People have spent their time in quarantine in a variety of ways. In a super-casual goal during a global pandemic, YouTuber Cam Jones decided to see if he could go from skinny to jacked in 12 weeks—and he learned a lot about fitness and realistic goal setting along the way.
The 27-year-old, who is part of the YouTube channel Goal Guys, documented his journey in a comprehensive, no-bullshit video. In the video, Jones says his initial plan was to do a 12-week “full-body transformation” in the gym—then lockdown happened.
“Due to current circumstances, I am no longer able to do that,” Jones says in the video. “What I wanted to do instead is see how much muscle mass I can put on from the comfort of my own home with limited equipment and, frankly, limited space.”
Jones, who is 5’9”, started his journey at 132 pounds and 24.2 percent body fat. To bulk up, he upped his calorie intake, but he wanted to keep his bulk as “clean as possible,” opting for a diet high in protein and complex carbs. In addition, he dedicated to working out four to five times a week for the 12-week period.
Jones did mostly body weight exercises, except for the aid of a fitness band, for the first two weeks. After two weeks, he did notice a change in his body, but wanted to add weights to increase the difficulty of his exercise routine. Borrowing a dumbbell set from a friend, Jones added in shoulder presses, biceps curls and other weighted exercises to his routine. He also used the weights to increase the difficulty of squats and lunges.
On week 10, with social distancing restrictions lifting, Jones enlisted the help of a fit friend to help him up the difficulty of his workouts. And doing so made Jones realize his physical endurance was lacking even after more than two months of working out at home. Turns out it’s quite valuable to have a pro teach you the ropes of pushing your limits in a healthy way.
“I am defeated,” Jones simply says at the end of the workout. But he decided to “not let off the gas” and crushed his final two weeks of the self-imposed challenge. He upped the difficulty of his workouts substantially during this period, pushing his body to its limits.
By the end of the 12 weeks, Jones gained eight pounds of muscle—and seven pounds of fat. He ended his journey at 147 pounds, and 27 percent body fat. Jones says he expected simply eating healthy and exercising would allow him to stay lean while adding muscle. But that’s not the case.
“I’m a bit surprised by how much fat I gained,” he says in the video. “But I did some research after the fact and realized how inevitable some fat gain is during the bulk, which is why many people plan a cutting routine after their bulk is complete.”
On the whole, Jones says he’s really happy with how he’s seen hiss body change. But a change in physical appearance isn’t the most important thing he’s taking away from the challenge.
“While I look substantially different in my before photo, I’m most happy with the progress I’ve made improving my strength,” Jones says. “Toward the end of this challenge, I was helping my girlfriend move, and I felt really capable lifting things and moving things, which has not always been the case for me.”
So will he keep up the routine? You bet—and he might even actually get to hit the gym for real with social distancing measures on the decline.
“Now that gyms and calisthenics parks are starting to reopen again, I’m hoping to see how much more progress I can make,” Jones says to end the video.
Watch the whole journey in the video below:
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