Completed Building the Monolith: My Results (Video)

I had been eyeing Jim’s ‘‘Building the Monolith’’ for quite some time and wanted to give it a shot, but my work never allowed me to put the 100% needed for that kind of programming. Recently I had almost 3 months off work, so I figured it would be a good time to try it out.

Before / After numbers (based on 1RM calculators)
Deadlift: 426 > 445
Squat: 378 > 420
Press: 171 > 180
Chin Ups: shoulder injury > 10xBW+20
Dips: shoulder injury > 9xBW+50
Weight: 208.8 > 215.0

I have a 10mm calcification in my right shoulder, so horizontal pressing has been painful, hence why I took out the Bench on day 2 and did an additional OHP day. I was not able to Dip or do Chin Ups pain free before the program, but midway through the program I incorporated both exercises. Now I can do both pain free. I do not know the scientific explanation behind that.

For conditioning, I did a lot of heavy bag work and long fast-paced walks in the snow with the dog. My current resting HR is at 60-61.

Diet wise… I just ate. Ate a lot. Eggs, steak, potatoes, roasts, fish, green smoothies and a lot of water. The heaviest I got (at night, with clothes) was 229. Now completely empty and dehydrated in the morning I’m at 215.0 (compared to 208.8) 2 months ago. I did notice my pants get tighter and people in general commented that I got bigger. I did not gain much fat either.

Overall it was a fun program, but probably not something I would do while working 60h+ per week.

If you have any suggestions for what’s next, I’m all ears. I would like to improve my conditioning a bit while maintaining my current strength levels.

I’m also open to any critique on my form. I could’ve gone a bit harder on the DLs, but my lower back was pretty fried from the Squats and I went in with a ‘‘live to fight another day’’ mentality.


Excellent work JZT! I’ve ran BTM before but for some reason didn’t follow the diet. I will be running that program the right way in the spring some time. It’s nice to see your results.


My favourite part of these stories is seeing how people find a way to get things done.

And diet. Because the hardest lifts are the seated plate to mouth, lying stomach press, and toilet paper rows.

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