Current state-of-the-art solutions for motion capture from a single camera are optimization driven: they optimize the parameters of a 3D human model so that its re-projection matches measurements in the video (e.g. person segmentation, optical flow, keypoint detections etc.). Optimization models are susceptible to local minima. This has been the bottleneck that forced using clean green-screen like backgrounds at capture time, manual initialization, or switching to multiple cameras as input resource. In this work, we propose a learning based motion capture model for single camera input. Instead of optimizing mesh and skeleton parameters directly, our model optimizes neural network weights that predict 3D shape and skeleton configurations given a monocular RGB video. Our model is trained using a combination of strong supervision from synthetic data, and self-supervision from differentiable rendering of (a) skeletal keypoints, (b) dense 3D mesh motion, and (c) human-background segmentation, in an end-to-end framework. Empirically we show our model combines the best of both worlds of supervised learning and test-time optimization: supervised learning initializes the model parameters in the right regime, ensuring good pose and surface initialization at test time, without manual effort. Self-supervision by back-propagating through differentiable rendering allows (unsupervised) adaptation of the model to the test data, and offers much tighter fit than a pretrained fixed model. We show that the proposed model improves with experience and converges to low-error solutions where previous optimization methods fail.