T Nation

Is Big Beyond Belief for Me?


Doesn't that subject sound like a penis enlargement ad? Anyway

Alright basically I have been lifting weights on and off for awhile. Never anything to consistent. I am a skinny bastard at 6'2" ,160 pounds and 20 years old as of a few months ago.

My best lifts are roughly

Bench 190x1
Squat 240x5
Deadlift 300x5-8
row 205x5
chins 17
OHP 100x5

So lets recap.

Skinny ----> check
Weak ----> check

I have read portions of the OTS Big beyond belief book (after seeing posts by MODOK and others recommending it) It has really sparked my interest. Unlike most I never really did the 5 day split, and 20 sets of bench and curls thing. Any time I lifted it was full body, low reps, strength training style. Up until recently I though higher reps were a waste of time, That is until I realised there are alot of big strong motherfuckers (most of the t-cell alpha guys, most of the guys I know personally who are big and strong) who don't necassarily train like powerlifters there whole lives. So I think the change in pace could be good for me.

Now. The questions.

1) Is this program to advanced for me. I couldn't help notice MODOK was benching damn near 300lbs when he started it, and squatting quite a lot too.

2) I work shift work, 12 hour days four on four off with 2 of the shifts being days then a turn around day and 2 nights. That being said if I eat a lot of food (4000-4500 calories) and really dial in the sleep and recovery aspects of it could I get away with the 6 days a week program.

3) With the level one ramps (am I playing an RPG here what the fuck is with these names?) do you just progress through them in order: ramp 1, training phase 1, ramp 2, training phase 2, etc. And would I just cycle through them again when I finish

4) How much muscle and strength could I expect after 12 months on a program like this If I was very dedicated (like I live in a rural area, work a lot, don't have a TV, cell phone, any real responsibilities, and my off days don't coincide with friends but maybe 5 days a month dedicated)

5) Im sure questions five, six, seven, and more will come along as I start the program.

EDIT: 6) I just have the basic equipment. I have a Bar and Weights, Home made squat rack, Adjustable bench, Chin bar, jimmy-rigged dip station, and some mats for dropping deadlifts.
With the lifts I have the equipment to do (Squat, Deadlift, OH Press, Bench, Chins, Rows, dips, and curls) how would you go about scheduling. It seems like there is to much crossover between muscle groups in some spots.

Here is how the shcedule would look for Ramp 1 Week 1 if I plug in the exercises above.

Day One

(3) Back- Barbell rows
(3) Chest- Bench
(3) Bicep- Curl
(3) Calf- I'll figure this out

Day Two

(3) Delts- OH Press
(3) tris- Dips
(3) Thighs- Squats
(3) Abs - Again I'll think of something

Day Three

(3) Chest- Bench
(3) Back- Barbell Rows
(3) Bicep- Curls
(3) Calf

Day Four

(3) Delts- OHP
(3) Tris - Dips
(3) Thighs- Squats
(3) Abs

Day Five

(3) Back- Rows
(3) Chest - Bench
(3) Calf
(3) Bicep - Curls

Day Six

(3) Delts- OHP
(3) Tris- Dips
(3) Thighs- Squats
(3) Abs

That's my initial thoughts in how I should set it up, But then again I have no experience with this sort of thing. Chest is getting hit every day between the bench and dips, and I'm sure that is a problem. Triceps are getting hit even more then chest between dips, bench and OHP. Squatting Three times a week looks good in print, but I'm wondering if thats asking for burnout.


^^If I was you I wouldnt start BBB. I would try to bring my strength levels up so that I was moving bigger weights.

I'd look into 5/3/1 if I was you. That would be my recommendation.


I vote just give it a try. I think you're looking too far into with these strength questions, just focus on really trying to move as much weight as possible through the prescribed reps.

Also, you are squatting A LOT with your setup. Maybe only squat one day and somehow jerry rig a leg extension type setup and do some front squats or something else.

You have several options for calves even with your limited setup. You can do standing calf raises on a plate and also sit on a chair and use dumbbells or straight up plates to do seated calf raises. Maybe rig up a way to try and donkey calf raise?

For abs you could always do planks for time or russian twists or something. I bet you can figure something out.

Try and mix up your back work a little bit too. You're not just limited to rows, you can shrug, deadlift, rack pull, chin up, t-bar row, or even work some good mornings. Try and be creative.


I agree with the 5/3/1 recommendation as well, however mine is because of your limited setup. I'm very sure you can figure something out however with 5/3/1 you don't need nearly as much equipment. It's very tough to BBB it up without a commercial gym setup due to the large variety of movements you should be doing.


going along with the creative side:
I trained in the basement with adjustable db's, bench, power rack and chin bar and plates anbd barbells here are some nice exercises:

Going neutral grip on pressing can help with triceps alot if you lack pressdowns.

pendaly rows, underhand rows, db row variations, tbar rows (bar in the corner) pullovers bar or db, rack chins (awesome), pullups, rack rows, incline db rows,rack pulls, deads, this should be good for back

Bench, db's, pushup (underrated IMO), inclines, declines, dips, fly's, etc...

Squats, front squats, high box squats, RDL's, stiff legged deads, high rep rack pulls squeezing glutes and hams, split squats, lunges, gm's, with legs and no isolation exercises i just really hammered the heavy wiehgts with less exercises and it worked nicely.

Pin military presses, push presses, laterals of all kinds, db presses, db snatches, db swings, order bands for face pulls and pullarpats would great as well, barbell raises are very nice

biceps you can use your bench for preacher curl effects, seated curls, concentration curls, barbell curls, drag curls, 21's, hammers, reverse grip etc...

triceps use skull crushers on declines and inclines, overhead ext, heavy close grip pressing for sets of 10 helped alot, dips, bench dips, pin pressing

hops this helps you really can do a bb split still.


Thanks Nate!

I did the first pre-conditioning session today, and was thinking to myself afterwards that I am gonna have to mix up the exercises for chest/triceps cause bench, CGB, repeat for six days seems like a bad idea. Your post couldn't have been at a more appropriate time.


Has any one got the link to the MODOK thread the search function isnt working for me



Do it pussies


Haha yeh, ive been there, heavy compound movements will go a long way, but you definitely need varience, also if you have an adjustable bench dont forget you can just switch the incline's one notch for some varation week to week and things like that, underhand/overhand rows or bench ect... good luck to ya.