Lean to Mean, 90 Days (Vid & Pics)

We’ll let the pictures and the numbers do the talking this month. As you can see, some photo-shoots went better than others. Bed-head and caveman-hunch aside though we’re pretty happy with how things are going. I’ll post our measurements and the video below so you can get an idea of how monstrous we’re becoming.

We just started our August fat burning phase today. Fifteen minutes of HIIT training in the stairwell. Eight 30 second sprints with 90 second jogs in between. Up and down 22 floors over and over. I don’t think I’ve ever been so tired. My legs feel like jelly and I’m quivering as I write this . . . that isn’t saying much though. My cardiovascular training has been pretty absent my entire life. It doesn’t take many stairs to have me gasping for breath. Jared could hear me from several flights ahead.


Neck: 13.75″ to 14.5″
Shoulders: 38.75″ to 43.5″
Bicep: 11″ to 12.75″
Chest: 33.75″ to 36″
Waist: 27.5″ to 29.5″
Hips: 35.5″ to 37.5″
Thigh: 18.75″ to 22″
Calf: 13.75″ to 15.25″


Neck: 14.25″ to 15.5″
Shoulders: 43.5″ to 48.25″
Bicep: 12.25″ to 13.25″
Chest: 37″ to 38.5″
Waist: 30″ to 30.75″
Hips: 36″ to 39″
Thigh: 18.75″ to 21.5″
Calf: 13.5″ to 14.25″

And the Video:

If you want to see where we are now, check this out.


  1. Billy on August 9, 2010 at 4:34 pm

    The video is pretty amazing guys. The music is the perfect choice plus it’s cute how it looks like stop motion.

    Also, Shane, the tan definitely adds to the end results pictures.

    LIKE (y)

    Not gonna look at this blog in bars anymore, though. I got a lot of weird comments about it!

  2. Faith on August 9, 2010 at 5:13 pm

    Great job, you guys! That’s a lot of hard work and dedication. You look great, and you look like you feel great as well. This site has got to get a lot more hits eventually. I’m impressed!


  3. Jamie Panter on August 13, 2010 at 11:17 am

    Hi guys,

    Found your link through Tim’s site. You guys have done amazingly well. Don’t suppose you could tell me about your training programme could you? i.e. what exercises you used etc ?

    Great job 🙂


    • W. Shane Duquette on August 14, 2010 at 5:41 pm

      Thanks Jamie!
      We’ve been experimenting with different training programs every month trying to discover which one works best. Jared and I aren’t the sort that’s ever been able to gain muscle accidentally. Athletics just make us smaller. So we’re trying to be as deliberate about this as we can.

      We had a lot of success with the workout program that we outlined in our first video. We go over our diet and our supplements too. You can probably get a general idea from there, but if you have any specific questions after watching it I’d be glad to help! Subscribe to our newsletter and we’ll let you know the results of our research when the experiment is finished.


  4. Mark on August 18, 2010 at 10:42 am

    Great job and thanks for sharing. Two questions…
    1) Have you looked at the scrawny to brawny book by Michael Mejia and John Berardi and what is your opinion on their diet and workout recommendations?
    2) If you were to start again today, what aspects would you change to be more efficient in the lean to mean transformation for ectomorphs?

    Okay, I guess that was three questions.

    Again, great job!

  5. W. Shane Duquette on August 19, 2010 at 12:46 am

    Good questions Mark.
    1a) I read Scrawny to Brawny from cover to cover about 45 days in. Their diet is flawless. The chili that we base our diet upon is nearly identical to the hamburger meat, quinoa and salad meals they recommend. They seem to be the book that covers pre-workout, workout and post workout drinks the best. We’ve taken that and slightly tweaked it to include some of the advice of Tudor Bompa. We’ll put out a blog post and Youtube video on that soon.
    1b) The Scrawny to Brawny workouts are decent. I’ve heard good things about them, and they make some good corrective suggestions to fix form and posture, but after all their talk about sticking with the basic compounds lifts I found their workouts quite diluted. I personally prefer the steak and potatoes approach to lifting: deadlifts, squats, bench, military press, chin-ups and pull-ups. We add in a few other exercises to the muscles targeted that day (bent rows, incline dumbbell press, leg press, etc) and then do some core exercises. We keep the workouts to an hour. We got the best results with strength training (4-8 reps) while doing a triple split. We’re about to test a new periodized workout regimen similar to Scrawny to Brawny however that we’re quite excited about.

    2) Workout nutrition could have been better earlier in. We spent a month doing a hypertrophy phase with full body workouts three times a week at 9-11 reps and saw almost no gains. Strength training with adequate rest seems to be what we respond to best. I wish we had incorporated deadlifts into our workouts right from the beginning. As soon as we added them in our legs and backs started to bulk up. I would have done more core exercises at the beginning too. Working my underdeveloped obliques improved my form on all the big lifts. Training grip strength is another big one. If you can get your grip strong right at the beginning it will make everything easier from there on out. When we finally started doing deadlifts and heavy barbell shrugs we noticed our grip was failing first. Luckily it’s relatively easy to catch your grip strength up.

    ?) What are your thoughts on Scrawny to Brawny? Are you working towards a bigger body too? What have you been finding hardest? Getting results?

  6. Mark on August 19, 2010 at 11:06 am

    Thank you for the reply! I am the typical ectomorph. 6’2″ 155 lbs. I bought the Scrawny to Brawny book about a year ago. After reading some of the reviews which mentioned that the workouts were easy and the nutrition was the hard part, I jumped straight to that section. Once I read it I thought that there is no way I would be able to maintain that diet for the rest of my life, especially since I am a lacto-ovo vegetarian. So I changed my goal to becoming more toned, but I didn’t have a good workout plan. So now I am scrawny and have poor balance (shoulders vs. core vs legs) but I have good definition. I decided that I needed to balance out all of my core work with some chest and back work. So I started doing the P90X chest and back workout twice a week for the past 3 weeks (mostly pullups, chinups, and pushups) and noticed a pretty immediate difference and gained 3 lbs. That got me thinking that maybe I could put on some muscle mass and that I should come up with a balanced and solid plan. When I saw your video I became even more motivated, but I am still in the planning phase. That is why I asked the questions about what you would change if you were to start again today.
    I would love to hear more about the specifics of your diet (I did watch the one video).

  7. W. Shane Duquette on August 22, 2010 at 3:32 pm

    Ah wow! I started off at 6’2″ and just under 155 lbs. The workouts are the easy part, yeah. Focusing for an hour in the gym is easy compared with 24/7 diet adjustments. Once we got used to the diet though we actually really started to enjoy it. We have more energy nowadays and we don’t get crawings anymore.
    1) A lacto-ovo vegetarian should do just fine. Whey and casein protein powders are great for building muscle. Along with egg whites, cottage cheese and skim milk you should be ok. BCAAs too while working out, if you’re so inclined. Just make sure to stay away from soy products, as they increase estrogen secretions.
    2) P90X is a great fitness tool, and I know it includes strength training, although P90X isn’t the best system for ectomorphs looking to put on muscle mass. You’ll get much better results following a strength training periodization program.
    3)Our diet consists of a few staple meals. Salmon, sweet potatoes and green beans with a glass of milk is one. We eat a lot of chili, too, which is made up of:
    -Lean ground turkey breast
    -Black/kidney beans
    -Green peas
    -Tomato paste
    -Almond butter
    -Hot peppers
    -Chili powder, papriks
    4)Take the best possible before pictures that you can. You’ll regret not having them when you’re a new person looking back. I’m happy with the poses we did, but I wish we had done the 8 mandatory bodybuilding poses to give an even clearer idea of the musculature changes.
    5)Give yourself a completion date. It really helps having a goal to strive towards. Jared and I are trying to peak for the end of August and trying to look our best for the photoshoot has really motivated us to keep focused. Then we’ll set new goals and a new date and keep plowing forward!
    5)You don’t need to maintain the diet for the rest of your life, just while trying to get the body you want. Once you have that body you can relax the diet quite a bit. It’s much easier to maintain than to gain. You can add in desserts and lower your calorie intake and calm down on the protein, although some habits you might enjoy so much you decide to stick with.

  8. Brent on September 5, 2010 at 2:10 pm

    Did you guys ever look at starting strength when you started?

  9. W. Shane Duquette on September 5, 2010 at 2:49 pm

    I haven’t heard of Starting Strength until now, actually. Thanks for the info. I checked out the program and while a lot of the principles make sense (big complex lifts, 3 short workouts per week, low rep strength training, etc), I’m a little confused by the recovery aspect of it. I think you’d quickly become overtrained. They’re advocating doing heavy squats three times a week!
    We experimented with something similar for one of our months, and it ended up being our weakest month. There are a couple factors that could explain our reduced results. We were doing hypertrophy rep ranges (8-12) instead of strength training, which may have something to do with it. I would try a more traditional triple split, or perhaps two full-body workouts per week.

  10. Luis Pedraza on January 11, 2011 at 10:38 pm

    I’d love to havo a book with the workouts, routines and all specifications!! I think that you have enough material, both graphic and written of your process, plus you already have a lot of interested followers, including me!! I’ll be looking fordward to get it!

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