I worked my ass off to lose 10% body fat. My weight dropped to 175 lbs but at 6’4” tall, that was too thin. So my next challenge was to gain lean mass and get that weight up to 185 lbs (and ideally closer to 195 lbs).
I was working out hard, eating right and staying active, but just could not put on lean mass and break that 175 lb barrier. I had been sticking to a Paleo-like diet for over 1.5 years (which my wife kindly supported me through) when I came across a post by Tim Ferriss called The Diet of UFC Champion Georges St-Pierre: How He Transformed Himself. It documents how St-Pierre gained 12 lbs of lean mass in eight weeks.
I had never heard of the three body types:
- Ectomorph – Thin build, challenging to put on weight (muscle or fat); Example: long-distance runner.
- Mesomorph – Muscular build, can lose or gain muscle easily (fat gain minimal); Example: sprinter or gymnast.
- Endomorph – Large build, easy to put on weight (both good and bad); Example: shotputter or football lineman.
I didn’t realize I was an Ectomorph and I needed to be eating healthy carbs. No wonder I wasn’t gaining any mass!
Bam. I’ve gone from 175.9 lbs to 184.6 lbs in just 28 days, while simultaneously decreasing my body fat % from 13.7 to 13.6%. That’s a gain of 8.7 lbs of lean mass.
Why didn’t I do this sooner?
I’m kicking myself for not taking control of this earlier in my life. I had this capability my whole life and I didn’t understand how my body worked and how to affect it. I lived a lot of years not feeling happy with my body which seems stupid now.
Regardless, now that I’m in control of my body I’m gaining a huge amount of confidence and enjoyment out of the process. It’s actually fun, which is still shocking to me.
The tool I use to measure my body fat percentage is a BodyMetrix Personal.
Here is where I’ve started with StrongLifts and where I’m currently at:
- Squat: Started at 75 lbs, now at 160 lbs
- Overhead Press: Started at 45 lbs, now at 85 lbs
- Deadlift: Started at 95 lbs, now at 175 lbs
- Bench Press: Started at 65 lbs, now at 105 lbs
- Barbell Row: Started at 65 lbs, now at 105 lbs
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- michaelbranch said: Since you’re relatively new to working out, the gains will be extremely fast. After that you’ll start to plateau. Don’t worry, just change programs immediately and you’ll be good to go. Try Wendlers 5/3/1 Program and for overall fitness: CrossFit.
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- iammorton said: Very nice Ryan! I love the StrongLifts 5x5 app. Thanks for the link to the diet. I’ll take a look at that.
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- excitablemob said: Never a truer example of the adage, ‘with time and unlimited resources anything is possible’ - but is there not a dichotomy between the quest for physical perfection and family life?
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