T Nation

Building the Monolith Program Review.. A Weakling's Journey

Quick backstory, I have been “lifting” for about 5 years but spent a lot of time not eating and not focusing long enough. January 2019 I decided to get serious and start over. I ran the Beginner Program from Forever followed by BBB. I did everything to a T as described in Forever and started seeing actual results for once.

Starting numbers (before BTM)

Press 125 x 5

DL 325 x 5

Bench 200 x 5

Squat 250 x 5

BW 179

I decided to try BTM. I have always been intrigued and even tried this in the past but I was not ready and had to quit.

I work out on my lunch so I have to have everything done < 1 hour. I was inspired by T3hPwnisher’s review so thought I would so something similar. My days looked like this:

Lifting/Conditioning

Monday: Squat superset with band pull apart; Press super set with pull-ups; Dips superset with more pull-ups until I hit 100. For dips, I started with a 10x10 and added a rep each weak so W2 was 10x11 then 10x12 ect.

Tuesday I pushed my sled in my driveway. I used the 75% rule from Forever instead of the 50% from the BTM article.

Wednesday: Deadlift superset with axle curls (I use a trap bar for all my DL work); Bench superset with DB row. This was brutal. It ends up being a LONG ten sets of bench to rows. I was winded the most on this day.

Thursday: I only have a 40lb vest so I walked 3.5 miles instead of 2.

Friday: Squat superset with face pulls (I use an SSB for all my squat work not just the widow maker); Press superset with weighted pull-ups and shrugs (alternating each set, so 5 sets of each)

I moved fast and every workout I finished in under 55mins. This was brutal at first but after a couple weeks, I was feeling good. I also had no time for warming up. I made sure to get some extra mobility in before bed when I could to try to make some of that up.

Recovery

Saturdays are busy for me so I spread my Airdyne work out. I got on my Airdyne before work for a 20-30 min session each day followed by some stretching. Total time was about 35 mins. Saturday’s I usually couldn’t get anything in but if I had time I would go for a walk.

Diet

I ate the 12 eggs a day and 1.5lbs of beef. Every day I would eat 8 scrambled eggs with some spinach and toast. For lunch 1 and 2 I had .75lbs of beef, 2 hardboiled eggs, and some veggies. Dinners I ate whatever the family was having. I made sure to hit my egg and meat requirements during the day. I threw in a whey shake after workouts as well. As Jim stated, this style of eating become normal after a while and my performance was increasing. Although my wife was happy when the 6 weeks were up…. Too many eggs.

This past week I ran a 7th week PR test and was thrilled.

Press 135 x 8

DL 345 x 5 (had more in the tank but I don’t push DL’s too far since my back injury)

Bench 210 x 8

Squat 270 x 6 (on the 7th the SSB got me forward and I lost balance. Was still a lifetime PR)

BW 185

Overall

I loved this program. It was challenging and fun. It also taught me a lot about what it takes in the kitchen to make things happen. Eating for performance was something I thought I understood but I really did not. BTM gave me a chance to really see what happens when it’s done right. I plan to take that forward into my next programs (Just not only eggs and beef). This is the strongest and the biggest I have been in all my life (31 yo). I am excited to continue my training journey with some of these tools I picked up from BTM. Mainly, the diet but also getting a lot of work in with little time. I have grown to love the fast pace nature of super setting work. I couldn’t imagine getting that volume in before trying this.

Thanks Jim and thank you to the helpful 531 community.

3 Likes