. Machine Back Row - 3x5
190x5, 200x5, 210x5

E. Pull Up - 15
15

F. Bench 5x5
200x5, 205x5, 210x5, 215x5, 225 x3 +2 w/spotter

G. BB Bicep Curl 3x10
70x10, 70x10, 70x10

H. Farmer’s Walk - 2
70s suitcase x1, 75s suitcase x1


#8

4/4 - Workout 8 - C

A. DB Clean Press 3x5
55sx5, 55sx5, 55sx5

B. Back Squat 5x10
275x10, 295x10, 315x10, 335x10, 345x10 - Feeling/seeing a lot of improvement working the 10 rep range of the squat! Hoping to get 405 for a single after this program is completed.

C. Straight Leg Deadlift 1x20
85x20

D. Machine Back Row - 3x5
190x5, 200x5, 210x5

E. Pull Up - 12
15 (will use weight next time)

F. Bench 3x5
195x5, 210x5, 225x4 +1 w/spotter (hoping for a clean 225x5 next time)

G. BB Bicep Curl 2x5, 1x10
90x5, 90x5, 70x10 + partials to fail

H. Farmer’s Walk - 2
130lb front loaded x1, 80s suitcase x1


#9

Good luck with this program. I’d like to see how you do with it.

Keep up the good work.


#10

I’m not doubting your BF but if you’re 10% you’re jackkkkked…nice squat…definitely in.


#11

[quote]pabergin wrote:
Good luck with this program. I’d like to see how you do with it.

Keep up the good work. [/quote]

Thanks man, will keep posting! Today starts my 3rd full week of this program, looking forward to getting in there today after a good weekend of recovery.


#12

[quote]chobbs wrote:
I’m not doubting your BF but if you’re 10% you’re jackkkkked…nice squat…definitely in.[/quote]

Lol thanks dude, according to the latest caliper check last week it was just below 10%. I am a pretty hairy guy until the summer time so it’s hard to judge from pictures alone, so I measure the calipers and waist line regularly to make sure. Will be sure to post pics and videos soon, I’ll get a squad recording today.

I’ve been trying to make muscle gains while staying as lean as possible, even though I’m sure it would be quicker gains with more calories, it’s important to me to try to stay as lean as possible. I believe the Biotest supplements make this possible, along with proper carb timing. Indigo pre-workout always, and all carbs as close to the workout window as possible, including finibar, plazma, and post w/o meal. On off days I am about 100g carbs or less, and I find I still have plenty of energy and can still make strength progress in the gym on training days. Lots of protein with every meal, and good clean fats to make up for the lack of carbs on off days. With this nutrition template over the past few months, I’ve been able to slowly but surely continue to make gains while staying lean, which for me I’d rather do long term than bulk/cut/bulk/cut, at least for now.


#13

What’s a normal on/off day look like for ya?


#14

I wake up 6:30am each day to go teach the future leaders of america the wonders of music in school, 4th-8th grade. On a training day, my usual protocol is:

-7:30 - Breakfast - protein shake and nuts (it’s quick and easy): unsweetened almond milk, ice, 2 scoops MD protein, 1 serving unflavored greek yogurt, 1/2 cup frozen organic blackberry/raspberry/blueberry/strawberry combo. Nuts - 1.5 oz mixed raw nuts - peanuts, almonds, brazil nuts

10:30AM snack - MAG-10, 1 oz mixed nuts

-12:30 - Lunch - 2 servings chicken breast or lean ground turkey, lots of veggies, spinach, 1 serving brown rice pasta, organic no sugar added tomato sauce.

-2:30 Pre workout - MAG-10, Finibar

-4pm - Peri workout - 2 scoops Plazma

-Post workout - MAG-10 before dinner if I’m busy and can’t make my dinner right away, otherwise I go straight to the post workout meal.

7:30pm Dinner - organic grass fed beef or lean ground turkey, lots of veggies, spinach, cream of rice or brown rice pasta, some organic cheddar grated on top.

If I’m still hungry before bed, I’ll have some greek yogurt mixed with protein and maybe a half serving of nuts or some brown rice cereal sprinkled on top.

Non training day nutrition:
-7:30 - Breakfast - protein shake and nuts: unsweetened almond milk, ice, 2 scoops MD protein, 1 serving unflavored greek yogurt, 1/2 cup frozen organic blackberry/raspberry/blueberry/strawberry combo. Nuts - 1.5 oz mixed raw nuts - peanuts, almonds, brazil nuts

10:30AM snack - MAG-10, 1 oz mixed nuts

-12:30 - Lunch - 2 servings chicken breast or lean ground turkey, lots of veggies, spinach, 1 serving black bean pasta (lots of fiber and protein), organic no sugar added tomato sauce.

3:30pm snack - MAG-10, finibar or protein cereal - almond milk w 2 scoops MD protein, puffed brown rice cereal

7pm dinner - lean ground turkey or chicken breast, lots of veggies (onions, broccoli, cauliflower, carrot, peas, etc.) and spinach, tamotato sauce and grated organic cheddar on top.

I try to get as much sleep as possible, at least 8 hours a night although it can be tough. I am a teacher but also a business owner, hoping one day to just do my business and stop teaching. After school/training I come home and write music for schools across the country. So, it’s a large workload and sometimes I get 6.5 - 7 hours of sleep, while I know this is not ideal unfortunately right now I just have to deal with it. I also take an epsom salt bath once a week, and foam roll after each training session.


#15

Looks almost identical to what I do but without the supplementation, glad to be reminded that someone in the teaching world can still eat well and train hard!


#16

Yessir! As soon as I get home from school/training I make my food and drinks for the next day. Fortunately, my wife is my training partner and she and I are both just as passionate about nutrition and fitness, we do it together and it definitely makes it easier.


#17

4/7 Workout 9 - A

A. DB Clean Press 3x5
55sx5, 55sx5, 55sx5

B. Back Squat 3x10
275x10, 315x10, 345x10

C. Straight Leg Deadlift 1x20
85x20

D. Machine Back Row - 5x5 - Really tried to squeeze and hold for 2 seconds each rep.
190x5, 200x5, 210x5, 215x5, 215x5

E. Pull Up - 25 - Could definitely feel my back worked from the rows.
9,7,6,6

F. Bench 3x5 - Got a good PR today and reached a very long term goal of 225x5.
200x5, 215x5, 225x5

G. BB Bicep Curl 3x5
90x5, 90x5, 90x5

H. Farmer’s Walk - 2 (calls for 1 today, but I felt good and wanted to do another)
130lb front loaded x1, 75’s suitcase x1

Every day I try to set at least one PR some how, and I’ve been able to each time. An extra 5 pounds, an extra rep, whatever it takes. Still loving this program, I really enjoy the consistency of the workout and the ability to practice these exercises frequently throughout the week.

This program really is a great balance of increasing size and strength and making you feel like you just killed it in the gym, while not overloading with volume and allowing for good recovery between sessions.


#18

4/10 - Workout 10 - B

A. DB Clean Press 5x5
55sx5, 55sx5, 55sx5, 55sx5, 55sx5

B. Back Squat 3x10
275x10, 315x10, 345x10 - Between my warm up sets I’ve been doing sets of 5 box jumps, it helps a LOT, I can feel the difference even in the very next set. I stop the box jumps once the work sets begin.

C. Straight Leg Deadlift 1x20
85x20

D. Machine Back Row - 3x5
200x5, 210x5, 220x5

E. Pull Up - 15
12, 3

F. Bench 5x5
200x5, 205x5, 210x5, 215x5, 225 x4 1 w/spotter

G. BB Bicep Curl - 2x5, 1x10
90x5, 90x5. 70x10 partials to fail

H. Farmer’s Walk - 2
130lb front loaded x1, 75’s suitcase x1

Still loving this program! Yesterday was my 10th session of this program, and even though it’s a “mass” program, it has also been great for strength gains as well. My squat, bench, shoulder press and barbell curl numbers have all increased consistently since I started this program, more so than I expected. I also feel that without Plazma, I would NOT have these gains, at least not as quickly or significantly. It’s an incredible supplement!


#19

4/12 - Workout 11 - C - Felt a little beat up with some lower back pain, I eased up slightly on my squat weight and just focused on performance. More sleep is needed!

A. DB Clean Press 3x5
55sx5, 55sx5, 55sx5

B. Back Squat 5x10
275x10, 295x10, 315x10, 315x10, 315x10

C. Straight Leg Deadlift 1x20
90x20

D. Machine Back Row - 3x5
190x5, 205x5, 220x5

E. Pull Up - 12
12

F. Bench 3x5
200x5, 215x5, 225x5

G. BB Bicep Curl 3x10
70x10, 70x10, 70x10 partials to fail

Did not do farmers walk because the gym closed in the middle of bicep work, finished the last bicep set and had to run out. This program is outstanding, but I’m certainly feeling a little beat up. Sometimes I skip the post workout MAG-10 if I can go right home and make dinner, but I think I’ll always have the MAG-10 from now on, I’m sure it’ll help eliminate soreness. And of course, more sleep!


#22

Make sure you’re choosing the video box and not image one and sometimes they take awhile to load