Becoming a ripped God is no easy task. Sometimes we go to the gym, see a few people in there who have the kind of cuts that we can only dream about and wonder if they were born that way. While some may have won the genetic lottery and have it easy when it comes to developing their gym bodies, for most of us it requires a lot of hard work. If you ever feel a little disheartened on your way to bulking up, look for inspiration from these gentlemen who started off skinny but went on to become powerhouses.
Hafthor ‘Thor’ Bjornsson gained popularity for his role as ‘The Mountain’ in the HBO television series ‘Game of Thrones’ as well as for being the strongest man in Iceland and the third strongest man in the world but he wasn’t always the hulking beast that he is now. He started off as a skinny 115kg basketball player who went on to become a 200kg WSM finalist in the span of two years.
He currently holds the record for the fastest 20 meter carry of two fridges that had a combined weight of about 1000 pounds.
Bjornsson shifted from basketball to power-lifting following a basketball injury. He had a to decide between the NFL and being an actor but ultimately chose to become the World’s Strongest Man which is what drives him to keep hitting the gym.
To fuel his training and maintain his mass, Bjornsson revealed that he consumes up to 10,000 calories a day. His diet is rich in carbohydrates and he stays away from junk foods, opting instead to eat a lot of brown rice, among other healthy sources of protein.
Dwight Howard is a 22 year old NBA All-Star. He plays as a center who is known for bullying opponents and analysts frequently use words such as ‘powerful’ and ‘dominant’ to describe his displays on the court.
He came from far, starting his basketball playing years while at a Christian School in Atlanta. He started playing as a skinny young man who came in at a height of 5’10”. Back then if you’d told his peers that he would go on to become one the NBA’s strongest and most powerful men, they would have laughed at you.
Halfway into high school he grew by almost an entire foot and became a vital part of his Varsity Squad. His coaches tried to get him to play as a forward but as he’d been playing center his whole life, he went back to being a guard.
During his high-school playing years he was fortunate enough to meet Charles Barkley who gave him some sage advice that went on to shape his playing career. Barkley told him that if he wanted to become a professional basketball player then he had no choice but to bulk up. This sparked Howard’s decision to become a regular at the gym, spurred on by his father who wanted him to achieve his professional playing goals.
This sparked a transformation that turned him into a man that many consider the biggest in the NBA.
To keep his body in prime condition he sticks to a rigorous workout regime. Mondays are for chest and triceps and Tuesday is all about the legs. On Wednesday he rests but he is right back in the gym on Thursday, working out his shoulders, biceps and back. Come Friday he does a mix of squats, lunges and push-ups then uses the weekend for cardio and rest.
Howard’s feeding mantra is to eat like a king but always eat healthy. His diet consists of nutrient-dense food, beef from grass-fed cows and avoiding processed foods as much as possible.
When Brandon Lilly was in high school he tipped the scale at 170 pounds. Fast forward a decade and he now weighs 322 pounds and is a professional power-lifter.
Gaining so much mass and becoming so powerful was no easy feat for him. His daily diet compromises of 8000 calories per and to fund this immense amount of food he has to spend $130 a week on groceries.
Becoming such a powerhouse came with its hardships. He says that his body is constantly racked with pain but on he presses anyway. When asked about why he continues to push himself to be so large, he says that it was because he no longer wanted to be the little kid, the runt of the litter, who always gets picked on and he got into the business of power-lifting due to his motivation to stretch his body’s limits for strength and size.
He always had a love for sports, starting out as a soccer player while in high school. Due to eligibility issues he was forced to spend some time on the side-lines and decided to spend it lifting weights. He found that he enjoyed lifting and switched to bodybuilding but soon became alienated from the sport as he was not happy that he had to rely on judges to decide the outcome. This led him to choose power-lifting where performance is the only indicator of success.
Colin Kaepernick, an adopted son, was born in Milwaukee in 1987.
An athlete from a young age, he started playing youth football at the age of 8. He gained success on the sports field due to his strong arm and although he went on to specialize in football he enjoyed a spell as an elite high-school pitcher capable of throwing a fastball at 94 miles per hour.
Football took over as his first love however there strong doubts about his ability to make it as a professional as he was a scrawny young lad with just 170 pounds, leading to fears that he would get hurt. He refused to let this hold him back and chose to work out and pile on the pounds to become eligible to play for his college team where he earned a reputation for being fast and strong.
To maintain his strength he works out six days a week for five hours at a time, training especially hard during the off-season.
Motivation Is Key
As these four powerful men have shown, achieving your mass gain goals is about motivation. Anyone can have a strong and ripped body, as long as you are willing to stay motivated and put in the hard hours at the gym. Keep your goal in sight, and one day you’ll get there.