Jan 02

Ryan Carson standing on top of a mountain celebrating

I just completed Jim Stoppani’s Shortcut to Size program and I’m really happy with the results! The goal was to get to 185lbs and gain as little fat as possible.

Here’s the data:

Measurements (inches) Aug 19 to Dec 9

  • Pecs 38.75 -> 40.75 = +2.00 (+5.16%)
  • Bicep 11.875 -> 12.7953 = +0.92 (+7.75%)
  • Waist 35.25 -> 37.0079 = +1.76 (+4.99%)
  • Thigh 19.75 -> 21.4567 = +1.71 (+8.64%)
  • Calf 13.375 -> 14.4685 = +1.09 (+8.18%)
  • Weight 172.6 -> 188.0000 = +15.40 (+8.92%)
  • Body Fat 12.90 -> 14.00 = +1.10 (+8.53%)

I used the BodyMetrix Personal to measure my body fat.

Increase in strength

Those are exciting results for me but the thing that blows my mind is how much stronger I am now. Here’s some sample data (pounds, 3-5 reps):

  • Bench 95 -> 190 = +95 (+100%)
  • Squat 95 -> 220 = +125 (+132%)
  • Lat Pull Down 75 -> 180 = +105 (+140%)

My shoulder is healing so I skipped Shoulder days, so I only worked out three times a week, instead of the prescribed four times.

I followed the nutrition and supplement advice pretty strictly. It was not comfortable to increase to 3200 healthy calories per day but after awhile my body started to need the calories as I was more and more hungry.

The major cons to this program are time (6 hours per week, including travel to/from the gym) and the cost for eating a lot of protein/supplements.

My next goal is to get to 195 lbs and 12% body fat. I’ll be doing this with Stoppani’s Shortcut to Shred program.

Jim has been very supportive and responsive over Twitter. He’s a breath of fresh air in the murky world of weight lifting and fitness. He’s got a PHD, he’s ripped and he’s open and real.

Has anyone else had experiences they’d like at share?

Jan 13

As you all know, I decided to finally get my ass in gear and get in shape back in 2011. (Here’s the proof.)

Since I moved to the States I’ve been working out at LA Fitness, which is a 10 minute walk from my house. However, the article Everything You Know About Fitness is a Lie inspired me to quit my gym and buy my own equipment and work out at home. Five reasons:

  1. I’ve already proven I have the willpower to work out consistently (thus not needing the ‘gym experience’ to keep me going).
  2. I waste 30 minutes walking to/from the gym. I could be spending this time with my family or working.
  3. I know how to lift barbells properly because I was trained by a great gym in the UK.
  4. I’m throwing my money way on my gym membership. Hopefully I have 40 years left to work out, so at $30 x 12 months x 40 years = $14,400. A great setup from Rogue costs around $1500, shipping included, and it’s got a lifetime guarantee. (It’s basically a bunch of steel bars so it’ll last forever.) 
  5. It was a good excuse to buy some nice gear

It arrived in a bunch of boxes and I finished assembling it this week (only took 30 minutes). I put it down in my creepy basement. 

I’m going to use a simple iPhone app called StrongLifts to track my progress. I’m doing really simple lifts: Deadlifts, Bench Press, Overhead Press and Squats. I’m also reading Starting Strength: Basic Barbell Training

The attachment is called a Matador and it’s for dips.

Stuff I Like

@ryancarson on Twitter