My name is Taylor Thompson, I am 22-years-old, and at a recent get-together, a girl was all over me because she said that I was, “ripped.” To be honest, though, I am not that big. I feel like I am about average, but to most skinny guys, I guess I am considered to be muscular, especially because of how I once looked.
Currently, I am 172.2 pounds, and am in the middle of producing a documentary, which follows my progress from skinny to jacked. We’ll get more into that a little later though.
Today, I’ll be talking about my muscle building journey, starting with high school, graduation, and finally, college. I’ll also show you that no matter how skinny you are, you can build muscle.
Each aspect of my life involves a new attempt to build muscle, and only until recently, have I finally began to see some success in the gym. If I had to guess, I bet we’ll have a lot in common.
While you’re reading, be sure to watch for bold fonts, as they will cover important mistakes that I made in the gym, in which you can probably also relate to.
High School Profile – Fail!
Name: Taylor Thompson
Weight: 135 Pounds
Favorite Sport: Football
Weight Training Skill: Lacking
Nutrition: A Big Fucking Disaster
For me, becoming muscular was and even to this day, isn’t a want; Becoming muscular is a necessity. Although my need for muscle really started before high school, it wasn’t until high school that I finally began lifting weights religiously.
I wanted to become muscular for a number of reasons, but for the most part, I noticed that muscular guys seemed to have confidence, be popular, and get women; Things we all desire. I would watch shows like MTV’s Real World, or MTV’s Spring Break, and develop the idea that in order to be like the cool guys on TV, I would need to build muscle. So that’s what I sought out to do.
In high school, I busted my ass in an attempt to build muscle. Meanwhile, my friends spent their gym time hitting on the most beautiful women in class. Even worse, while I busted my ass for pretty much nothing, my friends seemed to be getting even more jacked, while seemingly, doing less, or no work. I’m sure you know guys like this. You know? The guys with the amazing genetics? That no matter what they do, they build muscle.
I was hitting the gym 5 days a week, on many occasions, and it seemed like no matter what I did, I couldn’t build muscle. In fact, here’s a picture of me lifting weights, taken right out of my high school yearbook:
At the time, I probably thought I was cool for curling a 60-pound barbell. Sure enough, I was making the mistake of using a weight that was too heavy, while also using improper form.
Aside from training 5 days a week, my last couple years of high school, I decided to work on my nutrition; Something that I should have done from day 1. I would eat cottage cheese, lean meats, and I don’t think I have mentioned this anywhere else, but I even tried peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, for awhile.
Why PB and J? I noticed that my buddy, Tony Wilson, who actually went on to play football for Oregon State, was snacking on PB and J sandwiches during class, so I figured I would give it a try. Unfortunately, the PB and J trick just wasn’t working for me. Here’s a picture of Tony though. The dude is a beast!
Needless to say, I took weight training every semester of my high school year, and by the time I graduated, I had absolutely nothing to show for it. Literally, I didn’t gain a pound.
Maybe this sounds like what you’re experiencing, or what you have experienced? Skinny no matter what you do? How in the hell could I have trained all throughout high school, and still looked this skinny? Do you have this problem?
Look at the video below… This was literally shot 6 months before I graduated high school:
Oh yeah. I almost forgot to mention the fact that I even spent money on expensive supplements, and even got advice from a personal trainer. This guy hooked me up with a free weight training and nutrition plan, but still, after following his tips, I didn’t gain weight. I’m sure you’ve wasted your money on a personal trainer, or expensive supplements, only to see no results. How frustrating is that?
After I graduated, I decided that I was pretty much going to give up on weight training, and for awhile, I did. Never give up. With my help, we can make you muscular!
I’m not sure if I mentioned this in my 91 Day Challenge guide, but after high school, and even somewhat during high school, I did attempt to build muscle with the perfect pushups. Ultimately though, this was a failure.
My First Muscle Gains
Luckily for me, one late night, I happened to be watching TV when an infomercial for “P90X” appeared. After a couple of weeks of running into this infomercial, I decided to order the program, and give it a try. Maybe you’re feeling as desperate as I felt? I thought to myself, “If an old dude can get jacked with this program, then so can I.”
Many forums said that P90X was only good for weight loss, but after only 60 days of use, I gained my first 15 pounds. It was a miracle. I worked hard in high school for 3 years, and saw no progress, but after only 60 days of P90X, I was seeing real, actual gains.
After 3 years of using P90X on and off,
- I gained a total of 30 pounds.
- Increased my max single arm curl from 25 to 45 pounds
- Increased my max bench press from 135 to 185 pounds,
- Without ever stepping foot inside a gym.
The following picture, which I already showed you above, was me at my high point, after doing P90X:
So why, after only 60 days of P90X, did I manage to gain 15 pounds, when 3 years of high school weight training did nothing for me?
When I lifted weights during high school, I usually made the mistake of only doing bench press and curls, mainly, because I didn’t know how to do anything else, or how to create a workout schedule.
With P90X, I had a workout plan right in front of me, and all I had to do to be successful was exactly what the guys on the TV did. That’s why P90X was a huge success for me. You pop the DVD in, press play, and get to work. If you get confused in the gym, and just don’t know what to do, P90X is an instant fix.
Update: I have been getting a ton of emails from people asking me what equipment I use while I am on the P90X program. All I use is a pull up bar, and a good pair of dumbbells.
For any home workout program that you follow, you’re going to need a pull up bar and dumbbells, at the very least. He’s a picture of me with my exercise equipment:
What do I use, specifically? Any sturdy pull up bar will honestly do. For dumbbells, I went with the Powerblock Classic 50′s.
It’s been 2 years since I have had the Powerblock Classic 50′s, and I haven’t had a single problem with them.
Regarding the price of the dumbbells, in the long run, you will save time driving to and from the gym. You will also save money on gas, and paying for a gym membership, which usually costs up to, or more than $500.00 a year. Not to mention the fact that the Classic 50′s take up no space.
“If You Don’t Use It, You’ll Lose It.”
My buddy, ex ICF fighter, fitness model, and creator of the Bony to Brawny muscle building program, click here to get Bony to Brawny, once told me, “If you don’t use it, you’ll lose it.”
Unfortunately for me, after getting up to about 170 pounds with P90X, I became sick with Cat Scratch Disease, and after just 3 months of living a sedentary lifestyle, I dropped down to 152.2 pounds; My lowest weight in years. In fact, look at this picture of me at 152.2 pounds, just 3 months after stopping the P90X program due to CSD:
I was physically devastated, and as you could probably imagine, emotionally devastated, as well. In a matter of 3 months, I lost almost everything that had taken me 3 years to obtain.
I vowed to myself that once I became better, I would no longer take my health for granted. This time around, I wasn’t going to just half-ass my way through P90X, using it only on and off. This time around, I was going to get a gym membership, build some real muscle, be consistent, and go for gold.
Rebuilding 20 Pounds of Muscle in 60 Days
That’s what my July 1st, 2012 released, Youtube documentary will be for. Believe it or not, the following picture is me just 60 days after the picture taken above:
Starting weight: 152.2 pounds
Day 60 weight: 172.4 pounds
Starting bench press: 95 pounds @ 12 reps.
Day 60 bench press: 165 pounds @ 12 reps.
Starting single arm curl: 10 pounds @ 12 reps.
Day 60 single arm curl: 20 pounds @ 12 reps.
Many people fail right before they’re about to succeed. Have you ever failed, and given up completely? Chances are, you were just about to succeed.
TO BE CONTINUED