About

We love helping those who are ready to become strong, mentally sharp, & healthy to fuel their calling in life—all while looking their best.

The enemy? Complacency, no time, a history of getting burnt out, and a lack of visible results from bogus programs, flashy-but-fall-flat apps, and impossible diets.

So, we use science to build the optimal nutrition and training plans.

Some people might say, "Well, big deal. Seen it before." It's true. If you know where to look, it's rare, but you can still find optimally programmed systems elsewhere.

But most people still struggle to transform, even with optimal programs.

Why? Because they can't fit "optimal" into their life. They're busy pursuing their mission, working, studying, raising kids, or who knows what else. They don't have unlimited time or energy to dedicate to make transforming their body as first priority.

So, we've built our system for real life.

You'll get incredible results, not just because it's programmed intelligently, but because you'll actually be able to follow through. This is because the foundation of the program built on top of the latest in learning and behavioural research to make it easier, faster, and more predictable to reach your goals.

In short, we help those who:

  • have no desire to become a professional bodybuilder get a Hollywood-level body with rock-solid posture that will allow them to move through life like an athlete.
  • want to get the spark back in their life by feeling energetic, be mentally clear and focused, and become more resilient.
  • want to develop the potential they have inside, and then become magnetic by influencing others around them to become stronger and healthier, too.

Why should you trust Outlive?

We've trained Olympic, college, and professional-level athletes

Marco has worked on the floor as a strength and conditioning coach for many elite-level athletes. He knows what it takes to get the best out of your body.

We're properly qualified

Marco has a Honours Bachelors in Health Sciences (B. HSc), he's a certified strength and conditioning coach (CSCS), and he's interned with elite athletic training legends Eric Cressey and Mike Robertson. He continues to hone his craft with numerous certifications including:

  • Nutrition L1 from Precision Nutrition
  • Postural respiration, Myokinematic Restoration, and Pelvis Restoration from the Postural Restitution Institute
  • Olympic Lifting with John Broz

Jared and Michelle both have a Specialized Honours Bachelor in Design (B. Des.), an interdisciplinary degree to apply design in research, health, engineering, and other fields for clarity of understanding.

We've already helped 7,500+ people like you

Marco and Jared were co-founders of Bony to Beastly and Bony to Bombshell, a muscle-building system for that has already helped over 7,500 men and women. Those programs were designed for regular people trying to radically transform their body while balancing their life and responsibilities.

We've been where you are

We aren't the genetically gifted. We haven't taken steroids. We weren't raised as children by professional athletes or bodybuilders. We had to work diligently to transform while studying and working.

We wouldn't change it though. Our lifechanging experience has made us passionate to help pass it on, and the trials have made us even better coaches.

Marco is 6'4 and worked to rehab his injuries and gained 63 pounds of muscle. Jared is 6'0 and weighed 130 pounds at 23 years old, and gained 45 pounds of muscle while overcoming his tendinosis. Michelle leaned out her waist, and built up her hips.

The Outlive team

We're three silly Canucks (Canadians, eh?) who get cabin fever during the winter
Marco Walker-Ng

Marco Walker-Ng
B. HSc from the University of Ottawa, CSCS
Vancouver, Canada

 

Michelle Polowick, Illustrator

Michelle Polowick
B. Des from York University,
B. Ed from OISE University of Toronto
Toronto, Canada

Jared Polowick

Jared Polowick
B. Des from York University
Toronto, Canada

Our origin story

Our origin story is why we love showing up to work every day, excited to help people transform their lives. Perhaps you might identify with some parts of it. –Jared.

Tall, skinny, and shy

When Marco was in high school, he was 6'4 tall and only weighing 150 pounds (193cm / 68kg). His BMI put him in the underweight category, meaning that his health was at risk. Being this thin, lanky, and skinny and under-muscled is often known as the "ectomorph" body type.

Aside from being underweight, Marco was desperately trying to become more confident, especially around girls. And so he bought Arnold Schwarzenegger's The New Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding. He spent all of his free time training and trying to learn how to build the masculine body he wanted.

But instead of getting a bigger, stronger and more energetic body... his efforts were rewarded with chronic knee, and shoulder pain, poorer posture, and feeling beat down energy-wise.

Marco when he was 150 pounds heavy.
Marco after gaining over 60 pounds.

Marco gained 63 pounds while earning an honours degree in Health Sciences

However, these setbacks only sparked his passion to figure it out. Marco pursued an Honours Bachelor degree in Health Sciences at the University of Ottawa. It was during this time studying cell biology, chemistry, human anatomy, nutrition and health, and posture/movement/injuries that Marco radically bulked up, adding 63 pounds of lean mass to his long and lean ectomorphic frame.

During his studies, he was also helping to train college-athletes on the OttawaU's Gee-Gee's team, and training both men and women and a variety of body types (ectomorphs, mesomorphs, and endomorphs.)

After he earned his degree, he started training personal clients at a sports and athletic centre, many of them being professional and Olympic athletes. Marco loved helping his clients rehab their injuries, restoring their posture for better movement, power, and mobility, while also adding more muscle for more strength.

It was during this time that Marco and I, Jared, met through a joint friend—Shane Duquette. But first, let's back up and take a look at how I became so physically broken.

"The worst case of tendonitis I've ever seen."– my physiotherapist

I was an avid athlete as a child, but as I continued to grow, I wasn't getting bigger, stronger and faster like my peers. I just got longer and more stretched out and eventually stopped competing in sports. In high school, I was now 6'0 tall—taller than most guys. But I only weighed 130 pounds which put me in the underweight BMI category. I was 30 pounds lighter than the average guy my height.

One day my tall and skinny friend, suggested that he and I hit the gym to bulk up. In 30 days, I lost 10 pounds. Frustrated by moving even further in the wrong direction, I quit going to the gym believing I was genetically at odds with having a strong and fit body.

Feeling defeated, I went back to my new interest where I didn't need a strong and fast body to thrive—designing and running a game review website. I began to sit for nearly all waking hours. I would sit at school, then play hours of video games (Halo), then work with the team on the gaming website. All this while consuming a steady stream of the Three-C's: Coke, cookies, and chips.

Eventually, my poor diet, lack of exercise, and an extreme amount of time on the computer culminated to make my body reach a breaking point. Before I turned 18, I had been diagnosed with tendonitis in my right arm by my doctor. My forearm was incredibly weak, and there was a constant burning pain that never went away. The doctor prescribed me nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (naproxen), and physiotherapy.

It was at this time of chronic pain that, after many months, I was open to trying anything to fix it. Ultrasound therapy, electrotherapy, and even acupuncture (hey, I was truly desperate.) Nothing gave me any relief, so I wore a wrist brace that helped to numb the pain.

Eventually, it was too painful to use my right arm anymore, so I became ambidextrous and started using my left-hand for mousework. It wasn't long until my left-arm got tendonitis. The physiotherapist said that she had never seen anyone with tendonitis in both arms, let alone someone who was only 18 years old.

Jared when he was 23 years old.
Jared and Shane before beginning their Muscle May experiment.

The Muscle-May experiment that changed my life

In September, I joined the Specialized Honours in Design program at York University. It was there that I met my future wife (Michelle) and my future business partner, Shane Duquette.

Shane and I became good friends and roommates. After 4 years of studies, Shane and I decided to launch a design business. My secret fear was not if I could compete in the design world, but instead if I'd be able to do the work. I was needing to take numerous breaks because of my tendinitis. And the drugs I was still taking was periodically giving me nosebleeds.

As we were planning out what our day of work would look like, Shane suggested an experiment to do after work.

Shane was fairly skinny, 6'2 and 150 pounds. He used to be underweight, just like I was. But unlike me, he had already successfully gained 20 pounds himself working out in his parent's basement during the summer breaks. He proposed that we both try and gain weight. He'd handle the workouts and the nutrition research. Honestly, I was already wary of working out since I had lost 10 pounds the first time. But I had granted that it was possible that eating better could help me with my tendonitis.

The plan was fairly simple. For one month, starting May 1st, we'd begin to lift weights three times a week and eat 3,200 calories daily.

Even though it was simple, we knew it'd be hard to stick to the plan. Neither of us was already working out, and it was an obscene amount of calories for two skinny guys with skinny stomachs. So, Shane and I used the Ulysses contract, something we read about from behavioural economics professor Dan Ariely. Basically, when you're thinking clearly, you pre-commit yourself to what you want to do and set consequences for not following through. We decided that each missed workout would cost us $10, each meal with even a bite left a food cost $5—paid to a communal jar.

I gained 22 pounds in one month

Unexpectedly, our experiment worked. We became hooked for life. I had way more energy, I felt the strongest I've ever felt in my life, and my body no longer looked like it was 65 years old.

We didn't even need the Ulysses contract anymore. The payoff was more than enough for us to freely choose to keep working out.

Even though we were working start-up hours, that month I gained 22 pounds, and Shane gained 12 pounds. Both of us needed to go buy new clothes a size larger.

We decided to keep doing what we were doing for June, July, and August. As we continued, Shane began to blog about the results and lessons we'd learned, while sharing our progress on some message boards. While the insults were hurled about Shane's shorts, along with accusations of us taking steroids, we started getting messages from other skinny guys identifying with our pain and asking us for help with their own transformation.

Now, Shane had gone to the same high-school as Marco, but didn't know him well. A joint friend told Shane he should reach out to Marco because he knew he could help us. Shane was confused because the last time Shane had seen Marco, he was just as skinny as he was. He was shocked after seeing that Marco had gained 63 pounds.

Marco gave Shane many tips to improve the workouts he and I were doing, along with a few ways to make our nutrition goals way more manageable.

I gained 4.75 inches on my shoulders, too.
Shane added 4.75" inches to his shoulders
Jared and Shane and their final Lean to Mean Results

Putting to death the five-year hell

We continued to get stronger, bigger, and fitter. Marco filled our role as the strength and fitness mentor. So naturally, when I first got to meet Marco in person, I asked him if he could help with my tendonitis.

Marco told me it was really easy to fix using a technique that was familiar to athlete's who need to get back to top performance fast. He then took my forearms, and using a smooth metal tool he began to scrape my forearms to break up the scar tissue and bring blood flow to the area (called Graston.)

Within a few weeks of doing the Graston technique, my forearms were pain-free. My five-year hell, crippled with chronic pain, fears of being unreliable, and the reliance on prescription drugs to allow me to work—was over. It is hard for me to state how much solving this pain changed my life. Aside from the daily pain, and how it kept me up at night, I thought it was going to rule my life and affect my ability to be a good business partner, and my ability to provide for my family.

This was the culmination of the 4 months of training and eating properly. I had gained over 30 pounds, added almost 5 inches to my shoulder circumference (38.75″ to 43.5″), and over 3 inches to my thighs. Shane gained over 20 pounds, and his shoulder circumference went from 43.5″ to 48.25″.

I am beyond grateful that Shane reached into my digital world and pulled me out into the real world. I have no idea what compelled him, but I couldn't have felt happier with what we'd achieved and the path it set me on.

We saw what an impact this made in our lives and wanted to help others get the same thing

All three of us have felt how building up our bodies, eating properly, and becoming healthier had radically improved our lives. Becoming confident instead of feeling insecure. Being strong instead of being weak. Having mental clarity and decisiveness instead of always procrastinating and feeling foggy. Standing tall like an athlete, rather than being rounded-over like an elderly man.

We wanted to help as many other people as we could and give them a shortcut we never had. They wouldn't need to invest of tens of thousands of dollars into degree's, get certified, or do internships. They could stop with the late-night Googling, they could kill the doubt of wondering if they were cursed genetically, and they wouldn't need to just give up out of feeling overwhelmed (and stay the status-quo in which they were suffering.)

That's when Marco, Shane and I co-founded Bony to Beastly. A complete system for skinny guys, ectomorphs, and hardgainers to rapidly gain weight. It was one of the first of it's kind. Michelle (my wife) and Shane drew all of the illustrations, helping to make sense of the complexities of building muscle.

It was such a massive success that the complaints starting coming in asking where the female version was.  There was literally no other skinny woman weight-gain program that existed (as far as we could find), so we knew we had to help out. After researching and testing our female weight-gain program, we launched Bony to Bombshell, a program relentlessly focused on helping women gain weight (it was so unheard of that people's mouths would drop when we told them what we do.)

At the time I'm writing this, our programs have helped over 7,500 members and over 3 million readers through our free content.

Bony to Beastly Transformation
Bony to Bombshell Transformation
Jared and his dad

A bigger and better view of what nutrition and training offers

One day, my family realized that my dad was having memory problems. At the hospital, a brain scan revealed he had the most aggressive form of brain cancer. It was devastating to me to watch my dad face death—even in faith. While it doesn't seem like personal health is related to this type of brain cancer (seems to be environment related), my dad wasn't in a healthy enough position to do any radio- or chemotherapy treatment. The steroids he was prescribed that reduced brain swelling so he could think more clearly in his final days with us simultaneously caused muscle-wasting.

Going through this difficult chapter in my life changed me. It gave me a bigger view of life. It made me strive to become more present with my relationships while I'm here. But it also motivated me to become healthier, work on my fitness, and become stronger.

While I know that we'll all die, no matter what we eat or how much we exercise, it impacts how we're able to live our life. Our strength and health doesn't give our lives meaning, but it can give us the means to live our lives more fully.

Looking for: research-backed system for friends and family

Over the years, we've been asked by our closest friends and family to help them get answers to their own health, nutrition and exercise related questions (mainly how to lose weight) after they saw us change and help so many others.

Honestly, it's challenging to find something solid to vouch for. Sometimes we'd recommend books written by our favourite researchers. We knew we could trust them not to teach bogus, unscientific information that wouldn't work. But in hindsight, those books probably weren't easy or fun to read (like the top-selling, but often misleading books and programs.)

Other times we'd write them up a mini-guide with a short how-to and share it with them on Google docs. While we were happy to help how we could,  we knew that they'd do much better to have a system with the same level of research, testing, refinement, and polish like we had with Bony to Beastly and Bony to Bombshell.

On top of that, we continued to field emails from the skinny brothers and sisters we helped, thanking us and then asking if we could help their non-skinny wife/husband/sister/mom/dad, etc. with their own strength and health-related problems. So while Shane takes the lead on the Bony to Beastly and Bombshell programs, the Outlive mission was created.

For those who are ready to take themselves to the next-level

The Outlive mission will be to help those, of various body types who want to become physically strong, fit, mentally sharp—all while looking great.

The system is built on getting rapid results while making the next step forward as clear, fun, and doable as possible.

But we won't just be tracking how rapidly and how impressive our members' transformations are. That's important, no doubt. But we'll also be tracking the percentage of how many people follow-through.

There's no shortcut but there is a step-by-step system

The reality is that you can't just take a pill, get surgery, use an app, or buy a gadget to get the body that really allows you to thrive and enjoy life. To get that body, you'll need to undergo a transformation of how you eat, exercise, think, and sleep.

But there's a critical problem. The completion rates of transformative programs are pretty discouraging. One source puts the rate of completion of a professionally designed online course around 6% (TechCrunch).

That means when 100 people buy a program and trust it to help them fix whatever it is they're dealing with, 94 of those people won't actually get what they wanted out of it. Instead, they might even feel more broken, more stuck, and more hopeless than ever (while being out a few bucks.)

But there's some good news. There's evidence that you can radically improve the sucess rates of these programs, possibly to the point where almost every single person succeeds. You can improve the program by adjusting the structure of the content to match how our brains learn. You can tweak someone's behaviour through small changes in their environment. You can teach mental models to improve problem solving when they arrive (and they always do.) And you pour gasoline on the fire of motivation with rapid, short-term, and visible wins. (I know for a fact that Shane and I kept working out because had many wins, so quickly, and with such a big payoff. After all, it's hard to stay motivated to keep doing something hard if you can't see if it's working or not.)

The benefits of being strong, fit, and healthy will spill over into your work, marriage, children, and relationships

Aside from the obvious benefits of getting stronger, fitter, and healthier, we feel like our physical health ties into our allowing us to execute our personal missions in life. Working out can give you a clear mind, make you a better leader that makes better decisions, and help to develop a sacrificial spirit by learning discipline, grit, and patience. You'll be more likely to do what you know is right, and less likely to be annoying yourself by doing things you don't want to do.

The exciting part isn't just a better body. It's who you'll become as you develop that body.

The mission:

We want to encourage those who are ready to change, to thrive in their new strength, mental clarity, and health and be willing to live with integrity and sacrificially. To help and inspire those around them, for the goodwill of the people in their life.

If you believe in this mission too, please share this message with someone you think should hear it.

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