Body Transformation: Frankie Connolly Gained 40 Pounds While Maintaining A Low Bodyfat Level

Frankie was a typical teen, 5'9" and a rail thin 125 pounds. Deciding he wanted to move big weights like other lifters, Frankie packed on 40 pounds.
Editor's Note: Everyone is different and these results may not be typical for the average person. To achieve these results you need to be willing to put in the work both in the gym and in the kitchen. Use this transformation for motivation for you to make the changes you want!

Before Stats

  • 15
  • 5'9"
  • 125 lbs
  • 10%

After Stats

  • 17
  • 6'0"
  • 165 lbs
  • 9%

Lifestyle Prior To Change

What was your lifestyle like prior to your transformation?

I was an extremely active person for about two years prior to my transformation, training in Taekwondo 3 times a week and playing soccer twice a week. But leading up to my transformation I wasn’t as active. I was more into laying on the couch and playing some video games. I would only do something “active” about twice a week for a short duration of time.

What was your low point or turning point?

My low point would have to be a couple months in. I practiced my lifts and still didn't completely have proper form, and wasn’t lifting big weights. I would turn my head and see people around me with perfect form crushing massive weights.

Were there any unique challenges or circumstances that made your transformation particularly difficult?

The main challenge I had was getting to a gym. The nearest gym is 30-40 minutes away. I was able to workout at my school sometimes, but it was hard to get the privilege because the workout room needed “teacher supervision”. I could workout at home but didn’t have proper equipment/spotter until recently.

Frankie Connolly

Please provide a timeline including when you started the transformation, and include major milestones:

  • Transformation Start: I was introduced to weight lifting by my friend on Xbox. He shared his success with me and motivated me that I could do the same. Summer of grade 10 (age 15) I started working out in my garage with my newly acquired workout equipment. Bench press with multiple attachments and an Olympic sized bar and plenty of weight. Max bench press one rep: 135lbs (being 125lbs I was impressed.).
  • Milestone: A couple months into my next year of school I started working out with friends at school. I could work much harder since I had a spotter. Also, I learned plenty of new things from the people with knowledge around me. I started learning different lifts such as deadlift and squats, but didn’t have the best form. Now weighing about 135lbs, my one rep bench was 155lbs, and I was squatting and deadlifting just over 200lbs once or twice.
  • Milestone: The next summer I wanted to workout but didn’t have the school gym, and wanted to move past working out in my garage. I started going to a gym 30-40 minutes from my house. At this point I was weighing 145/150lbs and bench pressing 200lbs, a milestone I had always wanted to achieve. With my deadlift and squat form improving I was also happy.
  • Milestone: Into my last year of high school (17 years old) I was still attending the gym, but also working out at school when I could. I was working out 4-5 days per week, still gaining size, weighing 155lbs with all my lifts increasing. At this point I had good form on my lifts and was really starting to notice that I had gained a bunch of size since starting, which gave me confidence for everyday things.
  • Transformation still in progress: Just finished my last year of high school. I have a bunch of new equipment in my basement for workouts, and have a friend that comes over for workouts and can use him as a spotter to push myself. I still go to the gym 30-40 minutes away when possible, but if I can’t, then I workout at home. Now I'm weighing 165lbs, with a one rep max of 245lbs on the bench press, 325lbs one rep max squat and a deadlift around 315lbs. I am guessing since I don’t max out the deadlift.

Frankie Connolly

Frankie's Training Approach

What was your weight training approach and split during your transformation?

I like to use a two week training program, alternating week one and week two. I am constantly confusing my body and don’t reach many plateaus. And change the reps/sets up.

Please add a workout that worked best for you:

Week one:

Week two:

Week 1 - Chest & Triceps
Exercise Sets Reps
Bench Press 4 4
Dumbbell Flye 3 8
Close Grip Bench Press 3 8
Incline Bench Press 3 8
Skullcrusher 3 8
Week 1 - Legs
Exercise Sets Reps
Squat 4 4
Leg Extension 3 8
Leg Curl 3 8
Calf Raise 3 8
Week 1 - Shoulders & Biceps
Exercise Sets Reps
Military Press 4 4
Side Dumbbell Raise 3 8
Front Dumbbell Raise 3 8
Barbell Curl 3 8
Reverse Barbell Curl 3 8
Week 1 - Back & Traps
Exercise Sets Reps
Deadlift 4 4
Dumbbell Row 3 8
Barbell Shrug 3 8
Wide Grip Lat Pull Down 3 8
Week 2 - Chest & Triceps
Exercise Sets Reps
Bench Press 4 8
Dumbbell Bench Press 3 10-15
Push Up 3 Fail
Tricep Dip 3 Fail
Dumbbell Tricep Extension or Tricep Extension w/Rope 3 10-15
Week 2 - Legs
Exercise Sets Reps
Squat 4 8
Bodyweight Squat 3 Fail
Leg Press 3 10-15
Standing Calf Raise 3 10-15
Week 2 - Shoulders & Biceps
Exercise Sets Reps
Military Press 4 8
Bent Over Dumbbell Reverse Flyes 3 10-15
Front Plate Raise 3 10-15
Chin Up 3 Fail
Preacher Curl 3 10-15
Week 2 - Back & Traps
Exercise Sets Reps
Deadlift 4 8
Barbell Row 3 10-15
Wide Grip Pull Up 3 Fail
Barbell Shrug 3 10-15

Note: Alternate each week program. Also for best results alternate the rep and set ranges after time for muscle confusion. So for week one, use week two's rep and set range. Then use week two's rep and set range for week one. And lastly, all bodyweight exercises will always be performed to failure.

Please detail your cardio approach during your transformation?

I like to do my cardio about once a week since I'm trying to gain weight. Just with a constant paced jog or interval training (i.e.. sprint 15 seconds, walk 15 seconds.) I like to do these for about 10/15 minutes, sometimes using them for my warm up before weight training.

Please list 3 things you learned about exercise, weight training and/or cardio during your transformation that helped you succeed:

  1. Ensure you have a spotter; you need to push those last reps.
  2. Once you reach a plateau, change things up in the routine. (reps/sets)
  3. Negative reps are great. They hurt like hell, but they sure work. Use your spotter to help with negatives.

How are you currently training, and has your training changed since the completion of your transformation?

I am still training relatively the same; my transformation is still in progress and always will be.

Frankie Connolly

Frankie's Diet And Supplement Plan

What was your diet/nutrition approach during your transformation?

EAT, EAT and EAT. You need to increase your calories if you want to gain weight. Also lots of protein to repair your muscle.

Can you give an example of what your daily meal plan looks like?

  • Breakfast: 1 cup/1.5 cup of plain oats, two eggs, and two slices of whole wheat toast and one large glass of milk.
  • Snack: Probiotic yogurt, granola bar, apple and a glass of water.
  • Lunch: One large tuna sandwich on a whole wheat bun. Form of a fruit, granola bar, whole wheat crackers and cheese and a bottle of water.
  • Post workout: One scoop of whey protein, one serving of 3:1:2 BCAAs, another form of meat (meat sandwich, chicken breast, etc.)
  • Dinner: Since I live at home I eat whatever is made, normally healthy nutritional dinner. Like a form of meat (steak, chicken, pork chop, etc.) with fresh vegetables and a form of rice or pasta. Always with a large glass of milk.
  • Before Bed: Another large glass of milk with some left overs from dinner too up the caloric intake.

I also eat whatever I can throughout the day, things that are not too bad for you, so I can have as much food as possible and gain weight. And drink a lot of water.

Were there any diet/nutrition mistakes you made that you learned from?

For the first little while I thought you could just focus on supplements and get gains. It’s not that way. You must eat.

Please list 3 things you learned about diet & nutrition during your transformation that helped you succeed:

  1. Drink milk if you want to gain size. It's loaded with protein and calories.
  2. Don’t rely on supplements, food is much more important.
  3. Drink a lot of water, hydration is key.

Did you allow yourself cheat meals?

Yes, all the time. Being a skinny guy you need as much calories as possible to get any bigger and sometimes all you can get your hands on is some unhealthy food, but is still better than starving your body.

What supplements did you use during your transformation?

Advice For Others

Frankie ConnollyWhat are your best 3 tips for someone looking to make their own transformation?

  1. Don’t give up, you reach walls for a certain amount of time but break through them with hard work.
  2. Make goals that are possible, so you can reach those goals and make new ones.
  3. Get a partner to workout with, makes your workouts more enjoyable.

How do you stay motivated? What advice would you give to someone who’s having trouble staying on track?

Always keep track of your progress so you can see your improvements. Seeing the improvements are what keeps you going. 

Your Life Now

What is your life like now that you’ve made a transformation?

It is more less the same, except for one major change. I feel more confident doing everyday regular things. And also have a much more organized day schedule.

What motivates you currently to keep improving yourself?

What motivates me to keep improving is seeing gains. Both weight on the scale and weight on the bar.

Anything else you would like to share?

Everything takes time, you won’t instantly see change. Give it time.

How Can People Contact You?

How can people contact you?

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3 Comments+ Post Comment

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Posted Thu, 12/13/2012 - 15:50
Adan

hmmm your about the same weight as me..im a bit heavier but i think my body will look similar to yours after i'm done with my transformation. Good work bro!

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Posted Mon, 09/24/2012 - 18:44
HossBoss

go hard crs like a boss .

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Posted Thu, 09/20/2012 - 16:26
Haroldo

Good job Frank, it's been dope watching the whole transformation. Keep it up brotha!