T Nation

?'s on Nutrition and Grooming


I have a few questions, but first would like to thank T-Nation and its members. I discovered this site after buying the "Men'sHealth Book of Muscle" written by Ian King and Lou Schuler. There's a reference to t-mag.com on the book's jacket. By the way, it's a great book.

A brief history...
I've been visiting this site for about two years and became a member sometime last year. I have never really posted anything worth interest and have mostly just read the articles and forums. I really enjoy them all and they provide inspiration.

I was born two months premature weighing 4 lbs. at birth. I have the greatest mother in the world and she stuffed me full of food and I became a fat baby, I even had "baby boobs". I may have just coined a new term, not sure. The reason I mention this is because it's the only time I've ever been fat. However, I've read that you never lose fat cells, they just become skinny and can expand if you let them. Which may explain what happened last spring...I'll get to that later.

Throughout my childhood I was always doing pushups, situps, chinups, and climbing a rope. I was a muscular child.

I started lifting weights in gym class as a freshman in high school with the "Bigger, Stronger, Faster" Program. I think that's what it was called. Really can't remember the results I got from that particular program because we only followed it for about a month. However, I continued lifting weights at home on a hand-me-down 110 lbs. weight bench w/ leg attachment. I lifted my entire freshman year, basically making up my routines based on the principles I learned at school. I'm a bit of a nerd and kept detailed workout logs. At the start of my freshman year I weighed 130 lbs. At the end I weighed 160 lbs. My body type was a mesomorph. I was slender, yet muscular. I was on the verge of being 6'0". I maintained this height and weight throughout high school and didn't lift anymore. Actually, my high school basketball coach told me to quit lifting, unless I wanted to join the football team! (Our football team was a joke by the way and no one wanted to be on it)Laugh if you want, he retired as one of the winningest coaches in Missouri 2A basketball and won several state championships!

After my freshman year of college I got a job working for a rural electric coop digging 3 foot deep holes around electrical poles and treating them with some type of shit to protect them from rotting and filling the hole again. I worked w/ another guy that did the same. We treated about 30-40 poles a day during 8 hours. Did this 5 days a week for 3 months straight. I went from 160 lbs. to 175 lbs. I was extremely muscular and "ripped" after this. People were amazed when I went back to school that fall. By the way, the guy I worked with played division 1 football and lifted weights in addition to all this and he got freakin' HUGE that summer. We were both 19, must've been our hormones that we grew so much. I wish I could go back. People thought we were both on roids...I wasn't, but he may have been, not sure.

Over the last 10 years I have lifted off and on, nothing more consistent than 4 months straight at a time. I'm somewhat of an all or nothing type of lifter, feeling I've ruined everything if I miss a workout. Meanwhile, have never been concerned with my diet.

By the way, I am a BINGE DRINKER. I have gotten drunk every weekend (at least once a week) for the last 10 years. I do not have to drink everyday, but do have to on the weekend and excessively. I enjoy this but do want to cut back. I don't think I'm ready to quit just yet. Also, I've never gotten into any trouble as a result of this. I'm a responsible drunk. I don't drink and drive, I'm not beligerent or violent, just enjoy socializing and being intoxicated.

With that said, last spring I did Waterbury's ABBH program and started eating 6 meals a day. Didn't count calories just ate like a horse all the while drinking on the weekends. I went from 180 lbs. to 205 lbs. and was somewhat "pudgy".

I quit lifting during the summer and started up again in the fall. Some people will scoff and laugh, whatever, but this fall I worked out for 8 weeks straight everyday. I lifted and did cardio everyday, ate normal, kept drinking and started smoking. I got back down to my 175 lbs. "ripped" physique.

I quit doing all that, including smoking, and gained 10 lbs. I've stayed at 185 lbs. up till recently and people consider me as "having a nice body".

As of Jan 1, I have began lifting again and planning my meals and keeping count of calories and protein grams. My goal is to weigh 220 lbs long term. My short term goal is to follow the workout and nutrition guidelines I have come up with (3349 calories a day and 185 grams of protein per day, drink at least 8 glasses of water a day)for 21 days. After 21 days, I'll make another goal to go 21 more days and assess my results.

So, basically, I'm not expecting anything, just focusing on being consistent for 21 days, observing my results and going from there...

Also, a goal is to limit my drunkeness to every other weekeend. Getting drunk 26 times this year as opposed to the 52 times last year.

I would like to gain a pound a week. However since Jan 1 I have went from 185 lbs. to 190 lbs. That's 5 pounds in less than a week, I've lifted 5 days this week in a split movement plane workout I've designed. I am happy with this weight gain and my muscles seem to have grown. I look to be about the same bodyfat. My concern is getting fat! I wonder if being fat as a baby has anything to do with my ability to so quickly gain weight?

This is how I figured my daily caloric intake: 185lbs. x 11=2035 2035 x .40=814 2035 + 814=2849 2849 + 500=3349 calories a day. What do you think of this formula and what ones do you use?

I've read the minimalist's approach to protein and the maximalist's and I fall right in the middle of the debate at wanting to get a gram of protein per pound of bodyweight. What do you all think about protein intake.

Alcohol...I know it limits testosterone, kills your liver, all that good stuff. However, I've improved the look of my body over the last 10 years even with all the excessive drinking on the weekends. I don't need any lecture on the affets or effects of alcohol, it's my body not yours, and I realize it is a problem, yet one I'm not ready to solve only manage. I do wonder how I would look if I didn't drink. What are your opinions about working out hard and following nutrition guidelines all week and then binge drinking one night on the weekend? Keep in mind I've hurt no one, except for my liver, and by looking at me you'd think I was in pretty good shape. Which I am, I'm also a volunteer firefighter.

Also, whatever happened to Lou Schuler at Men'sHealth? I miss the "Hey, Muscle Guy" Now it's some dork doing it.

Thank you.


In your entire autobiography, the only question I ran across was., "I wonder if being fat as a baby has anything to do with my ability to so quickly gain weight? "

Uh, all babies are fat. No, that has shit to do with how much you weigh right now.



Well, that was a read to get to the question. Im sure you are going to get a lot of answers about the alcohol, but I really think it comes down to a personal decision.

Obviously, the booze isnt going to help you reach your goals. Sort of like taking two steps forward in the week, and one step back on the weekend. You will probably make progress, just maybe not as fast or efficient as you could. Thats a decision you have to weigh out.

Something to think about. I dont know how or where you drink, but it costs a lot of money to get skunked even once a week. Even if you only spend 25 a week on booze at the bar, thats still 100 a month you could spend on supplements, groceries, books, gym membership, etc etc...Another thing you have to weigh out.

As an aside, for me personally, when I am pretty drunk, I tend to make bad nutritional choices. Im MUCH more suceptible to getting that Pizza or Big Mac when Im hammered. This is all coupled on top of the 600+ extra calories. Lets say you have 10 drinks, and many "binge" drinkers have much more, you are guaranteed to pack on at least 1000 Kcal to your day...

Bottom line, is that Im sure you can still make progress. You just have to weigh out what is more important, getting drunk on the weekends and spending wads of cash, or getting lean/big/jacked/ripped or whatever. The choice here is really yours...



Prof X and Josh:

Sorry I'm so long winded, thank you for your responses. Josh, thanks for the advice. Prof X, I've read many of your posts and have seen some of your pics, I respect you and your advice. I enjoy your straight to the point, no bs advice. Thanks again.


You sound like you're not too bad at the mo due to decent genetics. You have to know that the booze is holding you back though. I think you can (and would've) achieved a lot more without it.

Why not try limiting your bingeing first? Instead of however many drinks, decide on a limit, like 6 drinks for that night. That way you still get a bit of a hit, but it'll be nicer on your body. Of course, cutting down completely would be better but Rome wasn't built in a day right?

And smoking? Eee-yeek! That shit it bad for ya.