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The Scrawny To Brawny Author

I was just perusing the Scrawny to Brawny thread and wanted to make a few comments - for what they’re worth.

  1. Scrawny to Brawny is a new book that I co-authored with Mike Mejia and is a comprehensive treatment of the topic of training for “hardgainers” with ectomorphic body types.

  2. While there are alot of “hungry” mesomporphs out there (individuals who simply don’t eat and train right and use the “hardgainer” excuse for their poor efforts), ectomorphy is a legitimate body classification that’s complete with hormonal, SNS, and structural differences that do increase the barriers to getting massive.

The book demonstrates these differences and discusses how to work thru them - in other words, how to do things right if you’re an ectomorph.

  1. Currently, Get Lifted is posting, in sometimes painful detail, what he’s doing. (Please note, he does not represent us or the plan - he’s just a guy that’s doing his best to follow it and document what happens).

However, someone has already done this. Check it out here:
http://people.smu.edu/jowillia/scrawny_to_brawny.htm

  1. Now, without reading the book, it seems as if it’s very detailed, sometimes too much so. However, without seeing the book, you really have little room to comment.

  2. So far, Get Lifted has posted his results from a 15 minute postural assessment. And people are busting on him for what - I don’t know.

  3. This chapter is designed to make sure you’re not entering into the HEAVY lifting program with postural imbalances that will predispose you to injury.

  4. After the 15 minute assessment, we teach you how to spend the next 2-6 weeks correcting imbalances before launching into said HEAVY lifting and eating program.

  5. If you don’t see the value of easing into a new program and making sure your body is balanced before starting to squat, bench, and deadlift at loads approaching 95% of max, god bless.

None of my clients will be following your example!

  1. After a 15 minute assessment and 2-6 weeks (depending on how good/bad things are), you’re off and into a serious training and eating program that even Professor X wouldn’t object to.

So my point - sitting on this forum and bashing the program, the book, Get Lifted, etc without some perspective on the book and the big picture isn’t contributing anything to the discussion but useless argument and debate. If that’s your goal, cool.

Instead, though, if you’re here to learn something and perhaps even mentor others, my advice is to kick back and a) see what happens and what’s to come, b) pick up a copy of the book (it’s only about 12 bucks at Amazon), c) look at the program objectively rather than passing out the same old advice - lift big and train hard. Those words mean different things to different folks and this book is about standardizing those definitions for the ectomorph.

If anyone has any questions about the book, don’t hesitate to pop over to www.scrawnytobrawny.com to find out more about the book.

There are alot of people commenting about what Scrawny to Brawny is and what it isn’t. Unless you’ve actually read the book, you’re out of line to comment.

[quote]John M Berardi wrote:
I was just perusing the Scrawny to Brawny thread and wanted to make a few comments - for what they’re worth.[/quote]

I am glad you read it. I was beginning to wonder if many of the authors here actually followed these forums closely.

[quote]
2) While there are alot of “hungry” mesomporphs out there (individuals who simply don’t eat and train right and use the “hardgainer” excuse for their poor efforts), ectomorphy is a legitimate body classification that’s complete with hormonal, SNS, and structural differences that do increase the barriers to getting massive. [/quote]

I haven’t read the book, but this concept has been of interest to me so I don’t feel I am clueless on the subject. I can, however, only judge from what Get Lifted has posted and he, instead of being an ectormorph due to the measurements he provided, seems to be someone who may not have simply provided his body with enough of the stimulus to grow before. He has a solid body structure that doesn’t seem to have an inability to gain muscle mass.

[quote]
3) Currently, Get Lifted is posting, in sometimes painful detail, what he’s doing. (Please note, he does not represent us or the plan - he’s just a guy that’s doing his best to follow it and document what happens).[/quote]

This was already understood. I don’t fault an author due to the actions of someone who read the book. If that were the case, the Crusades would have put me off of that whole bible thang.

[quote]
5) So far, Get Lifted has posted his results from a 15 minute postural assessment. And people are busting on him for what - I don’t know. [/quote]

I’ll tell you why. Because his pictures posted didn’t appear to be of someone who had been lifting for a long period of time. I wrote to him that I thought he was a beginner and that this approach would seem too detailed for a beginner to perform. He later stated he is not a beginner. Case solved…all without Scooby Doo and those meddling kids.

[quote]
7) After the 15 minute assessment, we teach you how to spend the next 2-6 weeks correcting imbalances before launching into said HEAVY lifting and eating program.[/quote]

This is where we seem to launch into self diagnosed chiropractic issues and that I do find a small issue with. I will have to read the book to see how detailed this is, however.

[quote]
8) If you don’t see the value of easing into a new program and making sure your body is balanced before starting to squat, bench, and deadlift at loads approaching 95% of max, god bless. [/quote]

What about those who are imbalanced simply because they have not adapted to training? I trained many clients who couldn’t squat very well simply because they never did it before. This is often cured by having them squat some more with guidance…all without the chiropractic slant.

[quote]
9) After a 15 minute assessment and 2-6 weeks (depending on how good/bad things are), you’re off and into a serious training and eating program that even Professor X wouldn’t object to.[/quote]

Now that is soothing to the ears.

What happened to simple debate? For the record, I respect your advice and your training. I also wish you luck on your book doing well.

I hope he didn’t see my post as busting on him. I simply wanted to get at something you said in one of the double taps about substituting knowledge for hard work. I for one tried to use knowledge as a substitute for heavy lifting, and was concerned that he might be going down the same path.

[quote]Soco wrote:
I hope he didn’t see my post as busting on him. I simply wanted to get at something you said in one of the double taps about substituting knowledge for hard work. I for one tried to use knowledge as a substitute for heavy lifting, and was concerned that he might be going down the same path.

[/quote]

I had the same impression from his writing.

Props to ProfX. At least you have the stones to stand up and defend your posts on Get Lifted’s thread to JB.

Whether your opinions right or wrong - you’ve done what most of the chicken shits on here won’t do, and that’s to stand up and explain yourself to the author of the book.

It is a good idea if the imbalances then become exacerbated by the training. it is one of those things that you could only tell in retrospect…ie “i wish i had sorted the shoulder fleaxability before i ripped my RC”.

In that way, i agree with PX to an extent. All i know is now i am having my imbalances sorted, daily life is less painful, and i wish i had sorted them long ago.

[quote]Soco wrote:
I hope he didn’t see my post as busting on him. I simply wanted to get at something you said in one of the double taps about substituting knowledge for hard work. I for one tried to use knowledge as a substitute for heavy lifting, and was concerned that he might be going down the same path.

[/quote]

Yeah, I think that is the interpretation many people got also, it wasn’t meant as a “flame” or in any way directed towards Berardi’s book/ideas at all, though it could be construed that way.

People saw a user who was taking out quite a bit of time to upload each individual picture of every assesment he was performing to check his imbalances which yes is his right, but to most readers looking at a PUBLIC forum they will wonder. If done for information purposes then I guess I see its merit, but it has all the makings of posting a before picture, before working to become the after…Get Lifted’s response to Professor X had me puzzled as well.

One user also noticed in the squat assesment, picture, that imbalances were indeed being checked but form looked terrible, yes check for such and make sure you are generally healthy, but if that was even 200lbs on his back with that form he would have fallen forward, at some point you just have to mess around with heavy weight, and as Berardi outlined that this is not representative specifically to his Scrawny to Brawny book/ideas, nor were the jeering posts made out of contempt.

Loved the D-tap Berardi, gave me many laughs and for fairness I will pick up a copy of your book, even though I am the exact opposite of any ectomorph.

[quote]EmperialChina wrote:
Soco wrote:
I hope he didn’t see my post as busting on him. I simply wanted to get at something you said in one of the double taps about substituting knowledge for hard work. I for one tried to use knowledge as a substitute for heavy lifting, and was concerned that he might be going down the same path.

Yeah, I think that is the interpretation many people got also, it wasn’t meant as a “flame” or in any way directed towards Berardi’s book/ideas at all, though it could be construed that way.

People saw a user who was taking out quite a bit of time to upload each individual picture of every assesment he was performing to check his imbalances which yes is his right, but to most readers looking at a PUBLIC forum they will wonder. If done for information purposes then I guess I see its merit, but it has all the makings of posting a before picture, before working to become the after…Get Lifted’s response to Professor X had me puzzled as well.

One user also noticed in the squat assesment, picture, that imbalances were indeed being checked but form looked terrible, yes check for such and make sure you are generally healthy, but if that was even 200lbs on his back with that form he would have fallen forward, at some point you just have to mess around with heavy weight, and as Berardi outlined that this is not representative specifically to his Scrawny to Brawny book/ideas, nor were the jeering posts made out of contempt.

Loved the D-tap Berardi, gave me many laughs and for fairness I will pick up a copy of your book, even though I am the exact opposite of any ectomorph.[/quote]

If you guys would have read my post then you wouldn’t have had to rail on him. I clearly pointed out that we was just following the instructions of the book. He pointed that out too. Perhaps he should have made it more evident in his first post.

What I dont understand is why everyone feels like they need to rail on someone so hard just becuase they are making things more complicated than they need to be, which in GL’s case he wasn’t he was simply doing as told. Just because something works for you doesn’t mean that it is a universal truism.

If GL is a true ectomorph then he is going to have a difficult time building mass. I have read his post about college life and eating properly and he seems to have his shit together.

As far as postural problems before you start in to a heavy lifting regimen that only makes sense. You wouldn’t start out on a road trip with a cracked head would you or a worn down fan belt?

Preventative maintainence will definetly improve performance over the lang haul.

Berardi,

I checked out the website for the book. I think it could contain a little bit more information on the book.

I think I am going to buy it regardless as I think it would be helpful given that I fall into the ectomorph category perfectly.

People aren’t busting on him because of your program. It’s his look-at-me attitude.

Dude should be eating, not posting endless pictures of himself touching a milk bottle.

[quote]futuredave wrote:
People aren’t busting on him because of your program. It’s his look-at-me attitude.

Dude should be eating, not posting endless pictures of himself touching a milk bottle. [/quote]

Exactly. I posted this in another thread, but isn’t it obvious to anyone else what this guy is all about? He wants to believe that the problem isn’t simply diet and effort, he wants it to be more complicated than that. That way it’s not his fault. He also wants to hedge his bets by making it the fault of Berardi and his own genetics if he fails at this program.

I’m all for having other people provide motivation. I’m like most other people, I can turn it up another notch when I have a training partner that I don’t want to “let down”. But I don’t need that. I constantly get requests from friends for training and dieting advice, and I almost always say I can’t help, because the premise of the request is almost always that they just can’t stick to a plan on their own and need me “over their shoulder” to motivate them. I don’t want any part of that stuff.

That’s why I dislike the “I’m putting up my pics so I have no excuse” threads. That doesn’t take guts to me. Guts is putting in the effort everyday when no one is watching. Going to the gym at midnight when you feel like shit even though the only person you’ll let down is yourself.

And to be totally honest with you, I get a little bit of motivation when I see guys that I was MUCH skinnier than make these threads, and knowing I got to where I am now most of the way by myself when everyone thought I was crazy for going to the gym on those tough nights. ProfX probably has similar feelings, so when you see us being assholes on these threads, we need our motivation too, because we still have gains to make.

The reverse of what Moriarty and Prof X wrote is also true. Sometimes people who have succeeded in the gym will say skinny guys haven’t “worked hard enough” or “ate big enough.” But often, that isn’t the case. People just say those things to give themselves a pat on the back. (“Obviously, I worked harder than that skinny guy. Therefore, I deserve a great body more than he does.”)

Believe it or not, folks, the world is not fair. Some people can eat ten times a day and train their asses off and nothing happens.

I would have to agree with Prof. X on the other thread. The subject seems to be more of an average trainee than a scrawny ectomorph. Most ectomorphs I know don’t have bodyfat… even their parents don’t. Ectomorphs also tend to have smaller bone structures. I’m guessing it would be harder to balance an 80 lb d/b with a smaller wrist.

Granted, I know I’m describing an extreme ectomorph… based on the title of the book that was a subject I was expecting.

Lastly, if you look at the majority of the target audience of the book, I bet they’d be happy to be where this guy started out.

[quote]Rocket Lax wrote:
The reverse of what Moriarty and Prof X wrote is also true. Sometimes people who have succeeded in the gym will say skinny guys haven’t “worked hard enough” or “ate big enough.” But often, that isn’t the case. People just say those things to give themselves a pat on the back. (“Obviously, I worked harder than that skinny guy. Therefore, I deserve a great body more than he does.”)

Believe it or not, folks, the world is not fair. Some people can eat ten times a day and train their asses off and nothing happens.[/quote]

That’s very true. People tend to have a higher appreciation for the things that they themselves are good at.

I doubt nothing will happen though if you are actually lifting and eating correctly. Chances are you are missing some basic component and in many cases it is effort. Some people however don’t gain as fast as others simply as a factor of genetics. I realize that some of use would like to credit all their gains to their “superior” effort but it just isn’t the case.

I don’t understand why people are giving GL a hard time about this. I think Prof X may be right that this guy shouldn’t jump to the conclusion that he’s an ectomorph. He has gained close to 40 pounds of lean mass in a little over two years. That to me indicates that he may not be an ectomorph/hard gainer. However, it also indicates that he probably works pretty hard in the gym!

I’ve trained people who want to analyze every aspect of their diet and nutrition in excruciating detail. I had one client who would count the carbs in Low-Carb Grow! into his nutrition plan, and this wasn’t when he was on a low-carb diet! He was just fricken’ anal about it. But you know what? He also worked his ass off in the gym, each workout, each set, on each rep. So the fact that he liked to get into the miniscule aspects of his training program and nutrition had no ill effects on his level of effort in the gym.

I’m sure there are people who suffer from paralysis by analysis, but can’t we just give this guy the benefit of the doubt for a while?

We’ll see what his program looks like, and we’ll see what his diet looks like. My guess is that if he’s following JB’s training program in this much detail, he’s certainly going to eat a good amount of food as well. Maybe I missed his nutrition plan, but he’s probably going to engage in some Massive eating/grocery shopping/shitting. So if he falls on his face, we’ll all know he didn’t work hard.

What I really like about GL’s post is that he’s actually documenting in great detail a specific training program. Meanwhile, 80% of the questions that get posted on this site could be answered if the person did just a little digging in the back issues or old posts. If someone wants to bring up a question that has already been answered 50 times via articles/posts, they could at least revive the article or post and bring something new to the question.

So I applaud GL for his efforts and I look forward to seeing his progress/regress.

The below “excerpt” is from one of my articles on posture and accelerated aging.


The beginning of the disease process starts with postural distortions?

Dr. Hans Seyle, Nobel Laureate

Posture and normal physiology are interrelated

Posture affects and moderates every physiological function from breathing to hormonal production

Abnormal posture is evident in patients with chronic and stress related illnesses.

Homeostasis and nervous system function are ultimately connected with posture

Despite the considerable evidence that posture affects physiology and function, the significant influence of posture on health is not addressed by most physicians.

Lennon, J. American Journal of Pain Management, Jan. 1994

[quote]Keith Wassung wrote:
The below “excerpt” is from one of my articles on posture and accelerated aging.
[/quote]

That was good info. I am glad you posted it. Training, considering it is done with decent form, also positively affects posture. I was one of those guys who hunched over as a kid when I walked. Bodybuilding put a stop to that. Many of these studies seem to skip the positive effect that training even has on women prone to osteoporosis. The question is, does all of this need to be dealt with medically? If so, how does it get incorporated into a program from birth if the goal is life extension? Further, how do you increase awareness about it, and even moreso, how do patients gain the ability to even afford more comprehensive-preventive treatment when our current health system doesn’t provide for it?

Talking about it and actually doing it (as far as adding it to preventive care) are not the same things. I think the training angle is your best bet in that situation which leads us back into the other discussion about whether this needs to be mapped out before someone ever picks up a weight. Perhaps picking up the weight is what solves the issue. It did in my case and apparently many others.

Prof, your response to #3 was one of the cooler things I’ve ever read/heard.

Prof.

I would like to send you the full article via e-mail.

I do think that all solutions inherently must begin with “awareness” and from there several avenues can be taken based on the individual. Joint mobility plays a huge part in this for many physiological reasons. You are correct that exercise, actually “movement” is the starting point of joint health and posture. A joint that does not move will eventually lose its normal range of movement and thus a downward spiral begins.

Keith

[quote]rainjack wrote:
Props to ProfX. At least you have the stones to stand up and defend your posts on Get Lifted’s thread to JB.

Whether your opinions right or wrong - you’ve done what most of the chicken shits on here won’t do, and that’s to stand up and explain yourself to the author of the book.
[/quote]

Funny how the demeanor and content of the JB rebuttal fails to match that found on the original posts. My read of the original posts were along these lines:

(1) You’re not an ectomorph, this approach is stupid, keep it simple.

(2) Unless you have OCD you will fail. But if you still want to try, go ahead.

(3) I don’t know Get Lifted, but I know that people who approach things his way, and not my way, fail. More power to him but I bet he fails. I don’t have a problem with people trying to reach a goal, but they should have to listen to my opinion too.

…and then, waa-laa, the thread gets hijacked. Isn’t this a familiar pattern?

Here’s a novel idea, if you don’t agree with someones approach:
Stop reading the thread, don’t use the approach, and don’t revisit the thread.