Today marks 3 months of doing the Shortcut to Size program, so I thought I'd post a little review.
Back in march of this year, roughly 5 months ago I was a a sickly skeleton of a 44 year old man. I was malnourished and had all the sign of severely low testosterone. I finally decided to see a doctor about my issues, and after hearing me rattle off all my symptoms he suggest I quit eating wheat for a test run of 30 days. About 3 days later my health started improving and my T levels shot back up. I was pissed at the disease that was robbing me of my manliness and decide I was going to be alpha again no matter what. I was 148 pounds of pissed off manlet at this point. I started doing pushups, pullups and crunches like a madman and gained about 10 lbs in 2 months. On May 7th I joined my little small town gym and did my first workout with equipment, ever. I did about 20 reps on every machine in the gym, then came home and googled weight lifting.
After googling weightlifting I quickly found the BB.com site and was drawn right into the wealth of information. I started by clicking the "find a plan" button in the upper left and decided that of the 4 plans shown I liked the Shortcut to Size plan the best. My goal was simply to be big and strong.
As a complete noob I was fascinated by all of the science involved in adding mass and read all of the guidelines and watched all of the video's. I decided I would follow the work outs to the letter, but do food and supplements on my own following the general gist of S2S program. I stopped in to a little shop in Denver called Supplement Giant and was offered some great advice and left with some supplements that were gluten free. I ended up with some Allmax isoflex for protein, MCT oil from NOW foods, Carbo-gain from NOW foods, and Androrush Bullnox from Betancourt nutrition.
Jim's supplement advice included a few other supplements, but I thought I'd run with just the basics. As Jim suggested, I started off every morning with a protein shake, and had another after every workout. I always added a bunch of fruit to mine, as well as some MCT oil and a scoop of carbs.
S2S also gave some nutrition guidelines, but I substituted my own gluten free food in large quantities. I also made sure to take a multi, fish oil, and a probiotic every day. My typical calorie intake was around 3800, with 325 grams of carbs, 200 grams protein and 150 grams of fat. At about 30 days in I added creatine to my supplement list, doing about 5 grams a day.
S2S is a 4 day split, what many people around here like to call a Bro-Split.
Mondays are chest/ triceps/ calves, and always included Bench press, flys, and cable cross overs as well as some tricep isolation exercises. Jim switches up the isolation exercises every once in a while, and works calves seated, standing, and on the leg press.
Tuesday is Back, Biceps and Abs and includes assorted rows, curls, pulldowns, and cable curls plus some different ab workouts like crunches, cable crunches, hip thrusts, hanging leg raises, etc.
Wednesday is an active rest day, chill but don't be a sloth.
Thursdays are shoulders/ traps/ and calves and always include dumbell shoulder press, upright rows, and some sort of shrug. He also throws in some rear lateral raises. Calves are worked for the second time, according to Jim they respond well to more frequent workouts.
Friday we wrap up the split with legs, plus another ab session. Leg day always includes squats and dead lifts, plus an assortment of leg extensions, curls, and presses.
Jim uses what he calls micro-cycles dividing each month into 4 descending rep ranges. I start the month doing reps in the 12-15 range and by the last week I'm doing 3 to 5 reps. Every day of the work out has a page I can print out and take to the gym, and if I'm confused about how to do any exercise I am able to click on it and see a full description as well as a video of how to do it. In the first few weeks this was extremely helpful. I had no personal trainer, or even a gym buddy to show me how to do these lifts. I relied completely on the BB.com description and videos. I had no trouble figuring out how to do the exercises, and quickly got accustomed to doing drop sets and rest pause sets for the last set of each exercise. As a complete novice I was not at all overwhelmed by the variety, and found that it helped keep thing interesting.
It's been 3 months since I started this program and I am completely satisfied with my results. I have added muscle mass and increased my strength substantially. My body weight has gone from 157 pounds to my current weight of 174. That's 17 pounds total gained, not sure about how much body fat and water, but I am stoked with the 17 pounds no matter what its made of.
My lifts have all seen some nice gains too. I went from doing a bench of 95 lbs on the smith machine for 12 reps to my current bench of 150lbs for 6 reps (on the real bench too). My squat went from 105x10 to 155x6, and my dead lift has gone from 125x12 to 225x8
I've added about an inch and a half to my biceps and calves, as well as my waist.
I did not take a pic on day one, but did snap this off at the end of my first week.
By day 17 I was starting to be really impressed with my progress. I thought it would take way longer to see much muscle growth.
Todays Pic, 3 months since lifting my first weight.
I give this program a 10/10. It was completely nooby friendly, well explained, easy to find, and gives great results.