Starting at 150 pounds and measuring in at a towering 6’2”, Redditor alnelson2 was what most people would consider “lanky.” He had tried weight lifting while in college, however he wound up injuring his back from trying to lift more than his means and ended up stopping altogether. “My diet was horrible, and I did not exercise at all the next two years and pretty much ate everything and anything I wanted,” he explains, “I started to get chronic lower back pains and initially blamed my height for it. A year later and it was still a problem. I decided to start working out again to strengthen my lower back and improve my overall physique.”
For the first five months alnelson2 started out by doing calisthenics only, as his employer had an outside “jungle gym” that he repurposed as his main “workout area”:
My workout consisted of mainly pull-ups, pushups, dips, and squats and was broken into a 4 day workout split. I did different variations of these main exercises with high intensity and very low rest time (30-45 seconds max). I usually did them circuit style and my workouts only lasted for 30 minutes (I did about 4-5 sets). But since it was such high intensity, my body/muscles grew a lot.
I also coupled this with a high caloric diet (4000) and almost no cardio. I wanted to gain a lot of weight so I tried to retain as much calories as possible during my bulk.
At the end of his bulk alnelson2 had managed to gain about 35 pounds, some of it muscle and some of it fat. “I made pretty decent gains with calisthenics, mostly because my weight kept increasing as well as the number of sets and reps I did” he writes, “but after a while I felt I needed a change and started lifting weights.” Currently, his lifts are still centered around “pull-ups, dips, pushups and squats,” except now he adds extra weight to them.
As for his overall diet and schedule, alnelson2 eats around 2500 calories a day and has also re-integrated cardio into his workouts, along with a run/sprint 2-3 times a week:
I usually workout in the morning around 5:30am everyday because work takes up most of my day (9am-5pm), and I still wanted to have time to spend with my girlfriend (5pm – whenever she decides). I still got about 7-8 hours of sleep by sleeping around 10pm or 11pm.
I used to hate waking up early, but now I love it. One of the benefits for me personally, is that everything after my workout is centered around rebuilding the muscles I just tore down. I’m a lot more conscious of what foods I eat and what my body needs in order to repair. Another benefit is most people aren’t working out in the morning so the gym is empty. Whenever I try going to the gym after work, the amount of people there is crazy. It also really messes up my rest times and workouts altogether. But it is really just depends on your schedule and preferences.
It may seem like a lot of hard work, and it is – but the results more than speak for themselves: