Scrawny To Brawny


The Scrawny To Brawny Coaching Program

by Dr. John M. Berardi

Online workout and nutrition coaching for guys who want to build muscle, lose fat, and get in awesome shape. Expert coaches. Small groups of driven clients. And $20,000 in prize money on the line. You in?

On Wednesday November 6th we’re opening our FINAL coaching program specifically for guys who want to build muscle, lose fat, and become more athletic.

It’s called the S2B coaching program. We’re taking a small group of guys through a complete body transformation program. Our goal: to get them bigger and stronger than they ever thought they could be.

This program is near and dear to my heart because it’s based on my own transformation. I was a skinny guy myself (as you’ll see below). And the S2B Coaching Program is the culmination of everything I’ve learned about building muscle— from my own transformation, from my coaching experience, and from my work in the lab.

Read on, and I’ll show you what a real body transformation looks like — and how you can do it too.

About 8 years ago, I wrote a book with my friend Mike Mejia called Scrawny To Brawny. It was a training and nutrition program specifically for skinny guys. In other words, not just something that might help you put on a few pounds of muscle, but rather something that could completely change the way you look and feel. 

The book did very, very well for that audience, and continues to do well on Amazon and in book stores.

But almost immediately, the guys who bought it wanted more. More training programs, a private forum, and more personalized help.

Essentially, they wanted a coach.

I understood. In fact, that was a major turning point for me, and for us here at S2B, because I learned something then that I hadn’t fully grasped before:

Over the last few years, our company has changed significantly. With the development of the S2B Coaching Program, we’re now focused almost exclusively on two things: 1) coaching and 2) developing new coaches (through our Precision Nutrition Certification).

However, this wasn’t always the case. At one time, we were essentially a publishing company. We wrote articles and books about nutrition, building muscle, and human performance.

It made sense when we first started 12 years ago. Articles and books were the best way to help people. (And helping people is what we do.) You write something, publish it in a magazine or on a website, or put it in a book. People read it, use it and succeed.

At least that’s the way it’s supposed to work. And perhaps for a small percentage of guys it does.

But for most of us, it simply doesn’t. More information doesn’t work. In fact, I’ve come to believe that, most of the time, more information makes it worse.

Why? Two reasons.

  1. Overload. There is already too much information available. I’ve been doing this for 10+ years online, and over that time I’ve seen guys get more confused than ever. People now know less and less about more and more — which is a recipe for failure.
  2. Timing. Getting a bunch of information at once (for example by reading a book, or by getting 20,000,000 results for a Google search) ironically makes real learning much more difficult — because the key to learning is tackling only the very next step.


When it comes to real learning, real change, more information is worse. Think about it: if you were 6 years old, just learning to count, no one would expect you to master vector calculus by just Googling “math” and reading whatever you find.

Nor would someone just hand you all the math textbooks from the first grade to the college level and expect you to make sense of it all and plot your own curriculum.

But really, that’s exactly what you’re expected to do with fitness these days.

Just Google it, buy the book, read the article . . . and do it yourself.

Which would be great, if only it worked.


I’m going to tell you exactly how to get bigger and stronger than you ever thought you could be, and I’ll do it in one word.

Many people don’t believe me so they ignore the advice — until they’ve exhausted every other avenue, that is. Others kinda get it, and do it half-assed. But there are a lucky few who take me at my word and do it right the first time.

I hope you’re one of them.

First, doing it yourself and searching for more information — all the sites, articles, books, studies that you find out there — is a recipe for mediocrity.

(And I say that knowing full well that I’ve contributed my fair share to the mass of information out there. I like to think it was well-intentioned.)

Nevertheless, it’s worth acknowledging for a moment why all that information exists in the first place:

The devil is in the details.

Life, and every subject in it, is complex. Mastery of a subject requires understanding that complexity.

So if you want to build muscle, for example, you have to understand all the details, all the complexity, before you can master it. Right?


In fact, delving randomly into the details of a subject is a sure way to get overwhelmed, spin your wheels, and fail.

Eventually you’ll need to understand the details. But only in due time.

To build muscle, or to tackle any major transformative process, there are really only two things you need:

One, a genuine willingness to start, which no one can give you and which you already have inside you on some level (or you wouldn’t be reading this).

And two, the one thing that will allow you to focus the limited energy and willpower available to you (and to any human being) on the very next step and only on the very next step . . .



Coaching is truly the key, both to learning in general and to body transformation in particular.

Everything else is secondary.

I know from first-hand experience. When I was 17, I was a really skinny guy. In fact, at 5′9″, 135lbs, I was so skinny that a lot of the time I felt invisible.

As I said in the video interview we put online not too long ago (which you can watch below), being skinny was like the soundtrack of my life. A lot of the choices I made – from the people I chose to hang out with, to the clothes I chose to wear, to the activities I’d participate in – were determined by my scrawny body.

Embarrassingly, I had already been been going to the gym for about a year. And nothing really happened. I got a little stronger. But I didn’t get much bigger. I was spending hours in the gym each week and, at a certain point, it started to seem hopeless.

Then, I met my first, and possibly greatest, coach and mentor.

His name was Craig and he was the biggest dude in my home town. He was 5′8″ and about 240 pounds of solid muscle. One day he came over while I was going through one of my “scrawny guy” workouts and asked me if he could make a few suggestions.

He must have seen that I had actually listened to him and had done what he said, because he offered a few more suggestions the next time he saw me. And so it began.

A month later, Craig and I were close friends and training partners.

When I started, I was barely able to bench press 65 pounds. A year and a half later, I was bench pressing 315 lbs for sets of 10 reps.

During that 18 month period, I went from 135 lbs to 205 lbs.

Want to see what 70 lbs of lean muscle looks like? Well, here’s me at 18, before meeting Craig.

Dr. John Berardi before his transformationMe at 18 years old, 135 pounds, before my Scrawny to Brawny transformation.

And here’s me, 70 pounds later.

Dr. John Berardi after his transformationMe at 21, 205 pounds, after my Scrawny to Brawny transformation.

I screwed around in the gym for a good solid year and a half, time that largely amounted to nothing.

And then I was lucky enough to meet a once-in-a-lifetime mentor. In the next 2 years I put on 70 pounds of lean muscle, and truly changed my life.

Our philosophy here at S2B has always been to cut through the bullshit and tell you exactly what works. That’s why I say that when it comes to body transformation, what works can be summed up in a word: coaching.

Repeat: everything else is secondary.

It’s the only thing that worked for me, and that’s why I’ve decided to pass it on.

For the past couple of years, I’ve taught a class here in my local gym exclusively for skinny guys, because I know what it’s like. I know how frustrating it can be. And I also know how to overcome all those muscle-building obstacles most guys face.

I know because someone once taught me. I know because I had a coach.

And that’s why we’re launching this coaching program: No matter where you live, you can now get the mentorship and coaching that I once got.


The shift from publishing to coaching is something we’ve done purposefully, after a lot of reflection, study and research and development.

The reason is simple: coaching is what really works.

From the very beginning, we always had a small roster of clients that we coached, mostly professional and elite amateur athletes, and assorted other people with enough money to afford the $500+ per month it cost for one-on-one coaching.

But because the coaching process was so labor-intensive, it was also costly and difficult to scale. I could help only 20 or so guys at a time, but no more than that.

We realized that a lot of the time spent coaching is actually just time wasted doing routine data collection: hounding clients for photos and body composition data, tracking communication back and forth, and more.

Then a few years ago we had an idea: What if we ran small coaching groups consisting only of guys a) pursuing the exact same goals; and b) starting roughly in the same place?

And then we asked: What if we were to build software to automate the data collection, the reminders, the questionnaires, the progress tracking/graphing — basically all the tedious stuff that takes an inordinate amount of a coach’s time?

Well, if we could do both of those things, our coaches would have time to really coach.

That is, we’d have time to resolve issues, answer questions, provide personal accountability and . . .

… coach.

Because a coach could help maybe 100 people instead of 30, we could offer better coaching than we’d offered our athletes and for only $99 – $149 a month instead of $500 – $1,000.

So that’s exactly what we did.

Speaking of coaches, let’s all get acquainted.


I’ll be your head coach throughout the program. You’ve seen my transformation, and if you’re new to the site and don’t know much about me, here’s a short bio:

John Berardi, PhD, CSCS

Dr. John M. Berardi is the co-founder and Chief Science Officer of Precision Nutrition Inc. and a former scrawny guy who gained over 70 pounds of muscle.

One of the world’s foremost experts on sport and exercise nutrition, Dr. Berardi has coached hundreds of elite athletes — from NFL players to UFC champions —  and has helped thousands gain muscle through his writing and coaching.

He serves as a high-performance consultant to Nike. 

But to really make this work, I needed a few more coaches. Let me introduce you to a few guys that will be working closely with the S2B group.


I first met Nate a few years ago when he interviewed me for an article for an online fitness magazine. At that point, Nate was already pretty successful for a young guy.

He was only in his early twenties, but had started his own successful personal training company, written for major health and fitness magazines, and even signed a major book deal. Not too shabby.

During the interview, I complimented him on all his success and he seemed grateful. But then he told me about what his life used to be like.

You see, just a few years prior, Nate was a skinny 145-pound kid who just barely graduated high school. He had no real plan or idea what he wanted to do with his life, and even though he worked out a couple times per week, he hadn’t been able to put on more than a few pounds of muscle at a time.

“I was just a skinny kid with a dishwashing job, no plans, and no real interest in school,” he says. “At least, I was until right after I graduated high school.”

Turns out that that Nate actually did enjoy learning and hard work — but not in the way his high school teachers thought.

Once he didn’t have the structure of school, Nate realized he was free to learn whatever he wanted. So he studied every book and article on health, fitness, business, psychology, and lifestyle he could find. He got in with a group of guys at the gym who mentored him and showed him how to gain muscle. He traveled to seminars and met with influential trainers and coaches.

And that’s when things started happening for Nate.

During his transition years, he put on over 40 pounds of muscle, going from 145 pounds to 185 pounds. Not only that, he realized he had a new mission.

Nate Green before and after his Scrawny To Brawny transformationNate went from 145 pounds to 185 pounds.

“After gaining all that muscle and changing my body, I realized what else I was capable of,” he says. “It was an incredible feeling knowing that I was in control of my life. And I really wanted to share that with other guys. I wanted to help them change their bodies so they could potentially change their life.”

Nate’s message merged strongly with my own. So when the opportunity came up, I invited him to be a part of the team; he now serves as the Program Director for S2B.


Calvin Buhler is a former NCAA All-American wrestler and a former S2B client who gained 40 pounds of muscle in the S2B Coaching Program and even won our $10,000 Grand Prize. He did such an amazing job, we offered him a job.

Calvin before and after his S2B transformation.

A certified strength and conditioning specialist, Calvin now helps guys from around the world make the same kind of body and life transformation he did through S2B.

“I coach because my life has been profoundly impacted by coaches who have helped me to improve my athletic performance and transform my physical body.” he says. “By working with S2B I’m given the opportunity to have a similar impact in lives of other guys.”


A skinny guy in his teenage years, Craig gained over 35 pounds in his twenties. His drive to become bigger and more athletic began when he entered the Navy and continued through 6 years of Naval Special Warfare and 2 more years of private security work in places like Iraq and Sudan.

A writer, self-experimenter, and strategist, Craig has written for major fitness magazines and has helped hundreds of guys and military personnel from around the world build muscle and strength under every kind of condition.

Now he works exclusively with S2B, helping guys from all around the world get in shape and become better men.

Craig after

“I coach guys because I’ve been in their shoes and it makes me happy to be able to fill a role for them that I didn’t have when I was in their place,” he says.

S2B is about doing simple things well and intensely and having control over your life in a way that gives you the freedom to do the things that really matter.”


I brought each of these guys on because they’re ideal mentors for skinny guys looking to build muscle.

There are 3 criteria that any mentor must meet:

  1. Must have gone through the process themselves.
  2. Must have taught others to go through the very same process.
  3. Must thoroughly understand the process itself: how it happens, how it works, what the underlying principles are, etc.

All of us pass all of those tests. Whether you’re learning to be a carpenter, a musician, a writer, or in this case, a bigger, stronger guy, you need to find someone who meets all three criteria to teach you.

Unfortunately, there are very few of them out there. Hence, this program. It’s a way of making sure that any guy looking for help can find it here.

What It Feels Like

A couple years ago, I did a brief interview about my own transformation from Scrawny To Brawny and about this S2B coaching program, and I thought I’d post it here for you in case you missed it.

In it, I talk about:

  • My own experience as a skinny guy
  • Why I wanted to change
  • How my transformation happened
  • How it felt going through that change
  • The two best pieces of advice I can give to skinny guys

Check it out:

If you want to be there with us in November 2013, here’s how the process works.

How to Join The coaching program

The registration process itself is simple:

  1. On Wednesday November 6th, click the “Register Now” button. You’ll find one on the top right-hand side and bottom of this page when the program launches.
  2. Fill out all info on the checkout page. Address, billing info, etc.
  3. Create or upgrade your Scrawny To Brawny (Precision Nutrition) account. If you have never created a Precision Nutrition account (for example after buying another product from us, or joining our forum) you can create one after checkout. If you do have one, you’ll simply upgrade it. You’ll use your username and password to log in to the private S2B Coaching home page each day.
  4. Complete a few basic tasks before the program starts on November 11th. Once you’ve created or upgraded your account, we’ll direct you to your private S2B Coaching homepage, which starting on the 11th, is where you’ll find your daily instructions. Until then, you’ll see a countdown clock and a list of tasks for you to complete before the program begins.
  5. Starting November 11th 2013, log in each day. In the top right corner of every page on this site, you’ll see a login link. Just click it, log in and you’ll find everything you’ll need: workout, nutrition habit, lesson, progress tracking, private forum, access to your coach… everything.

The S2B Guarantee

Bigger & stronger than you ever thought you could be in one year’s time — or it’s 100% free.

My belief is this: if you invest in professional coaching — and you do what your coach tells you to do — you should get the result you want. Apparently this is a revolutionary idea.

I’m very confident in what we do at S2B, so we ALWAYS put our money where our mouth is. This coaching program will change your body, and probably your life, and if it doesn’t, it’s free.

Specifically, here’s how it works. If you …

  • Give us a minimum of one year
  • Do what your coach tells you to (workout, nutrition habits, etc) at least 80% of the time

you will be bigger, stronger, and happier with your physique than you ever thought you could be.

And if you’re not, we’ll write you a check for every penny you spent, and you’ll be on your way, no questions asked. In short, in 1 year, do what we say and YOU get to decide whether we did a good enough job. Simple as that.

See if you can find a guarantee like that ANYWHERE.

Why we guarantee everything

That’s easy. The coach’s job is to remove distractions. I want you to focus on one thing, and one thing alone:

Log in each day and follow the instructions.

That’s it. That’s all you have to think about. Do that, and in one year’s time you’ll be bigger and stronger than you ever thought you could be. And we’ll take you as far as you want to go.

What’s more, we’ll give a huge incentive to get there . . .

$10,000 in prize money for the best transformation

Change is largely driven by two forces: the carrot and the stick. Reward and punishment.

Punishment is the norm. Punishment is everywhere. Do something wrong, make a mistake, don’t fit in — and someone will be right there to chastise you and tell you where you’ve gone wrong.

But where’s the reward when you do something right? Where’s the reward when you achieve something great?

Well, we’re providing a $10,000 prize for the best transformation in the group, and before I tell you how it works, let me tell you why.

Punishment played a big role in my transformation. When I was four years old, I broke both femurs in a freak accident and spent a whole year in a full lower body cast. When I got out, I was physically a full year behind all my peers.

It wasn’t until much later that I realized how much missing that year of development set me back.

I was never able to make the varsity teams, for example. Junior year I’d get cut easily, senior year I was right on the cusp, only to be last cut from the team.

I was always one year short. I got punked in grade school, I got punked in high school. And that feeling had a ripple effect on my whole life.

The first day I walked into the gym, I came with one thing that would take me years to shake:

A chip on my shoulder.

I suspect that, because you’re reading this, you may have a chip on your shoulder too. It’s okay. That will actually help: it’s the stick you’re moving away from.

But what about the reward? Rewards are, unfortunately, few and far between in life, so we set out to change that in our coaching programs.

We’re offering a big reward in the S2B program.

A $10,000 prize for the best transformation.

How’s that for something to shoot for?



Zarak gained 33 pounds in the S2B coaching program and won our $10,000 Grand Prize.

I used to be overcome with ‘paralysis by analysis’. I knew what to do…I just had trouble doing it consistently. I joined S2B so that I could have a straightforward program and nutritional guidelines to follow without over-thinking the details.

Coach Craig was able to help me with something I have struggled with enormously in the past: the inability to commit to something through to the end.

Before I joined S2B I was just getting in my own way. The best decision I made was to hand over the reigns to you guys.



Jean-Charles gained 36 pounds in S2B and won our Grand Prize. Check out the video where we surprised him with $10,000 in cash. 

Ethan joined S2B at 128 pounds. After 12 months in the program, he had put on 30 pounds of muscle, won the $10,000 Grand Prize, and completely changed his life.

I tried to gain muscle for 3 years before joining S2B.

To be honest, I would have paid you guys $10,000 just to be a part of it. The whole program was deeper than building muscle.

Although I gained 30 pounds and look and feel better than I ever have before, I’m just now realizing the physical changes are just a small part of what S2B offers. I really transformed my life. And I want to thank you guys for that.

For anyone who’s considering joining the next program, just do it. Stop thinking. It’s a small investment that pays off huge in the end.


About the $10,000 grand prize

Couple points about the prize. The coaches and I will choose the winner at our sole discretion. We’ll decide the winner in 1 year’s time.

Our criteria? The winner has to embody everything below:

  • Great visual transformation: We’ll be looking for a solid visual change that really says, “Scrawny To Brawny.”
  • Great story: We’ll be looking for a truly deserving candidates with great awareness of their own motivations and insight into the process itself.
  • Great client: We’re looking for someone who is truly coachable, who listens, who trusts the coaches and does what he’s told.
  • Great contributor: We’ll also be looking for a candidate who was a great help to the whole group. Who was a genuinely positive influence on all the guys.

Bring a good attitude and a willingness to follow instructions, and you’ll have a shot at $10,000.

But do that, and you’ll earn something in the process that — although you may not believe it now — will ultimately be worth more to you than the money:

A new body, a new sense of yourself, and a new direction for the rest of your life.

But wait! Another $10,000!

Scrawny to Brawny requires consistency. If you work hard and stick to it, you will see results. We’re giving $10,000 to the winner, but last time there were so many great transformations that we wanted to reward their hard work. So, we’re giving away another $10,000, to be divided among our runners up.


Since this is our final launch of the S2B Coaching Program, we’re doing something we’ve never done before.

We’re giving the top 3 guys an all expenses paid trip to Toronto to hang out with me, Nate, Craig, and Calvin. 

We’ll hit the gym and work out. We’ll go to nice restaurants. We’ll hang out and talk.

This is our way of paying it forward and saying “thank you” to the guys who sign up for the program and work their asses off.

Not a bad way to end a year-long transformation.

A final piece of advice

If I can leave you with one simple piece of advice that just might change your life, it’s this: go out today and find a coach.

Get out of your own way and give yourself the tools to succeed. Find someone who has done what you want, who understands how it was done, and who can teach you to do it.


I was lucky to learn that lesson early, and that one lesson has made all the difference. Be decisive and do it today, right now.

It truly doesn’t matter where or how you find them — could be a buddy, a trainer, a guy you see in the gym, a coach at the local college. And as of today, we’re here too, if you want.

All that matters is that you find one.