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12 Week Gym Results (with pics)

Twelve weeks ago, I wrote a post about why I decided to join the gym and promised I’d update you on my progress.

I’m pleased to report decent progress. I’ve lost fat and gained muscle. I’m stronger than ever, yet the lightest I’ve been since I was 18.

As a beginner to lifting, I choose the 5 x 5 stronglifts program – a simple 3-day-a-week strength training program with five big compound exercises. I complemented this with chin-ups, a more paleo-centric diet (ex: eating omelettes for breakfast instead of cereal) and half way through I combined that with  intermittent fasting for 16 hours, Monday to Friday (not eating from 8pm till midday the next day).

The only upset was a lateral knee I sustained playing soccer in week six, which has since stopped me playing, and hampered my progress in squatting. It’s a long term injury and I’m still in recovery.

Anyway, here are my stats. We work in kilos here in Ireland, but I’ve converted it to imperial for my American and British reader (the vast majority of you guys).  The Body Fat % and Muscle mass were measured using a special scales which uses electrical current, so take these figures as a crude measure.



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To get into the nitty-gritty, here is my progress report in each exercise. I’m not a big guy (5’7″), so my strength was modest starting off.

The deadlift figures are a little skewed as I moved from the bell-bar to the trap bar half-way through as I was experiencing back pain. This allowed me to lift heavier.

Also, from week 4, I also started incorporating chin-ups in my routine. I was basically doing trying to work up to three sets of 8 – and any time I couldn’t make up the set, I perform a ‘let down’ or hold the last chin up as long as I can. The first workout, I could barely do 3 in a row, but last week I finally got my 3×8!




graph (3) graph (4) graph (5) graph (6) graph (7)

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Before and After pics

Gym1 Gym2


As you can see, my arms are bigger, I’ve reduced my beer gut, and I’m getting a little broader.

So there you have it.

Modest improvements in some areas, but respectable gains in others. I understand this is a marathon, not a spirit, so I don’t mind progressing slowly. I’m still a weak fucker, but I’m getting there.

Anyway, apart from the physical, I’ve noticed a knock-on effect in other areas of my life, such as improved mood, improved concentration and I’m sleeping better, too.

I feel amazing and hope this post can inspire other gym virgins to start on their path to physical self-improvement.

I’ll update you guys in another 12 weeks!


17 Responses to 12 Week Gym Results (with pics)

  1. Peter Phoenix June 6, 2013 at 10:03 pm #

    Great progress! Keep up the good work!

  2. Don June 6, 2013 at 11:49 pm #

    Great stuff. Make sure your form is bang on for the dead lifts and squats and do not go too heavy too early on your shoulders. Do not injure yourself!

  3. JJ Roberts June 7, 2013 at 3:03 am #

    I approve of every word of this post except the use of the word “soccer” – heathen !!

    We should swap tips, I have a pro fitness coach who designed my work out program (a Sex 3.0 fan).

    Tricky getting access to a gym though with all the traveling so progress is less than I would like


  4. Biddy June 7, 2013 at 8:09 am #

    Your body fat measurements must be inaccurate. 25% is what you would expect for a healthy female.

  5. Ali S June 7, 2013 at 7:25 pm #

    Pretty good results for some light lifestyle changes. The stats are fairly impressive but the pictures don’t show much of a difference apart from a significantly reduced belly (you were already in fairly fit shape to begin with, so that may be a factor). If you want physical results in less than a year you’ll have to seriously exert yourself at regular intervals so that your body doesn’t adapt to the intensity, it’s called muscle confusion I think (P90X uses this technique).

    But personally, for someone of your build (I’m also 5’8″) I’d recommend joining something like muay thai or a mixed martial art that will give you more relevant skills, is more fun to do and can come in handy given the kind of places you travel to.

  6. Sid June 7, 2013 at 7:47 pm #

    As a gym novice, you’ll be able to lose weight and gain strength for a short while. After a certain point, which will arrive soon, you’ll need to eat more and gain weight into grow stronger and build muscle. If you want to be “cut” (very lean and ripped), your current program is good. if you want to put on a lot of muscle, your current weightlifting program is superb, but to make the most out of it, a lot more food is needed.

    What most gym aficionados do is “bulk” for six or eight months, where they become a lot stronger and more muscular while also putting on some fat, whereupon they “cut” until they are around 10% bodyfat or so.

    Best of luck with your fitness goals!

  7. the_victorian June 8, 2013 at 12:49 pm #

    Joining a gym is something everyone should do, specially someone into game. The impact on lifestyle, self-confidence and game (as a consequence) is amazing. Congrats!

  8. Hamster June 9, 2013 at 3:31 am #

    You have gotten a lot stronger, but you haven’t added any volume. With the physique you had from the start you should not have LOST weight, you should have gained quite a lot in 12 weeks while the fat decreased. I think the main reason here is that you are not eating correctly, and not enough per day. Read up on diet and eat MORE. Drink more milk, like Arnold, and eat more omega-3 before bedtime. I gained 12 pounds of muscle in my first 12 weeks on the 5×5 program, and I believe you should have done that too. Took me a while to figure out the eating part, but now I consistently gain about a pound a week. Best of luck.

  9. k1 June 9, 2013 at 9:25 am #

    Honestly, I don’t see any difference between the pictures.

  10. justin June 10, 2013 at 2:19 am #

    You can really tell the difference in your shoulders and arms.

  11. sirmarjalot June 12, 2013 at 10:52 pm #

    With a body like that, I can see why your game needs alot of investment 🙂

    • Naughty Nomad June 13, 2013 at 12:39 am #

      Hence why I’m in the gym, knobface 🙂
      With a site like that, I can tell you need alot of investment. Period.

  12. Dave June 14, 2013 at 5:20 am #

    Hey mate, I have been using your website for a long time and I love it, however this is my first post.
    I have quite a number of years experience in training and have tried quite a few programs, and I initially intended to comment at the beginning of your 12 weeks.
    I do not know the specifics of the strong lifts program, but it does seem to have the important factors covered (ie. focus on the big lifts, get stronger).
    I am not suggesting you get program ADD and change every four weeks, or every time you read about a new program, but I highly recommend you take a look at Jim Wendler’s 5/3/1 program. It is the program I have been on since the start of this year, and my physique keeps on improving and my strength keeps going up (last week I squatted 165 kg for one rep, and deadlifted 170 kg for 10).
    He has an article on T-nation ( which outlines an assistance template which I believe will be good for you (maximal size gains), and covers training, as well as diet, rest and other factors.
    Again, I am not saying this is the be all, end all because it is not, but have a look and see what your thoughts are, and I really believe that you will gain significantly more in the next 12 weeks than you did in the last 😉

    • Naughty Nomad June 16, 2013 at 1:21 am #

      Thanks Dave.

  13. muzzy June 24, 2013 at 11:38 pm #

    nicely done …right now im taking 2 weeks off cuz of my midterms and healin up from a car accident. i was startin week 8 so hopefully my performance doesnt get hindered.

    think this will be easier if u cut 20lbs then bulk up cuz ull need to eat big to get the gains. start swimming or running i suggest. hell gymnists have great core strength. if u wanna add more to ur game learn salsa tango swing nn hiphop. may as well put the time in now before u gooto brazil next year.
    btw how big are your wrists cuz thatll determnie how much muscle u can gain. so far u dont seem that weak

  14. meathead June 25, 2013 at 9:05 pm #

    i have found 3x per week dont cut it, 5-6 x per week, and sometimes twice per day. takes some time for your body to get use to the hard work, but when it does, look out, you become unstoppable.

  15. Tom Crean October 18, 2016 at 9:04 pm #

    Well done, I have also gone to gym and since that time all is changed. By the way on the left picture you look more like Irish lad! ha ha

    I m currently writing my new post about substances improving your health. Here is post one:

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