Weight: 112 lbs
Body Fat: 5.4%
Max Bench: 95 lbs
Weight: 154 lbs
Body Fat: 8.5%
Max Bench: 205 lbs
Why I Got Started
My whole family is nothing but skinny and lanky looking people. My mother, father and sister all look like if they turn sideways they won't cast a shadow, and I was no exception. All through high school I was in ROTC, and everyone always assumed since I was skinny, I liked to run, and I got stuck in the run squad on Athletic team every year.
A Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) program is a college-based, officer commissioning program, predominantly in the United States. It is designed as a college elective that focuses on leadership development, problem solving, strategic planning and professional ethics.
So in turn, I just kept getting skinnier and skinnier from all the cardio I was doing. My sophomore and junior year I was weighing in at a scrawny 112 pounds, so I didn't have much weight to spare in the first place.
After being called nothing but skin and bones and the tiny guy for my entire high school career, I decided to join the local YMCA to try and put on some weight. That was in May of 2007. I was sick of always being looked at like the weak guy, being embarrassed to take my shirt off at the beach.
I pretty much jumped into the gym with high hopes but no knowledge of bodybuilding, weightlifting, or proper nutrition. Meanwhile my family said I would probably just get leaner because I was fighting my genetics.
For weeks I trained every day, not knowing that muscles need more than just 8 hours of sleep a night. I worked the same muscle groups back to back, tearing my muscle tissue down without giving it time to heal and grow.
How I Did It
It had been three months and I had not gained a single pound. So I started reading everything I could. I found that I was an ectomorph, which is what most skinny, high metabolism people are, and I should strictly limit my cardio if I was to gain mass.
I started treating every muscle separately, working arms, legs, back, chest and shoulders on different days of the week, never the same muscle twice.
On top of proper exercise for my body type I started eating right, rather than have McDonalds or nothing for breakfast I started eating Oatmeal and Wheat Cereals. I also started timing my meals, never letting myself go more than 3 hours without a snack.
Once I started reading up on nutrition I started taking protein 30 minutes after every workout and creatine two times per day. Along with that I started eating as much pasta and white chicken breasts as I could to help boost my positive calorie intake. The hardest lesson I learned was consistency, not taking days off, and working my gym time around my personal time.
Throughout the day I always have a 9 oz bottle of water in my hand, making sure to always keep hydrated.
I started every workout with a 3-5 minute light jog on the treadmill to get my heartbeat up. I performed every exercise for a max of 8-12 reps for 3 sets.
Wednesday: Back & Chest
- I usually took the weekend off to give my whole body a good 48 hours to heal up and get me ready for another weak of intense workouts.
Saturday & Sunday: Off
On top of a rigid schedule I made sure every workout was as intense as my body would allow. Knowing my limits and perfect form and execution were the most important things I learned over the last 10 months.
Suggestions For Others
Never let anyone tell you that you can't do something because of genetics. Genetics do play somewhat of a roll in what kind of gains you will see, but they don't dictate if you'll see any results at all, it's up to you. If I had listened to everyone around me I might still be less than 120 pounds.
Also, it always helps to have a roll model, mine is Arnold, he was obsessed with perfect form, and it showed. Always go into the gym with a plan, know what exercises your doing and what muscles you'll be working before you step into the gym.
And knowing what exercises you're doing is only half the battle, the other half is execution and form, and it's vital to your goals. You have to know if your going high weight low reps, or low weight high reps.
Are you going for tone, or mass? Or just overall weight gain or loss? These are the questions you need to be asking so you can come up with a workout program that's right for you.
One of, if not the most important thing to always remember is nutrition. Eating right is what makes workouts worth the effort. Muscles need protein to build, and bodies need proper hydration at all times.
Bodybuilders and gym fanatic's need to drink as much water as possible, muscle cells are two-thirds water, so dehydration means less energy, more fatigue. It all comes down to that old saying, knowledge is power, so stay focused and know your goals!