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How Did This Guy Gain 3 Inches On His Arms In 8 Weeks?

Want to find out how one MuscleHack reader:

  • GAINED 3 inches on his arms
  • GAINED 1.5 inches on his thighs
  • LOST fat…

…in just 8 weeks?

Then read this article. (He also has a buddy who has lost 31 pounds of fat so far on THT :) ).

Yes, once again I’ve had the great pleasure of receiving a remarkable testimonial from a reader.

Once again it was from someone in the US military.

Once again he used the GLAD bodybuilding diet for his nutritional strategy, THT for his training protocol, and Total Six Pack Abs to cut just prior to the bulking cycle you’re about to read about.

His name is Justin Van Arsdale. Enough from me, let’s see what he had to say.

“Hi Mark.

The first photo was taken sometime at the end of 2009.

I began the THT cycle on 19 Jan 2010 and the last 2 photos where taken on March 15 2010.

I am on GLAD currently and doing quite well, just chasing my daily caloric intake around. So I’m at 168 lbs and approx 10% body fat, according to my accumeasure at least. I put 3 inches on my biceps, 1.5 inches on my thighs, and trimmed my waist down a little – it is all mostly muscle now.

And a side note for you, I have pulled a good buddy in on the THT cycle with me and he has lost 31 lbs of fat since starting.. that is impressive.

Here is quick background for you. I served in the US Marine Corps for 5 years, I was a CH-46 and H-3 Crew Chief. I served for the Presidential Helicopter Squadron and was Crew Chief aboard Marine One for George Bush Oct 2004 to Sept 2005. I got out of the Corps and began working for Lockheed Martin in the cold New York State.

Cold and snowy winters and a lack of motivation let me get out of shape as well as being behind a desk quite a bit. I was never very over weight but just not in shape. I found your website and have been making progress since. I am in better shape now than when I was on active duty!!!

Yes the change is quite good, but THT and GLAD have made it quite easy. Once I pulled together a spreadsheet of the foods I eat and their nutritional values it became very easy. I have told quite a few people about your site as well as THT and GLAD.

I certainly have some areas that need improvement, my chest namely, as that is my slowest growing body part. Overall I feel it’s a good change but I can’t wait for the next THT cycle.”

Justin practiced the key to success: consistency. If the strategy you’re using is sound, and you consistently do what is required of you to implement that strategy, success is INEVITABLE.

Well done, Justin!

In terms of SPEED of transformation, this is one of the best MuscleHack testimonials yet.

I’m sure you’ve just inspired a few thousand people. 😀

Stay Motivated Guys!


Mark McManus
Mark McManus
Mark is now available for 1-on-1 consultations to help you take your results to the next level. Click here for more details.
Mark McManus is a trainer & author from Ireland. His work has been featured in major publications all over the world. He is the creator of the free growth-promoting workout Targeted Hypertrophy Training' (THT) and author of the NEW fat-torching system Total Six Pack Abs.
He has also created the BREAKTHROUGH arm and chest maximizer programs The Arms Blast' and 'Chest Blast' workouts.
And if you're a fan of delicious high-protein recipes to fuel your muscle growth, check out his cook book 'Buff Baking' here.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Danny March 29, 2010, 9:35 pm

    That really is something! I’ve seen guys gain less in a year, or longer.
    Way to go Justin!

  • Keith Davis March 29, 2010, 9:39 pm

    @Danny – I’m one of those guys!
    Struggle to put mass on my arms.
    Definition is good but not much increase in size.
    Good to know that it can be done.

  • Spence March 29, 2010, 9:49 pm

    You look good but I think you had better check that tape measure. There is no way that 3 inches was gained on the arms . Must be a typo. Its amazing what a little color will do in transformation pics.

    This program is sound so theres no need to publish false statements.

  • Mark McManus March 29, 2010, 10:00 pm

    @Danny and Keith. I think everyone has a body part or 2 like that. I don’t like my shoulders much. Happy with bi’s and pecs the most.
    @Spence. Oh well, there’s always one whenever a testimonial article is published.

  • Jarrett March 30, 2010, 12:06 am

    Ya, I don’t get it. I’m pretty sure 3 inches growth in biceps would be a very noticeable visible difference, but his arms in his after picture just looks a tad bigger than his before pic. I wonder if he meant 3 cm. But even if it was 3 cm, that’d still be pretty awesome.

  • Ash March 30, 2010, 12:22 am

    @Jarrett. I’m pretty sure it’s because he is quite lanky and has longer arms, a difference that big over a length that long might not be as noticeable. Say the same growth was on someone with shorter arms, it would look a lot bigger.

    That’s my theory anyway. If I’m wrong I’m sure someone will correct me.

  • Ryan March 30, 2010, 1:04 am

    Really? I can see that his arms have had a MASSIVE improvement. Just look at the definition just on the inside of his elbow of the before & after pics. I’m sure if he were flexing in each photo it would be even more noticeable.

  • Ron March 30, 2010, 1:50 am

    I’ve been trying for years go get bicep definition.I’ll continue on the program and hopefully see results soon. Any tips are appreciated.

  • McBrain March 30, 2010, 2:42 am

    I expect he means 3″ flexed…

  • andy p March 30, 2010, 3:44 am

    sorry but there is no way 3inchs flexed or not have been added to those arms.

  • Andrew March 30, 2010, 4:38 am

    3 cm makes sense. Wasn’t there just recently a challenge where people got up to 1 inch (2.5 cm) in as little as a week? So, I can see 3 cm easy, especially in 8 weeks. 3 inches? Well…truth is stranger than fiction, I guess…

    Hey I got a question…the guy in the testimonial here…he actually LOOKS lean (lines around his abs, etc), and says he has 10% BF. Is it possible to have 9% BF and STILL have a gut…even a small one? Seriously. I had a professional measure me. Super lean in the chest and thighs…25mm pinch with calipers on the belly. Calculated out, it averaged to 9.2% BF. (Yes, I got from 15% to 9% using GLAD and…recently…switching to the lo-carb diet in TSPA) But I still have belt overhang (slight, though)–I got the top 2 rows of abs starting to show, then a belt of fat. Has anyone else ever seen that happen before? I wonder what would cause that…excess adipose tissue (cell lining)? God forbid I ever let those cells fill up…guess I could always audition for Santa Claus! Ho Ho Ho!

    (Yes, I’m also willing to admit that maybe the ‘professional’ used the calipers wrong. He did use a ‘3 point’ method, as opposed to 1 or 7)


  • Yavor March 30, 2010, 5:57 am

    Congrats justin – you are visibly leaner and buffer!

  • Naresh March 30, 2010, 9:51 am

    I like this very much.
    i have two questions, they are
    How to reduce the fat on middle abs, and
    Is the Running and skipping giveas the same result.
    Please answer me,

  • Yavor March 30, 2010, 11:40 am

    @Andrew – you just need to lose more weight. Neither the 3-, nor the 7-point (I use it with my clients) give ‘real’ bodyfat percentages. What they are good for is measuring your PROGRESS. This means if your folds decrease you are ok.

    You are more likeley 12-15% if you have so much bodyfat. Good thing is when you get to real 10% bodyfat, you will have a nice set of abs

  • maros March 30, 2010, 12:45 pm

    I’m also getting error. Please e-mail me your THT program. I’ve just discovered your site and I think its very interesting…


  • Akshay March 30, 2010, 7:28 pm

    Way to go Justin!
    I’ve tried the GLAD diet but really tough for me to follow it becoz im an INDIAN and
    cannot eat meat… So I have to get my carbs having low GI and protein from vegetarian sources. So following this diet is really tough for me.
    So my question is that is there any vegetarian alternative to this??

  • Mark McManus March 30, 2010, 7:55 pm

    For the doubters…
    Firstly, I don’t blame ya! 3 inches is a hell of a lot in 8 weeks.
    Secondly, if you read Justin’s words, I think he had quite a bit of muscle memory going on because he was formerly in shape and was getting back at it with THT. Regaining old muscle is superfast. I have experienced it personally after getting superskinny a few years back. You can measure results (small gains) on an almost daily basis if you’ve previously lost inches of muscle.
    Thirdly, I’m sure he means 3″ flexed.
    Also, as Ryan said above: Look at the arm just above the elbow joint in the 2 pics, there’s a major difference.
    For those who say they can’t see much of a difference at all between the 2 pics, I don’t know what to tell you. When was your last eyesight test?
    Additionally, Justin emailed me with the following…
    “I read some of the comments posted and for my own honor I will say if I made a typo in my log book then I apologize, I in no way mean to take away from the program or its fundamental rules, goals and principles. I can not go back now and remeasure (not trying to get angry of over one guy’s statement though).
    But all that should be noted is if you set your nose to the grind stone you make amazing gains with THT. I am pleased with what I achieved but I certainly have not reached the finish line.
    Cheers to you Mark, keep up the great work on your site.
    All in all, the amount of change Justin achieved in just 8 weeks (less than 1 THT cycle) is amazing. Again, in terms of speed, this is one of the best MuscleHack testimonials to date!

  • Mark McManus March 30, 2010, 8:11 pm

    @Andrew. Yes it’s possible but not common. Everyone has different patterns of fat accumulation.
    Like Yavor said, more fat needs to be lost and use those calipers as a marker of progress in future.
    @Naresh. No you can’t spot-reduce fat. You’ll need to lose overall body fat to lose fat off the mid-abs. Running/skipping will only contribute a small amount to fat loss. Most of your success will be down to diet. Remember: Abs are built in the kitchen.
    @maros. What kind of error? Try it again.
    @ Akshay. I’m not an expert on vegetarianism but I wrote an article you may find helpful here:
    Only other thing I could suggest is to buy a book on veggie sources of protein. Amazon carry a few that would be helpful I’m sure.

  • flabcannon March 30, 2010, 10:07 pm

    To the doubters – to add 3″ to the circumference, you would need only 0.95″ change in diameter (3/pi). The size increase looks close enough to an inch to me.

  • Jarrett March 31, 2010, 2:41 am

    Ah, good point flabcannon. If you think about it that way, 3″ doesn’t seem that crazy looking at these pics, especially since he wasn’t flexing. I sure would like to see a before/after pic with him flexing, though. I wonder what a 3″ difference flexed looks like, but if he didn’t take a flexed before pic, I suppose there wouldn’t be anything to compare to.

    Anyway, I apologize if my comment stole some of your thunder, Justin. I wasn’t calling you a liar by any means, I’ve just never seen a 3″ arm difference before and didn’t know what to expect. Not that one random guy’s (me) opinion matters, but I 100% believe your results were accurate now and congratulate you on the good work. That’s one hell of a body transformation! 😀

  • Les L. Doucet March 31, 2010, 3:15 am

    Great improvement. You look a lot leaner. I have been a gym instructor for years and i’ve seen a lot of guys developing muscle way faster than others. I do believe much of it has something to do with food/nutrient intake not just exercise.
    Les L. Doucet
    Gym Instructor
    San Francisco, USA

  • flabcannon March 31, 2010, 5:40 pm


    I don’t blame you. Circumference is a very deceptive measure – most people estimate it to be much smaller than it actually is.
    Watch how this guy uses it –

  • Keith Davis March 31, 2010, 7:28 pm

    @ – flabcannon
    fantastic illustration how deceptive circumference can be.
    Thanks for providing it.

  • jason April 1, 2010, 8:18 pm

    great job my man!! im jealous and would be quick to doubt but its those people who never see results in their taining, anything is possible, congrats to the visibly seen hard work and Mark, continue with the good stuff, its deffinetley working for me.


  • Jarrett April 2, 2010, 12:37 am


    That certainly proves the point clearly! Thanks for the link. :-)

  • Gerard April 2, 2010, 2:03 pm

    Hi Mark, this story has anoyed me i must admit, i am a keen follower of your articles and info, the main reason being they always are realistic and promote the natural and realistic way of training. i myself am a natural bodybuilder and i work as a personal trainer. now i have trained and worked in many gyms and see people who are training on steroid cycles all the time and they would struggle to gain 3″ on their arms, i think to be posting such absolute BS storys is really going to take away credability from you. what i like about you personally Mark, is that i have no doubt looking at your physique that you are 100% natural, so please dont go down the BS route of giving people false expectations of gaining 3″ on their arms. ok so the guys arms look a bit bigger, but 3″ come on, 1 and a half inches top. all am saying Mark is please keep it real because in my opinion that is what sets you apart from 99.9% of all the other Bull Sh..ers on the web.

  • Len April 2, 2010, 10:43 pm

    When I was 11-13 years old I used to have a big newspaper route and carried my papers in a sack that had a pouch in front and in back. I used to put half in each side and move it around a couple of times to adjust the weight. After 3 years of 6 days per week delivery, while the other kids were pulling theirs behind them in a wheeled cart, I had developed a nice upper body.

    I agree with Mark’s comments on on muscle memory. After getting lazy in my adult years, my shoulders and neck are the first to start growing in size when I get my crap together from time to time and hit the weights. It takes no time at all to pick up inches of muscle where I once had it. Now if only I could get consistent……

    Now though I’ve become a big fan of running and like doing at least 10K a day and running at least one half marathon a year. And when I say running, I mean running, my PB is 93 minutes and I’m trying to push that to 80.

    Do you have any tips for building muscle with this much cardio? Should I just up the caloric intake or will I always be fighting a losing battle trying to get bigger?

    Any thoughts….?