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Challenging Weight Gain Journey: a Reddit User's Calisthenics Progress

A 26-year-old Reddit user shares their 18-month natural calisthenics progress story, with 18 pounds gained. Read about their inspiring journey here!

Article by Madeleine Smith

A progress pic of a 5'9" man showing a muscle gain from 123 pounds to 141 pounds. A total gain of 18 pounds.
M/26/5’9.5” [123lbs > 141lbs = 18lbs] (18months) natural calisthenics progress
Originally posted on /r/progresspics


A Reddit user with the username horhay9321 shared their inspiring 18-month long weight gain journey. The user who started at 123 pounds, gained 18lbs through natural calisthenics progress. They shared their before and after pictures, which showed remarkable improvement.

Achieving the Shape

The user in his post said that the before picture wasn't entirely accurate since he had a pump after his workout. They said that they worked hard and were disciplined and consistent with their routine of exclusively calisthenics workouts. They focused on exercises like muscle ups, pull-ups, and front levers. Additionally, posture correction and rear delt exercises helped in building wider shoulders.

Challenges Faced

The Reddit post had comments from many other users, each complimenting the user on their progress. One such comment asked about the user's calorie intake to gain the weight, which led to the user admitting struggling with gaining weight. They asked whether they were counting their calories or merely force-feeding themselves at random times.

Fighting Self-Doubt

The patience and dedication the user displayed are commendable. One of the comments by EngineZeronine touched upon a point that most people, during their transformations, overlook - keeping their head and not getting arrogant. It is crucial to acknowledge the accomplishment and use that feeling of power as a tool to achieve even greater things than wallowing in them as rewards.


The user's calisthenics transformation journey involved hard work, consistency, and determination, which ultimately led to noticeable progress. It inspires others to incorporate a fitness routine in their lives, to work hard with an unwavering attitude and to challenge themselves. The post had comments questioning if it was natural, but the user kept to their promise and credited the progress to their healthy habits and consistent effort, which reminds us that the individual's dedication can lead to remarkable progress.

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Madeleine Smith

Content Lead at

Madeleine is passionate about empowering individuals with the information and tools they need to transform their bodies and lives.