T Nation

Do Some Have No Chance of Muscle?


my friend is in college, about to graduate, has run xc/track since high school, and is dirt poor. he lives in a pretty expensive part of california in a family that doesn't have a lot of money. he has to pay all his car expenses, gas, cell phone bill, tuition, gym membership, and something else. he tells me this leaves him absolutely no money to even buy food with hardly. what he does is borrows meal plan meals from people on his team and goes there from time to time.

anything other than that and he is only able to eat what his family brings home which is cheap crap, because he's living with a married sister and her husband, mom and dad, daughter who is having lots of expenses on her cuz she's sick a lot, 2 cats, and i think even a grandma (not sure on that one). Anyways, I'm just curious, you always hear the if there's a will there's a way, but I just don't see how someone in that situation can do much besides wait for after college in hopes that eventually once all is paid off he can finally get some decent security behind him financially so he can start to buy a decent amount of food.

sure it could be said that he could just load up in the kitchen hall, but as anyone who has been in this long enough knows, stealing milk here and there, nuts, and maybe some bread isn't going to cut it.

i realize he's gona keep running and doesn't care to get big like i do, but i'm just curious how someone like that could even go about getting bigger.

just to keep in perspective for all that sometimes it's not as easy as it sounds.


You write that he will keep running and doesn't care about getting big like you, and then you ask if someone like him could get big?

Since someone like him isn't trying to get big in the first place, the answer is no.


That's like asking if you have no chance of getting good at xc/track. So based on what you wrote, we can't care.


okay then let's hypothetically say someone is in his situation but wants to get big. is it really so hard to comprehend the message?


Meal plans are not that expensive considering over all cost of food for a semester and most of them are buffet style with plenty of options conducive to muscle building.

Tell him to spend his money more wisely and spring for a meal plan. A safe assumption is about $1000 per semester for a meal plan. that works out to about $63 dollars per week in a four month semester for unlimited amounts of food. Colleges are excellent at working out payment plans.

Now I realize that many poor people are on the bad side of luck, but most of them are terrible at money management and have an attitude of "who cares? I'm already at rock bottom so I'll just complain and not be pro-active about my situation." Tell him to really assess his situation with his own responsibility in mind rather than his "victim of chance" attitude and see what he can come up with.


I agree with that. He's not that poor from many perspectives. Does he really need a car? If he doesn't want to be big, why does he have a gym membership? If he really wanted to be big (which he doesn't) of course he could be.


I thought you meant like this guy.


At least he's not fat.


Or on fire. That always sucks.


How could they if they wanted to?
First, want to.
second, stop what is preventing it
third, emphasis what is helping it


i suggested that he should get rid of his gym membership, find something nearby like a park for pullups, easily could do weighted pushups, one legged squats, find something to do dips on, find some sort of bar or something to put between 2 heavy things and pick up as a deadlift...that sorta stuff. that would get rid of 30-40 bucks a month. as well, use that money to get oats, chicken on sale, milk on sale, eggs on sale, maybe fruits, etc the cheaps stuff.

not sure he could get rid of the car as he lives a distance from the school, but i think the cell phone is definitely something that could be gotten rid of which would be another however much his phone bill is a month. carpooling once in a while or taking a bus would probably end up being something like 80-90 bucks a month saved there.