T Nation

Super Size Me



Decided to put my nuts out on the chopping block. My original plan was to diet down to 10-12% BF and then work from there, but I've come to realize that until I have enough muscle mass (aka. fat-burning engines), getting down to that BF% will be a long and arduous process. Also, if I were to cut down without first building a solid base, I would just be a smaller version of my previous self, which really isn't what I want.

So I've gone with the next best option: putting on size. By no means do I plan on eating like shit. At my current BF% (16-18%), dirty bulking would result in me gaining 2-3x more fat than muscle. I plan on eating as clean as possible while manipulating the following variables as I see fit:
- fasted morning cardio
- interval work (100/400m sprints)
- milk
- protein powder

Ideally, I'd do the morning cardio and interval work regardless to keep my metabolism high and just play around with my milk and protein powder intake (John Berardi's G-flux concept).

I plan on taking this 8-12 weeks at a time. If I'm not making strength/muscle gains or I'm getting too fat (20+% BF), then I'm switching things up. But until then, I'm sticking with the plan. I hope my fellow T-men can keep me accountable.

Age: 22
Height: 5'7"
Weight: 180 lbs
BF%: 16-18%
Level: Beginner (lifting on and off since late 2004; lifting consistently since mid-March 2009)

Workout stats
Bench: 175 (3x5)
Squat: 265 (3x5)
Deadlift: 295 (1x5)

Short-term goals: (1 RM in lbs)
Bench - 205+
Squat - 305+
Deadlift - 335+

Long-term goals: (1 RM in lbs)
Bench - 275+
Squat - 375+
Deadlift - 450+

I'll upload some beginning photos on June 8th.

Still unsure. I have Christian Thibaudeau's Get Jacked Fast program and just bought most of the recommended supplements for it, so I might just stick with that while eating more and toning down the cardio/energy systems work. Won't give out the details, but the program is basically a upper/lower split over 4 days (typical CT stuff).

I'm also looking into Westside for Skinny Bastards, Part III by Joe DeFranco. It's your typical Westside template (2 ME days, 2 RE/DE days), and the concept of rotating between ME and RE/DE work sounds very interesting. Here's a link: http://www.defrancostraining.com/articles.html

(EDIT: I've also come across Jim Wendler's 5/3/1 program. It's another upper/lower split with an emphasis on the bench press, squat, shoulder press, and deadlift. It's like Starting Strength except it focuses on one specific lift each workout.)

Either way, since I'm still a newbie, I should make gains with either program, as long as I eat right and work my ass off.

If you have a suggestion for a workout program given my goals, please let me know. I'm open to suggestions (ie. not limiting myself to these two options).

It all starts on June 8th.


OK Joe, hopefully now you've picked a route that your actually dead set on doing! You know yourself better then anyone else does, so your pick should be the right one!

I'll come back and have a look from time to time.



Thanks a lot for the continued support, LR!

I mentioned in my previous thread that this week I was planning on going to the gym every day and just lifting stuff. Today was chest/shoulder/bicep day. It was great to do an upper body workout after doing TBT stuff since mid-March.

I'm out of Surge (should receive my new shipment at the end of the week), so in the mean time, my PWO shake consists of 2 scoops whey protein (40g), 5g Leucine, 5g creatine, and 20oz of Gatorade/Powerade.

Tomorrow is leg day!


Stop being a pussy. Lift hard, eat right, sleep well, and good things will happen. Also, if you haven't done so already, pick up "Ironmind" by Randal Strossen. It's a great book that you can get on Amazon for 10 bucks.

In a month's time, I want to see some pics that blow me out of the water. I will definitely show you some progress pics that blow you out of the water in a month.

I hope this is some fuel to add to the fire.



so you better not be walking on wednesday!

no excuses


The leg soreness will commence tomorrow!

A brief aside: When I signed up with 24 Hour Fitness in mid March, I also purchased 3 personal training sessions for $100. Looking back, I wish I hadn't, but the member services guy was probably one of the best salesmen I'd ever come across and he had me sold.

I scheduled my first PT session for today, but it turned out not to be a PT session. Instead, it was 45 minutes of bullshit - I had to fill out forms, do a paper questionnaire and another one online, get my measurements (weight, height, skinfolds, girth), and schedule my other training sessions. So instead of getting 3 sessions at $33.33 a piece, I'm getting 2 at $50 a piece. What a load of bull shit. [/rant]

One positive from this meet & greet, however, was that I got my BF% checked using a 3-point caliper test (right tricep, right scapulae, right hip around the love handles). Now I know there's measurement error, especially since only 3 points were used and the guy only remeasured one of the three points, but my BF% came out to the high 14s (14.7% or something). After finishing the V-Diet, I told myself that if I got below 15%, I'd go on an all-out mass building phase. Even though I had mentally committed to doing so, I now have the numbers to back it up!

But I digress. Here's a basic idea of what today's workout looked like (remember that my objective this week is to just lift shit, and I'll be logging things starting Monday):

1) Deadlifts - started with around 8-12 reps and worked to a 1 RM. Hit a PR of 315 lbs (weak, but I'm a work in progress), and this time, it was without straps! It seems like a lot of people are doing snatch grip deadlifts. I assume this is for grip strength, which I severely lack in, so I might hop on the bandwagon.

2) Good mornings - 1st time doing them. I did 4 sets of 8-12 reps with pretty low weight.

3a) Leg press - started with 12-15 reps and worked to 2-3 sets of 6-8 reps; supersetted with (3b)

3b) Leg extension - this was more of a volume builder. Went with 4 sets of 12-15 reps. These destroyed me.

4a) DB RDLs - quads were shot, so these took some time to get used to. Did 4 sets of 8 reps and supersetted with (4b)

4b) Seated leg curl - did 4 sets of 8-10 reps.

5) Ab roller - 40 reps total (15/15/10)

Had 40g whey protein, 5g creatine, 5g Leucine, and 20oz Powerade for my post-workout drink. I also found out that Powerade is made of high fructose corn syrup, which made me sad because I thought it was made with fructose (like Gatorade is). I bought me some Gatorade powder to keep me going until my Biotest shipment arrives.

Upper body DOMS from yesterday kicked in. It's not too bad, but I feel like I'm finally getting some volume.

I feel really good about the upcoming 12 weeks. I'll grow because:
1) I'll eat like a champ,
2) I'll lift like there's no tomorrow,
3) I'm still making beginner gains, and
4) I haven't done a serious split routine since the spring of 2007 (body needs to adjust).

Will most likely take tomorrow off, but who knows how I'm feeling.


That's pretty bullshit dude! I'd demand my money back, you were basically misinformed and miss sold these sessions. I'm sure if the sales guy told you this stuff in his pitch, you wouldn't have signed up!

Not to burst your bubble, but you know as well as I do that the bare minimum for caliper BF testing is 7 sites, which is another reason to get your money back!

12 site Caliper test would be the best, but then were talking Bio Signature, and that can be pricey!



Point taken. I have my first PT session next Wednesday, so I'll be sure to bring it up before then.

Bubble is still intact! Nothing will stop me from changing my goals. (But honestly, even if I were to go on a fat-loss program, the emphasis would still be on lifting heavy. At the moment, I plan on keeping my cardio/interval work down and maybe upping the kcals a bit, and then making any necessary adjustments.

Yesterday was supposed to be back/triceps day, but it ended up being a back day with 2 biceps exercises and 3 sets of BB shrugs. I've never worked my back that hard before, but I enjoyed it.

Today my focus will be quads/calves, but I'll also do a few triceps exercises since I didn't get them in yesterday. May also do some type of traps exercises.

Tentative lifts:

1) 5 x 5 Front squats
2) 4 x 8-12 Back squats
3) 4 x 6-8 Close grip bench
4) 2 x 12-15 Reverse lunges (3 sets if my legs aren't fried at this point)
5a) 4 x 8-12 Skull crushers
5b) 3 x 12-15 Calf raises
6a) 40 reps body weight dips (as many sets as possible)
6b) 4 x 8-12 tricep exercise where you lift a DB up behind your head (don't know the name)
7+) Anything else I feel like doing (more triceps exercises, traps/abs exercises, etc.)

But like the rest of this week, the objective for today is to just lift stuff. Monday is when all the real fun starts.

EDIT: Actual workout: (don't remember rep schemes)

  • Front squat (only did a few reps, but my elbows kept dropping, which strained my biceps)
  • Back squat
  • Box squat
  • Leg press
  • Leg extension
  • Close-grip bench press
  • Skull crusher
  • DB one-arm triceps extension
  • Leg raise
  • Ab roller

Workout lasted about 75 minutes. Had 1 scoop of Surge Workout Fuel about 15-30 minutes before the workout and 2 scoops of Surge Recovery before/during the ab exercises.

Note: Not really feeling anything special when taking the Workout Fuel. To be honest, I don't even know if I'm benefiting from the Surge Recovery. Maybe I should skip it next time and see how I feel during and after the workout?


What kind of weight gain are you shooting for? If this is a 12 week program, then at 2 pounds a week you will end up at 205 in September. No abs for you this summer! Have you thought about doing a bulk until the end of the year? Then on Jan 1 you have a good 5-6 solid months to trim off all the fat before next summer without resorting to extreme dieting. 12 weeks always seemed a little short for a bulking cycle to me. Good job on finishing the V-Diet!


I could care less about having summer abs! I would, however, like to stay around 15-17% BF. I really don't think it's necessary to be any higher than that to make solid gains.

During the summer, my #1 priority will be to get stronger. I believe that with strength gains come muscle gains, so the more weight I lift, the better. Once I reach the long-term strength goals I mentioned in my original post, then I'll put more emphasis on hypertrophy (could always move to DC training or to CT's "Super Program" once it comes out).

Focusing on strength/muscle gains for the rest of the year is a definite possibility (it's highly likely, actually). As long as I stay within my BF% threshold, putting on muscle is the plan. Even if I went above my BF% threshold, I'd keep mostly everything the same while throwing in some fasted morning cardio and more low-intensity cardio (NEPA) throughout the day. If that didn't help, then I'd start removing things from the diet.

I'll write more on my diet/training later this weekend.


As promised:
June 7, 2009 @ 177 lbs

Stats: (lbs/inches)
Weight: 177
Height: 5'7"
Shoulders: 48.75
Chest: 39.5
Waist: 33.75
Thigh, left: 23.75
Thigh, right: 23.75
Arm, left: 13.5 (relaxed)
Arm, right: 13.5 (relaxed)

I'll post measurements every 2 weeks and post a photo every 4 weeks.


Looking forward to tracking your progress. I'm rooting for you; stay true to your word.

And remember, it's a long and arduous process if you're too careful about your caloric intake. For me, the difference between 3,500 calories and 3,800 calories is monumental in my workouts. Don't be scared to be a little aggressive with you find yourself not making gains quickly.


Yeah Byoy!!!

Good work with posting pics and numbers. I've been a little lazy with that. I'll post mine on Friday morning once I'm carb depleted.



Thanks man. I will stay true to my word. I've put everything out there -- told the world to call me out and have posted pictures and stats. Now it's time to just eat big and lift big.

I'm actually a little worried that I'll be too cautious about my calorie intake. Since late 2006, I've had ingrained into my head that starchy carbs are bad, and as a result, I've hardly touched any starchy carbs since committing to a healthier lifestyle in mid-March (when I started the V-Diet). However, I realize that I'll most likely have to ramp up the carbs to get the necessary kcals for growth. I guess I'll have a better idea of all this once I start logging my food intake tomorrow.

To start, I'm gonna take in some substantial calories through para-workout nutrition. I'll be using Surge Workout Fuel pre-workout and Surge Recovery (or Gatorade powder + whey isolate) post-workout until I get my waxy maize starch + whey/casein hydrosylate for pre-, peri-, and post- workout. I think the latter would be just as effective but considerably friendlier on the wallet.

You better get to posting pics, man! I'm also excited to see how the diet works out in the event that I decide to do some type of keto diet in the future (spring 2010 perhaps?).


jo3 ill be following your progress too, I'm in the exact same situation and will also make a training log next week. You seem educated on what your doing so lets see the change...


I will do man. I'll have to do it first thing on Friday.

I gotta say though. Your Quads are looking a lot bigger then they did at the end of the V-Diet! That short run on SS has worked wonders!

Congrats on getting into the T-Cell as well! I was a little shocked when I got my invite.



The bigger the audience, the more pressure I'll have to succeed, kind of like how Federer was expected to win yesterday since Nadal was out of the running. But like Federer, I'll make it :slightly_smiling:

My legs were definitely not used to that much volume/weight. Even though the back squats and deadlifts seemed to stress the post. chain and lower back more than the quads, I bet my quads still got plenty of stimulation.

I was pretty stoked about getting into the T-Cell. But, I don't want to be a guy who fails to live up to his promises, so it's gonna be less of me talking and more of me doing.


After spending the past few weeks contemplating my next move, I've finally decided to do Leo Costa's Big Beyond Belief program. MODOK and a few others on T-Nation touted the program as being a great mass builder, and I could only find great reviews on Amazon.com. There were a few negative reviews about the program causing one to overtrain, but I guess I'll see if that holds true within the next month or so.

BBB really appealed to me because I'm willing to put in the hours at the gym, as my only other time commitment is my internship (35-40 hours a week). By following this program, I'll be lifting 6x a week for at least 6 weeks, and each workout should be less than 60 minutes long (ideally <45 minutes). If I feel overwhelmed after the 6 weeks, I'll switch to the 4-day split. If not, then I'll keep on going until I stall.

BBB almost seems like DC training except with higher frequency, but that's not surprising considering Costa consoled a few of the DC guys before coming out with the program. But without further ado, today's workout looked something like:

Bent-over BB row
DB Kroc rows
Incline bench
Iso-lateral bench
Decline DB bench (neutral)
Chin up
Chin up (eccentric)
EZ bar curl
Incline DB curls
Standing calf raises

13-15 reps each. I overestimated some of the weights and consequently couldn't get my 13-15 reps, so I utilized the rest-pause method. Generally took 1-2 rest-pauses to get the job done on the ones I needed to finish out.

Re: my diet, I still need to eat a beef hamburger patty with spinach, blueberries, feta cheese, and Greek yogurt. Including that meal, here are my totals:
- 3000-3200 kcal (too high? too low? we'll see in the upcoming weeks)
- 85g fat (too low)
- 270g carbs (way too high)
- 265g protein (perfect... wouldn't complain if I bumped it up a bit)

Super high carbs due to 1/2 cup of oatmeal this morning and a Jimmy John's sandwich for lunch (damn delicious French bread!). I also had Surge Workout Fuel and Surge Recovery, but I don't plan on getting rid of that any time soon (will probably switch to waxy maize starch + whey/casein hydrosylate, but same difference).

EDIT: FitDay actually puts my totals at 37%/26%/37% for P/C/F (in terms of calories). Not bad, but I'd prefer a 40%/40%/20% P/C/F split. Definitely possible if I cut out the sandwich and oatmeal.


I'll be following your posts bro. You are an entertaining dude! I'd recommend not setting %'s for your macro goals, rather setting your protein and EFA's, then worrying about the carbs if you start putting on fat. Fats have the lowest thermic effect, are the most caloric, and are only essential in small amounts. They also slow digestion (miniscule amounts)! Don't be afraid of the carbs...you will feel SO much better with them and your recovery will be much easier. Basically, I'm saying set your caloric #'s and worry about the total protein first, get your carbs in second, and if you aren't getting enough fat, add fish oils first!

I'm impressed you're tackling BBB...that's way too intense for me (since I'm dieting). Remember to EAT EAT EAT on that type of program. Your BMR will skyrocket with that type of schedule and you should be hungry constantly.

Don't hesitate to ask any questions along the way. And PLEASE feel free to post "motivational pics" of T-Vixens from time to time :wink:


Prof X has said that one of the reasons that us new guys got invited in is because we post A LOT and are active in the forums, plus we don't write like we have mental deficiencies.

So no point of the less talking! I think he wanted us to come in and get things moving a bit in there!