T Nation

Help A Girl Out, My Cousin's Problem

My computer illiterate cousin asked me to submit a post about his current problem. He is 5’10 and currently 215 @ 3-4% bodyfat by the calipers. He just won 1st place in a Georgia bodybuilding contest and he is a “user”, but here’s his problem.

He cannot gain weight past 215 when in the past he has been able to. He eats in excess of 6000 calories a day plus junk food daily just to try to stuff more calories in his mouth. I will post pics soon, but the doctors have ruled out hyperthyroidism, and they say he is absorbing all of his food, so he’s at a bit of a loss. He would love to compete in the light heavyweight instead of 185 class.

Also, right before his competition he cut out junk food(I know this sounds crazy, but he ate junk food (20oz. mountain dews, fries, ice cream with protein powder, chicken nuggets, hamburgers, etc) all the time up until 8 weeks out while still remaining at 6%BF. Then he went on a meat and melon diet and got shredded at 185 with no muscle loss and no cardio. He was by far the leanest guy at the show. So he does not think he is a hardgainer, as he lost so much fat with very little muscle loss.

He’s back up to 210 now, a few weeks after the show, gained a lot of water back (was using diuretics) and is at 6% instead of 3-4%. So, what do you think it will take for him to gain weight? He has access to roids, he eats over 5000 calories a day just to maintain, any less and he loses weight, why can’t he get over 215? If he eats 6000 or more, he MIGHT gain 1 pound of bodyweight over the course of 3-4 weeks.

Sorry this is so fragmented, I’m tired and have to get up early. Any suggestions would be wonderful, or if any of you can point me into the direction of a great article. Thanks!

If he lost that much weight and no appreciable muscle then he was clearly over 3-4% bodyfat.

That being said, if you can’t gain weight at 6000 calories a day, try 7000.

I’m really not sure what else to tell you seeing as a Dr. has ruled out a medical condition.

you’ll have to forgive any missteps I am about to make, I’m new here.

I don’t think you are lying to us, but I think your cousin is using a bit of artistic liscense. People tend to over self report as high as 100% when it comes to cals. also, the calipers sound sketchy, technique is very important.

The best solution to the problem of more calories, that I can see, is to pre make all of his food for a week or so and measure it very diligently. Don’t actually add up the numbers until after the fact. Then have spreadsheet or another person crunch the numbers. I think he will find his cal count is off. After he has done that you can help him or we can help him get a better diet.

If he is really blasting through that many calories tell him to get a part time job at an ice cream shop and take advantage of the perks until they kick him out.

Finally, maybe just laying off the junk for a bit may help, if he can.


Well not to sound like a broken record buit yes more intake and less expenditure is the answer if purely gaining size / weight is his goal.

Limit eevn movement as much as possible. Adding extra fats, ( good fats) will be his easiest way. Plenty of nuts, nut butters, fattier cuts of meats, oils on all veggies. etc… sit on the couch and do lots of reading and TV.

Good luck hope it helps,

More steroids

I’m willing to venture to say that he would be better served to use a better quality carb instead of/with his junk food. An assload (scientific term for LOTS) of sweet potatoes or even regular potatoes or something similar would help with the calorie (useful calorie) intake, as would the constant munching on fruit throughout the day. I think that if he’s really getting all those calories that you posted, then it may be fixable by calorie source and WHEN he’s getting them. Do a search for John Berardi and Lonnie Lowery on this site and find their articles for bulking. He’ll put some weight on by using their advice

He’s 215 lb. at 3-4% B.F. And he went down to 185 lb. at 3-4% B.F. with no loss of Lean Body Mass???
Do the math. It’s impossible. Maybe the math on the calories is also a little off. Like someone else mentioned, over estimating calories is very easy.


Sorry for the misunderstanding and/or confusion. We work together as trainers, so today at work I asked him again for his information just in case I heard it wrong. Prior to the competition, he was 209 and was around 7-8%. 8 weeks prior to the contest, he cut his calories by 1000, started eating meat and melons as oppose to junk food and by competition time he was around 188 at 3-4%. He said he thinks he lost about 7 pounds of muscle mass during that process, along with the fat. You also must take into consideration how much water weight he lost too. He dehydrated himself more hours than he should have before the contest. (You could imagine his pain and muscle cramps!) Now, he is back around 207 around 6% body fat. It is very true calipers can be inaccurate, so I’m going to show you guys some pics so you can get a picture. I would copy/paste them from the site, but these are proofs. So here is a link to the NPC Atlantic competition he was in: http://www.dotphoto.com/GuestViewAlbum.asp?AID=2294939&Page=4&. Some people have had problems with the link, so here are step by step directions to view his photos: Go to www.docssports.com and click on “Past and Present” photos. Find the album that says “05 Atlantic USA 2005 Bodybuilding and Figure.” He is on the 4th page as image number 2687, 2689, 2690. 5th page: 2718, 2719, 2720, 2565, 2561, 2562, 2563, 2564. 6th page: 2566.

I know this may seem more complicated than it is worth, so I think in a few days I’ll get some of his pics taken and scan them. His pictures make him look thicker, but just as lean. For now, this will have to do if any of you guys are interested in taking a peek.

Thank you for all of the suggestions, I will gladly pass the messages on to him. More suggestions would be greatly appreciated as well. Thanks ya’ll :slight_smile:

Ok instead of you guys going through the trouble… I decided to take pictures of this site with my camera. So, these are essentially pictures of pictures loaded on a site. If you go to the site you can see them more clearly. But I think this will do so some of you guys can see he was pretty lean on competition day… This was his first one by the way. Maybe it will be the first of many that he will win.

Another blurry pic… :frowning:



Last one. By the way, in case you havn’t noticed, I’m on another name. It’s my boyfriend’s name…he is a fellow T-Nation member :slight_smile:

He looks fine. What’s the point of wanting to gain more weight? Most people would kill to be 200+ pounds and 6% bodyfat.

Maybe he has reached his “genetic potential” and that is as big as he’ll get! LOL!

Actually, I’m sure he could get over 215lbs if he let his bodyfat go beyond 8%. Oh…the horror!

He’s got proof written all over him.

Haha… Yeah, he is genetically blessed AND has roids. NateDog: Yeah, to only be in his position huh? :slight_smile: His beef is that he can’t get any bigger than 215 period. He’d risk gaining a little fat to get bigger. He’d like to compete in a higher weight class eventually. That’s why he is eating as much as he is, taking steroids, not doing a lick of cardio.

Oh yeah, in reply to another post up there… He is eating the “good” carbs and “good” fats, but in addition he is eating junk just to meet his caloric needs. For example, he’ll eat a large protein shake with a large portion of oatmeal then add icecream to give additional calories. Sure he could stick to lean foods all the time, but he’d have to eat several more times a day with larger quantities, thus his digestive system would take a terrible beating.

I don’t feel too sorry for him. I wish I were one of those guys who “couldn’t keep weight on.”

Bitterness aside, the laws of thermodynamics still apply. Have him increase his calories even further, maybe reduce cardio if he’s doing a ton of it. When was the last time he switched up his program?

Nephorn, he isn’t doing any cardio (he has never done any form of cardio) and personally I think he should change up his routine more. I’m not sure when he made his last routine change up. But I do know when I’m working out while he works out, he does most of the same things each time. So if I had to guess, I would say he doesn’t change it very frequently. This is something I will certainly suggest. Thanks :slight_smile:

his left leg is significantly larger then his right one

209 lb @ 7-8% B.F. = 192-194 lb. L.B.M.

188 lb @ 3-4% B.F. = 180-182 lb. L.B.M.

For BB, the important thing is not the numbers, it’s how you look to the judges. Focus on what’s important.