Workout Routines

Transformation Tuesday: The scrawny-to-brawny, 25-pounds-of-mass plan

Here's how a former construction worker reforged his body with calisthenics and iron.

Transformation Tuesday: The Scrawny-To-Brawny 25-Pounds Of Mass Plan
Gill Mensah
Gill Mensah
Duration 45
Exercises 7
Equipment Yes

The ectomorph body type is both a gift and a curse: It's easier to look shredded, but incredibly hard and time-consuming to build muscle.

For Gil Mensah, there was more to it than simply feeling too skinny. At the time, his job required him to be bigger and stronger. 

Construction work is tough—long days swinging, lifting, and lugging things. Eventually, all that hard labor started to impact Mensah's performance on the job. As a naturally thin guy, he tired too quickly and easily, and he found himself unable to keep up with his co-workers. Finally, he decided to change all of that.

Mensah started slow with his transformation: Bodyweight exercises at home and a new diet—McDonald's was out, grilled chicken was in. Shortly thereafter came a gym membership. Then, some muscle-shocking techniques. Within eight months, Mensah started to see the gains he wanted (and needed).

Fast-forward four or five years, and now Mensah has added a solid 20-25 lbs of muscle to his frame.

In this week’s Men’s Fitness Transformation Tuesday video interview, Mensah gives us his No. 1 reason for hitting the gym, the most effective training method he's used, and how his life has improved since embracing the fit-life.

Follow Gil Mensah on Instagram @kofe21

Have you lost a ton of weight or gained piles of muscle? Follow and DM Mike Simone on Instagram at @Mike_Simone.

The scrawny-to-brawny, 25-pounds-of-mass plan Focus: Legs and abs

Exercise 1.

Squat You'll need: Squat Rack How to
Squat thumbnail
5 sets
5 (Going to the max load) reps
-- rest

Exercise 2.

Hamstring Curl You'll need: Swiss Ball How to
Hamstring Curl thumbnail
5 sets
10 reps
-- rest

Exercise 3.

Sumo Squat You'll need: No Equipment How to
Sumo Squat thumbnail
1 sets
2 at 375 lbs. reps
No more than 20 sec. of rest between sets. rest

Exercise 4.

Lying Hamstring Curl How to
How To Do A Lying Hamstring Curl thumbnail
5 sets
10 reps
-- rest

Exercise 5.

Deadlift You'll need: Barbell How to
Deadlift  thumbnail
5 sets
5 at 225 lbs. reps
-- rest

Exercise 6.

Half-Kneeling Cable Chop You'll need: Cable Machine How to
Half-Kneeling Cable Chop thumbnail
5 sets
20 (each side) reps
-- rest

Exercise 7.

Hanging Leg Raise You'll need: Pullup Bar How to
Hanging Leg Raise thumbnail
4 sets
25 reps
-- rest