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Bodyweight Training Results

“How a Skinny 21 Year Old Sailor Packed on 45 lbs of Muscle Using Bodyweight Training 1965!

This is the story of Mike Joplin.

He joined the US Navy over 40 years ago, at the age of 21 and weighing around 155 lbs.

Like lots of us, Joplin desperately wanted to build a massive muscular physique.

Then he got into Bodyweight Training.

Within 14 months, he had shot up to slightly over 200 pounds…putting an end to his “skinny” streak FOREVER.

And remember, this was between 1964-1965…long before the supplement cartel came in with their false formulas, and long before the coming of all the training machines we see today.

What you’re about to read is an interview I had with Joplin on January 3rd 2010. **NOTE: Since we’re both named “Mike”, I’ll be referring to him as Jop (his nickname). This will prevent any confusion from occurring.

Mike: Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Jop: My name is Mike Joplin. I am 65-years old. I was born on 26 December 1944. I joined the US Navy in 1963, over 45 years ago. My first duty station was at Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico. My last duty station was aboard the USS Randolph (a carrier). My “ports of call” were Bermuda, Norway, Sweden, Germany, France, Holland…and a few additional countries.

Mike: That’s great. Could you tell us about your body transformation and how it happened?

Jop: I was born “skinny,” barely weighing five pounds. I was skinny all through high school, and I was “teased” almost on a daily basis. By the time I entered my senior year of High School, I had grown to about 6’, 1” and weighed in at about 155 pounds. One of the many teasing comments that I remember was, “Hey SKINNY! Your hair weighs more than the rest of your body.” I had long wavy hair at the time.

I decided to join the Navy because I wanted to get away from the teasing. While in the Navy, I planned to start training with weights to gain weight and to build a powerful, muscular body. I didn’t have a clue as to how I was going to do that. I was going to return home with a new body, with a muscular build that would turn heads…this time in a positive way.

At my first duty station, I went on liberty with another medic. His name was Gary Boak, and he’d been on the island for a while. We soon became good friends. He took me to a little town called Fajardo, just a few miles north of the base. This was to be one of the days that literally changed my life for the better!

Gary and I were walking down one street when we quickly noticed that an incredibly good-looking Puerto Rican girl was approaching us head-on. As she passed by, she looked right at me and said: “¿Cómo FLACO!” I asked my friend if he knew what she had said. At first, he didn’t want to tell me. But after a few minutes of pestering him for the answer, he told me that it meant “How SKINNY!” I found out very quickly that Puerto Rican women are very upfront with you. They’ll tell you EXACTLY what they think of you – whether you want to hear it or not. This moment of humiliation was the catalyst that started me on my body transformation journey. I had left home to get away from this very thing, and here I was facing it again.

Right then and there, I determined that I was going to do “something” (although I didn’t know what) to build some muscle and to change my weak-looking appearance.

However, something good was about to happen…

A few days later, I was in my barracks and I did something that started me on my “bodyweight” muscle building journey. It happened by pure chance.

Here’s the deal. Our barracks were divided into four-man cubicles. Each cubicle had four beds and four metal cabinets. The walls of each cubicle did not go all the way to the ceiling. The cubicles had no doors to open and close.

One day while I was talking to some friends, who were in another cubicle, I placed my hands on top of the partitions on each side of the doorway. I lowered myself down so that my arms were completely stretched out. I had to raise (bend) my legs (so they would not touch the floor as I lowered myself). I then tried to pull myself back up by attempting to do an overhand pull-up. I couldn’t do it. So I lowered my feet all the way to the floor to “assist” my pull-up. I then realized that I could leverage the cubicle doorway partitions to do various forms of bodyweight training exercises.

Eventually I got to the point where I could do a full range overhand pull-up with my hands on the doorway partitions. Then I could do several pull-ups at a time. Then things got even better…a lot better. I started doing “static holds” and “partials” mixed in with my full range pull-ups. Within one month, I started to see a huge difference in of my pull-up abilities. And I was starting to get a bit of a “V” shape in my back. Things were looking up. I was really getting excited about what was happening.

As time went by I continued to train in the best way I knew how. About 14 months later, I had a body that did turn heads. As a matter of fact, by the time I left Puerto Rico for my first vacation back home, Puerto Rican women no longer said “¿Cómo FLACO!” to me. Instead, I would hear them say: “¿Cuán GRANDE”! By that time I could speak quite a bit of Spanish, and I knew exactly what that meant. It literally meant: “How BIG!”. What a change I had made in just a matter of a few months.

14 months later at a U.S. Naval Base in Puerto Rico. I weighed about 200 pounds.

When I arrived home on my first leave from Puerto Rico, my family hardly knew me. Some of the people from my home town who saw me couldn’t believe their eyes.

It is indeed a fact: I transformed my body from skinny to muscular with “bodyweight” exercises ONLY!

Mike: Amazing story. Did you have any “special” advantages that helped you gain your muscle (e.g. supplements, special equipment, superior genetics) that other people reading this might not have?

Jop: Regarding equipment: The answer is “No.” As I have already stated earlier, I actually built my body in the “open doorways” in my barracks — except for push-ups and few other basic exercises. That’s all it took; simple things that were already available in my barracks.

Regarding genetics: There was no advantage there either. I was born skinny and stayed skinny…until I made my “open doorway” exercise discovery. My father was tall and skinny all of his life. And my mother was quite heavy most of her life.

Regarding supplements: I didn’t take any supplements until the last month before I went home on leave. I had purchased some “weight gain powder”. It was from the Joe Weider Company. I took the stuff for one month. It tasted awful!!! It was nauseating, terrible. However, to be completely truthful, I did see a jump in weight that last month.

What I am about to tell you now is what I think is the KEY to my weight gain and muscle development – other than the exercises that I did.

I would drink six to eight glasses of milk. And since I worked at the hospital, I could have my own supply of milk whenever I wanted it.

I ate like there was no tomorrow. Navy food. Puerto Rican food. I didn’t know what a calorie was then, but I’m certain that my abundance of food and milk was a key factor in my transformation.

I firmly believe that a person can do any type of exercises (bodyweight, free weights, machines, etc.), but if they are not feeding their body with enough calories, they will make little progress. That’s just an opinion. We all have them.

I mentioned that I drank a lot of “milk” during my Navy training days. Today in America, milk is full of all kinds of chemicals. If a person can get milk straight off the farm, then that would be great.

Mike: During the course of your training, are there any mistakes you made that really affected you?

Jop: YES! Big mistakes.

Although I was raised in a Christian home, when I got to Puerto Rico I quickly became an Alcoholic.

I drank heavily every weekend that I had off. I and a few of my friends would take off for San Juan for the explicit purpose of getting drunk. Many nights I would pass out or fall asleep on a beach somewhere, or end up in a cheap hotel room, or on a park bench in “old” San Juan.

During my weekend drinking sprees, I would hardly eat anything. I would drink almost endless bottles of Corona beer and Cuba-Libras (a mixed drink of Puerto Rican rum, Coke and lime).

Since I worked at a hospital, I had access to drugs – a lot of drugs. It was easy for me to obtain and take “uppers” (to stay awake as long as possible) on the weekends, and “downers” (to sleep) during the week nights.

Also, I didn’t work my legs enough. After I was discharged from the Navy, I did some studying on exercise and discovered that working the legs actually helps you build your upper body.

Mike: If you went back into time and could do it all from scratch, what in particular would you have done differently? And how much shorter would it take you to accomplish the muscle gains you made?

Jop: I would definitely not have gotten into the drinking and drugs. There is no doubt in my mind that I could have accomplished my body transformation in as little as six months if I had not been so abusive to my body.

Mike: So I take it you’re a firm believer in the power of bodyweight exercises to build massive muscle…


Here’s why. Once I got discharged (somehow, “honorably”) from the Navy, I came back to my home town. I got married to a wonderful woman (Linda. We had three sons (and now also have a beautiful daughter named Sarah Jean). I stopped drinking alcohol and started going to church, and raised my children as my parents had raised me.

Although I had sobered up completely, the many years of heavy alcohol drinking had taken their toll on my body. Almost all the gains that I had made in the Navy disappeared.

When I was about 40 yrs old I decided to start training again. Since I couldn’t afford to buy weights and accessories, etc., I started doing “bodyweight” exercises – the same ones that I had done in Puerto Rico. Since my wife was a great cook (and still is), I started eating big meals. I started consuming a lot more calories than I had previously been consuming.

Within just a few weeks, my body started changing. Within a few months, I had went from about 175 pounds to 222 pounds. I actually got BIGGER at 40-years-old than when I was in my early 20’s in Puerto Rico. I was no longer drinking or taking drugs, and I was sleeping well and eating well.

By the time I was in my 50’s, I had stopped working out again. I hadn’t lost all my muscle, but I was down to about 190 pounds.

I would spend a small fortune on free weight equipment and then hurt myself by pulling a major muscle. I would sell the equipment, lose money, and within a few months repeat the process. In the midst of all this buying and selling and injuring myself, my waist had ballooned up to between 44” – 46”. I looked awful and felt awful.

I also bought one of those machines with the slide and rails that is advertised on American TV almost constantly. What a mistake. It was too easy. I maxed out the resistance without any trouble at all. What a waste of time. So I sold it. So I am convinced…that bodyweight exercises and routines are indeed the best way to gain strength and size. That my, but it is an opinion based on years of experience.

The only reason that I started buying weight equipment and machines in the first place is because (unfortunately) I allowed myself to be swayed by weight lifting books and magazines, and had fallen for some of the “always new wonder machines” being advertised and hyped on TV. But every time I went back to my bodyweight exercises and routines, I succeeded. Every single time! I finally wised up and learned to stay with what really works: bodyweight training.

Mike: The way you see it, why is it that some people discredit bodyweight training as a valid way to build solid muscle?

Jop: The answer to this question is easy. It’s because many of the “critics” of bodyweight training have never done it. They have simply repeated some (so-called) “expert” who states that it doesn’t work. These people are all over the Internet.

Now there may be some who have tried bodyweight training and failed. That is possible. Here’s why. Not all bodyweight exercises will promote “size.” And if you are not eating enough calories, that will also cause you to fail. Plus, you have to have a good plan, and follow it.

Mike: I bet back in the 1960’s there was no hype with useless gym machines or fake supplements.

Jop: Correct. I don’t ever recall exercise machines being promoted and sold
over TV in the 60’s. Regarding supplements, the only supplement that I knew of in the 60’s was Weider’s “weight gain powder” – which was probably a lot of sugar with some protein mixed in. I really don’t know.

Mike: During the course of history many training world records have been broken by ‘older’ people. At one point, the world record holder for performing the most number of chin-ups was a 62 year old man. We also have the case of John Morrow who is about 52 yrs and apparently broke the world record for pushups. What do you think about bodyweight raining for older trainees?

Jop: Well, earlier I explained that at Forty years old I built my body stronger and bigger than when I was in my early 20’s.

There is an American by the name of Jack Lalanne who has advocated bodyweight exercises just about since TV came into existence. He had his own bodyweight exercise program on TV for years. The guy is now in his mid-eighties and he still does extensive bodyweight exercises on a daily basis…and he looks great.

So it really doesn’t matter how “old” a person is, bodyweight training WORKS!
Mike: Got any words of advice for bodyweight trainers or anyone thinking of getting into bodyweight training?

Jop: Yes, I do. Forget about all the TV “exercise machine” commercials. Forget about investing hundreds (and sometimes thousands) of dollars on weight sets, power cages, etc. Instead, purchase a bodyweight training course (from someone who actually trains with bodyweight exercises and has succeeded with bodyweight exercise training)…and then USE the course according to the given plan.

You will not only get big and strong, but you will build a body to be proud of…and quicker than you would ever think possible. I am 65 years old now, and I still train with bodyweight exercises. AND I still get comments on my physique. Life is good.

Mike: Well, thanks a lot for doing this. I really appreciate it.

Jop: No problem. I enjoyed telling you my story, the good and the bad. You and I are proof that bodyweight training really does work faster than weight lifting. I am looking forward to getting my hand on your book. I’m sure it will be a great read.

And there you have it. A no fluff, straight to the point interview. This guy has been around longer than most of us. He’s seen it all…and he knows what he’s talking about.

Bodyweight Training WORKS.

It worked for Jop, it worked for me, and it will definitely work for YOU.

In The Muscle Experiment, I will take you step by step and show you exactly how to pack on as much muscle as you want without ever having to go to a gym or even lift a weight. I’ll show you everything I did that helped me go from 148 lbs to 187 lbs in less than 24 weeks.

In case you haven't downloaded The Muscle Experiment, I suggest you download it immediately and start implementing the little known techniques. This alone should put you on the road to massive size and strength.

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