T Nation

Buddy Has Joined My Gym


And wants to do babylover's starting strength after a few years of split routines which quite frankly have done nothing for him.

He must be at least 20-25 percent bodyfat with small arms big gut and love handles.

I gave him my starting strength book and told him to read up on the subject because I am hardly equipped to give good advice.

So to the root of the question. He wants to bulk as per rips instructions but I really want to convince him not to. I have advised him to eat at maintenance and have very high protein, high carbohydrate low fat diet, moderate cardio on off days and steadily following the program.

He is seriously contemplating GOMAD while at 25%ish bodyfat. surely I am right that him packing on even more bodyfat is a ridiculous idea at this stage?


Depends on his goals.

What are his goals?


Also, many many MANY people on this site would disagree with your high carb/low fat approach. Beginners should not be advising beginners. You should not be advising him. You acknowledged this at one point, but your question is about convincing him to do things differently from what he has read. He is much better off reading coaches online and figuring things out at this point.


He says he wants to "look good" and be stronger for sports, he does some grappling and boxing at the smae place I do but he is pretty off and on with it. I just don't want my friend to end up like the rest of his morbidly obese family with diabetes etc.


Hey man, yeah I understand that but the problem is I know he won't get coaching or hire a personal trainer.

I just recomended the generic 40 40 20 macro split and to eat at maintenance because the idea of a guy with a quater of his bodyweight coming from fat doing GOMAD and a three day split seems like diabetes and cardiac arrest waiting to happen.


when I say high carb l;ow fat. I worked out on myfitness pal for his bodyweight a 40 40 20 split would look like this:

58g fat
260g protein
260g carbs


If he has a family history of morbid obesity, then he should certainly be wary of gaining excess fat.

His approach does seem counter to his goals. Why did you recommend starting strength if his primary goal (the first goal you listed) is aesthetics? You mentioned that a traditional bodybuilding-type split "didn't work for him". I've got a hunch he wasn't consistent in the gym, and that his diet sucks. It probably wasn't the split's fault.

Basically, your friend sounds like a slacker, and the overeating aspect of Rip's stuff appeals to him for that very reason. Someone like him needs to make a stronger commitment to see results.


He doesn't need to hire a coach or personal trainer. This information is free. ON THIS SITE. There are literally THOUSANDS of articles to read. If your buddy isn't willing to read this information and make decisions for himself, then he's not worth your time. tough love.


Yeah I think a lot of his problems have to do with his diet. I think his family do the whole crabs in a bucket thing and he is not mentally strong enough to just tell them all to fuck off. He got in really good shae, nopt lifts weights shape but just a general athletic, lean body tpe. His family were always trying to get him to eat shit telling him he was being mean not eating take away they ordered etc. He now has huge stretchmarks everywhere, gained like 4 stone and feeling shit enough about his body to get back to the gym.

Problem is after browsing forums and online stuff he took the whole do a strength program and eat everything advice to heart and thinks the reason he is skinny fat/obeseish is because he never ate enoguh, which is retarded.

I oriionally advised him to do SS because he has no biceps or triceps and would be doing bodybuilding splits with tonnes of isolation worjk with no squats or deadlifts and I figured He should get to know the basics and do compound movements, eat protein and progress.

He liked babylovers because of the added work and the substitution of powercleans for rows and pullups.

Also I have been doing a compound workout and I told him if he promises me he is serioud and won't flake out I will go to the gym with him and do the routine together. It seemed a good idea, I dodn't see the point in him doing chest flies and high rep bench press when he hads a big belly and like 12 inch arms and no foundation of strength.


You are probably right but I know if I can get his lazy ass into motion I can help him change his life. He has been there for me alot in my life and I don't want to quit on him yet.


I really can't blame you for trying. I've wasted plenty of time trying to help unmotivated friends. Hope it works out.


"Skinny fat/obeseish" ... quality.

Good luck with your friend. Don't take it too personally. Give him your opinion and be there for him when he disregards what you say and later when if realizes that he was wrong. Enjoy YOUR training. Possibly the best thing you can do for him is to show him YOUR gains. Then he might listen more...lol


seeing as his goals are a mix of getting stronger but also looking bigger I am thinking of pointing him in the direction of WS4SB.

I showed him how to log his food on myfitnesspal earlier and helped him with his macros and to be fair to him he seems pretty motivated.

We will see where this leads.


I always think this is the saddest thing that happens to people. I don't have the personality to be around crabs, I get physically upset.


But this is a fact of life. Even in the odd circumstance your family is accepting of your anal diet, you will undoubtedly have friends that won't understand and will try to get you to eat shit food. We all get people tempting/pushing us, so the only solution is to get strong enough to say no.


Or get new friends and distance yourself from your family. It is a known fact that like minded people run in the same groups. Fat people like to hangout with other fat people, drug addicts like to hangout with drug addicts, and alcoholics like to hangout at bars. You do have to be strong but your number one priority shouldn't be changing your friends/family it should getting what you want out of life.

It is also worth noting that I have never been the type to hang on to every friend I have ever made. Some people crave acceptance and to be part of a group more than others.


Lots of good info so far, not much more to add.

I'll just say that nowhere in Starting Strength does Rippetoe say fat people should do GOMAD, so your buddy has no business considering it. To restate the obvious, getting smarter about his diet and dialing in a better program will start producing results for the guy.

Also, you might want to send him these articles to see if they help get his mind right regarding negative influences:


There is no way in hell that your friend should be doing GOMAD; that prescription is only relevant for people with super fast metabolism a who have legitimate trouble gaining any weight (and even then I personally would only recommend it as a last resort). Your friend clearly does not have trouble gaining weight though.

What he does seem to have trouble with is will power and consistency. Unfortunately for him it seems like his family is a major contributing factor in this and he will likely have to deal with making them unhappy (or possibly even separating himself from them completely for a little while) to overcome if he ever hopes to achieve his physique goals.

He needs to decide that the long term happiness/satisfaction/self esteem of achieving his goals is worth the temporary discomfort of denying himself junk food and making his family unhappy that he isn't re-enforcing their unhealthy food habits.

Once he actually starts to eat a healthy, nutrient rich, balanced diet he should start to see some noticeable changes in not only his physique, but also his energy levels, and his general mood/sense of well being.

As far as the program goes, I would not recommend he do SS. Yes, it does an ok job of teaching and emphasizing the basic power movements (squat, bench, and deadlift), but there is not enough emphasis put on the smaller muscle groups. In short SS is a strength program, not a physique program.

I actually would advise him to stick with a body part split, but to make sure that (at least) the first movement of each day is a heavy compound movement which uses a lot of muscles and will help him to continue to increase his strength for the "accessory" exercises that follow.

Have him check out CT's article "How To Design A Damn Good Program" (there are two parts) for a basic template (I'd suggest he picks one of the "size/hypertrophy" templates as that will build the most muscle, which will in turn change his shape as well as raise his resting metabolic rate.

Good luck


Thank you my friend. These links are terrific. Appreciate it.


Sento. I don't think you have ever made a bad post :stuck_out_tongue:

As for the routine, I am not sure what routine we will pick yet. I have promised him we will work out together to keep each other motivated so whatever one I pick it will have to be geared somewhat towards my goals of strength and some size to go along with it.

the main ones we have looked at are Lyle mcdonalds generic bulking routine, WS4SB 3, Babylover SS.

As for the recommendation of a split I don't really want to recommend one because everyone I know who does one does not look very different to when they started.

I tried split routines in the past and never looked any different, despite a clean diet and pretty long time put into it.


Thanks for the kind words man :slightly_smiling:

If that is the case and those are the potential options you are planning on choosing from, then I'd definitely suggest going with WS4SB 3; it's a much better template than Babylovers SS for physique goals and better for athletic development than Lyle MacDonald's routine.