Body Transformation: Chris McGlynn Packs On 30lbs Of Muscle

Categories: Articles Motivation
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Before Stats
  • Start
    September 2011
  • Age
  • Weight
    130 lbs
  • Body Fat
  • Height
  • Squat
    225 lbs
  • Deadlift
    185 lbs
After Stats
  • End
    June 2012
  • Age
  • Weight
    160 lbs
  • Body Fat
  • Height
  • Squat
    6 x 365 lbs
  • Deadlift
    8 x 315 lbs
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!
Drinking, bad influences, immaturity and junk food. Chris McGlynn had a wake up call and left his bad habits behind, gaining a pure 30lbs of muscle.

Lifestyle Prior To Change

What was your lifestyle like prior to your transformation?

My lifestyle was party, party, and party some more. I was very immature, with no real goals in my life. I was just concerned on which bar I was going to go to that night. I ate terribly, and like every skinny guy, I thought I ate a lot. I ate a lot of junk food and not clean foods.

What was your low point or turning point? 

My low point was when my girlfriend of 4 years just wouldn’t take me back. I needed to get rid of the frustration, so the gym was my outlet. I felt terrible because she changed her lifestyle and I was just the same old guy wanting to get drunk with friends with no goals in mind. I finally realized that I needed to change, I needed to grow up, go back to college, get rid of bad influences, and set goals.

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

Honestly, there were no real challenges. At first the dieting wasn’t fun but I saw results quickly so that kept me going. I would say the most difficult part was when I hit plateaus. I got frustrated, but I just took a look at my diet, and bumped up my calories and protein levels to help me over come them.

I also added in heavier squats and deadlifts and this made my body grow. With anything in life that makes you successful, you get the negative people that always try to bring you down. Never listen to them, use their comments as motivation.

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

  • Transformation Start: September 2011, I really wanted to change some things in my life. My whole lifestyle, so I did as much research about fitness and nutrition as possible on the web and gathered as much information as possible. The greatest accomplishment to my physique is giving up drinking alcohol and soda.
  • Milestone: November 7, 2011, I was so happy when I finally reached 143lbs. I worked my butt off and this is when it started to show. My diet was on point and I clearly saw results due to it.
  • Milestone: February 28, 2012, I finally hit 150lbs. This is when everyone at the gym took notice. I had competitors come up to me and tell me that I should consider competing. I laughed and just told them thank you... Then I started looking up competition photos and started talking to local bodybuilders. They helped me get started with posing classes and talked me into doing the NPC 2012 Charlotte Cup.
  • Milestone: April 28, 2012, My first NPC physique competition! I came into this competition blindly since all of my mentors were bodybuilders. I dropped from 154lbs to 145lbs for the show. I had a blast and met some great competitors. I placed fourth and that qualified me to compete nationally. After the competition I thought about everything I could fix and started planning for my next show; Victory Classic.
  • Milestone: June 8, 2012- I finally hit 160lbs. This was my goal to hit at the end of the year and I hit it mid year! The best part is that it was all lean muscle. 2 weeks out from the Victory Classic and I am stoked. I feel like I am bringing a better physique and better attitude.
  • Transformation End: There will never be a transformation end for me. I am always trying to change my physique and push my body to new limits. When I reach a goal, I set new ones. This is what keeps me motivated and successful. I plan on doing a National show in November to try to get my pro card. If I do not succeed I will have something to train for during off season! I am blessed to have such a great lifestyle and new friends that support me everyday.

Chris' Training Approach?

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

My weight training approach was and still is heavy weight, low reps, low sets, working sets until failure, and increase weight. A spotter is a must, once I fail, I do negatives to tear more muscle tissue. I do a 2 day split on off season, pre-competition I adjust according to what my physique is looking like.

Chris McGlynn

Please add a workout that worked best for you:

  • Monday - Chest and Biceps
  • Tuesday - Back
  • Wednesday - 20 minutes Stair Climber, 1000 meters Row Machine, Hanging Leg Raises 3 sets of 10.
  • Thursday - Shoulders and Traps
  • Friday - Legs
  • Saturday20 minutes Stair Climber, 1000 meters Row Machine, Hanging Leg Raises 3 sets of 10.
  • Sunday - Legs
Chest and Biceps
Exercise Sets Reps
Decline Dumbbell Bench Press 1 6-8 to failure
Incline Dumbbell Bench Press 1 6-8 to failure
Dumbbell Flye 1 6-8 to failure
Concentration Curl 1 6-8 to failure
Barbell Curl 1 6-8 to failure
Exercise Sets Reps
Dumbbell Pullover 1 8-10 to failure
Close Grip Pull Down 1 8-10 to failure
One Arm Dumbbell Row 1 8-10 to failure
Wide Grip Cable Row 1 8-10 to failure
Deadlift 1 8-10 to failure
Shoulders and Traps
Exercise Sets Reps
Seated Dumbbell Press 1 6-8 to failure
Dumbbell Lateral Raise 1 8-10 to failure
Low Cable Lateral Raise 1 6-8 to failure
Bent Over Dumbbell Reverse Flye 1 8-10 to failure
Cable Tricep Extension 1 8-10 to failure
Skullcrusher 1 8-10 to failure
Seated French Press 1 8-10 to failure
Friday Legs
Exercise Sets Reps
Squat 1 6-8 to failure
Leg Extension 1 10-12 to failure
Leg Press 1 10-12 to failure
Hack Squat 1 10-12 to failure
Seated Leg Curl 1 10-12 to failure
Stiff Leg Deadlift 1 10-12 to failure
Standing Calf Raise 3 Rest-pause - failure
Seated Calf Raise 1 6-8 to failure
Sunday Legs
Exercise Sets Reps
Squat 1 6-8
Leg Press 2 6-8, 50
Deadlift 1 8-10
Standing Calf Raise 1 4-6

Chris McGlynnPlease detail your cardio approach during your transformation?

My main goal was to put on lean muscle mass, so I did cardio 10 minutes before I worked out. Now I do cardio about 30 minutes twice a week. Once I am in contest prep,  I do cardio every day for at least 20 minutes.

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

  1. I learned to leave my ego at home and learn to control the weights. Negatives (eccentric movement) is the key to muscle tissue tear. This is what builds the muscles.
  2. I learned that proper form is key, this will also help grow you secondary muscles such as forearms on a dumbbell press.
  3. Most importantly nutrition is also key. Without the proper nutrition, gains will be hard to reach. Results are 80% nutrition, 20% gym. Lastly, rest is very important for recovery.

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

I am currently in season for competitions. My training loads change once I enter the 4-2 weeks out mark. I will lighten up the load and do higher rep ranges.

Chris' Diet And Supplement Plan

What was your diet/nutrition approach during your transformation?

My diet approach was very easy. People complicate nutrition too much and make it unattractive at times. I like to try different lean recipes that I find on the internet to help keep my taste buds happy.

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

  • Meal 1: Whey protein shake, 6 egg whites, 1 whole egg, and 1 cup oatmeal (quick oats, old fashioned, not the pre packaged ones). To make this taste better, try adding all natural honey, a Tbsp of Stevia or Truvia, or add some fruits such as blueberries, strawberries, etc.
  • Meal 2: Almond butter sandwich, which is whole wheat bread and all natural almond butter, handful of almonds.
  • Meal 3: 6 oz. lean meat, 6 oz. sweet potato, 1 cup broccoli.
  • Meal 4: Pre workout: Oatmeal 1 hour before workout.
  • Post Workout: Whey protein shake with a banana and PB2.
  • Meal 5: 6oz. lean meat, 1/2 cup brown rice, 1 cup broccoli or asparagus.
  • Meal 6: same as meal 5 (choose lean meat, carb source, broccoli, spinach, or asparagus).
  • Meal 7: Protein pancake with locally made natural honey, 1 cup of Greek yogurt with strawberries and blueberries, casein protein.

Now for the fun part. I always choose lean meats for my diet. It could be lean chicken, 100% ground turkey, tilapia, salmon, or a lean cut steak. My carb sources are usually sweet potatoes, baked potatoes, whole grain pastas, or brown rice.

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

I honestly did not make any nutrition mistakes. I did my research very thoroughly and stuck to it.

Chris McGlynn

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

  1. Drink at least 1 gallon of water each day. Your body needs water, this helps with your metabolism.
  2. Write down your meals so that when you do reach a plateau, you know exactly what to adjust and/or add to your diet.
  3. Weigh your foods or measure them out so you know exactly how many nutrients you are feeding your body.

Did you allow yourself cheat meals?

Yes, one every Saturday, when I want to have dinner with friends or family.

What supplements did you use during your transformation?

I use a whey and casein protein, multivitamins, glutamine, BCAAs, and a pre workout.

Advice For Others

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

  1. Do not try to rush things, stay focused and results will come.
  2. Always use proper form and do your exercises with a slow and controlled movement.
  3. Eat properly and stick to your diet if you want to see amazing results.

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

I stay motivated by looking at my progress pictures and seeing how far I have came. Music always helps me stay motivated in the gym. If you are having trouble staying on track, just remember that taking that one step in the gym and performing the right tasks is better than doing nothing. Keep your head up, and remember that going the extra mile is always worth it.

Your Life Now

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

My life is amazing. I have been so blessed along this journey. I am in the best shape of my life. I have made the decision to compete regularly and I am motivated to get my pro card in the future. I am a certified fitness trainer now because I want to help people reach their fitness goals. I plan to become a fitness model one day.

What motivates you currently to keep improving yourself?

My friends at the gym help motivate me every day by telling me that they see my progress. My biggest motivation is to become a pro one day, so this helps me push myself day by day.

Anything else you would like to share?

I would like to encourage people to take the extra step to enter the fitness world. I have also noticed that you really find out who your true friends are when you give up all the bad influences and start becoming successful in life. Never look back, because you will meet many great people during this journey.

How Can People Contact You?

How can people contact you? 

Photo Credits:

Garrett Price at Carolina Portrait Designs

Posted on: Sat, 04/06/2013 - 23:03

If I understand your routine correctly, you should be finished with your workout in 15 minutes. For example, your chest and biceps workout is 5 exercises at 1 set each exercise. That doesn't seem like it would have much of an effect. On top of that any exercise that you're doing 6-8 reps isn't that heavy if you can get that many reps. Am I misunderstanding your routine?

Posted on: Sun, 03/31/2013 - 19:32


Posted on: Wed, 01/23/2013 - 04:57


Posted on: Wed, 11/28/2012 - 17:18

Hi Chris, I just read your transformation article on the Muscle & Strength website and I was amazed! You are truly an inspiration. Keep it up!

I am currently a newbie to gaining muscle; I spent 6 months cutting fat and now I am in a "bulking stage"... so far so good... here's my timeline:

jan12: 5'10" 170 lbs 18-20%bf
jun12: 158 lbs 9%bf

current: 165 lbs 13%bf
eating 2400 cals
workouts 3-4x per week focused on big 3 and stronglifts 5x5

goal: 170 lbs 8%bf and 1000 total lbs on big 3 lifts (BP, SQ, DL)

any quick advice on what I am doing, and what I can do to improve?


Posted on: Wed, 11/14/2012 - 22:02

I'm guessing Thursday should be 'shoulders and triceps' instead of 'shoulders and traps'… Program looks great and def. not boring, something I might try...

Phillip Schlueter
Posted on: Wed, 11/14/2012 - 19:32

Dog gone it Chris, you are a beast!! :) Good job man!

Posted on: Wed, 11/14/2012 - 19:16

Great success story!! Its awesome to see how quickly you turned things around. Do you have any pointers on arms? Did you get width results from the workout you posted or did you have to modify things to get the bicep and tricep growth you wanted to see? Also, when you do hanging leg raises for abs do you ad weight once you get good?

Posted on: Wed, 11/14/2012 - 11:57

Chris, you mentioned that you did a lot of research about fitness on nutrition on the web priot to your transforamtion. Would you mind sharing some of the resources, tools, and websites you found?

Posted on: Wed, 11/14/2012 - 10:07

Is it possible to use a modified version of your routine without a spotter and achieve similar results? Can you reccomend something? As of right no I do not have a prtner to workout with in my buildings gym.

Flint marco
Posted on: Tue, 11/13/2012 - 19:51

Hey chris. First of all i am very inspired by your story. You look absolutely great. But i have a question for you about your training. I saw that you usually only do one set but you take it to failure. Do you think that this is better than doing multiple sets in a certain rep range? I know that dorian yates used this training method and it looks like you and him got good results from it. I would love to get your take on this.


Chris McGlynn
Posted on: Tue, 11/13/2012 - 15:26

Thank you Muscle & Strength for sharing my transformation! It is a great blessing and I hope to inspire many people! This article was written around June 2012.. Since then I won first place and overall in the 2012 Victory Classic! I reached out to the best Physique competitor there is, IFBB Pro Mark Flex Anthony to coach me! I went to Nationals in Pittsburgh, did not place, but had the time of my life meeting new people and networking. As for now I am off season, and have my eyes set for Nationals next year. Its been a huge opportunity to work with the best in the industry.