Major 4-week FREAK Transformation

Post by Mark Ehnis

Gus is one of PowerStrength’s biggest all time gym freaks. He had insane results in his first 4 weeks of training. Gus trained 4-5x per week, never missed a workout, trained hard every session, and took his nutrition and recovery just as seriously as he took his training. He came to PSTS to add size and strength, but also to maintain his athleticism. Not only did he accomplish these goals, but he was a great addition to the gym and a fun athlete to train and be around. Like many of our athletes, Gus was a good athlete when he came to PSTS, but he came to us to get an edge and to get more serious about his training. So far so good. Now for the results…


                                       Before                                        After       

Bodyweight- 221lbs to 231lbs- gained 10lbs
Vertical Jump- 28.5” to 29.5”- gained 1 inch
Chin-ups- 14 to 19- gained 5 chin-ups
BOX SQUAT- 315lbs to 415lbs- GAINED 100LBS!

If you’re skeptical about these results- you should be- even I was a little taken back by this happening so quickly. Without going into too much detail, there are a few reasons for such a rapid transformation. One is called “newbie” gains. What this means, without getting technical, is that if you’re body isn’t used to training a certain way it is more primed to adapt more quickly. This has a lot to do with your nervous system adapting and becoming more efficient and recruiting muscle fibers to grow and fire. Knowing this and incorporating it into a proven strength program can work wonders for an athlete looking to improve many athletic qualities all at the same time. 

Another reason would be using correct technique, particularly in the squat. First off, Gus never box squatted before. When we worked up to 315 it was shaky and unstable- anymore weight could’ve gotten ugly fast. His mobility was poor which caused for the instability at the bottom, even with the help of the box. He learned proper technique and  made sure to focus on perfecting it every single rep. Gus also improved his mobility (his free squat also went up while he achieved better depth).I thought he could’ve gone higher than 415 when we worked up again 4-weeks later. It was stable and explosive but he wasn’t used to that much weight on his back (we used sub-maximal weights during his training- the highest he worked up to was 365 for sets of 3 making sure they were all perfect and fast) so we played it safe and stayed put. This explains the massive box squat increase- he also ate food like a champ. You should ride these newbie gains out as along as possible before you start altering your program. 

I think the gain in his vertical had to do with the added strength in his lower body and the technique ques we worked on to perform the vertical jump test. He also performed various types of jumps twice per week for the previous 3 weeks that trained his body to be explosive and generate force quickly. Again, he was already a good athlete when he came to us. Gaining chin-up reps can be hard as well but being able to gain while putting on weight is impressive. From the pictures you can see that most of his gain came from muscle so the added upper body strength and lack of fat allowed this to increase. 

Gus has big plans for his football career and I’m anxious to follow along and continue to watch him be successful.