You may not know David Banks but you’ll recognize him from 100 television commercials as ‘the irritating skinny guy’. Well, here’s how he changed all of that for a new role


Vital stats

Before: 6ft, weight: 135lb

After: Weight: 185lb


That old cartoon poster with the bodybuilder at the beach, kicking sand on the skinny guy has always been in the back of my mind. I was on the receiving end of the sand and gaining weight has always been one of the biggest challenges for me.

I remember growing up being so embarrassed and I would wear literally wear two pairs of shorts underneath my pants to look like I had somewhat of a body. It was a case of being built like a number two pencil. You would never hear the words “Thin is in” at my school and I remember running to the newsstands to pick up the latest issue of Thrasher in one hand and a muscle mag in the other. I was that skinny skater with hopes of packing on some size someday.

With the likes of Bob Paris, Shawn Ray and Kevin Levrone sharing their secrets, it gave me some hope. Recently, I was selected to join Danny Trejo, Clifton Collins Jr, and Jason Mewes to be in the new TV series What Would Trejo Do? When asked by the producers if I could gain 10 pounds for the role, I asked: why not make it 20? Soon after, someone told me it would be next to impossible to pack on muscle with a skinny frame like mine, which made me more inspired to prove them wrong.

Fortunately, I remember hearing a trainer a while back saying that we have the potential to be in the best shape of our life at our age. I think I was on a mission to see if he was right. The mirror can be our best friend or our worst enemy. In my case, I would always pick out the flaws and things I needed to work on instead of finding the things I was happy about.

I think once we can get to a point of self-satisfaction, if that’s possible, the key is maintaining without slipping into the very easy world of procrastination. I weigh 185 now and don’t plan on stopping until I reach 200. Of course, I say that now, but like anything else in life, we are never fully happy. I’m sure at some point 210 pounds will even sound better.


David’s training regime

Day 1: Leg

Squats: 4 sets of 12, 10, 8, 8 reps

Leg press: 4 sets of 12, 10, 8, 8 reps

Lunges: 3 sets of 10 reps


Day 2: Arms

Close-grip barbell bench press: 4 sets of 6, 6, 8, 10 reps

Dip machine: 3 sets of 8, 8, 10 reps

Seated dumbbell press: 3 sets of 8, 10,12 reps

V-bar pulldown: 2 sets 10,12 reps


Day 3: Back and shoulders

Pull-ups: 3 sets of 10 reps

Bent over barbell row: 3 sets of 6-8 reps

Bent over two dumbbell row: 3 sets of 8-12 reps

Wide grip lat pulldown: 3 sets of 8-12 reps

Barbell shoulder press: 3 sets of 4-6 reps

Single arm side lateral raises: 3 sets of 12 reps

Front plate raises: 3 sets, 12 reps (hold for 3 seconds at the top)


Day 4: Chest (every set is followed by push-ups)

Dumbbell bench press: 3 sets of 10,8,6 reps

Incline barbell bench press: 3 sets of 10,8,6 reps

Dips: 3 sets of 10 reps

Cable crossovers: 3 sets of 10,8,6 reps


Day 5: Traps and hamstrings

Dumbbell shrugs: 3 sets of 10 reps

Cable shrugs: 3 sets of 10 reps

Calf machine shoulder shrugs: 3 sets of 10 reps

Lying leg curls: 3 sets of 10, 8, 6 reps

Clean deadlift: 3 sets of 10, 8, 6 reps

Squats: 4 sets of 12, 10, 8, 8 reps


Day 6 and 7: Rest



David’s goal fuel

Meal 1: Fresh juice with carrots, apples, oranges, a little ginger and half a lemon.

Meal 2: Oatmeal and tuna.

Meal 3: Optimum Nutrition gainer shake.

Meal 4: Ground beef, green vegetables and a gainer shake.

Meal 5: Chicken breasts, egg whites and a gainer shake.


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