T Nation

Childrens Diets/Physiques


I read the article
"Deconstructing Paul Chek"
and it got me thinking after seeing the picture of him at age 12.

There seemed to be allot of contraversy over "Little Hercules" aka Richard Sandrak - http://www.richardsandrak.com/.

The contraversy was whether his dad was feeding him steroids or some other supps (andro or something).

No proof was ever found, but his father's reaction seemed to make him look guilty (father wouldn't take lie detector, but offered his son to take it....he wouldn't tell anyone what was in his protein shake)



Here's a pic of Richard Sandrak.

Now back to the subject at hand.

I have a 3 year old son. Since he's been off the boob-juice (nursed for 13 months), he's been eating like me.

Basically the t-dawg 2.0 diet and he eats like a horse. (I think he's orally fixed, it's a good thing he doesn't get fed what most kids eat these days)

What I have seen in his physique is AMAZING. For a 3 year old kid, he's got no body-fat, HUGE QUADS/HAMS, nice bis/tris, a six pack, etc.

Yes, he does love my Metabolic Drive shakes/bars, but it's not a staple for him.

I don't "train" him at all, but he's a ACTIVE (tazmanian devil) kid.

All I can say is, if every kid in America would eat like him, and stay active, we would have no obese kids (over 1/3 of american kids are obese, and 10% of TODDLERs are obese)

I think that genetics (mine) play a huge part. I have been told that I do have good genetics, I just wish I started earlier in life, not at 31.

Genetics, Diet, GH (children growth horomones are MUCH higher than adults), and exercise/play have made this kids what he is.

Presently, he's taking a gymnastics class, and his swim lessons start in a few weeks.

How soon is it to start "training"

Any suggestions on what to try....while keeping it "fun"?


I would say keep it to bodyweight stuff for years to come. Kids should also eat whole grains and plenty of fruits and veggie, in my opinion.


Yup. That is all he eats. We keep no cookies, soda, juice, candy, white bread, crackers, etc in the house.

Lots of chix/steak, Milk, cottage cheese, oatmeal, fresh fruit, and veggies.

Any idea on "fun" activites?


My parents never kept candy in the house. Mc Donald's was a "treat" for special occasions. None of these concepts are over the top. If/when I have kids, I am starting them training with body weight movements and martial arts as soon as they can focus enough to do the activities.


I would definitely encourage any sport he seems interested in and expose him to many. Other then that-not sure. Maybe some sit-ups, push-ups, pull-ups stuff as strength allows. Keep it fun, though. If he ever says, 'I don't want to do this,' stop.


It sounds like we have the same three year old boy. Defined six-pack, delts, quads, it's awesome. I believe its all due to diet and activity level, as many in my family are chunkers. Keep all that crappy pre-processed stuff out. Feed him blueberries instead of chips. Gymnastics and swimming are great, karate is also great, helps with the self-discipline. From my understanding high repetition resistance training is ok in prepubuscence, just stay away from anything resembling 1RM, as it can obviously cause bone damage and poses safety concerns. Good Luck.


when i was a kid I was encouraged to try EVERY sport that was available in the area. I plan on doing the same with my own son. Other then that monkey bar's/jungle gyms (hopefully the big old scary ones if you can find them) are great for a very active kid. We used to climb all over those things like monkeys


It's funny. Rarely we go out to dinner, but when we do, we get the strangest looks when we tell the waiter/waitress, "no fries, broccoli, and milk instead of soda".

McDonalds visits are reserved only for my dad. We don't feed him that crap...but I try not to be an oger to my parents. They are disappointed enough that we tell them not to give him cookies/ice cream at their house.

0n the exercises, I do try to teach him bodyweight exercises. Gymnastics is fantasic for him. He seems to really shine on those type of activities. We got him a Geo Dome last spring and he loves it!

I don't want to push him, just guide him to exercises that he does as play.


Thanks for the feedback guys!

I hope this is inspiration to any other parents out there.

My daughter (almost 2) is "leaning out" from her babyfat, even though her diet isn't quite as tight as my sons (she's a pickier eater). If I could get her off the chicken nuggets, I would be happy - I swear they put heroin in them or something.

Thank goodness she loves cottage cheese, otherwise she wouldn't get nearly as much protein as I would like to see her consume. She's a carb-kid, more like my wife.

Although my wifes diet isn't perfect, she at least recognizes that protein is a requirement at every meal =)

(my wife has her stash of crap for herself)


Strongman you're a model parent (IMO, of course). Think about how hard "average" people try to un-learn bad habits established in childhood. Some people would say it's "sad" that you're not allowing your kids the freedom to "just be kids" but they'll thank you when they're 20 and not hooked on Snickers bars, Twizzlers, and Coke. You're absolutely correct in feeding them quality food and encouraging physical activity... my 5-year old nephew eats very little "crap" and has striated shoulders and thighs from his Tazmanian devil "training."

The only other issue is training. Most people seem to agree encouraging multiple sports during youth builds a phenomenal base of coordination, social skills and strength.


I am not a parent myself, so take my advice with a grain of salt...
I think gymnastics and martial arts are excellent choices for kids. It teaches body control, balance, coordination, flexibility and to a point strength, things that will come in handy in all sports and activities. Swimming is also great. If you can keep them focused, bodyweight excercises will do good.
At a young age, I don't feel a kid needs to 'workout'. Excercise should come in the form of play and activity. But by designating a time, say an hour after school, for vigouros activity, it will lay the foundation for good workout hyou habits later in life.

Also, I think it is important to get them involved in a variety of activities, crosstraining so to speak. It will give him options to choose what he likes best, it will give him variety to keep intrest, and at that age, basic skills are being developed that carry over into all sports.


mh , you took my id? .
I have always wanted a realy strong son that shoud be best, I woud give him good training and help him to get best att evrything no matter the cost :slightly_smiling:

But , thinking about dieting at the age of 2, I dont know if it?s nessisary =)

I like your id? tho =)


I personally don't see anything wrong with the occasional Mc Donald's visit for a kid or anyone else for that matter. I think people who think in extremes can potentially do more damage long term than good.


I agree with this.


On checking that richard sandrak site does anyone else think he has fuck all muscle, just a large indent in his stomach?
That picture posted is probably the only one which could make him look slightly muscled. I mean how old is he? His face looks a bit like that 'world strongest boy's face but his body doesn't.


YUP. That was my problem. When I was a kid, my mom fed us fairly well, but as time went on, she/we became more and more lax in our food selections....which is why I was (only) 205lbs @ mid-20% BF. Boy do I wish my parents didn't just say being chubby was the genes....it was our diets!


Agreed. I am thinking about marial arts, but he's such a spas (energy level is insane), I don't think he has the attention span for that level of training...yet.

Right now, I am going to try to keep him busy with swimming, gym, and general playing. (and snowboardin is in my plans for this winter - I can't wait to share my passions with him)

I hope to get him into Mt hiking this summer, as I think he'll have the endurance for it.

Other sports will happen, but not really until he's in school. Non-team sports have the advantage of flexibility for now =)

Thanks for all the feedback guys!

I am certainly NOT the model parent, but my kid will not be the husky kid that I was (I hated wearing those 'Husky' jeans - it's like wearing a label "Fat kid".


He was MUCH leaner when his dad (psycho-traininer) was running his life.

There was a program on TLC called "Worlds Strongest Boy" that showed what he had him doing. They showed ALLOT of the training techniques.

Including weighted splits, triple bodyweight benching, and many other impressive feats of strength, speed and power.

After his dad was removed from his life (for beating Richards mom), he was left with too many freedoms and he got a little "puffy".

Now he is continuing on the success that he built with his fathers assistance, but in a more traditional manner....he's now allowed to have FRIENDS and play.

The kid has been through allot with his overbearing father. I hope him the best.


I believe that it was estimated he was at 1-2% bodyfat when his father was training/managing him.


You are a good deddy (sorry I'm from Georgia). I know this because you care enough to post this thread and more than likely the parents who read this thread are A+ parents because it caught their eye and we care about our childrens health and want them to understand the importance of fitness and eating correctly. Swimming was great for me and my kids love it today. I have twin girls and often after picking at their cereal or waffles in the morning they will come over and beg to have some of deddy's breakfast...oatmeal,protein powder, banana,honey, & a sprinkle of cinnamon. Looking forward to taking them to the gym w/ me one day.