How Tshepo Nyathi Went From Super Skinny To Having Beastly Muscle

Tshepo is no longer that scared, skinny kid, but a fit and focused personal trainer. Here’s how he ignored the bullies and bulked up.


Thaaqib Daniels |

“Instead of mocking me, people are now asking me for advice, which is a massive turnaround for me,” says Tshepo Nyathi.

The 25-year-old had a rough time as a teen, because of how skinny he was. The other kids would make fun of him, which kept Tshepo’s confidence low.

But the boy from Pretoria had a love for sport – his favourites being soccer, rugby and athletics – and this was the driving force behind his training. Now, Tshepo is no longer that scared, skinny kid, but a fit and focused personal trainer.

Here’s how he ignored the bullies and bulked up.

Tshepo Nyathi

  • Location: Dorandia
  • Occupation: Personal Trainer
  • Age: 25
  • Weight Before: 60kg
  • Weight After: 93kg
  • Time To Goal: 4 years

Building Blocks

“When I was younger, I stopped eating meat; and I think it dampened my growth, because of the lack of protein in my diet. The kids around the neighbourhood used to make fun of me because I was that skinny. People probably thought I was sick or something. “After about two years, I started eating meat again. I wanted to have a bigger build, and not be that skinny for the rest of my life. I started doing bodyweight exercises, but because I played soccer and loved running (a lot of cardio), I couldn’t achieve the bulkier physique I wanted.

“This led me to play a more strength-building sport: rugby.”

Lift. Sleep. Repeat.

“I asked my parents to buy me some free weights, because gyms were few and far from where I lived. At first I would train myself to exhaustion – because I didn’t know better.

“The big change came when I enrolled at TUT to study Sports and Exercise Technology. I learnt a lot about training and nutrition, which helped tremendously in my fitness journey.”

The Final Rep

“I managed to gain 33kg in four years, and since then I’ve been dedicated to maintaining my muscle. I started eating more, and planning my meals more carefully. I focus on using free weights for strength purposes, because I find them more functional, and they help me develop strength that I can translate onto the rugby field as well.”

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