The Bony to Beastly team is made up of us three guys: Marco (left), Jared (right) and me (Shane). All of us have been skinny—really skinny. Over the course of our lives we beat it. Our health improved and our energy levels, our confidence, our enjoyment of life, and, of course, our handsomeness, all shot up. Because of the huge positive impact our transformations had on our lives we became passionate about helping others do the same. Jared and I run a graphic design studio called Foxhound, and Marco is a strength and conditioning coach. We aren’t bodybuilders, we aren’t fitness models—Hell, I grew up making art and writing music, Marco was a skateboarder who played on the volleyball team, and Jared was the singer for a few hardcore bands. We’re just regular guys.
But we know what we’re doing, and we’ve gained over 160 pounds between us:
At 6’2 I have the wrist size of the average 5’4 man. I’m pretty much the poster child for your stereotypical ectomorph hardgainer – my limbs are all lengthy and lanky, my tendons are long, my muscle bellies are short, I’ve got the metabolism of a lion, and the appetite of a small mouse. Throughout high school and most of university I couldn’t get past 130 pounds.
Despite my scrawniness though, I was desperate to be the protector and not the protected, so I turned to martial arts. The extra physical activity dropped me down to 125 pounds … and I started being paired with the girls in the class. I tried to stick it out, but after six more months I finally admitted to myself that it wasn’t working.
Then in my first year of university my girlfriend (also 130 lbs) joked that she’d protect me if we ever got into trouble.
That wasn’t the kind of man I wanted to be.
I decided to run with my strengths and out-nerd my genetics. I studied incredibly hard have managed to gain 55 pounds of muscle in a remarkably short time, literally quadrupling my strength along the way.
My next girlfriend told me that she liked how safe she felt in my arms.
Knowing first hand how important this can be to people, I became passionate about helping other skinny guys accomplish their own goals.
I started struggling with tendonitis near the end of high school due to my long hours on the computer creating and running various websites. My part-time job wasn’t helping as I was designing at a local creative studio so nearly every waking moment I was on a computer. The pain from the tendonitis started to become unbearable so I started with simple remedies like ice and wrist braces which didn’t work at all. I tried every method I came across: doctor-prescribed Naproxen (heavy anti-inflammatory med which gave me nosebleeds), physiotherapy, ultra-sound treatment, and even acupuncture as I was getting desperate – none of which worked well or came remotely close to solving the issue. The pain was getting to the point where I couldn’t even be on a computer. My temporary solution was to slowly become ambidextrous which was working well until I started developing tendonitis on my left arm as well. My physiotherapist at the time said she had never seen tendonitis in both arms in such a young person.
I studied design in university and continued to struggle with my tendonitis. I used my meds before a big project was due but otherwise I tried to avoid being the computer. Shane and I met in school and we started a graphic design business after we graduated. After work we decided to do an “experiment” we titled Lean to Mean. The goal was to gain as much muscle as humanly possible in a small time-frame, and in the first month I managed to gain 22 pounds bringing me from 130 to 152 pounds on my six-foot frame.
All it took was those 30 days of weightlifting and nutrition to completely change my life. Over the next two months I gained another 11 pounds, bringing me up to 163 pounds (shown in the photo). It completely changed the way I looked and felt – I was hooked. Although training had helped reduce the symptoms of my tendonitis a bit, I still struggled daily with the pain.
On the first day I met Marco he showed me a simple soft-tissue technique often used on athletes to cure my tendonitis. A few weeks later and my tendonitis no longer affected my life. It was a huge moment for me since I didn’t need to stress about being able to do my job and I was finally pain free.
My wife trains with me now, too and we love it. Lately I’ve been happily hovering at around 175/180 – over 45 pounds heavier than when I started.
Training and eating well has hugely impacted my life in such a positive way. I no longer see getting older as an unfortunate downhill progression into more and more pain but rather an opportunity to continue to get stronger, move better, and look better.
In high school, at 6’4 and 150 pounds, I was pretty desperate. I was eager to increase my confidence (especially around girls), and building muscle seemed like the way to do it. I bought Arnold’s Encyclopedia of Bodybuilding and spent every waking hour either desperately training in the gym, or desperately reading scholarly articles about muscle. Over the course of several years I gained 63 pounds, became a pretty solid football and rugby player, and built up a ton of confidence.
Obsessed with muscle, strength and physical performance, my dream was to help other guys in the way that I had needed help. I got a B.H.Sc., then interned with strength legend Eric Cressey, took some advanced posture and alignment courses, got all kinds of strength and conditioning certifications, and flew all over the world going to physiology conferences.
These days I play a little rugby, play a little guitar, and am lucky enough to be living my dream – I coach athletes (amateur, pro and Olympic), and help skinny guys like me finally get big and strong.
We know our way around the gym, we know our way around the kitchen, we know how to wade through research papers, and we know how to take full advantage of our bodytypes. We’re really good at packing beastly amounts of muscle onto bony frames.
Our mission is to take guys that are fed up with being skinny and turn them into beasts. What’s a beast? A visibly strong, healthy, masculine man. And I don’t mean masculine in the machauvinist sense, brah—I mean naturally masculine in the sense that masculinizing hormones course through the veins of healthy men that train and eat like beasts. This will make us resistant to fat, better able to build muscle quickly, burly as a bear, strong as an ox, full of energy, ambition, confidence, and prone to growing hair in unsightly places.
This isn’t a bodybuilding program, we don’t measure our worth by how much we can bench press, we don’t oil up in our after shots, we don’t walk around with our chests puffed up and we don’t flex every time we pass by a mirror (in public). See, we want you to have more ass in your pants than in your personality.
Us and all of our members are trying to go from Bony to Beastly here, and we leave no bony behind! It’s a small community full of great guys. Whatever your muscle-building and physique goals are, we’re here to help you reach them. Once you get to beastlihood your glutes are yours to use as you wish—whether they’re for your wife or the babe at the bar.
– Shane, Jared & Marco