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Scrawny to Brawny: The Complete Guide to Building Muscle the Natural Way Paperback – March 24, 2005


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Scrawny to Brawny: The Complete Guide to Building Muscle the Natural Way + Men's Health Muscle Chow: More Than 150 Easy-to-Follow Recipes to Burn Fat and Feed Your Muscles + Bigger Leaner Stronger: The Simple Science of Building the Ultimate Male Body
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

MICHAEL MEJIA, exercise advisor and contributing editor to Men's Health magazine, is a strength and conditioning coach who owns and operates his own training facility in Long Island, New York. Coauthor of The Home Workout Bible, he designed the workouts for the popular Testosterone Advantage Plan.

JOHN BERARDI is a strength and nutrition specialist whose company specializes in designing strength and nutrition plans for elite athletes and recreational fitness buffs. He currently resides in Toronto, Canada.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Rodale Books (April 2, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594860882
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594860881
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 0.7 x 10.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (183 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #70,853 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

249 of 258 people found the following review helpful By Mark on October 5, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Many of the reviews on here seem to be from people who are just starting or who gave up on Scrawny to Brawny. I went in determined to do the whole four month program and am proud that I finished it up through the last day.

MONTH ONE
Phase I is the Corrective Phase and, I feel, the best part of the whole book. A series of precise tests show you your weak points and then you spend 2 to 6 weeks correcting them. This is especially important for skinny guys who can seriously hurt themselves if they start squatting loaded barbells without the underlying tissue support. The stretches and small lifts are HARD work and I really felt my ligaments and support muscles getting stronger. I had a "bum knee" which tended to feel weak or have pangs before I started this program and since I finished it, that never happens. Great workouts.
The food portion was far less successful. Similar to others who have mentioned this, I could not humanly consume the amount of calories they wanted each day. On the very first day, I found myself laying on the sofa groaning in gut pain at 9pm because I was so engorged. And I was still supposed to eat another meal before bed. I cut back just enough to make my consumption actually possible without vomiting from then on, but my body fat still soared in this first month. I continued to monitor food amounts each month as directed by their Decision Making Matrix, but it was shocking to start off the program with the first serious paunch I'd ever carried.

MONTH TWO AND A HALF
It was in this month that I strained my back doing one of the lifts and had to take a couple weeks off and start using a lifting belt to continue.
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35 of 39 people found the following review helpful By GC on June 24, 2007
Format: Paperback
This is my first review on Amazon, and the only reason I decided to write one on this product was because of how excellent it turned out to be, and because some of the negative reviews that I read might scare some people away from a geniunely useful book.

I've owned it for about two years now, but I've been working out for a lot longer than that for my high school and college athletic careers, with very little to show for it. S2B has dramatically changed the way that I work out-the frequency, the types of exercises, and the volume I incorporate in my workouts. On this program, I went from 6'2 170 pounds to 6'2 195 pounds in about a year on this program, and got vastly more strong. I now do reps with weight that I used to be unable to lift once.

I've seen a few reviews that claim that they have gotten very fat etc. from employing the nutritional advice advocated in the book. There are a number of reasons why this might have happened, but the authors explicitly say that it is an outcome-based nutritional process that you update every two weeks. If you are gaining too much fat--then stop and adjust the diet! Perhaps some of the authors of these comments are not lifters in the true ectomorphic, high-metabolism "hard-gainer" mold or they did not perform the workouts with the proper intensity. I know that if you use the nutrient partitioning/timing that Dr. Berardi recommends, and you eat a lot of nutritious food (aka load up on salads, very lean beef, chicken, fruit) and perform the workouts just as they appear on a consistent basis with hard effort, you will put on muscle and while it is impossible not to put on a little fat with it, in most cases it is barely noticable.
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38 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Golden Pharaoh on May 8, 2005
Format: Paperback
Absolutely fantastic! The frustration over being an ectomorph is something that only the truely skinny can understand. I had just healed after two sessions at the gym that took me a week to recover. During that time, I reevaluated my weightlifting; what was I doing wrong? I had eaten good foods and trained at least 3 time a week with only a little definition to show for it. Then, I heard about this book. I ordered it not expecting much but, boy, was I wrong. The information in this book specifically directs its focus towards us skinny guys. The emphasis is on compound lifts in the body of the training program but they also use the first four weeks to level out your muscle groups to prevent injury and so you look more balanced (this cured my weak back muscles!).
A nice thing too is that the book devotes half of itself to nutrition. Other books will only give you exercises and have you go on your way which always leads you to thinking what you're doing wrong. They list out how you should eat and when; let it be known that this portion is a major lifestyle change.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to improve their body. So what are you waiting for "skinny"? Get to work!
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65 of 81 people found the following review helpful By Rynosaur on December 1, 2005
Format: Paperback
Oh, this email the author sent out.. offering to send something in exchange for a good review. Shady.

=====================

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

life.

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.
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