T Nation

Confessions, Former Skinny Bastard


It's the 2nd of june, so exactly 1 year since I bought Scrawny to Brawny. I thought I'd post some of my results and experiences, and some of the things I've learned over the past 12 months. I invite all other former skinny bastards to share in this..

For those who might want to argue with some of the points I'm going to make, please bear in mind that I'm writing only about my own highly subjective personal experience. When I write 'you', I mean 'me'. Conversely, if everyone reading this just says 'Well. d'uh!' then I apologise for wasting their time. The past year's been a bit of an epiphany for me, and, quite frankly, I want to talk about it.
Ok then..

I've gone from 160 to 200lbs, and from 6% to 10% body fat. So that's about 30lbs LBM, nearly 3 times as much as I put on in my 3 previous years of training.

Never having gone heavier than 8 reps before S2b (and having therefore the maxes of a toddler) I can now manage more-than-bodyweight for the deadlift, bench and squat.

I need to buy trousers 4" too big at the waist or I can't get them over my thighs, and I take a 17" collar on my shirts (15" last year)

I have to train really f*****g hard to get any results. If I don't leave the gym soaked with sweat, barely able to speak, I've been wasting my time.

Commensurately, volume has to be low. A workout of 4x5 for front squats, power clean, incline press and chins (for example) is plenty. I've settled on 45 min total body workouts, 3 or 4 times a week.

Isolation exercises do nothing but waste time that could have been spent on compound lifts. Why do calf raises, shrugs and upright rows when you could do high pulls? Even without any bicep curls or skull crushers, I still fill out the sleeves on my L shirts.

Get lots and lots of rest. Take the bus, take the lift, take a nap when you can. If it's the weekend, or you haven't got lectures til the afternoon, make a breakfast shake the night before, get up, down it, go back to bed for a bit.

Eat and eat and eat and eat. Still full from your last meal? Great! That means you haven't slipped into catabolism.

Health benefits be damned, cardio is a no-no when you're a hardgainer hoping to bulk.

People have stopped asking me 'Do you lift?' Or saying 'You look really fit. Do you play tennis or something?'

I think that once or twice a hot girl has checked me out in the gym.

Right. I think my horn has been given a thorough tooting. Now it's the turn of all you other FSB's!


Exercise pairing.
You take 2 minutes rest between sets of squats? Why not do shrugs in the mean time?
You take 2 minutes between incline press? Just enough time to do a set of calf raises.

Congrats on your progress though.


Good job! Okay now stop being a tease and post some before and after pics :wink:

You KNOW a T-Nation progress/training thread isn't complete without pics.

Good to hear you've got your training dialed in! What a great feeling to know that what you're doing is working.


Ye man we need pics

I am 160 and I hope to go up to 200 lbs in one year, It will be hard for me as I am only 5'4" and I am not really a skinny B***** as you say, but congrats to you on your acheivement, I have taken pics of me in my 160lb state and will definatly post my 200lb pics when I get there (so I think you should do the same :slight_smile:


One day you'll be an old fat man who wishes he had just kept his thin waistline instead of creating all those damm fat cells that instantly soak up any excess calories you eat.

But when you're young you get picked on for being skinny so as a defense mechanism, sort of like fat women who were molested as children, you stuff your face full of food and sure enough, some of the dickheads seem to disappear from the world. I suppose in a sad way it has it's merit.


I can see how you'd think that of him at... 10% bodyfat...


...Man, you've got to be joking.


I don't know about you, but I couldn't do 4x5 with any respectable weight if I didn't rest at least 2 minutes between sets.


Wow, I didnt know fat cells magically appeared on your body. So Jay Sherman I have a question am I fat because some magician put extra fat cells in my body?

Now that the sarcasm is over, good work on your progress Jonny. Cant say that I know what you went through as I'm trying to go the other way, but congrats on the progress and keep it up.


Are you joking with this? After childhood, outside of cases where someone gains an incredibly large amount of body fat, you are pretty much stuck with the same number of fat cells. They simply fill up or empty depending on your energy output. Your post was about as stupid as those fat old people claiming that muscle just turns to body fat. Please, tell us this was a joke.


Yeah for real Sherman, tell us you are joking man.

If not, WTF? Do they let anyone post on this fucking site? I dont know why we even waste our fucking tie replying to this idiotic shit. This kid has come along way and has worked hard for it and you feel the need to bash him at 10% BF. Do you even know what 200 looks like at 10% BF? I am interested to know, what do you get out of posting something like that?


Hey nice job man, good progress. I am not questioning your stats but we would like to see some before and after pics. You seem to have the right attitude when it comes to lifting. Btw, its ok to say fuck on this site. So the next time some moron is saying something stupid in response to some legit posting, tell him AA said to go fuck himself.

How much bigger are you trying to get? I am asking b/c I am not convinced the 3/4 45 minutes a week are going to cut it. I weighed 170 when I first came to the US, can you say skinny! I got to 200 or so ok with that type of routine but stopped progressing the way I liked. I went to a more traditional split routine to get to the next level.

Good luck,

And please if you want to debate my suggestion for split body routine, pick one of the other threads I am already doing the same thing.


I commend you on your effort! Your hard work has paid off, as hard (and smart) work usually does.

Unfortunately not everyone "gets" this. They look for short cuts, easy ways out, etc. The hard part is shutting up and doing. And that's what you've done.


At this point, remember the lessons that got you to where you are.

Remember also that some of the rules may have to change if you want to get to the next level. After all, the approach is (and likely SHOULD BE) different for beginners, intermediate, and advanced trainees. Your program may have to change now to continue your progress.

Yet enjoy your success and if I can help out in the future, let me know.


I am wondering though, a guy who weighs 200lbs needs trousers 4 inchs too big just to get over the thighs?

Really need to see those wheels


What an inspirational post.

Now back it up with inspirational pictures...

200 pounds at 10%.

I wanna see it.


Congrats im a skinny bastard and this is very insperational, it just shows all the hard work pays off.I am 6ft 3 162 pounds


Thanks for all the posts! Except for you, Jay Sherman. You can fuck right off. Even if you are joking, you're still a wanker.
The pictures...will have to wait I'm afraid. I'm a penniless student, I don't own a computer, let alone a digital camera. All my money goes on food. And I don't know anyone who does own one, at least not well enough to ask them to take pictures of me in my boxers! I'm typing this at work, I posted yesterday from the computer room at the university library. I'm sorry.


Great job, man! I am a skinny man myself. At 5' 9", I have gone from 134 lbs to 160 lbs over the last 7 months. My plan is to continue eating big and lifting heavy with all compound movements.


There are a bunch of T-Nation folk in England. Perhaps one of them lives close enough to give you a hand in that regard?

Heh. Not that you're eager to have a stranger take pictures of you in your boxers. Still, you could be more modest and wear something a little less revealing.


Maybe one does! Any T-Nationers in the South West fancy taking a picture of me in my swimming trunks? Though to be honest, I hope the answer's 'No.' because it would be, let's face it, awkward.


Well, it does depend on where I bought the trousers. But I am kinda bottom heavy, I must admit. Better big legs than chicken legs!