T Nation

Help Motivating?


Well here is my question....I will have to go into a little detail to fully explain it.

OK hmmm where do I start....

Well, at the beginning of the year my husband went to go see the doc. for his normal allergy problems. And also for a pain in the neck he had been having chronically after sleeping on a crappy aero-bed during the holidays. The doc asked how old he was and he said I am 30. The doctor had a talk with him & asked him about his exercise routine. Of course my husband was like uhhh none. He works with computers & is in grad school. His life-style is to say the least sedentary. He has a very thin build and can eat anything and as much of whatever he wants without ever having problems like getting fat. Yes I love being around him while I have to diet! LEt me tell you it sucks! LOL....

Well anyhow, the doc goes on to explain to him the importance of exercise and not just taking a walk but lifting weights at least 3 times a week to keep his body from basically getting injured so easily. Apparently as we get older and if we limit our exercise our bodies literally start to fall apart. So husband calls me "knowing" I am going to have a hay day with this one. Well, he is gung ho ready to do this.... we have been through this before too let me tell you....let's rewind a bit and talk about that shall we...

So the last few attempts for him to work out uhh yea he got even skinnier! I had a peek at his goals in his goal book when he started a training regime and I saw that he wanted basically more muscle all around esp. in the UB. He has great legs he was a cyclist but a very tiny upper body. Well after he gave the BFL program a try at 4 weeks and this was with little cardio (my advice was none but he would not listen) well, he lost inches! I also was feeding him double carb portions with more protein portions as well. Yea and still he lost muscle. Not what we were wanting at all. I mean like 2 inches everywhere. And he is always at about 7% bodyfat. Basically, after seeing those stats after 4 weeks he got pissed and said fuck it. He was really, really, frustrated. It really sucked for me watching this. I kept encouraging him and saying well trial and error it happens keep trying. But he got moody and would not even approach the subject anymore.

So fast forward to now ... so he is gung ho ready to do it at the beginning of January. He explains that he wants to work out to be healthy etc... OK I am more than happy with that. So I have great resources to get everything for him... meal plan, workouts, EVERYTHING.... so I get it for him. Well, he has since then worked out only one day. In the middle of January.

So my question is how do I push him or "motivate" him to get started? I know he secretly wants to have more muscle etc... and I know his past few attempts at this were really discouraging so I was wondering how in the heck do you go about this?

I don't want to piss him off and make him think that his appearance is not attractive. Because that is not it. I love him regardless of what he looks like. Gaawd knows he has accepted me even though my body went through many changes. From Fit and attractive to fat and unattractive and back to getting fit and so on lol... I just know he secretly wants to look better, feel better, and have more confidence, but feel the failed past attempts hold him back. So how do I approach this? Should I purchase some PT with my w-out partners husband who is BBer? Maybe to get him going? Maybe to have a more positive experience at this? HELP I need a guys perspective!!!

Thanks for listening and I appreciate any input I really do! Thanks for taking the time to read this.



Well, you can try to talk to him, but really when it comes down to it, he'll have to motivate himself. It's a choice he'll have to make on his own. Sounds alot like some of what my Dr. told me. I work out now, not because I want to enter competitions or run races, etc., but mostly so that I can be healthy. Good luck.


Two things:

  • He needs to get more motivated, and it needs to come from the inside

  • Once he gets started, he needs to get some sort of short term result, so it reinforces his new behavior

The 2nd point is the easiest to achieve. Just set some realistic short term goals. Say, 2 months out. Say, gain 2-3 pounds of muscle. Small enough that it can be achieved. Big enough that it can be measured.

The 1st point is harder. Perhaps introduce him to some guy that went from skinny to massive. Perhaps show him some of the transformation posts in T-Nation (check out the recent Berardi article on G-flux).


I don't know what double carb portions are. But I do know this:

Have your husband eat a set amount of calories every day, if he does not gain weight have him increase this number.

To simplify it, eat the same calories per meal, same number of meals a day. Increase the calories by increments of 50 or 100. 5 meals + 100 cals per meal = 500 more calories a day. Keep doing this until he stops losing weight.

I'd suggest a starting range of 2500-3500 or 500-700 calories per meal at 5 meals a day.

The big thing seems to be his diet so that should fix the problem.


Well, this is kind of a tough one, since true motivation comes from the inside. I'd start with trying to get the strategy all laid out ahead of time so all he has to do is follow it. It sounds like the problem last time was insufficient calories. If he's as high metabolism as you say he's going to have really pack in the food in order to gain size. (by the way I hate him, because I'm the opposite) I'd also make sure your program focuses on hypertrophy alot at first rather than strength so that he can see the results enough to get self motivated. I'm no expert, but maybe something along these lines:

1) 1.5g protein per pound of lean body mass per day
2) Eat six times per day
3) Figure out his base metabolic rate and start at 50% higher
4) Measure weight & bodyfat every week, adjust calories upwards as needed
5) 4x8 parameters, lift m/w/f, basic routine:
Deadlifts, Bench Press, Chinups, Bent Over Rows, Farmer's Walk

Offer him something he likes if he makes progress, massage, nice dinner, "favors", etc.


As you progress with your fitness goals he may get more motivated to look more fit as well....


i was a skinny punk my whole life. it took a lot of work and two years, but i went from to 160 to 225.
i ate everything in site....and drank 1100 calorie drinks for breakfast. i got in plenty of shakes, tons of protein, and the only cardio i did was what i got at football practice or games.
start bulking up!

i'm on the velocity right now to cut up. here are the pics....with me at 160
scroll down a bit.

pre velocity



WOW! Pimp! I am def. showing him your photo's! You look like a completely different person. My husband is shorter than you about 5'8 at I am sure he is about 145-150 right now. Thanks!

Everyone else GREAT adivce thanks I am def. going to use it! Thanks so much!


That is very true! Lead by example.