T Nation

My Second Review of Building the Monolith

An excellent write up. I can’t imagine eating all that - so a double thumbs.

Can I ask why do you use a buffalo bar vs the standard olympic bar for squats? Do you get better balance?


Much appreciated dude.

The Buffalo bar is VERY sturdy, with no flex compared to many barbells. The slight camber in it forces me to use a higher bar position than a barbell, which makes the squat slightly more challenging for me, while the curve is ALSO easier on the shoulders compared to a straight barbell, which is nice considering my right should has a torn labrum after six dislocations and a bunch of subluxations.

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I may consider getting one. I’m sure there used to be one at my gym. I’m going to give it a try next time I’m there.

Amazing work once again. I don’t know how you manage 100 pull-ups/chin-ups - I can do 40 over 4-5 sets. Once I can get closer to a 100 I’m definitely going to do building the monolith program…

This is insanely awesome. You are a workhorse brother.

I am curious. You mention daily bodyweight work on top of your normal training. I am really interested in that. I have a home gym and my job allows me to be home. Is that something you started just incorporating into your training or is it a method etc? Is it for recovery?

Same with the multi conditioning workouts. A lot of days i feel I could spare 5 or 10 mins. As long as im not wiped out. I dont have the guts to eat like that but maybe an extra session or two a week could help get in some conditioning when time permits.

Appreciate it dude.

Daily work is something I include whenever my goal is hypertrophy. It’s a way to get in a little extra volume on areas that tend to get neglected otherwise (neck, direct arm/ab/lower back work, etc). It has a restorative effect for sure, but the primary benefit is how much volume I build up over time.

Extra conditioning is a pure COVID-ism. I can’t compete in my sport, so I’ve got nothing else to do but just get in really good shape. Same reason I cut so much weight: just another challenge to overcome.

Inject this shit into my veins

Great work my man. Inspiring

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Really inspiring. We all know (whoever tried some program like that) how brutally hard it is.
But the art of eating CONSISTENCLy so much WITHOUT junk food is something really worth admiring.
I really admire your dedication.
Definetly inspiring and thank you for such detailed review.

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Excellent write-up and, obviously, even better work.

Your food log was one of the more entertaining things I’ve read in quite awhile.

I’m considering getting a sled for the house because I like pushing them and I like this idea of just doing that stuff throughout the day.

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As am I. More specifically, this one from Titan:

Does anyone have experience with that model, and on asphalt in particular? I’d prefer to work at home and not to rip up my driveway, if possible.

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@ChongLordUno Thanks man!

@hogar Happy to contribute dude, and really appreciate the kind words. Avoiding junk was a big victory. I’m still a fat kid at heart, and my first instinct when it comes to up calories is ALWAYS junk food, usually poptarts and breakfast cereal. It’s taken a bit of discipline to come up with better answers, but the reward has been worth it.

@TrainForPain Thanks man! The food is definitely a scene, haha. I’ve recruited my kiddo into food prep for work shifts and they’ve come to really appreciate my uniqueness. They know the exact amount of nuts and beef sticks to pack, how many peanut butter cups/dark chocolates, etc etc.

Dude, you GOTTA get a push sled. My wife got it for me as a birthday gift and I wish I had gotten it for myself YEARS before that. They’re just an amazing all purpose conditioning tool.

@SvenG I haven’t personally used that sled. The biggest issue I’d see is that, since it’s very much “bolt together”, you’d want to tighten it up frequently. All the pushing is gonna rumble it loose.


I LOVE your reviews. Keep the good work and good luck with deep water! :wink:

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BtM will put hairs on your chest!


For anyone who’s interested, I ended up going with the Rogue Echo Dog Sled. Just assembled it this morning, and my initial impressions are here:

SvenG’s Training Log - Rogue Echo Dog Sled


Thanks for sharing this writeup, and all your other 5/3/1 contributions as well. Really impressed how strongly you attacked BtM, and showed us how far you can push the widowmaker sets. I wouldn’t have thought of doing 100+ reps of curls in a set or 37 sets on a squat widowmaker. What was your TM? Do you ever have days where you are just “flat” and tired, considering all you do on non-lifting days? I’ve been doing 5/3/1 for 3+ years now at age 45. Overall it’s going pretty well, but some days I just manage to hit the main lift, supplemental, and opposite muscle group (rows, chins, hamstrings etc). Currently finishing God is a Beast, so I’ll see in the next month the effect it has on my PRs.

Much appreciated dude! I finished with a squat TM of 455. Meant to log those. Press was 200, dead 535, bench 295.

I ALWAYS feel flat and run down, haha. It’s why I like training first thing in the morning: just gets it out of the way.

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Man your results are impressive as f*ck. Both on BtM and Beefcake, and your reviews are incredibly detailed which makes it all that much better.
While Deep Water isn’t much my thing, from your inspiration I decided to hit Beefcake and then BtM myself, coupled with CTs neurotype 1B Diet, obviously in a caloric surplus.
My question is, have you noticed your sleep requirement increasing when gaining? It’s not that I’m tired through the day, it’s that I’m trying to reset my sleep to where it was, basically bed time around 9-9.30pm, wake up at 4am. But my sleep pattern has been off for the last few months and usually the way I reset is just pick a day to be underslept and go to bed when I feel sleepy, then get up at 4am anyway, even if it’s only 1.5-3hours sleep. And I bloody sleep through my alarms. I set 4 and don’t even budge. It seems my sleep need is through the roof since I’m training this way and in a surplus of calories, slowly gaining.
Have any of you noticed anything like that on yourself?

Appreciate the kind words dude. For sleep, I’ve honestly been a pretty awful sleeper for the past year or so, and the training hasn’t changed that much. I tend to wake up every hour or so, and with me being a shift worker, I have to do some weird sleep schedule voodoo anyway.

Thank you for your quick response man.

Then I might be asking the wrong person haha.
Luckily I don’t generally have sleep problems, I just can’t seem to cut my sleep for one night to reset the way I used to. Eventually I’ll get pissed off and I’ll just not sleep one night at all then drop off the next day at like 8pm.

Even by looking at your physique and your numbers, you have tremendously more training experience than me, so I’m guessing you already tried every suggested supplement under the sun for sleep aid. Although looking at your diet your pretty much on 0 or very minimal carbs, did you ever consider that might be the issue?

I just don’t consider it an issue or a problem that needs addressing. It’s just a thing. Once it starts impacting my life I will fix it, but I can still train and work hard.

If it’s not an issue then I guess there is no point messing with it