I have had my website live since May 2006 and having been helping thousands of skinny guys (and gals) gain thousands of pounds of massive muscle mass, but I rarely discuss the specific workout that I used to multiply my muscle.
Before I reveal the muscle building workout routine I followed, read about my hard-to-believe, but true transformation story…
All through high school and during four years of University (I attended the University of Western Ontario) I weighed around 145-150 pounds. I still remember my cross country coach calling me “fatty” one season when I came in a little over 150 pounds (which was fat when you’re six feet tall and a runner).
I spent 9 years of my life expending 1,000+ calories a day swimming, biking and mostly running while refueling on a diet that consisted of Kraft Dinner, peanut and butter jam sandwiches, bagels, pork and beans, pasta, and lots of Gatorade and power bars. I got my protein and my fruits and veggies at Christmas, Easter and Thanksgiving dinners. On top of that, I had never seriously trained with weights except for push ups and sit ups.
You could just imagine what would happen if you were me and stopped burning a million calories a week while being undernourished and THEN started to eat and train like a bodybuilder…
That’s my story in a nutshell. After I hung up my running shoes, at the age of 22, I entered the fitness industry to begin a career in personal training. The only problem was – I didn’t look like a personal trainer!
That’s when I decided to destroy my nickname, “Skinny Vinny,” and build my dream body. Here are a few of the key strategies I started following:
1. I ate EVERY 3 hours for six times a day. I ate breakfast, lunch and dinner and added three homemade meal replacement drinks for the other three meals (one was planned immediately after my workout).
Breakfast consisted of 3-4 whole eggs with 6 egg whites. A few cups of veggies and 2-4 slices of toast with natural peanut butter.
Lunch consisted of two tuna sandwiches on whole wheat bread and a few cups of whole milk. I usually skipped out on veggies this meal because I couldn’t get into eating veggies.
Dinner consisted of some sort of meat my mom would cook, i.e. chicken, beef, salmon, fish etc., combined with rice, pasta or potatoes, and always vegetables (because she cooked them for me).
My shakes consisted of 30-60 grams of protein powder, 1-2 cups of frozen berries, natural peanut butter and sometimes I would put oatmeal and/or ice cream, which was easily 1,000 calories!
Looking back, I took in far more than I needed but figured if I gained any fat, I could just cut back and/or add some running workouts. I also got better pumps when my muscles were full and I never ran out of gas so I enjoyed the energy the calories provided. I never counted calories but I am sure it’s safe to say I was consuming 4,000-6,000 calories, which explains how I gained weight so fast. My body was getting more ripped and muscular and that’s all I cared about.
2. I recorded every workout in detail. I recorded the reps, sets, rest, exercises, order, how I felt and any extra comments so I always knew what to strive for during the next workout. I made constant progress for six months straight. Approaching a workout, I would know how much weight or reps I needed to increase to beat my previous workout.
3. I focused on making the last set of every exercise an ALL-OUT SET. Just like our track days, the last interval was always the hardest. We would always collapse after the last interval. I applied the same intensity to the last set of EVERY exercise. This is when my friends started referring to my training style as “Vin-Sanity!” I also called it the, “Go-till-you-blow” set. The last set was always with the heaviest weight and the most reps. It was the site that “sparked” my muscles into growth and “out did” my previous workout.
4. I focused on full-body workouts because they recruit more motor units and muscle groups than split training. Full-body workouts elicit greater increase in testosterone and GH than split routines too. By training each body part more often, you yield a greater anabolic effect, and since a body part is usually recovered within 48 hours not training that muscle again within 48 hours is wasted time off. Protein synthesis is increased for up to 48 hours after a muscle is trained and then begins to drop back to normal. I knew the only downfall to full-body training was that it was dependent on me recovering within the 48 hours, so I ensured I was in bed by 10:30 or 11pm each night.
5. I focused on compound exercises that positioned me to lift the heaviest weights possible and maximize the most muscle in the shortest period of time. The list for this is short – bench presses, bent over rows, overhead presses, deadlifts, squats, dips, chin ups and hanging leg raises. Those were the 8 core exercises and during each workout I would do a slight variation on those movements for variety.
6. I switched reps and sets almost every workout to stimulate slow twitch and fast twitch muscle fibers and to gain knowledge of what rep and set ranges created the most hypertrophy. I had a variety of rep and set schemes that varied from 3 x 15, 4 x 10, 5 x 5, 2 x 25, 4 x 12, 6 x 6, 10 x 3, 8 x 8 and guess what? They all worked. The lower the reps the higher the rest (2-3 minutes) and the higher the reps the lower the rest (30-60 seconds). Even though I constantly varied the intensity and volume, I pre-planned each rep and set scheme into different phases that varied from workout to workout or week to week.
I posted a sample 6-week full body muscle gaining workout below. Detox from T.V. or surfing Facebook 3-4 hours a week and replace it with this workout and you’ll experience the fastest anabolic results ever. Enjoy:
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I welcome your comments and questions regarding this workout and my “Skinny Vinny” to “Vin-Sanity” transformation.
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