Who We Help
We help those who want to become bigger, leaner, and healthier—but are burnt out by what the fitness industry has to offer. If you're tired of counting calories, choking down whey shakes, doing intense workout splits while balancing your business/career, and feeling worse than ever, you're in the right place.
What We Do
We help people learn how to get stronger while burning off the stubborn fat (aka, the gut) in just a few months.
We do this by maximizing health, allowing all the body processes to work better.
This also makes the results permanent.
The Outlive Method
If it damages your health, it's not part of the plan. We show you what we've found in published research and tested in the real world with our own experimentation, how to systemically improve your health, allowing your workouts to finally spur muscle growth.
It all comes down to reducing inflammation and improving gut and immune health.
You'll see the gut lean out, as it is tied to inflammation. Because you're no longer inflamed, your face will become less puffy, your abs will start appearing, you'll feel mentally sharper, and your cardiovascular fitness will improve (even without doing any jogging!).
The Outlive Team
We are a four-person team, fully-remote.
Marco is our main trainer and advisor for all things related to working out and fitness.
Michelle is the overseer on course and program design for optimal student success, and also does all the illustrations.
Jared leads the Outlive project and simplifies academic research reviews into an easy-to-understand format.
W Shane Duquette
Shane is an advisor to the project. His work has been referenced on WHYY, Psychology Today, & Big Think.
Get the weekly outlive newsletter
If you're the kind of person who wants to get stronger, leaner, and healthier—then you'd get a ton out of the weekly email.
How 3 weak & unhealthy Guys Rapidly Gained dozens of pounds of Muscle while fixing their health issues
Marco: 6'4 tall, underweight, and shy
In high school, Marco was 6'4 tall and only weighed 150 pounds (193cm / 68kg). His BMI put him in the underweight category, meaning that he was dangerously underweight, putting his health at risk.
Being this thin, lanky, and skinny is often known as the "ectomorph" body type.
Marco was desperately trying to become more confident, especially around girls.
He bought Arnold Schwarzenegger's The New Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding.
He spent all of his free time lifting weights 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 pain in his knees and shoulders, poor hunchbacked posture, and feeling beat down.
Marco then gained over 63 pounds while earning an honours degree in Health Sciences (B. HSc)
However, these setbacks only sparked Marco's passion about fitness, health, and muscle.
Marco pursued an Honours Bachelor degree in Health Sciences at the University of Ottawa. He radically bulked up, adding 63 pounds of lean mass to his long, lean, ectomorph frame.
During his studies, he was also helping to train college-athletes on the OttawaU's Gee-Gee's football team.
After he earned his degree, that's when Marco began taking personal clients at a sports and athletic training centre, many of them professional and Olympic athletes.
He also began training busy professionals of a variety of body types (ectomorphs, mesomorphs, and endomorphs.)
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 why we got in touch with Marco.
"The worst case of tendonitis I've ever seen." –My physiotherapist
As I grew up, I didn't get bigger, stronger and faster like my peers. I just got longer and skinnier.
I was 6'0 tall but only weighed 130 pounds which put me in the same dangerously underweight BMI category as Marco used to be.
I was 30 pounds lighter than the average guy for my height.
One day my skinny friend suggested that he and I hit the gym to bulk up.
As we hit the gym, I lost 10 pounds over the month and now weighed 120 pounds.
I quit going to the gym believing I was genetically at odds with having a strong and fit body.
I started a video game review website, and between managing the team, playing video games, and writing, I began to sit for nearly all waking hours—all 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 spent indoors sitting caught up with me. My body reached a breaking point.
Before I turned 18, I had been diagnosed with chronic 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.
After many months of traditional types of therapy not working, I was becoming desperate and was open to trying anything to fix it.
Ultrasound therapy, electrotherapy, and even acupuncture.
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. It wasn't long until my left-arm got chronic tendonitis.
The physiotherapist said that she had never seen anyone with tendonitis in both arms, let alone someone who was only 18 years old.
Lean to Mean: The weight gain "experiment" that flipped my life upside-down
I joined the design program at York University. It was there that I met my future wife (Michelle) and Shane Duquette.
Shane and I became good friends and roommates. And after four years of studying, as we graduated, we decided to launch a design business.
My secret fear was not if I could compete in our industry, I was hardworking and had the skills.
But I was afraid of if I'd be able to physically do the work.
I needing to take numerous breaks because of my chronic tendonitis. And the drugs I had been taking for over 4 years now was periodically giving me nosebleeds.
As we were planning out what our work day would look like, Shane suggested an experiment to do after work.
Shane suggested that we both try and gain weight to fix our skinniness.
Shane was fairly skinny, 6'2 and 150 pounds. Just like Marco and I, he used to be dangerously underweight.
But unlike me, Shane had already successfully gained 20 pounds himself working out in his parent's basement during the summer breaks.
Honestly, I was already wary of working out since I had lost 10 pounds with my first experience. But I admitted that it was possible that eating better might help my tendonitis.
The plan was fairly simple. For one month, starting on the first day of May, we'd:
- lift weights three times a week
- 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 make a bet 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, to be paid to a communal jar.
I gained 22 pounds in just one month of working out
Shockingly, our experiment worked.
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.
I had way more energy, and I felt the strongest I've ever felt in my life. And my body no longer looked like it belonged to a 65-year-old with a young man's haircut.
Even better, my chronic tendonitis was cured.
We didn't even need the Ulysses contract anymore. The results we got from working out was more than enough for us to freely choose to keep working out. (We both became hooked and have both continued to lift for the past ten years.)
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 forums.
While the insults were hurled about Shane's jean shorts, along with false accusations of us taking steroids, we started getting messages from other skinny guys identifying with our pain and asking us to help them with their own transformation.
A joint friend who had seen our results told Shane he should reach out to Marco as he's since gained 63 pounds and could help get to the next level.
This whole process was life-changing for me. After four months of lifting weights 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. Plus, I was now pain-free and was able to focus on work.
Shane gained over 20 pounds, and his shoulder circumference went from 43.5″ to 48.25″.
Tons of guys asked us how we did it
Our blog and little documentary video on Youtube started taking off, and people all over the world were asking how to do it.
After getting crazy results with our "beta-testers," that's when Marco, Shane and I co-founded Bony to Beastly in 2011.
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.
It was such a massive success, and the guys were getting incredible results. It wasn't long before we started getting dozens of emails asking where the female version was.
There was literally no other skinny woman weight-gain program that existed at the time, and so we knew we had to help out.
After female beta-testers helped us perfect our system for women, we launched Bony to Bombshell in 2012, a program relentlessly focused on helping women gain healthy weight.
At the time of writing this, our programs have helped nearly 15,000 members and 4+ million readers through our free content.
A new "healthy" perspective on lifting weights and nutrition
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. My dad wasn't in a healthy enough position to do any radio- or chemotherapy treatment. Going through this difficult chapter in my life changed me. It gave me a bigger view of life.
As I entered my mid-thirties, I was also starting to run into some new annoying health issues.
I found out a lot of the tricks I had been using to build muscle, might not have been so good for me in the long-run.
That's when I learned about using nutrition not just to fuel muscle-building, but also my health.
Strangely enough, it became easier to build muscle and easier to stay lean—after I started focusing on eating for health.
This is when I launched the Outlive project. A system that allows someone to lose the gut without starving themselves, build muscle (even with stubborn muscles), and reclaim their health—all at the same time.