T Nation

Adding Muscle to My Runner's Body


Hey guys, I'm 17 years old and I'm a college freshman. I've always been a very fit kid, playings lots of sports and running. But lately I've been interested in building some muscle. I don't think I have the same goals as some of you on the boards, for example I'm not trying to be the next Arnold Schwarzenegger. My major goal is to turn my runners body (6' tall, 135 lbs.) into something with a little more mass and muscle.

I have a bench, barbell and a barbell curl plus weights. I don't own any dumbells or anything but I was wondering if I could find a routine that is mostly all barbell?

A friend of mine who plays football printed out a workout made by Mark Rippetoe. I've been doing it for about three months and I've gained more muscle but not that much more mass. I also don't always feel 100% tired after. I was wondering if anyone recommends a basic workout I can work from that is designed to gain mass? As I said anything that is mostly (if not all) barbell related is what I'm looking for.

I'm also a college student so I'm not exactly the most healthiest eater. I've decided that if I can find a good workout routine I'll invest some money in supplements. My football friends have said that weight gainers are a joke but I don't know if they're accurate. I've tried their Whey Protein which tastes awful, but the Big 100 protein bars aren't bad.

Do you have any advice for me? I look forward to contributing more to the forums.

Thank you!







and don't run as much.(really, I'm not being facetious)

and a gallon of milk a day really does work wonders.


Yeah I've actually been told that. I haven't ran for a few weeks and I don't plan on doing it. But can anyone help me out with my workout routine dilemma?


yea eat lots of food buddy and keep regular on your workouts.

Some of those protein bars are pure sugar so just make sure you read the label.

An excellent book for beginners you can find on Amazon for like $10.00. It's from the 90s and its by a guy named Bob Paris. In his day, he had an awesome physique. Sort of similar to Lee Labrada's build. Anyhow his workouts are pretty easy to understand and he talks about the essentials of diets.
The name of the book is called Flawless.


I just googled barbell only workout......and get several hits:


You can certainly train with the equipment you have...just try some different things for each muscle group and do what works for YOU!


Find the One Lift a Day or Lessons from Southwood articles by Dan John


read all of the articles you can on T-Nation! Why aren't you there now?
Don't come to the forum unless you have read everything you can find (or if you have specific questions).
Your question is "how do I build muscle". Authors have written on that topic here... i promise. (and it is valuable stuff too)

In the mean time... lift heavy. If you say that the workouts don't tire you out 100% then you aren't pushing nearly hard enough. Throw more weight on the bar... lift the bar more times...

Why is the workout over if you aren't 100% tired (or even 110% tired). Doing something that is achievable for your current body won't force your body to add muscle. If you want your body to add muscle, tell it that it NEEDS to adapt by doing something that is impossible. You can only lift that weight 6 times? Well lift it 7 or 8 and your body will grow to meet the demands placed on it. But if you lift it 6, or, good-forbid, 5, times... what reason have you given your body to change? It's much easier for it to maintain the status quo, but DON'T LET IT! Give your body reason to grow!!

(I know I didn't address much in particular here. For instance, you can find tons of stuff on good compound lifts with barbells if you read aronud on the site. A barbell is really all you need for now...)



THat was a really good post


Used to run 50-60 miles a week.

That was 50 pounds ago though.

Eat. Stop running as much. Lift heavy objects repeatedly.


This isn't meant as a workout bible but from where you're at right now, this will get you a lot of result.

  • do complex exercises
  • eat lots of good food
  • stop running (unless it's sprints)

Load up your bb with as much weight as your can pick up without hurting yourself, and on 2 or 3 days every week do some of the big exercises.

  • squats
  • overhead press
  • deadlift
  • benchpress (if you have a bench)

supplement this with chin-ups, push-ups and dips.

Start eating a large bowl of oats in the morning, and then a small meal every 2 hours, with a focus on protein through lean meats, eggs, nuts and cottage cheese.

There will be people giving you different (good) advise or more specific advise, but doing what I penned up there gained me about 15 kilo of mass in well under a year (I started at ~65k @ 1.85, which is roughly where you're at).