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Scrawny to Brawny : The Complete Guide to Building Muscle the Natural Way

by Michael Mejia, published by 2005-04-02 (Rodale Books)

Buy now from Amazon.com for $18.95
Amazon rating of 4.5 out of 5, Amazon sales rank: 6330

Editor's Review:

A state-of-the-art weight-lifting and nutritional blueprint for "skinny" guys who want to pack on muscle

Let's face it, naturally skinny guys are at a distinct genetic disadvantage when it comes to building muscle mass. But with the proper advice, these "hardgainers" definitely can realize their fitness goals. In Scrawny to Brawny, the authors draw on their years of practical experience as private strength and nutrition coaches to provide hardgainers with:
o A progressive, state-of-the-art program that optimizes results with shorter, less frequent workouts that maximize compound exercises
o A unique, action-based perspective on nutrition that shows how to prepare quick muscle-building meals and snacks-and how to take advantage of several critical times in the day when muscle growth can be stimulated by food intake
o Vital information on how to identify and fix any weak links in their physiques that may be precursors to injury

Designed not only for frustrated adult hardgainers but also-with its strong anti-steroid message-a terrific book for the large teen market, Scrawny to Brawny fills a significant gap in the weight-lifting arsenal.

Reader Reviews:

Seeing too many 5/5 ratings? The author is bribbing people leave perfect scores in echange to send something in exchange for a good review. Everyone here is a fraud - how horrible is the author for stooping so low?


I want to start this email off by posting something marginally disturbing. Below
is a recent review of our Scrawny to Brawny at Amazon.com.

"I regret buying this book. It is mainly for someone who can survive on
supplements or soup. Most of the routines and guidelines are very hard to do and
you would look silly doing them anywhere people are present! I do no recomend
this book!"

Now, for any of you who actually read the book, you'd know that this reviewer is
likely on crack! Soup? Squats and bench presses are silly to do? Uhm, ok.
Heck, I wonder if this reviewer even read the book or has ever exercised in his

But, I guess everyone is titled to his or her own opinion.

So what's the point of me sending this ONE review to you?

Well, the point is that ignorance, unfortunately, speaks its opinion loud and
often while reason often keeps quite and shakes its head. And not only do
ignorant opinions like this lower the collective intelligence quotient of
mankind, they prevent others from getting any better.

Think about it - I've received thousands of emails from S2B readers telling me
how the S2B program changed their life. In fact, right now Im doing an interview
series with our S2B stars, individuals who put in the time, comittment, and
dedication necessary to reap outstanding results. So I know the program is one
of a kind. And I know that most of you reading this think so too.

But, when someone like you looks for info about the S2B book, the get to read our
friend's review above and may not pick up the book, even though they despirately
need it.


So here's how I'd like to combat this, with your help, of course:

I'd like you to get on the web and make your rational opinion heard. Post
something positive about the book at amazon.com, amazon.ca, one of the many
message boards online, etc.

And when you do, send me the link to your post. For doing me this favor, I'd
like to send you something. I'm working on a new book called Precision Nutrition
and although it's not yet finished, I'd like to send you a chapter from the book.
The chapter is all about individualizing your nutritional plan based on your body
and your goals. I know you'll love it!

So, make your voice heard - post something positive on the web, send the link to
me, and I'll send you that chapter.

And let me leave you with the words of Plato:
The price good men pay for indifference is to be ruled by evil men.


This book gives good advice regarding gaining muscle mass not only thorough a workout regimen, but also a proper diet. In simple, layman's terms the authors explain everything you need to know about proper ways of getting bigger. I find it very important that the authors do not limit themselves to "pumping iron" only, but they also devote a good part of the book to proper nutrition. Dr. Berardi is an expert in nutrition. Another expert of healthy lifestyle that I highly recommend is Dr. Tombak with his best seller "Can We Live 150"excellent book! has a fair share of editing problems making some of the directions a little hard to understand, but aside from that the workout routine really work. I have been working out for several years but have never had the gains I had on this program. I put on 20 lbs over the 4 month course of the routines. The book has a lot of no non-sense answers for anyone looking to gain weight. But putting in the effort is up to you. I've been using this book as a "bible" for my workouts over the last several months and seen some great results. My weight lifting had always been limited to curls and bench and the like. This book introduces some great new exercises which, while akward at first, produce some real noticeble results for anyone who sticks with it.

I agree with the other post regarding the lack of work out sheets. I ended up making my own in Excel spreadsheets. (This was especially useful for the waves in Phase 3 where you lift 92%,95%,98% of max followed by 95%, 98%, 102%. I cite these percentages because the author neglects to.) Starting phase 1 is complicated by the author giving a wealth of excercises but not the criteria for translating the results of the postural assessment into a corrective workout. The two scenarios given do not provide enough insight into the descision tree used to make them.

The nutritional section is full of information. I found it unfortunate that the book was divided into two halves rather than organized by the phase of the program. Separating the meals from the workouts seems contrary to the authors' assertion of nutritions importance. I admit the volumes of food recommended turned me off as well and I haven't subscribed as heartily to those recommendations as I have the workouts. That being said, I regularly eat healthy (greens, tofu, and the like) and was not interested in becoming one of those no-neck muscle-heads. So I felt justified. If you drink soda and eat McDonalds with any frequency, I suggest you be more diligent.

Overall the book has so much information that it can at times be overwhelming. I had to re-read several sections and often found myself flipping between chapters to find points that should have been presented together. For example, the cardio recommendations for the phase are listed in the fifth chapter rather than with the chapters for those phases. Some cross references would help greatly. Even following the active warmups suggested, I felt there was a lack of substantial abdominal work. I would also suggest doing more than the recommended stretching as I found the rapid increase in muscle mass will definitly have a negative impact that needs to be counter-acted.

Overall, I great book. Highly recommended.I recently purchased and read the Scrawny to Brawny book. It is my nutritional bible. I have read countless articles about nutrition and the requirements needed to put on "good weight", but this book has finally given me one source with all the best concepts, including the most important concept of nutrient timing. I highly recommend this book.

Learn more...

Explore more:

See also:
The Performance Zone: Your Nutrition Action Plan for Greater Endurance & Sports Performance (Teen Health Series)

Comparative Guide to Nutritional Supplements

Fish Oil Update

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