From Geek to Freak: How I Gained 34 lbs. of Muscle in 4 Weeks

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After holding off for nearly two years, I’m posting this because too many people have asked for it. The lasses should read it, too, as the same principles can be applied to bodyfat loss.

I weighed 152 lbs. for four years of high school, and after training in tango in Buenos Aires in 2005, that had withered to 146 lbs. Upon returning to the US, I performed an exhaustive analysis of muscular hypertrophy (growth) research and exercise protocols, ignoring what was popular to examine the hard science. The end result? I gained 34 lbs. of muscle, while losing 3 lbs. of fat, in 28 days.

Before and after measurements, including underwater hydrostatic weighings, were taken by Dr. Peggy Plato at the Human Performance Laboratory at the San Jose State University, and I had blood tests taken on September 30 and October 20. Though this ridiculous experiment might seem unhealthy, I also dropped my total cholesterol count from 222 to 147 without the use of statins. No joke.

Here are a few comparative shots. Oh, and I forgot to mention, all of this was done with two 30-minute workouts per week, for a total of 4 HOURS of gym time:

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How did I do it?

First, some select stats on the 4-week change (9/21-10/23):

Bodyfat %- 16.72 to 12.23

Suit Size- 40 short to 44 regular (measured at Brooks Brothers at Santana Row in San Jose by a professional tailor)

Neck- 15.8″ to 18″

Chest- 37.5″ to 43″

Shoulders- 43″ to 52″

Thigh- 21.5″ to 25.5″

Calf- 13.5″ to 14.9″

Upper Arm- 12″ to 14.6

Forearm- 10.8″ to 12″

Waist- 29.5″ to 33.1″

Hips (Ass at widest)- 34″ to 38.23″

Here are the six basic principles that made it happen:

1. Follow Arthur Jones’ general recommendations for one-set-to-failure from the little-known Colorado Experiment, but with lower frequency (maximum of twice per week) and with at least 3 minutes between exercises.

2. Perform every repetition with a 5/5 cadence (5 seconds up, 5 seconds down) to eliminate momentum and ensure constant load.

3. Focus on no more than 4-7 multi-joint exercises (leg press, trap bar deadlift, overhead press, Yates bent row, dips, incline machine benchpress, etc.) and exercise your entire body each workout to elicit a maximal hormonal (testosterone, growth hormone + IGF-1) response.

4. Eat enormous quantities of protein (much like my current fat-loss diet) with low-glycemic index carbohydrates like quinoa, but drop calories by 50% one day per week to prevent protein uptake downregulation.

5. Exercise less frequently as you increase strength and size, as your recovery abilities can only increase 20-30%, while you can often increase fat-free muscle tissue up to 100% before reaching a genetic set-point.

6. Record every workout in detail, including date, time of day, order of exercises, reps, and weight. Remember that this is an experiment, and you need to control the variables to accurately assess progress and make adjustments.

For the ladies not interested in becoming the Hulk, if you follow a “slow-carb” diet and reduce rest periods to 30 seconds between exercises, this exact workout protocol can help you lose 10-20 pounds of fat in the same 28-day time span.

Once again, questioning assumptions leads to the conclusion: less is more. Detox from TV twice a week and put in your 4 hours a month!

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If you enjoyed this post, check out my latest book, The 4-Hour Body, #1 New York Times and #1 Amazon bestseller. You will learn: How to lose 20 pounds in 30 days (without exercise), how to triple your testosterone, techniques for producing 15-minute female orgasms, and more.

You can also pick up the Expanded and Updated 4-Hour Workweek, which includes more than 50 new case studies of luxury lifestyle design, business building, reducing hours 80%+, and world travel.

Related and Recommended Posts:

Tim Ferriss interviewed by Derek Sivers

Tim Ferriss articles on Huffington Post

Tim Ferriss interview – common questions on lifestyle design and productivity

The Tim Ferriss Show is one of the most popular podcasts in the world with more than 500 million downloads. It has been selected for "Best of Apple Podcasts" three times, it is often the #1 interview podcast across all of Apple Podcasts, and it's been ranked #1 out of 400,000+ podcasts on many occasions. To listen to any of the past episodes for free, check out this page.

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1,387 Replies to “From Geek to Freak: How I Gained 34 lbs. of Muscle in 4 Weeks”

  1. Very impressive results. Glad I stumbled upon this website. I love to hear success stories and what people did to get there. Appreciate the documentation. I myself study muscle building and fat loss and stories like this really help me to learn more. Thanks. I will be following your efforts now.

  2. I have no doubt you can obtain results from this type of workout. I’m not an exercise physiologist, but there are a couple things to remember:

    1. Stretch well afterwards and light stretch before. This takes some time, especially the afterwards part. If you don’t, you’re gonna introduce new problems.

    2. You won’t get anywhere without proper eating.

    Also, I am curious as to if this can also be applied to running. Example: rather than running for an hour at 6.0 mph, run for 25 min at 8 mph. then continue to increase speed rather than time. I don’t see why it wouldn’t work.

  3. Stretching before working out is not a good idea in most cases. It does not prevent injuries, and has been shown to reduce muscular force output. Stretching afterwards, however, may improve results slightly, according to a few studies done by Wayne Westcott. You’re not going to have any problems if you’re not stretching, however. If you’re working through a full range of motion during the exercises, the exercises themselves will improve flexibility to a degree.

    As for running, it depends on the goal, but there are studies from McMaster University showing brief, intense, sprint interval training produces comparable results to traditional endurance training. Google “sprint interval training”, “traditional endurance training” and “McMaster” and you’ll find the study and numerous articles about it.

  4. There is a simple miscalculation here. Tim mentions that this workout takes 1 hour (2 * 30 min) a week and a total of 4 hours a month. But I should clarify that he is referring to the “Isolation” version (Fat Loss) mentioned at the very end (30 seconds of rest between exercises) and NOT the weight gain version (with 3 min rests between the exercises).

    Tim, can you please correct this?

  5. Hi Tim-

    I’m a college student following both your diet and your workout plan, and both of them in combination have dropped my weight from about 220 to 154 over the course of a year (I’m about 6’2). At this point in time, I’d really like to work towards a “ripped” physique, for lack of a better word. Since I’ve been following your workout plan, I don’t look puny by any stretch of the imagination, but at the same time I probably won’t have the ladies jumping all over me when I go to the beach either 🙁

    Could you by any chance give me some advice on how to “tune” your diet and workout plan to work in conjunction so that I can “get ripped?”. In short, what’s the best way to gain muscle while losing fat simultaneously, if that’s even possible? I’ve been trying to research this on my own, and the general consensus is that you can’t achieve both at the same time. Is this true for the most part?

    Any help that you could offer would truly be awesome 🙂

    Thanks!

    Rob

  6. Thanks for taking the time to discuss this, I feel strongly about it and love learning more on this topic. If possible, as you gain expertise, would you mind updating your blog with more information? It is extremely helpful and beneficial to your readers 🙂

  7. Incredible! Over 600 comments!

    I must say, if you have the time and effort to eat 5000 calories, you are definitely going to achieve something incredible like this! lol.

    Like you said, it’s a full time job!

    Well done, Tim.

  8. i’m a cross country runner, but i’d like to start increasing my muscle percentage in an effort to make myself into a better overall athlete. what would be a good way to through running into this mix? also, your diet recommends not eating alot of white carbs, my main ingredient when im in the midst of intense training. would eating these interfere with the muscle gain or is that simply for fat loss? thx, tah.

  9. Hey Tim,

    I’ve just used your Slow Carb diet to lose about 13-15 lbs of flub…cheers! Now, I’m afraid if I lose any more fat – my wife might stop using me as a pillow and I won’t get any attention.

    I’ve been doing a very little research on sprint training to lose weight, and build muscle. Obviously not exclusively, hypertrophy is always necessary, but the HIIT is supposed to increase your HGH by 500%. Lookout Barry Bonds.

    A couple people have posted about sprint training – I’m not criticizing them, but I’m not sure if they are as devout to the Pareto principle as you are.

    I figured leverage of this kind would be right up your alley – let us know what you reckon

    Tyson

  10. How the heck did you go from a 40S to 44R? That means your arms got longer or your tailor sucks big time. A 44S has longer arms than a 40S and a 44R has longer arms than a 44S. Like two inches difference. That’s a pretty big screwup on a tailor’s part.

    Nonetheless, impressive.

  11. Hey Tim. I got a question for you

    I have been doing HIT for several months. I have gained some weight, not 20 or 30 pounds but some. Ever since I started your diet plus quinoa I have gained “love tires” Please, clarify which supplements that you took will reduce fat and still provide muscle growth. Thanks

  12. Hi Tim and others,

    first of all thanks so much for posting this! I’ve read through this post and the weight loss one so many times and this is excellent information.

    I’m on my 18th day so far, strictly following this workout and the diet as well as consuming all the supplements that Tim recommended.

    While I can see a noticeable growth in muscle, especially in the arms region, I’m a bit concerned about actually loosing weight.

    I’m currently consuming about 218g of protein per day (+ another 50g when working out), 36 of total fat and 1878 kcal. So far I have lost about 3 kgs of weight and I can see that I’m getting slimmer.

    The problem is, that this is the total opposite of what I wanted. I’m 188 cm (6.3 feet) and weigh 77 kgs. That seems to be a bit too low for a person of my height.

    Would you recommend to add another 2 scoops of Whey Protein each evening before going to bed? While I like what I see so far, I would love to see more muscle gain, I’m just not entirely sure if this is expected or if I should consume more calories (too be honest I’m already eating more than I ever wanted!).

    Thanks for your help and advise,

    Marcus.

  13. Markus,

    You’re obviously eating TOO little! Upgrade your calorie intake of (slow starches, protein, legumes, vegs) to around 5000 calories.

    Keep us posted.

  14. Being a skinny wee lad myself I have used a similar training routine twice now to gain muscle (a little bit different here and there, but essentially the same). Excellent post detailing the necessary information to get people started. It work’s trust me (especially if you are a “hard gainer” like me)!

    PS, if you cannot stomach some supplements, I use QNT’s Megapure Mass, it is great and really helped me bulk up when used in conjunction with this training regime (and no! I have no affiliations with QNT!!)

  15. I can’t say if these results are accurate or not but I can say that I just happened to be doing a similar program and found this blog while looking for information on how fast the body can add muscle. I have not done all the measurements you have and I am fat and losing weight so even my scale tells me nothing (hence my search because I wanted to try to have an idea of muscle gain vs. fat loss to understand the scale numbers better).

    HOWEVER, I will say that I have seen rapid gains in strength. I did this last year and had large gains in strength, then got out of the routine due to family issues and am back in again. Both times gains have been rapid and the extended hiatus in my routine didn’t set me back too far when I picked it back up. How much is genetic and how much is genetic, etc. I don’t know but a brief description of what I do.

    I have one of the original Bowflex machines, (parents bought it, it didn’t work by sitting in the corner so they gave it to me), using it I have to say I like it. I don’t need a spotter and it fits in my house well. I went through the book that came with it and picked out exercises that work each muscle group but don’t double up very much. (I do complete the bench press and the fly. The fly I do regular, downward and upward. Was doing it as three separate sets but I’ve changed it to 4 or 5 reps of each in one set.) I do one set of each exercise with a slow count of about 4/4 up and down, it varies some. I don’t rush to the next routine, I don’t like being too tired.

    I add resistance every week. I try to do 3 work outs a week but often it has been only 2 due to other interuptions. I add an extra “5 pounds” at a time. I put this in quotes because the Bowflex’s rods are not by the pounds, at least not with the use of pulleys. I’ve tested this with a spring scale. But the numbers are good for reference. I definitely believe 1 set of any exercise in a single workout is enough. I use to do two years ago when I worked out (before I got fat). I can’t say I saw as rapid a progress as with the single good set and rest. I’m sure the same will be just as effective no matter what machine or weight equipment you use.

    I don’t know that I will be able to say how much muscle I add in 30 days but I do believe I will be able to say if it is significant or not and right now I feel like it probably will be. My main difference is that I am measuring strength not pounds.

    Suppliments used:

    creatine usually before and after

    Glutamine to speed up recovery (I’ve noticed a difference with and without it. Same for the creatine).

    Sometimes extra amino acids if I have really made a muscle sore. I’m all about gain with little pain.

    Sometimes additional protein. I have found one called Biochem I like because there’s no artificial sweetners and it has some vegitables in it too. I like the taste too. But I don’t take it every day. Americans eat a lot of protein to begin with.

    It should also be noted that I am a pretty large guy in build, (not talking about my belly), and I am natually very powerful without working out. I’m sure everyonen will react differently to the routine. For me this routine is about convenience and sticking with it more than anything else. It is just nice to see it also being very effective.

  16. Hey David,

    How low did you go in terms of food on the Glycemic Index? <55? Lower? Its done wonders for me! No more falling asleep behind the wheel in the middle of the day!

  17. This guy has some brilliant ideas and I am a big fan of his book but it does seem he tends towards hyperbole which is unfortunate because the ideas are good enough to stand on their own.

  18. This is exactly what a cool post looks like 🙂

    I saw this, I found it impossible to NOT get on this program. From couch belly to spartan 6pack in 2 months – that I’ve done before, but in 30 days ? Well throw everything else out the window, if this can be done then for me at least, it’s the only lifestyle to have. I refuse to live like a regular cubicle dweller any longer.

    The very day I saw this post I made some Before pictures, and set out to make the After ones, in 30 days, with much more muscle and less fat.

    Very inspiring, many thanks Tim 🙂

    – Calin

  19. Hey guys,

    I started this program at the start of this week and plan to run it for the next two months or so – depending on the progress I make. My current weight is 85.7kg and I hope to at least get over 90kg by the end of the two month period.

    I’m aiming for 4,000 calories per day at the very least – maybe 5,000 would be better considering I play Rugby and have a job which requires me to be very active so I need to take into consideration the calories I will burn during the day.

    Anyway wish me luck, and all the best to those who are currently doing this program!

    James

  20. Tim,

    Fascinating experiment!! I have been training along Arthur Jones’ principles for over 5-years. My current body-weight is 152 lbs, 14.5% body-fat. Primarily, my focus is on Deadlifts, Dips and Squats. My max over this timeframe is as follows:

    Deadlift 405lbs 3 reps

    Dips Body weight plus 90 lbs

    My wife also trains along these principles and can currently leg press 350 lbs. These are gains that have been made over an extended period of time, training once per week and sometimes once every 2-weeks. Would like to make a couple of observations:

    (1) I applaud your results over such a short period of time. However, the purpose of positive failure training is to achieve small measureable results over an extended period of time. The concept of training to failure is not easily understood in a culture of multiple sets/reps and no-pain no-gain mentality. Many people need 4-weeks (4-work-outs) or more to understand the concepts of HIT and realize that time to rest and grow are important components, if not more important, than the actual act of weight training.

    (2) Genetics plays a large roll in muscular development. I overheard a trainer at my gym talking to a lady and the lady commented that she did not want to get muscular look, just wanted to get toned. Women can’t get muscular because of lack of testosterone!! Look around any gym….most guys can’t get overly muscular. This is the main reason the Fitness industry is a multi-million dollar industry is due to this flawed perception of fast muscular development in 3-months. It’s a hook to get the sale. People buy a 1-year membership, plateau in development at 3-months and give-up because they don’t have the extra time they feel they need to make additional gains.

    In conclussion, less is more!

    Cheers!

    Mike

  21. Hi Tim and everyone else,

    I’m on day 10 of experimenting with this regime. I took some before pics and will take some after pics at the end of it. I feel as though i am gaining muscle growth but at the same time I am gaining fat on my belly – which is frustrating me – as I felt one of the main appeals of this programme was to gain muscle and lose fat simultaneously. I’d appreciate it if I could be pointed in the right direction as to where I may be going wrong. I’ll outline my diet routine so you can see if I have the right idea or not:

    12am Breakfast (yep i get up late) Freshly squeezed lemon juice with water and a pinch of salt.

    Scrambled egg (1 whole + 4 egg whites), legumes (baked beans + sausages or kidney beans or pinto beans or chickpeas – half a tins worth), vegetables or salad

    Multivitamin tablet + water

    1pm Glass of skimmed milk

    1.30pm Protein shake mixed with water with some cashew nuts

    3pm Oven cooked Chicken with Tikka or Tandoori flavour (about 5 small pieces – usually breast), half a tin of legumes, salad or vegetables + water

    Strawberry yogurt + a clementine as desert

    4pm Glass of skimmed milk

    4.30pm Protein shake mixed with water with some cashew nuts

    6pm Tuna salad with legumes (third of a tin), onions, sweetcorn, chilli, olives and half freshly squeezed lemon

    7pm Glass of Milk

    7.30pm Protein shake mixed with water with some cashew nuts

    9pm Grilled Steak/Lamb Chops, half a tin of legumes, salad or vegetables + water + 1 Glass of Red Wine

    Strawberry yogurt + a clementine as desert

    As an extra protein snack I’ve also had a protein bar or bag of chicken bites during the day inbetween one of the meals.

    On workout days my diet regime is the same except immediately post training I’ll have a protein shake followed by a 10″ Meat Feast pizza in place of one of the low GI carb meals.

    I’m gaining muscle but also getting fat around my belly! What am I doing wrong? All pointers are highly appreciated!

    Ali

    1. If you’re vegan/vegetarian, that looks like one of the better options. The extensive claims lead me to some skepticism (binding to heavy metals, etc.), and I still believe animal and egg proteins to be superior, but it seems good for those who have eliminated meat and such.

      Good luck!

      Tim

  22. Hey Tim,

    I want to try this program out since it is very hard for m to go to the gym regularly anymore. (I used to go 3-5 times a week from January until about May)

    Here is a couple of questions:

    If you do cardio exercises and other sports like: Acrobatics, Hiking, snowboarding, wakeboarding, and martial arts. How does it effect the recovery compared to not doing anything else. You are probably more familiar with the first since you are very active.

    Also, is there a big burnout after? Sometimes when I train very hard, I just don’t want to do anything the whole day, except lie in bed and eat. Does it get bad? Should I expect to be less energetic?

    Thanks for your answers,

    Alex

  23. Tim, I just wanted to thank you for writing your book and publishing the results of your bodybuilding experiment. I think the key point from both is that you need to constantly experiment and use your own mind to make improvements in your life.

    BTW, I now get the best muscle building results just working out once every three weeks!

    Tom

  24. I tried you program and I gained 10lb of muscle without any body fat gain in 1 month! Not as impressive at 34lb, but I couldn’t pack the food down that well. I still find the eating hard, but it is more natural than it used to be. I’ve slowed down my eating and I’m still gaining, just at a slower place (~4lb a month). I think this is the right pace for me because I keep my body fat down and I don’t feel like about to explode from too much food all the time. 🙂

    Do you stick with HIT training for the longterm or do you mix it up? A buddy of mine does a Periodization routine that uses a workout similar to yours for one of the 6-week periods. What do you suggest?

  25. Ali,

    I’m not an expert and am naturally thin, so take this as you see fit.

    I suggest 2 options: 1) cut down the calorie intake and gain slower, or 2) gain w/ the fat and then “cut” afterward. Most of the forums I read go with the 2nd approach. It takes longer, but produces good results. It does mean changing your workout and diet when “cutting” to a fat burning routine.

    I did the first option and it worked for me, but I’m naturally thin. Also, I was consuming a lot fewer calories than you. I was around 2500-2800 a day.

    Hope that helps and good luck with the program!

  26. @Ali,

    Do you eat any low-GI starches at all? I can’t see macaroni/spaghetti/Quinoa/Brown rice, etc. anywhere in your diet. I have gained muscle without starches but far less.

  27. This is clearly a lie. Gaining 34lb in 28 days requires a caloric surplus of 4300 calories per day, so for a guy his size, he must have eaten 7000 calories a day. He expects me to believe that he dropped 4% in bodyfat as a result of eating 7000 calories? Sorry, either he juiced, or this transformation happened over a significantly longer period of time.

  28. Cain, your numbers are way off. You’re assuming fat and muscle gain require the same calorie surplus, which they do not. While this is a huge oversimplification, consider a pound of muscle is about 75% water, with the remaining 25% being mostly protein, around 110 grams. It would not be difficult for someone to consume an additional 110 grams per day over maintenance, and the additional calories required for production of the new tisue probably wouldn’t be anywhere near the amount you’re suggesting.

    Also consider it is possible to reduce body fat percentage while gaining body fat, if you are gaining lean body mass at a faster rate.

  29. Tim! wow, excellent post. I have Crohn’s Disease (mostly under control) and I find that working out causes an escalated inflammation response in my small intestine causing the reverse affect to what I was desiring.

    I’ve heard that L-Glutamine works well, however, I’ve been using an L-Glutamine powder and it doesn’t seem to be helping keep the inflammatory response away.

  30. I have heard of this technique in the past when I was in school researching exercise and tried it for a couple of weeks and saw some amazing changes in my body. The one thing I did was I did not do it to failure which is what I am going to be testing right now for the next 30 days and monitor my results.

  31. To anyone who is serious about this project, I found that Sriracha is an awesome way to make your tuna more awesome! Wash that down with a protein shake and you’re in business. Good luck!

  32. Hi Tim,

    Ive been going to the gym now for 9 years. While my strength has improved hugely my body never really showed any major changes. On the other hand it has kept me in fairly good shape. Anyway, seeing as at this stage i struggle to do a good hour in the gym your plan seems like a new way forward to me. Im also doing your diet.

    I just have a simple question:

    When I go down to the gym and finish my bit of a warm up or whatever and am ready to go, what size of a weight should I then lift until failure? i.e. in the case of a bench press, do I use the same light weight, medium weight or heavy weight ? Im guessing I just choose a medium weight and then keep benching with cadence of 3/3 until failure ?

    thanks again

  33. @Jeremy thanks for the suggestions for gaining with fat and then cutting down. However, one of the main reasons for me experimenting with this regime was to try and replicate Tim’s claimed results as much as possible. He claimed to have gained 34lbs of muscle while simultaneously dropping 3lbs of fat.

    @Farid & Tim Ferriss: No I did not consume low GI starches as I was following the diet here: http://www.fourhourworkweek.com/blog/2007/04/06/how-to-lose-20-lbs-of-fat-in-30-days-without-doing-any-exercise/

    I have now noticed macaroni/Quinoa are mentioned in the main Geek to Freak article. So the question for Tim is, are low GI starches an important part of this regime if you’re trying to gain muscle and lose fat at the same time? Also Tim, from your experiments with other people following this regime, do they also lose fat whilst gaining muscle or did it vary from person to person. Are some people going to put on fat no matter what becasue that’s how their body chooses to react to excess calories?

    Soon after my first comment I got swine flu so was only able to experiment with this for about 10 days. I gained about 2kgs in those 10 days, but after 4 days of being ill I lost most those 2kgs – which makes me wonder what was the nature of the gains? Was it mostly water retention?

    After a month I think I’m now almost recovered and am contemplating hitting the gym again. But I’m looking depressingly at my big fat belly and am wondering – shall I re-continue with this regime which added to my belly, or change tact and go for a regime that will focus on toning, cutting and fat burn.

    Tim, If you have any ideas on how I can gain muscle without the fat (and where I may ahve been going wrong), I’ll give this regime another shot.

    1. Hi Ali,

      I would highly recommend that you get as lean as possible before gaining weight. It’s just easier to end up with a good result. Go on the diet seriously, drop a ton of fat over 1-2 months, and then get back to the gaining and add in the low-GI grains except for dinner.

      Good luck!

      Tim

  34. @Ados:

    Try a heavy weight which you can work with for 80-120 seconds on a 2/2 cadence. Then drop 20-25% off that and go for a 5/5 cadence. You should keep experimenting with it and adjust the weight there on. Note that it will take you a while until you get a good hold of the breathing and the form.

    I personally increase the weight by 2-5% if I can exceed 120 seconds on an exercise with good form.

    Good luck and keep us updated.

  35. Wow, I didn’t know a tan and shaving your body could make such a difference. I tried it myself, and I look great too.Thanks Gillette and Tans-R-Us!

  36. by the way, i tried this program for 28 days. I didn’t gain any weight, not sure about the muscles. But I have been able to stay in the same shape I was working out 4-5 times a week before. So I am sticking with it.

    Probably eating and sleeping more would help me, but I don’t feel like gaining muscles anymore.

  37. i need to say it sounds interesting but still I am not sure about this. I usualy dont belive in fast way of getting into shape, but anyhow, maybe it works and therefore I have one question.

    I use to be a dancer and now after 4 years of no training, I am not fat but I am not in shape i would like to be. Would like to have my six-pack back and nice firmed legs (now I have celulite), but its not about looks, more about the condition I would like to be in. Currently I have started to run with combination of fast walking for 45 min in the morning and then I am working out. I would be very pleased if you could writte what kind of exercise can I do to get where I whant?

    i kindly thank you in advance, take care.

    A.

  38. You are claiming gains that FAR exceed gains made by bodybuilders using steroids. You are either REGAINING mass, made ERRORS in measurements, or are LYING. There is no question you used the typical before/after photo tricks implemented by supplement companies.

    A comprehensive review by Hartgens and Kuiper:

    “Although many strength athletes frequently report increments of about 10–15kg of bodyweight due to AAS administration, such alterations have not been documented in well designed prospective studies. Most studies show that bodyweight may increase by 2–5kg as a result of short-term (<10 weeks) AAS use. The most pronounced average gain of bodyweight was reported by Casner and coworkers after 6 weeks of stanozolol administration [7 kg in 6 weeks]. However, in a case report, an increase of 12.7kg over a 2-year AAS administration period was registered."

    Hartgens F, Kuipers H. Effects of androgenic-anabolic steroids in athletes. Sports Med. 2004;34(8):513-54.

  39. Hi, I loved the diet article but this one doesn’t go sufficiently in details. I’d appreciate an article that can focus on gaining muscles but explains all the exercises and the diet in detail.

  40. @Tim Ferriss:

    In your last comment (to Ali) you’ve mentioned: “drop a ton of fat over 1-2 months, and then get back to the gaining and add in the low-GI grains except for dinner.” Is there a special reason for not eating the low-GI grains for dinner? i.e. only 3 meals a day with grains and one without?

  41. @Tim

    I realy hope this will work for me. I am starting tommorow. I ve lost hope for the ordinary gym programs…they are all the same and all “require” years of training to gain muscle.

    More like the “1 kg per month is awesome!” is actualy “yeah stay here for years and give us hundreds of €”.

    Now who is missleading and thinking only of money ( this goes out to all that think Tim is doing this for exposure of some sort ).

    I am currently 6″6 and 205 pounds and I look skinny.

    Whish me luck. I know the food part will be a real pain . No pain no gain 🙂

    I ll keep you guys posted.

  42. @Igor,

    Wow! I liked your tone of speech.

    Make sure you do everything to the letter. Also sleep 9 hours a day and drinks lots of water.

    Keep up posted on your progress.

    Good luck!

  43. If everyone simply did #’s 2, 3, 4, and 6, they’d gain size and strength like crazy.

    But, as they say in the fitness industry, “Complicate to profit.”

    Simple doesn’t sell, which is why some people don’t believe the results.

  44. Fella I doen`t believe aword of what your saying,its genetically impossible to gain that amount of lean muscle in 28 days even with anabolic steroids.dorian yates the greatest bodybuilder of all time never gained close to that that amount in 1 year never mind 1 month.

  45. I think a more fantastical title for this article would be “How to spend 1000 dollars on protein and gain 34 pounds in one month without working out at all!”

    Then again it wouldn’t sell as many books. Timothy Ferris you truly are a master of manipulation.

  46. I followed the Colorado experiment/HIT training method for almost a year, together with a friend of mine. We mostly did assisted reps to increase the intensity (i.e. bench-press until you can’t move the weights anymore and then do two more reps with slight support from the spotter). Both my friend and I got some very considerable stength gains out of the workout, but visually, my musculature practically didn’t improve at all. Kept more or less the same weight, too. My friend grew noticably during the first few months, though. Currently, I’m doing a more traditional, multi-set, several times a week workout and that’s working for me. But I do intend to try Colorado/HIT method again some time. I’ll follow your guidelines when I do and see if it makes a difference (didn’t know about this article when I did the workout myself).

    Anyway, thanks for posting this, Tim. Truly amazing to see such gains in such a short time.

  47. Hey Tim,

    Thanks for the “Game-Changer” workout.

    I have worked out for 21 years and was a traditional lifter for twenty of those years. For the past year I have been following the Crossfit.com Workouts. I saw your program and decided to gamble a month of my life. Well…

    I was 6’6″ and 280Lbs at the start of your program. I don’t measure body fat as percentage but as a direct measurement at the navel pinch point (two inches east of your belly button). My measurement has stayed at 4mm for the duration of your program.

    I am now 292.

    My bicep with arm straight out went from 17 to 18″.

    My thigh went from 28 to 29″

    My chest and lats fully extended grew from 50″ to 52.5″.

    My waist navel measurement has stayed at 36.5 (I know that needs work! It’s tough; genetically I have a big stomach) I can see my abs.

    I worked out a total of 4.5 hours in three weeks and made sure to SLEEP at least 7 to 8 hours a night.

    I adopted the Zone diet principles a year ago so I was already on board w/ your “Slow Carb” diet.

    In order to increase caloric intake the ONLY THING I CHANGED was to drink one gallon of whole milk a day. Called G.O.M.A.D.

    I make my own protein bars (steel cut oats, whey protein, crushed smart start, chocolate chips, natural peanut butter, and whole milk. Mix and place in fridge. Google this recipe. Taste better than anything I have bought.

    So in summary,

    I gained 6lbs a week for THREE WEEKS.

    Thanks!

    Update (second time through)

    18.5” arms

    53” chest

    Bodyweight 305

    Dead lift 450

    Squat 500

    I workout twice a week and look great!

    THANKS!!

  48. ROM – 4 minute workout machine. Tim, have you ever used the ROM that claims 4 minutes a day on this machine saves the day. Seems to good to be true but since you are the king of getting more done in less time, i thought you would have some good input. Wondering if the $15,000 price tag is worth the time saved. I’ve been thinking about diving in and trying it.

    – Joe Adkins

  49. Tim,

    Thank you for all the great info. I see you are going to put it all in a book, based on all these posts and the posts from the diet, its a no brainer. Too bad I cant buy it today. I am starting your program tomorrow. I have to see my ex-husband in 30 days and I would love to see his mouth drop! Plus, I am a graphic designer full time and a full time education major at FAU, and a sub-teacher so your schedule fits me perfectly. The red wine at night and the cheat day are brilliant. The muscle exhaustion seems to make perfect sense. Where have you been all my life. Did I mention I love you!! I will post again in 30 days to let you know how I did. Thanks again! Sandy Pags

  50. Tim, as I have Crohn’s, and you have mentioned rapid gastric emptying, is that’s what’s causing all the gas and bloating with supplements like Weider? or is it because it’s a cheap supplement?

    is Casein + 6000-8000 calories worth of food in a day the way to these massive gains? i’m going to be hitting the gym once the TCM doctor sees to the Crohn’s

  51. Hey Tim,

    I am in a bit of a pinch right now, but I think that with the right help (workouts =D ) I might be able to condition myself for being the high school football teams kicker. At the moment the team is without a kicker and much “go-for-two” every time we get a touchdown, only played two games and have tried three different kickers!

    My question is, do you think there is any way to condition my leg from barely making a 22-yard field goal to possibly making then into the mid-40’s in a week or two? The team doesn’t need a fantastic kicker yet, but I would need fast result and would continue working out to improve my kick for later in the season.

    I know you are not “coaching” people right now, time restraints = / , but if you could say “yes,” or “no,” that would be a great help. (I am 17 years old and highly motivated right now, and I would be willing to invest above 3 hours a day to kicking if it is possible, but seeing from your work, time isn’t directly affecting the end results)

    Thanks for reading this, any reply would be GREATLY appreciated, if not I totally understand.

    1. Hi Tim,

      Find the best technical coach you can for kicking or get some DVDs. That amount of progress in that time can be had, I believe, but it require technique more than conditioning/strength.

      Good luck!

      Tim

  52. Hey Tim!!

    Could you give me any advice regarding learning martial arts??

    For instance, which one to choose or how to know if a gym is good at teaching it…

    I went to visit one gym, where they were teaching Jeet Kune Do (sp?) and they were doing like air combat, which seemed really useless… What do you think?

    Oh, and do you change your weights training if you are training martial arts??

    Thanks!!

  53. What is the suitable cycle for this workout? How long should one stay on bulking (with all the eating) and then cycle off to cutting or maintenance?

    I find it rather hard to bulk up for more than 2-3 months!

  54. At first I read this success story and I thought what Tim did was truly amazing. I didn’t really think about the practicality of it since I was just so enamored by his success and by looking at his pictures of before and after. Then I spoke with a friend of mine about it who has been body building for 20+ years and has tried every possible diet and weight lifting program known, including the techniques Tim said he used.

    My friend, who I consider an expert in the field, said it would be wonderful if it is true, but it is physically impossible. Tim said he put on 34 pounds of muscle in 28 days. That equates to 8.5 pounds of muscle per week. Even professional body builders who are using copious amounts of steroids, and have a genetic disposition to build muscle quickly, don’t put on that much muscle in a week, especially every week for 4 weeks. It is biologically impossible to build that much muscle that quickly no matter what your technique is. The body just doesn’t respond and grow that quickly. Especially unbelievable for someone like Tim who was not even an athletic person when he started his 28 day program. My friend said he believes Tim achieved what he did in this before and after pictures in 180 days, not 28.

    Recently, Kevin Levrone, who was one of the most successful body builders of his time about a decade ago, and who won all kinds of competitions, recently did what he called a “physical transformation” over an 8 week period. He said he hadn’t lifted any weights in 5 years when he started his transformation and his goal was to only put on 5 pounds of muscle a week. If you see his picture of when he started he was soft and with a lot of body fat. But he did it, 40 pounds of muscle in 8 weeks, but that is a lot different than putting on 34 pounds of muscle in 4 weeks like Tim is claiming. And not only that, Kevin has a genetic predisposition and muscle memory to fall back on, which Tim doesn’t, but yet Kevin’s his goal was only 5 pounds of muscle a week.

    I am not trying to discredit Tim, but what he achieved just seems impossible if you sit down and think about it. Just try and imagine Tim’s first week where he said he went to the gym only 2 times, each time for half an hour, and then woke up after the first 7 days of his program with 8 pounds of newly built muscle and reduced body fat. Believable?

    All I am saying is do the math. If Kevin Levrone, who is a professional bodybuilder with gifted genetics and only achieved 5 pounds of added muscle each week, then I think the rest of us genetic normal people would be lucky to gain 2 pounds of muscle per week using a heavy weight lifting program of going to the gym 4-5 times a week for 1-1.5 hours each time. Even with the added help of steroids, most people wouldn’t be able to put on the 5 pounds of muscle per week that Kevin did, let alone dream of 8 pounds of muscle per week for 4 weeks straight.

    If you curious exactly what Kevin did, his workouts, and what he ate then go to his web site levronereport.com. There you can also see videos of him working out each day and everything else including pictures of his transformation every week. I am not trying to promote Kevin Levrone, but if you see what he did over 8 weeks then it is hard to believe that Tim really did what he is calming he did in just 4.

  55. @Colby

    Great post! Not only is there a vast amount of anecdotal evidence from the world of drug-enhanced professional bodybuilding that calls into question Tim’s claims but there is plenty of scientific evidence showing that Tim’s “gains” far exceed those achieved by bodybuilders using steroids. See my comment on 8/23.

    Don’t forget that his before and after photos use the typical supplement industry tricks (shaving, tanning, altered posing, etc.)

  56. I can not speak for Tim, and while I have never personally witnessed the degree of muscular gain he wrote about in such a short period I know that under certain circumstances (regaining lost muscle after a significant period of detraining) it is possible.

    However, I have had clients and friends – both novice and experienced trainees, all drug free – make much better gains than what some here are claiming possible using the same type of training, the fastest being an 8 lbs muscle gain over a three week period, and muscular gains of 5 to 6 pounds per month not being unusual. Many of these gains were achieved after switching to higher intensity, more abbreviated routines after months or years of stagnation on the higher volume mass building routines commonly recommended in mainstream fitness and bodybuilding magazines.

    While not as impressive as 34 pounds in a month, last year a friend gained 20 lbs of muscle while losing 5 pounds of fat in four months although with not quite so many calories (from 150 lbs at 20% body fat to 165 at 15%) and a client who is in his 40’s and an extreme ectomorph gained 12 pounds of muscle over a three month period using similar high intensity training routines.

    While not common, and certainly not easy, it is possible for people to gain more muscle mass, more quickly, than many seem to believe.

    1. Hey, dude. I really appreciate the solid information you’re posting throughout this comments thread and I admire your patience regarding the more, let’s say, ‘challenging’ comments. Keep up the love.

  57. @ Michael

    Thanks for your thoughts on my post. I agree with what you say about Tim’s photos. It is obvious that there was more effort put into the “After” photos to make them have more visual impact using the posing techniques you mentioned. Lighting from above or below can also be used to help accentuate shadows around muscles to make them look bigger in pictures as well. But my real focus was on the facts and figures Tim gave, not so much his pictures.

    Let’s imagine for a second you went to see your sports nutrition doctor, visit a personal trainer, or even emailed Kevin Levrone and said to all of them the following:

    “I want to put on 8.5 pounds of muscle this coming week. I have not lifted weights in many years, but I plan to eat a massive amount of protein, measure my carb intake, and I am going to go to the gym only twice to lift weights during that week and each time I will lift for only half an hour. I will be lifting 1 set per body part, and lift to failure with a medium weight. Then I would like to repeat those gains every week for 4 weeks straight using the same techniques.”

    What do you think the response would be from the doctor, the personal trainer and Kevin Levrone (who added only 5 pounds of muscle a week by training using heavy weights)?

    I think each of them would say that your goal is not physiologically possible, even if you were on a massive amount of steroids.

    And steroids, growth hormone, HCG and everything else that Tim would even be able to use to help him have improved his results, all take time to build up their levels in the body to where they then start having an added affect.

    Most body builders on an 8 week bulking cycle of steroids will reach their most gains between the 3rd and 6th weeks of the cycle. There are some fast acting testosterones, and a few other steroids that are fast acting as well which have a half life of only 4-8 hours after injection, but still they would not get you 8.5 pounds for a week for your first 4 weeks of a cycle. No way.

    As for the reference to Stanazol mentioned in that article you quoted, Stanazol is a cutting drug, not a size or weight gaining drug anyway. Most body builders use that drug at the end of a bulking cycle in combination with some other things like T3, Masteron, Climbuterol, etc to reduce body fat to about half and make themselves look even leaner or harder. Normally they do this in preparation for a show. So normally Stanazol is not a steroid even used for size gains anyway.

    Even Kevin Levrone who did his recent transformation naturally, did not really try to reduce much body fat in the first 8 weeks of his transformation period. That was the muscle building phase and then he moved over to another phase just for cutting which he completed recently in order to get his body fat down to about 4.5%.

    Sorry if I moved off the page there a little bit.

    In closing, I just want to say that I do believe that Tim achieved the physique shown in his “After” pictures. What I don’t believe is that he did it in 4 weeks or even 8 weeks and people should not expect to achieve nearly the same results he is claiming, whether you were to use steroids or not. If you put on 2 to 2.5 pounds of muscle a week during a bulking period where you are eating massive amounts of protein and low carbs, then that is what you should realistically expect.

  58. A few questions for you. About your cadence, do you pause at all at the top or bottom of your reps? I’ve been pausing for half a second to a second at the top and bottom of each rep to eliminate bounce, as some HIT sources recommend.

    Also, some sources recommend that when you reach failure, you “cheat” to raise the weight one last time, hold the weight until you get exhausted a second time, then cheat one more time and do only the lowering portion of the rep, triple-exhausting the muscle. Have you found this to be helpful?

  59. @ Matt

    Congratulations on your success with putting on more weight. If I was already 280 pounds I am not sure that would be my goal though.

    I discussed your results closely though with my counterpart and we came to the conclusion that you were probably over training for the last 20 years and why you reached that plateau. So as soon as you changed your weight training routine to one of less frequency, and allowed your body more time to rest in the process, then there was a knock on affect of some rapid muscle growth from the work you already did in the past as soon as you cut back on your frequency. Your success in gaining weight was simply that the change in routine shocked the body into start growing again from the plateau you reached from your other over training weight lifting routine over the last 20 years. Also, on the new routine of much shorter workouts, you are obviously burning a lot less calories now which makes it much easier to put on weight.

    Another observation was that exponentially you gained much less total body mass based upon the amount of your gain compared to your existing gross body weight versus the amount of weight Tim is claiming to have gained as compared to his original starting body weight. So it seems your results are more achievable than Tim’s by comparison if we are basing your gains on the percentage increase in BMI (body mass index) alone.

    You also didn’t provide an exact body fat measurement and/or you didn’t claim to have gained all that new weight as lean muscle. You said you did a pinch test on your stomach, but that doesn’t confirm that all the weight you gained was pure muscle whereas Tim is claiming to have achieved all lean muscle gains during his 28 day program.

    I am also trying to figure out how much weight you actually gained. You said you started at 280 pounds and that you are now 292 pounds, which is a 12 pound total gain. But at the end of your post where you have your summary it states that you gained a total of 6 pounds a week for 3 weeks, which would be 18 pounds in total weight gain. The numbers don’t add up.

    So assuming your weight went from 280 to 292, and that your math is off in your summary calculation, then you actually gained 12 pounds over the 3 weeks, which is 4 pounds a week. Just note that putting on 4 pounds of gross weight per week for a big guy like you is certainly achievable just by eating more and burning less calories like you were when you switched your routine. So let’s not assume it had so much to do with Tim’s training system. But then let’s also assume half of that increase is possibly body fat and/or water retention since we don’t have a true body fat measurement from you. In addition, your total increase in weight equates to only a 5% increase in terms of your gross body weight. That is quite believable and seems achievable to me for most people.

    In Tim’s case, he is claiming he gained 34 pounds of pure muscle in 4 weeks, while at the same time he lost 3 pounds of body fat. So let’s say he put on 31 pounds of net weight to his existing weight of 146 pounds when he started this program. This brings him to a total of 177 pounds at the end of his 4 week program. So Tim is claiming to have increased his body weight by a total of 21% in 4 weeks and that all of that newly added weight was all pure lean muscle mass. Now does that sound feasible to you? It surely doesn’t to me.

    I am taking the time to spell out all this information and compare the facts and figures because I know there are a lot of people reading this blog and I simply don’t feel it is fair for people to be misguided about the lean muscle gains Tim claims to achieved in 4 weeks. In fact, there is no real evidence to even suggest he actually achieved what he is claiming. In addition, there is reasonable information, as I have provided, suggesting what he claims he did is simply humanly impossible. So don’t be disappointed if you follow his system to the letter and only are able to put on 2-2.5 pounds of weight per week, with half of that possibly being just increased body fat. Good luck….

  60. @ Michael

    Cheers for that link. I was actually searching for some of the scientific evidence to validate my theories on how much lean muscle mass a man is capable of developing naturally over a period of 30 days when he is not on any sort of growth enhancing drugs or steroids.

    There was a link on that page you provided which lead to another page talking specifically about Genetic Muscular Potential here: http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/muscle-gain/whats-my-genetic-muscular-potential.html and this article basically confirms my rough figures of a human threshold to add only a maximum of 2-2.5 pounds of muscle weight gain per month.

    I am going to read through more of the information on that site as it looks interesting and gets deeper into the science of it all, but the information on that site is just another confirmation which proves that the 34 pounds of muscle Tim is claiming he added in just 28 days is not humanly possible, even with the use of drugs.

    Peace Out…

  61. I would like to know how I can find a trainer to help me with this high intensity workout. I live in the bay area. Or if there is a detailed guide for the exercises specailly the negative ones. Thanks.

  62. Hi Tim,

    Thanks for responding. Not been having much luck with my health lately. I broke my jaw three weeks ago and have therefore been on a liquid only diet – which incidently is great for shredding off the fat from my belly! A couple of more months on this diet and I’ll be as lean as I’ve always wanted to be, after which I’ll refocus on trying to gain lean muscle.

    Thanks again.

    Ali

  63. Alright, well my comment was approved so you obviously read it. Guess you only respond to “notable” individuals. And those who accuse you of being on steroids.

  64. Hey Tim, I wanted your advice with this weight gain program. I recently just did GOMAD (Gallon of Milk Per Day) + eating like a monster. After a month I gained 11 pounds and then I stopped GOMAD and lost 2-3 (probably water-retention). I also read the book ‘The China Study’ and it has lead me to believe animal/diary proteins are very unhealthy for you in the long haul. I am thinking of doing GOMAD again, or the diet you suggested. Is there a way of getting the amount of calories I need with plant based whole foods? I have no problem eating meats, diary, in moderation & balance, but I don’t think I should consume as much as I did before. Do you have any suggestions or a quick meal plan you can advise me of to achieve this goal, or should I just suck it up for 1-2 months and then stick to my 80% plant based diet for health reasons… Thanks (just read your book)

    1. Hi Taylor,

      I don’t believe that Dr. Campbell’s conclusions about isolated casein apply to organic whole milk. I don’t think 1-2 months will hurt you, but I’m not a doctor. It might make you — ahem — anti-social, but that’s another story 🙂

      Good luck!

      Tim

  65. Tim

    Was curious to your opinion on how much impact the supplements had on your results. Coming from a person who only takes protein because I find it hard to eat enough throughout the day, I was surprised to read the array of supplements you took (off bodybuilding.com site) Do you supplement on a regular basis, or was it only for this experiment?

    cheers

  66. @Tim Ferris

    Please forgive my ignorance…I’m a vegeterian with a “fresh, organic, raw” dogma and would like to know what the “vegeterian friends that you put on the program” were eating. If you’re busy, could you put me in contact with them, and let me pester them with questions? Also, I smell a book. Please, PLEASE turn this post into a book. It is a book and you KNOW it is. Look how many questions and comments this got. It is a book/ DVD program!

  67. @Tim

    Aha! You ARE doing a book! Splendid, splendid! It’s frusturating to go through the post and piece all this info together….I was honest to god about to collect all your posts and send them to you. You’re including a large vegeterian section, I hope? Dude, you freaking rock. I can’t WAIT to get in the gym and put myself through it, and then change the lives of a ton of clients!!

    “The monks would consume eggs and some chicken on days that they had intensely exerted themselves”

    Perhaps…perhaps it is beneficial to consume animal products during an intense gain, and then switch back to plant-based nutrition afterwards…so long as it was high-quality, organic, grass-fed meat.

  68. Hi David, and thanks for the referral Tim!

    David – I am a nutrition and natural therapies specialist and strength coach based in Vancouver, BC. I work with elite level athletes and the chronically ill…I also have Crohn’s disease.

    Contact me via Human Motion (www.humanmotion.com)

    I recovered my own health and have helped many athletes with Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis to do the same.

    – Cliff Harvey

  69. Awesome results. I completely agree that people need to focus on spending less and less time in the gym as they being to increase their strength and muscle mass. A lot of guys go wrong by piling on more and more volume to their workouts, when they should be focused on putting everything they’ve got into 1 “perfect” set. let’s face it, 1excellent growth stimulating set is better then 20 crappy low intensity sets any day!

  70. Tim,

    Fantastic results. How much protein were you eating per day specifically? Were you taking any supplements, such as creatine? What was your daily water intake prior to and during this program? What was the total number of calories consumed per day?

  71. Skepticism arises after reading Tim’s claim, for a few reasons.

    As at least one comment mentioned — muscle memory. It’s important for people out there reading this who have never attempted weight training on a fully committed scale to consider the importance of muscle memory. If you’ve never physically trained your body with weights, your muscles have no memory off which to build. Let me give you an overview of my experience.

    At 20-years-old, I was just under 6′ 3″ @ 145 pounds…your typical skinny ectomorph-mesomorph. My body fat came in at 5%. I didn’t have any fat to loose since my body type is closer to that of an ectomorph. You must first know your body type, as endomorphs will have to do something about shedding the extra, unwanted pounds that are being stored in the form of fat. This may be very challenging if you’re consuming 4,000 calories per day and not taking on intense cardio workouts in addition to weight training.

    My first time in the gym I couldn’t even bench my own body weight for one rep, but continued to get in ever other day with different body parts being trained. A minimum of 48 hours rest for each previous muscle group worked was always followed, but the workouts ranged from 45-90 minutes per workout every other day while eating copious amounts of calories and protein. No supplements were used until later years.

    After a solid 18 months of dedicated training, resting and eating, I made it up to 185 pounds, but that weight was maintained by eating and continuing to exercise regularly. Do the math yourself — that averages out to a little over 2 pounds of muscle growth per month. Once the exercise and copious food consumption stopped, my weight would drop as any ectomorph will experience since we lose weight easier than we put it on. BTW, because of my body type, having ripped muscles was effortless because us ectomorphs have such naturally low body fat. I’ve never trained for being cut, strictly for strength and mass.

    Having explained this, remember that is my particular case, it’s important for readers to also keep in mind that this is Tim’s particular case, and every body is different. Recall that this was not Tim’s first time training with weights, so he had muscle memory which activates growth much quicker than muscles previously not exposed to such training. Additionally, supplements at a minimum would have to be used to gain 34 pounds of lean muscle in 32 days, as his dates reflect. But two 30-minute workouts per week? That’s too big of a pill for me to swallow: 4 hours of training in 32 days in order to put on 34 pounds of lean muscle? Tim may quite possibly be a superhuman, which should detour the remainder of mere mortals out there to take his experience with a grain of salt, or more likely a bucket.

    Tim makes an important point in that completing repetitions in a slow and controlled manner is key to avoiding injury while forcing muscles to grow faster than using fast, uncontrolled, momentum repetitions. I’ve done lots of negative-repetition training, have used protein powders as well as creatine, but never have I come even close to gaining 34 pounds of muscle in 32 days, especially with only 1 hour of training per week. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. What miraculously worked for Tim will probably not work for you, if his claims are even remotely accurate.

    I’ve worked out with competitive lifters throughout my 20 years in the gym, and even the guys using anabolic steroids can’t gain that much muscle in 32 days since so much of their weight gain is water retention. Granted, perhaps they aren’t resting enough between training, but that’s way more muscle growth than a body can naturally, or even unnaturally, produce. Drew Baye discusses his experiences with training different clients and their respective gains which fall way short of Tim’s claim.

    In short, even for someone like myself who is exceptionally ripped and who has decades of muscle memory from a lifetime of weight training, my experience doesn’t lead me to believe that such extreme gains can be reached by your typical Joe or Jane Schmoe who has never done weight training. As far as that goes, my experience doesn’t come close to supporting gains of this nature — 34 pounds of muscle growth within 32 days and only 1-hour of training per week — as possible. Even given the importance of muscle recuperation time, Tim’s account of his gains sounds very far-fetched and misleading for those who aspire to change their physical condition so drastically with such little effort.

    Remember a general rule of the universe people — you only get out of something that which you put in. If you’re looking to truly change your physical condition, then you’ll have to make sacrifices and you’ll have to invest your time and energy, and most of all be persistent and patient — after all, Rome wasn’t built in a day. Improved physical conditioning and muscle development is a lifestyle change, not a miraculous 32-day hoax. However, if you are reluctant to believe in this realistic line of thought, then please contact me as I have some unbelievable ocean-view property for sale in the middle of Nebraska…call now, don’t wait!

  72. Hey Tim,

    First off, let me say that I always hated going to the gym. I never considered myself an athlete. I was never muscular and didn’t go out for sports in school. Pretty much stayed away from athletics my whole life.

    I followed this plan as best as I could read from the initial blog post and your updates for exactly 30 days. There were some questions I had about amounts of each supplement, but it seemed to work the way I did it.

    Since I had not worked out for years or even jogged for 15 years, I didn’t ramp up enough to get the most out of my first two or three workouts.

    Here are my stats:

    Before After

    Weight: 182.8Lbs 181.7 Lbs

    Caliper Fat Pinch:

    Chest: 22mm 20.5mm

    Abdomen: 34.5mm 25mm

    Thigh: 24mm 22mm

    Waist: 34in 32.5in

    Abdomen: 36.25in 34.75

    Thigh: Right (32 inches up)

    Unflexed 21.5in 21.25in

    Arm: Right

    Unflexed 12in 12.25in

    Flexed 13.5in 14in

    Shoulders: 46.75in 47.25in

    Chest:

    Flexed 41.5in 40.50in

    Unflexed 40.5in 39.75in

    Body Fat: 24% 17.9%

    43.9 Lbs of Fat 32 Lbs of Fat

    139 Lbs Lean 149 Lbs of Fat

    Just wanted to note that my 30 days (From G2F experiment) ended on Wednesday. Overall, I am very happy with the visible results and the increased energy. I am actually continuing with the program in a modified way starting on the 15th of November 2009. About ¾ of the way through I found a couple exercises that accelerated the results and unfortunately, I experienced food fatigue and didn’t get the calorie intake that I should have during the second half – e.g. I could have had even better results.

    30 day totals:

    Total time at gym: 6Hours 5Minutes

    Weights in motion: 2 Hours 6 Minutes

    Number of lifting sessions/days: 8

    Cardio: walk 23 min, jog 7 min 6 days a week

    Every snack, meal, protein shake, supplement was recorded

    Every lift duration, weight and reps were recorded

    I am making plans to modify the program and do a second run at it starting November 15th.

    Just a personal thanks to you Tim for making this public. My chiropractor (a 3x Ironman, U.S. National Greco Roman Wrestling Team, Wisconsin Golden Gloves runner-up, National Rugby Team and marathon runner) and a famous personal trainer friend who humored me and took my before and after measurements accurately, were truly amazed at these results.

    It is one thing to drop weight for a weigh in, but to drop that much fat and gain that much lean muscle mass in 2 hours and 15 minutes of lifting and walking every morning for 30 minutes is another.

    Tim, you really have something here and I am telling everyone about what you have. It is hard to see my friends struggle so much and face so much discouragement by overworking to lose weight and gain muscle mass.

    If you need any assistance with other methods or want any records, just let me know!

    P.S. The turkey-bean chili with tuna and mac is fantastic. Highly recommended.

  73. Nice post Luther.

    Try this for additional muscle gain — hook yourself up to a peanut butter IV, homemade versions are fine, don’t worry. Then drink 5 gallons of milk per day, preferably a variety with lots of utter puss and extra growth hormones. If you begin to mooo, you’re drinking just the right amount.

    Go to your local meat section and request four 16-oz T-bone steaks. I hope you’re good with a needle and thread because what I want you to do is actually open up your pecks with a rusty razor blade and insert one of the T-bones in each peck. Do the same thing for your biceps if they are as puny as mine. Check yourself out in the mirror, don’t you look like an animal? You are a savage beast brotha!

    Now is the hard part, you actually have to exercise for 10 minutes once per week. I know this sounds too amazing to be true, but it works, trust me. Do some situps or some 12-oz curls with your favorite beer, whatever. Just do them until you’re fatigued, and good and drunk. You’re now on your way to gaining 45 pounds of muscle in 16 days.

    Good luck, and don’t ever stop trying! You can do it!

  74. Thanks, Chuck. I’m off to the store now to buy my peanut butter, milk and T-bones. I truly appreciate the great advice, best of all it’s free! If you could do it, I can do it to! Yeah!

    Here I go, I’ll let you know how much muscle I gained from your program after 16 days.

    I can do it!

  75. Tim reading your post here tonight is perfect timing…mere coincidence I think not. In any case, as someone who has trained on and off for more than 8 years I’ve seen enough to suggest that having a contrarian view with all things mainstream bodybuilding related is really the only way to actually achieve results. I’m kicking off with this method this week, and to all the doubters actually give it a go if you can get your head around what Tim is saying

  76. @Chuck

    I worry about people eating animal products, too, but remember, there’s a vegeterian way to do Tim’s program. The book is coming out soon! In the meantime, deeeep brreeaaathssss…..innnnnn……..ouuuuutttt…..

  77. That is very impressive! I like your dedication and drive. I have a workout for you that I would like you to try and see how much it would increase your bench press in 2 weeks or maybe 1 month. I have named it the 7 minute in hell push-up workout routine. What it is 30 push-ups each minute for 7 minutes. The catch is that you are not allowed to do more than 30 push-ups in any given minute. But once you can’t get the 30 push-ups in a minute your goal then changes to getting the 210 push-ups done as quickly as possible.

    *My name is Cade and I graduated in Exercise Science but now I enjoy internet marketing and I read your book the day after I quit my job as a personal trainer to do internet marketing. Thanks for the sweet read.