Hull rock guitarist who 'couldn't put weight on' packs on 11lbs of muscle on this plan 3 years ago

Hull rock guitarist who 'couldn't put weight on' packs on 11lbs of muscle on this plan

It can be hard knowing where to start if you want to put some muscle on or get in shape.

But it's even harder if you're one of those super slim, 'hard-gainers' who think they can never put weight on no matter what they eat.

This was what nineteen-year-old Jacob Johnson thought - he had a fast metabolism and no matter how hard he tried, he couldn't gain weight or add muscle mass to his frame.

But over six months Jacob to put on 11lbs of lean muscle with a few changes to his diet and a straightforward training plan on the Titan Force body transformation project.

The aspiring tattoo artist from Hull took on the Titan Force challenge to raise money for the Teenage Cancer Trust and improve his health and lifestyle...but he ended up getting in some serious shape.

He was coached by former Royal Marine Rich McKeating and ex-bodybuilding champion Dan Norman alongside another eight young guys who all wanted to build muscle, burn fat and get in the condition of their lives - but without expensive supplements or any of the fitness industry BS.

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''I was and am confident in my figure but changing my fitness and lifestyle was key for me,'' he explains.

''I had little interest in fitness as it never occurred to me and sport was never an interest growing up.

''Training for me didn't really exist - I work in an environment that requires me to be active but otherwise I didn't seek physical activity or training for the sake of fitness, and my diet was what I felt like eating.

''I never paid any attention to dieting until I started and had no idea how to start, so I wanted to learn how to have more control of myself and learn how to be healthier and better myself properly.''

He started getting interested in fitness and health last November. This was when he joined the Titan Force Project which helps guys get in shape in a natural, no-nonsense way through diet, dedication and hard training alone, while raising money for the Teenage Cancer Trust.

Jacob says he always struggled putting weight on but was also concerned about the effect an unhealthy diet might be having on him - and it was something he wanted to change.

''It was a high metabolism I suppose - no matter how little or much I ate or what it was I was eating, visibly there was no difference which was why it wasn't such a concern.

''Then one day I realised just because I cant see it in the mirror doesn't mean there is nothing to worry about.''

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The big change when he started Titan Force was his nutrition and what he was eating.

Jacobs says that he went from eating what he wanted, when he wanted, to a more regimented five meals a day diet.

He started being more strict with the calories he was eating and ensure he was getting the right kinds of carbs, proteins and fats - but most importantly, getting them in the right amounts.

He was eating 3,900 calories a day and ensuring he was getting at least 200g of protein to help build lean muscle.

''Meals would consist of chicken and rice, wholewheat pasta. I tried to experiment with nuts and peanut butter but I couldn't keep it down, but essentially anything that met the required daily intake

''I found it very straining physically and mentally at the start. I was tired and felt honestly quite ill, but as time went on I noticed I was much healthier and happier than before.

''I would wake up earlier and have energy all day, the food bothered me much less and I learned more ways to cook healthy and to make it taste great.

''I have learned a great deal through all of this about what your body needs, how much of it and why.''


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Getting his nutrition right was key to gaining lean muscle mass - but Jacob had to put in some hard training to stimulate that muscle growth.

The Titan Force methodology is straightforward - lots of barbell and dumbbell work with simple movements like squats, deadlifts, presses and rows with variation changes every few weeks to keep the muscle adapting to the stimuli.

''At the start it was a minimum four-days-a-week program with two set workout routines that we alternated between, doing them properly took us around two hours a day.

''It would start with a warm up, maybe cardio or some basic weights, then onto workouts in reps/sets such as bicep curls and lunges, pull ups and lateral raises, and end with core-based workouts.''

The programme is tailored to fit each individual but it relies on the same principles of increasing the work, upping the intensity and 'keeping the muscles guessing' by changing up the workout routines.

So as the programme developed, Jacob was hitting the gym five or six times a week and his workouts jumped up a notch.

''The workouts intensified as we focused on individual areas more based on what we had learned.

''We adapted our personal routines slightly as well as our set plans, the calorie intake went up and overall it became very demanding, more and more until the end.

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In six months Jacob has transformed his physique and put on weight and lean muscle mass that he previously thought was impossible.

But it's helped changed his mindset and given him the knowledge and skills to live healthier and eat right and know how to control his diet.

So what has he learned through the project about training and how to fuel his body?

''Proper technique is key - that I cannot stress enough. You will only see the very best benefits from working out if you do it right and as effectively as possible, keep posture and positioning correct and perfect any areas you can, the more you dedicate yourself to perfecting your workout the benefits will be very worth it.

''I have also learned how to keep a healthy balance in what I am eating, particularly in carbs and protein, ratios and why I am eating certain things for my body,

''I am a much happier person because of it all, of this there is no doubt. My attitude is better on account of it all, I have more energy so it's hard not to be in a better mood. It's bizarre looking back on it just how much changes because of diet and exercise.''

While it's awesome to see the difference in Jacob's physique, the most incredible part of his transformation is that he's now armed with knowledge that has improved his lifestyle and health.

You can sign up to do the Titan Force challenge and raise money for the Teenage Cancer Trust while getting in the shape of your lives - whether you want to bulk up or lean out. You can find out more about how to get involved in January right here.

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