Review of Joey Vaillancourt's Bones to Buff By Ted Landry of CriticalBench.com
Joey Vaillancourt says that he was once a "a very skinny kid with many self doubts" about his physical appearance and in "desperate need to gain muscle and transform" his body to overcome these sabotaging thoughts and self image issues. If you have run across any of the many websites showing pictures of him today, you can see for yourself that he really succeeded in transforming his body. With Bones to Buff Joey shares his journey from skinny hard-gainer with no muscle to lean chiseled muscle guy.
Although Joey was always athletic, he was never muscular and was actually very skinny. He kept trying and trying but nothing seemed to help him put on muscle and he repeatedly failed to get bigger. Two of the biggest issues he struggled with though were a seemingly unending cycle of self-doubt driven by his efforts to live his life by other people's standards. He says that eventually, he succumbed to the outside negative influences telling him he could not do it, letting 'them' make the determination that he was a failure and abandoning his dream of becoming a professional hockey player.
Bones to Buff basically chronicles the steps Joey took to finally break through the self destructive cycle of negativity and achieve his goal of gaining muscle and shedding his skinny guy past once and for all. Today, Joey is a successful personal trainer and fitness model. Bones to Buff lays out Joey's 'Hardgainer's 5 Week Muscle Gain Program.'
Chapter one is focused on building the foundation for gaining muscle in just 5 weeks--setting a goal. And because for a lot of guys, choosing a goal is one of the most difficult parts of goal-setting, Joey even starts you off by choosing your first goal for you--gaining 10 pounds of muscle in 5 weeks. But having a goal isn't enough, you need something that drives you. Joey says that understanding 'why' you want to achieve that goal can drive you to achieving it.
In the following chapter Joey gives us an overview of the ten major mistakes made by most guys trying to put on muscle. Looking at them, I can tell you that I've made all of them at some point in my bodybuilding career. In today's media-driven society I have no doubt that the majority of guys make these same mistakes every day.
The Bones to Buff training program is based on progression and overload--a simple, but tried and true strategy for adding mass. Joey tweaks the formula though to enable you to achieve your goal of adding 10 pounds of muscle in just 5 weeks. Continually challenging the muscles is the key to his approach. This is accomplished by incorporating multiple different 'Anabolic Growth Triggers,' as Joey calls them. By switching up the Anabolic Growth Triggers throughout the 5 weeks, you are constantly pushing your muscles to get bigger and stronger.
His weightlifting strategy also incorporates 'Forced Production Overload,' which is a technique that Joey developed during his search for a solution to his hardgainer dilemma. Using this approach, your muscles are continually forced to increase in size and strength. They key to success here is that your muscles never get a chance to grow accustomed to your training routine. Once they get comfy doing the same routine week after week, that's when you stop seeing the gains in your muscles.
After discussing the workouts that will drive your muscles to get 10 pounds bigger in the next 5 weeks, Joey moves on to the his approach to nutrition. This is a critical section of the book because after all, you want to put on lean mass, not muscle and fat. His thoughts about nutrition are straightforward and sound—no strange diets or overly complicated meal plans are necessary with Joey's plan. The nutrition plan even includes one 'treat' meal each week as a reward for all the hard work.
Cardio is the third element of the Bones to Buff strategy. Joey uses a mixed cardio approach for shedding fat and getting lean and ripped. He recommends doing both High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) cardio mixed with steady-state cardio. Again, this keeps your body from getting used to any single approach and helps avoid those unwanted plateaus where your results grind to a halt.
Like any fitness pro who really knows his stuff, Joey understands the importance of recovery and includes a nice chapter on the topic. After this, the remaining chapters are filled with a wealth of tips, suggestions and tools, providing information about staying on track, supplementation and more. The program also includes some very useful supplemental guides and charts.
After giving Bones to Buff a careful review I can say with 100% certainty that Joey isn't just blowing smoke. If you give it your all and follow his plan just as it is laid out, I have no doubt that you can put on 10 pounds of muscle in 5 weeks, just like Joey did.