Self Experimentation/Demonstration: GOMAD, muscle gain, good health, etc

27 02 2012

Please read the whole article before commenting on how crazy I am.  But, feel free to post that.  It will just make it funnier in 2 months when I prove you wrong.

If you don’t know already, GOMAD = Gallon of milk a day.  Note: I’ve done GOMAD twice before so I pretty much know what to expect, which is why this is a experiment/demonstration.

Where I Am Now

Since new years I have been lifting lightly and slowly getting back into shape.  I’m finally at a reasonable point (Deadlift, 265, Squat 215, Bench 150, Row 150, Overhead Press 120) and am going to kick it into high gear.  I currently weigh 168 lbs, my goal is 175 lbs with a good body fat %.

My Plan


Stay on my current linear progression lifting program (based on Stronglifts).  I will probably have to switch to an intermediate program soon enough.  See my current results as well as projected workouts here.


Eat my normal diet (low/slow carb mostly, but plenty of crap also), but add GOMAD.  Stay on this until I reach 180 lbs (should be 2 months), at which point drop GOMAD and cut down to 175 lbs while attemping to not lose any muscle mass.  I may do only half a gallon of milk on Sat and Sun since I don’t lift those 2 days in a row.


For fun, after I reach my goal of 180 lbs I will get a cholesterol test to show you the reader what happens.  Either you’ll be surprised by awesome numbers or I’ll be surprised by crappy numbers.


I will try to photo every bit of food I eat until I reach my goal of 175 lbs and post the photos to my flickr account.  You can follow along with my workout progress here.   I took a video since photos are easily altered and posted it below, and I will repeat at 180 lbs and 175 lbs.  At the end of my GOMAD I will get a lipid panel (cholesterol test).

In the spirit of full disclosure I have a few extra things I do/don’t do:

  • Never work out within 30 minutes of waking up.
  • Never lift right after eating.
  • Sleep plenty.
  • Short warm up.

Things I’m Not Doing

People have a million and one (stupid) tips on how to lose or gain weight.  I’m not doing anything but what’s above.  Here’s a short list of things I’m not doing that you may have heard of:

  • Counting calories
  • Going out of my way to walk or jog or walk up stairs or anything like that
  • “Timing” my protein
  • Working out at a specific time (ie, workout before you eat breakfast or other such bs)
  • “Confusing my muscles” by switching exercises
  • Supplementing in any way (although I do take vitamin D3, vitamin B and fishoil for other reasons)
  • Substituting “healthy food” for other food.  For example, quinoa, low fat anything, etc.  I cook with real butter, bacon, etc.


I have done this before, so I pretty much know what’s going to happen.  It should take a month or two to get up to 180 lbs.  From there it’ll take another month or two to drop back down to 175 lbs.  At 175 lbs  I will look noticeably more muscular than I do now, but still have a small belly.  Hypothesis for my cholesterol levels after reaching 180 lbs by drinking a gallon of milk a day: should be similar to my last test: total 185, triglyceride 84, hdl 68, ldl 100, (all mg/dL), December 2010.

Call for Comments

I really want to hear from you on what you think will happen.  I know this sounds crazy, so I’m hoping people post what they think will happen or not happen.

My Workout, Part A

22 02 2012

As promised, my post today is a video of my workout (one of two), which comes from  The entire thing from warm up to being done is only 37 minutes.  People complain working out takes too long, does 37 minutes sound long?  And, only 3x a week.  If you’re doing a workout that takes longer, you might want to reconsider.  In the future I’ll do a post on the kind of results I have gotten.

All that’s needed for this workout: Barbell, weights, squat rack, some plywood and rubber for barbell row and deadlifting.  And somehow modern gyms spend tens of thousands of dollars on useless equipment.

Oh yeah, and you can see my workouts for 2012 in my Gdoc here.

Knee pain gone

29 01 2012

Last year I slacked off on working out for various reasons.  In October I was chasing my nephew around at his birthday party and having a blast, but the next day I woke up and my knee was killing me.  I attributed it to the under use for months followed by an overly strenuous day.  From then on my knee would occasionally start to hurt for no reason.  It felt okay at some times, but at others it felt like a rock was stuck behind my patella.  When the pain didn’t go away after a week I started looking for a solution.  I knew that knee pain is common and thus I would come across a million bad ideas (like weight loss), so I turned to a source I trust:  The two most relevant articles were this one and this one.  So I set out trying to get rid of my knee pain.  In the beginning of December 2011.

Me squatting 215 lbf on a light day in mid 2011

At first I tried squatting around 185 lbf to 200 lbf, but it hurt more than I felt was “okay pain” so I looked into trigger point therapy.  I didn’t have the discipline to self massage 6x a day and thus didn’t experience any great progress.  Instead, starting a week before new years, I started squatting really light at 135 lbf for 3 sets of 5, working up at 5 added pounds per workout.  The video above shows me squatting 80 lbf heavier on a light day and gives you an idea of how light 135 lbf is for me.  I also started doing Pavel’s morning “Recharge!” exercises which work the joints in the morning.  Now it’s the end of January and my knee is no longer giving me pain!

Can I say for certain what helped the pain go away the most?  No.  Do I care? No.  The pain is gone from one or more of the things I tried and that’s what matters.