My name is David Francis, a 35 year old soccer coach from Birmingham, England. I’ve always been skinny. Growing up, I was often referred to as a ‘matchstick’ or a ‘blade of grass’. Despite being into sport, my lack of speed and strength counted against me, often being picked last in a team game. Not the most pleasant of things to happen to a young lad, but hindsight is a wonderful thing. I am sure these experiences had a positve impact on my desire to build muscle and develop a physique that Bruce Lee would be jealous of.
From around the age of 18 I’ve been a member of a gym somewhere. Some more fancy than others, but always with the necessary equipment available to make some positive changes to strength and muscle composition. Like most, for the majority of the past 15 years, I didn’t really have a clue what I was doing, making up my own workout programs with no real understanding behind them, dieting on processed meats, cheese and bread, boozing 3-4 times a week and hoping the 1 protein shake a day I had would magically turn me into the Incredible Hulk! Needless to say, muscular gains were minimal and though keeping active is no bad thing, looking back, I could have done so much more to make the changes that I craved.
When I was 19, I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Collitis, which saw me drop down to below 140lbs for a period of time. I remember coming back from a vacation shortly after being diagnosed and resembling a bag of bones. Thankfully the weight came back on, but a similar incident happened in 2011 while living in Bangkok. Unable to eat for a week due to illness, my weight drastically decreased, with a friend of mine jokingly asking “where’s Dave?!” upon seeing me for the first time in a year. Thankfully, these experiences did not alter my motivation to build muscle and size, though my education was still lacking.
From the beginning of 2015, I discovered 2 specific workouts which changed my gains completely: The 5 x 5 Strongifts and Kris Gethin’s 12 week Muscle Builder (thanks to a recommendation from my good friend Scott). I have been thrilled with the results of both. During the Stronglifts program, my squat went from 80lbs to 185lbs over a 1 year period. The Muscle Builder program saw an increase in bodyweight from 155lbs to 171lbs, mostly in lean muscle. My shoulders became rounder, my chest fuller, my back wider, my arms thicker and my legs now look like they belong to a soccer coach (my full time job) as opposed to resembling the chicken legs you see hanging in the window of a food truck in Singapore.
The results of these 2 programs confirmed that when it comes to the body, anything is possible. If we are prepared to put the work in and eat the right way, all hard gainers, ectomorphs and skinny fella’s around the world can build the muscle they wish. Both programs also showed me that the experts really do know what they are talking about and have motivated me to continue to push and achieve new goals as far as my body is concerned. I will be using this blog to test programs that are easily available online and recommended by others to achive results, reviewing each one, detailing my progress with pictures, stats and words and discussing the pro’s and con’s of each program.
I hope that, if you are skinny fella (or lady) like myself, that this can help provide the inspiration to achieve the body you have always wanted. I welcome any and all feedback on things I can improve on, what you woud like to see on this site and news of your results as well.