Thursday, March 12, 2009

Does GOMAD work?

(As promised the before and after pictures, I hope everyone enjoys the hilarity I tried to display. Hint: a larege amount of the fitness industry is a joke - there is more to exercising than aesthetics. Does anyone else find before and after pictures hilarious?)

Well I can't exactly speak for the GOMAD process in general but this post is designed to outline my 5 week experience with GOMAD or Gallon or Milk a Day combined with Mark Rippetoe's Starting Strength Program.

What did I do?

I started GOMAD on Monday February 2nd and weighed in at 179lbs. I was very strict drinking 3.7L a day and only missing 3 days. I drank 2% for roughly 2 weeks and the switched to Homo milk which was 3.25%. While drinking the milk I strictly followed Starting Strength 3 days a week with no other CrossFit WOD's mixed in. I ate mainly paleo but did not worry about portions and ate more "bad" carbs than I would have if I was on my normal diet. The reason for this is because Rip encourages eating as much as possible while doing GOMAD, thus I didn't worry too much about eating bad food, as long I was eating a lot of food. Mainly, I ate clean about 80 percent of the time.

Did it work for me?

Yes, I have a hard time putting on weight, when I zone strict I lean out fast. The milk was an easy and cheap way for me to put on, and keep on, weight while strength training. I topped out at 196lbs while doing GOMAD. My body composition did not change a great deal; meaning I never looked "fat" at any point. My pants did get a bit tighter but I think the majority of my weight gain was muscle. I'll find out in the next few weeks by how much weight I lose. GOMAD did its job, I gained weight and made weight gains in my lifts. I had a very bad lift day and it was following a 2 day break from GOMAD. Was this a coincidence? I am not sure but diet is definitely linked to performance.

Would I recommend GOMAD?

I have had a few posts that have had good discussion in comments about the pros and cons of GOMAD (discussion 1 and discussion 2). Overall, if you are skinny and have a hard time putting on weight AND want to focus on strength training, I would recommend it. I would not recommend it for more than 8 weeks and I would recommend something to help digest the milk if you are having problems. I had no issues with slamming 3 bags of milk a day but other people may. Try and mix it up by mixing a cup of berries and peanut butter in a blender or a few teaspoons of vanilla whey protein powder for flavor.

Yes, there are other healthier options to consume alot of calories. Although, I found GOMAD to be an easy, cheap and effective way to aid strength training by adding more daily calories. I saw good results and progress while doing SS, I definitely got stronger and I look forward to seeing those results translate into my CrossFit WODs.

Bottom line

My previous programming left my strength lacking and I was looking for a quick fix to bring things up to acceptable levels. There are going to trade offs from my strength specific training; my MetCon is going to be painful and I don't foresee PR's occurring anytime soon. BUT now that I plan on following main page, as best as possible, my strength should continue to increase along with the other 9 general physical skills of balance, agility, coordination, accuracy, power, speed, cardio-resperoatory endurance, stamina and flexibility.

There is no substitute for the general physical preparedness offered by CrossFit; there is a CrossFit Strength Biased program not out that helps to increase strength while maintaining a good level of GPP. I would recommend GOMAD if you are just doing Starting Strength. I personally think that if you are drinking that much milk while doing Metcos it could be ugly.

After 3 days back into CrossFit main page WODs I can definitely tell a huge dip in the other 9 general physical skills. I am not performing where I was pre GOMAD and SS. Although, I put up numbers in the CrossFit Total I never thought I would be capable of in such a short period of time. So yes I am stronger now, but I will have to work hard to get back to the level of GPP I was at.


  1. HAAHAHA those pics just made my day, hilarious!

    You wanted to get stronger and at the end of the day you did...goal accomplished!

  2. I learned from your SS experience. Thank you. Did you read where Robb Wolf talked about how much a linear strength program (like SS) really flows with increasing your calories (like GOMAD).

    Next, let's see where you are in 4,6,and then 8 weeks. Are you going to do zone now? How many blocks? What Fat? Are you going to skin it?

  3. Sean, If you are interested in fasting during sleep and morning times will you talk about your experience with that on your blog. I find it interesting that you will be switching from Paleo + GOMAD to fasting during the morning & eating all Zone/Paleo portions in the afternoon. I'm sure the guys who read your blog would be interested in hearing how the transition is for you.

    Sorry, I brought those delicious paleo pancakes into the room early this morning on your first day of fasting! I was just so proud of my creation that I wanted to share it with you. Don't worry, you will get to try them.

    I'll post a recipe for PALEO PANCAKES on my blog tomorrow (Friday).

  4. Nice hat! I think you need more oil. I can't wait to see how Diane, Gran or Fran goes for you.

  5. Nice work bro. Gotta love the GOMAD. I drank 87 gallons of whole milk in 90 days. Good times.

  6. No offense, but the after pics looks like the before but oiled up and contracted ur body :)