T Nation

Leggo my Ecto, The Rise to 200


Keep It Simple Stupid:

It's put up or shut up time. I've had training logs left and right, failed left and right... gave up left and right.

Height: 5'11"

174.2 lbs [ start ]
186.4 lbs [ current ]
190.0 lbs [ 1st goal ] 3.6 lbs to go

Current Lifts:
230lbs @ 3x5 [ back squat ]
150lbs @ 3x5 [ bench ]
275lbs @ 3x5 [ deadlift ]
140lbs @ 3x5 [ pendlay rows ]
. 90lbs @ 3x5 [ military press ]


7/27/09 Measurements:
(before 1st workout)

Weight: 174.2 lbs
Neck: 16.25
Shoulders (at nips): 46.5
Chest (at nips): 41
Bicep (ugh): 11 unflexed - 12 flexed (lol)
Forearm: 10.75
Waist: 36.5
Hips: 39.5
Thighs: 22
Calves: 14.25


Week 1

7/27 Workout Log
Squats : 3x5 : 165 lbs
Bench : 3x5 : 95 lbs
Deadlift : 1x5 : 185 lbs

7/29 Workout Log
Squats : 3x5 : 170 lbs
Standing Military Press : 3x5 : 60 lbs
Bentover Row : 3x5 : 95 lbs

7/31 Workout Log
Squats : 3x5 : 175 lbs (squats PR = bodyweight)
Bench : 3x5 : 100 lbs
Deadlift : 1x5 : 190 lbs


8/03/09 Measurements (after 1 week):
Weight: 177.4 lbs = +3.2 lbs
Neck: 16.25 = +/-0.0 in
Shoulders (at nips): 48 = +1.5in
Chest (at nips): 42.5 = +1.5in
Bicep (ugh): 11.5 unflexed and 12.5 flexed = +0.5inch
Forearm: 11 = +0.25
Waist: 36.25 = -0.25in
Hips: 40.0 = +0.5in
Thighs: 22.75 = +0.75in
Calves: 14.50 = +0.25in

Overall Progress:

+3.2 lbs
+5 in


Week 2

8/3 Workout Log

Squats : 3x5 : 185 lbs
Standing Military Press : 3x5 : 65 lbs
Bentover Row : 3x5 : 100 lbs

Workout Notes:

On the squat I moved up 10lbs because I felt strong last friday. I was able to complete the sets, the last rep was a bit difficult and I broke form just slightly. I'll be keeping this weight for the Wednesday workout. Military press again seemed a bit easy for me, probably because I didn't have sufficient warmup sets (bar) then (bar + 5) then (bar + 10) then work set. Who knows, I'll just keep progressing on that til I can't.

Bentover Row... interesting, really easy to perform but for some reason every time I pull up my right arm kinda has this weird nerve thing go on with it. It doesn't stop me from completing my sets it just feels really weird, like it's a nerve being pinched or something. Gonna try different grips to see if that helps.

I dropped chins and will be dropping dips as well, at least for awhile, core lifts first. Don't want to spread myself out too much.


Oh btw, I also quit smoking over 2 weeks ago... it feels great to not have that craving any more (after 10+ years of smoking). The easy way to stop smoking by allen carr (sp?) was a great tool in that.


Since I've got a pretty crazy goal (50 lbs by xmas) and I don't want to be "overly fat" should I stop drinking whole milk and go for a less or no fat variety to keep up the cals/protein?

Basically does anyone have experience with milk fat over long term?


I'm so eager to workout tomorrow. It's the 3rd "A" workout, squat, bench, deads... I'm eager to keep increasing my lbs... I'll attempt to add 10lbs to each lift and hope for the best... as I think my squats, deads, and bench are a bit low (especially bench).


Depends on how much Milk you are drinking. Wanderlaxx or w/e drinks a ton of milk and he is far from fat (and from what I read he bust his ass in the gym as well) and is 19 270lbs at I believe 15% bf..I say you should be fine, however different people react to different things, so see how your body is doing. If you put on to much fat (check your bf every week) and if it is to much of a gain, cut it back

What is LISS?

Another thing, I don't understand why you are only doing 3 exercises per session. If you really want to put one size don't do TBT and start doing splits. To do Deads, Bench and Squats in one day seems kinda counterproductive and like you can't really focus on your goals (from what I see it is size/strength)

Just put everything you have in everyday so that when you come out you have no regrets and 225 will be there in no time


I'm doing this routine because it's Starting Strength. If I don't do this routine, splits right now will do me no good. I need to develop strength first... splits without a basal strength are for nothing.

I'll keep downing the milk and hope for good things, I'll just keep evaluating my composition as I go.


Oh and LISS = Low Intensity Steady State Cardio. It's a good thing for after a workout where HIIT would be difficult.


Week 2

8/5 Workout Log

Squats : 3x5 : 195 lbs
Bench : 3x5 : 115 lbs
Deadlift : 3x5 : 205 lbs

Workout Notes:

I went heavier on squats +10 lbs because I felt energized and ready for it. I wanted so bad to add an extra 5 pounds to make it to 200 but I felt I was pushing it a bit already. I was right... I think my form started to get sloppy midway through set 2, my lower back was hurting a lot after the sets were done (is this an indicator to improper form)? Or was it just weight I wasn't used to?

I went heavier on bench because, well benching under 100 is not something I like posting about. The sets were pretty easy for the most part... eager to keep adding to them...
Deadlift, I'm back at my prior PR of 205... it was easy... looking forward to breaking 300 on that someday!!!


Week 2

8/7 Workout Log

Squats : 3x5 : 185 lbs (Reset due to back pain)
Standing Military Press : 3x5 : 75 lbs
Bentover Row : 3x5 : 125 lbs

15 minute walk in neighborhood right after workout.

Workout Notes

Worked out late tonight due to my back pain... it came back after about my 2nd set of 185. Still think it just might be DOMS OR... I need to strengthen my back so I can handle that weight on it for extended periods of time.

The Press went up 10lbs, felt strong... and the bentover row I just challenged myself and came out on top...

2 full days off will be nice for recovery. 1/2 gallon of milk goooone.


When I did starting strength I really hated it. I had great size/strength gains on scivations bulking for ectormorphs program as well as westside for skinny bastards. Right now I am doing my own version of lower/upper twice a week. Just my 2 cents


Great... but i'm sticking to it.


Starting Measurements:

Weight: 174.2 lbs
Neck: 16.25
Shoulders (at nips): 46.5
Chest (at nips): 41
Bicep (ugh): 11 unflexed - 12 flexed (lol)
Forearm: 10.75
Waist: 36.5
Hips: 39.5
Thighs: 22
Calves: 14.25

2 Weeks into Starting Strength

Weight: 180.0 lbs = +5.8 lbs
Neck: 16.25 = +/-0.0 in
Shoulders (at nips): 48.25 = +1.75in
Chest (at nips): 41 = +0.0in (inconsistencies?)
Bicep (ugh): 11.5 unflexed and 12.5 flexed = +0.5inch
Forearm: 11 = +0.25
Waist: 36.0 = -0.50in
Hips: 40.0 = +0.50in
Thighs: 23.0 = +1.0in
Calves: 14.50 = +0.25in

Overall Progress:

+5.8 lbs
+3.75 in

I'm still "ignoring" the measurements... I might've been off on a few of them initially, or just inconsistent (the chest and shoulders are difficult to measure consistently on your own). However, 5.8lbs in 2 weeks is great. My waist is actually going down (good sign I believe) meaning most of this is possibly going to muscle. I didn't gain a lot of size any particular place this week but I'm thinking the ABA weeks are better for size than the BAB anyway. We'll see.

5.8lbs down, 45 to go til 225


8/10 Workout Log

Squats : 3x5 : 190 lbs
Bench : 3x5 : 120 lbs
Deadlift : 3x5 : 225 lbs

Workout Notes:

2 weeks down and I've already made great gains... I plan on keeping it going. Squats felt really strong and I could've gone up more lbs than just 5. But I'm going to just keep adding 5 until my deadlift is much higher.

My bench for some reason seemed pretty difficult... but it's something that i've been lacking for a LONG time. Time to change that.

Deadlift... in short I added 15lbs only did 2 heavy warmup sets then my work set of 1x5... it seemed easy and my back is already feeling it.


Congrats on taking the first step. One thing you have not outlined is your diet. Can you post what you are taking in on a daily basis? If your not sure, try www.fitday.com. It's free and is a great tool. If you are not following a diet, look at John Bernardi's guide to massive eating.

Second, you are right that you need to gain strength. However, I truly feel like that is just not enough volume and exercises for what you are trying to do. Maybe run it for 9-12 weeks and then mix it up. Westside for skinny bastards is great as well, it keeps a focus on the compound lifts and strength. You can do this, you have a good mindset right now.



couple things
1. drink the whole milk. if you truly have a hard time gaining weight, get all the calories you can

  1. cut out the cardio. same reasoning as above.

  2. don't set a time limit on gaining 50 lbs of mass. just do it. if you start getting uneasy about a little "belly" you may develop, don't worry. you'll be wearing winter clothes soon. and, if gaining weight is difficult for you, that means dropping fat will be easy, so don't worry, lift hard and be consistent. good luck


I'll start posting what I'm eating when it becomes consistent... right now I'm eating decent food but also a lot of junk (soda/chips). I haven't smoked a cigarette in 3 weeks now and my appetite is coming in full force. My daily diet normally consists of about 1/3 of a gallon of milk in the morning, with cereal then a cup or 2 on their own. I have chicken and broccoli for my last 2 full meals. I haven't broken off into 5-7 meals per day because I don't care if my metabolism slows down. I actually NEED it to. I plan on running SS for 8 weeks and reevaluate my situation. Based on my lifting weights and how I feel I'll be able to continue on the program. I'm looking into other programs right now, but I won't jump ship unless I feel SS won't be giving me anything more.

The only reason I set a time limit is that it's nice to actually have a "horizon" something to look forward to. Just saying 225lbs isn't enough for me... I have to have a date because it is a reason for me to hit the gym consistently. I have a timed goal and I will make it.

I'm gaining weight okay, I only drink about half a gallon of whole milk during my workout. I normally have another 1/3rd before my workout in the form of breakfast. On my days off, I just have that same breakfast. My carb intake is pretty high at this point and I'll keep it high because I'm getting results.

As for the eventual belly... Yeah I know it's going to come, I'm just glad it hasn't yet. I'll be fine with having a belly when i'm at 225... it'll be worth it. I can't wait to see what I look like in another 2 weeks, hell in another month!

Thanks all for reading/supporting/responding! Stay tuned