T Nation

The Amazing Shrinking Man


Hey guys,

I've lurked a long time never posted. I'm a part of another board and the bros have been less than helpful. So I'm hoping you guys can help. I had to lose weight for the Navy SEAL BUDs training program. I did it VERY quickly, about 25 lbs. in a week. I was on super calorie restriction. Color-blindness ruined my chances so I'm trying to get it all back.


5'7" 228 lbs.

Arms: 18-18.5"

Chest: 48-49"

17% BF


5'7" 208 lbs.

Arms: 17-17.5"

Chest: 46-48"!

15% BF

My Calories were down to about 1500 from 3500, but keep in mind this lasted only a week or a week and a half. I've been working back at it for about a month now, and I'm just not even close. My strength is comparable if not back on par, but I'm way smaller. Anybody have any insight?


According to your numbers (if they are accurate) you lost 12.5 pounds of LBM even though your strength may be similar. Maybe this is why you feel smaller?

If you are not trying to progress at all and set any new PR's, then just go back to whatever you were doing prior to trying to lose weight and your body will probably just go right back to wherever it was before.



Why would my numbers not be accurate? Obviously I'm trying to get beyond where I was before but I have to get those 12.5 lbs back on the way there.


Personally I doubt your measurements because, if your measurements are correct I dont see why you would even bother to ask such a question, as your numbers indicate that you are quite a big guy (in my opinion).

I dont know how it is possible that a guy at 5'7", that claims to have carried around roughly 190 pounds of lean body mass at one point in time, wouldnt be able to figure this shit out on their own, let alone not understand that gaining weight, regardless of if you already had it or not, is always the same (training diet recovery = lbm gain).

I suspect you are a troll. Nice try.



Pics of this transformation please


That was why I didn't respond before. If the OP isn't a troll, then we made a mistake...but there are far too many dudes logging in with one or two posts who end up being a waste of time to respond to.

You're right...that is a lot of lean body mass to not understand how to gain muscle back. Also, unless he actually went into military training for weeks, this would be nothing but a sign to gain the muscle back now the same way it was gained before.


If I am wrong, then those are some crazy fucking genes you got there.

Sorry for feeding the trolls, but someone has to do it right? I am just going to ignore this post from now on, lest it become yet another "so Im making this book about five guys on a weightlifting forum" type deal. (notice that thread mysteriously popped back up around the time this one was created)

(Time to make excuses...) I was tired as I was still up at that point from the day before, and did a double take at the numbers after he posted back. If he wouldnt have said his measurements werent incorrect, he would have had me and I wouldnt have even thought twice about double checking them.

I wish it was as easy as just waking up one day being 3 inches shorter than I am now, being 35-40 pounds heavier with about the same body comp, and the only thing I have to say for myself was "WHY AM I SHRINING BRO?!?!"



Man i love this site lmao.


Guys, I came on here because I don't know whats wrong with my fucking body, not so we could see who had the wittiest response to my post. I know its a weird situation, or I wouldn't have even piped up. Don't be an asshole, because I don't care. In fact, I've noticed that on these sites. everybody's got some bullshit to say instead of actually being productive. I don't have any shirtless pics for you guys because I don't really see the point of taking pictures of myself. But I took one especially for the occasion. I made sure to wear the same shirt so there was no confusion. Hell I'll even leave my face in them for additional authentication. I'd like to point out that I'm not asking for opinions of my body, just a clue as to what happened. Thanks for your help so far.




I'm pretty sure you dropped more body fat than your measurements would indicate


Just giving the info the United States Navy gave me.


Also for the record, I'm mostly asking how it is possible that I lost that amount in that almost miniscule amount of time.


No response in this thread was about giving the "wittiest response". It is that we get several trolls here at times who ask questions and then act like asses when they get a response.

The answer to your question is likely "hormones and stress". I went through the same getting into the military. HOWEVER, mine was the result of extended periods of calorie restriction AND military training...something you never went through. It took me MONTHS for my body to regulate itself after all of that. I almost felt like a newb after that because of how weak I was in the gym.....

But YOU never went through any of that....which is why you were suspected of trolling.

In other words, without the component of extended periods of stress and calorie restriction for several weeks, your issue is nothing but the loss of muscle mass due to dieting poorly.

If that is the case, the answer can be nothing else but to go back to eating and lifting like you were to get big in the first place.


you lost 1-2 inches on your chest and lost an inch on your arms but your shirt is tighter?


Right, something else that is important to note is that this is the first time after calorie restriction I haven't been able to bounce back in a matter of weeks, so that's why I'm concerned that it hasn't happened yet... because it always had before. Honestly, I think the guy taking my measurements might have been way off in the body fat thing because just looking at the two pictures I notice more than a 2 % difference.

I've always been a powerlifter so i've always had that "bodytype," for lack of a better term. But lately, I don't think you could hardly call me that, or tell that I was one. I won't get into number strength-wise because it doesn't matter, but now I'm one of those stronger-than-you-look guys instead of someone who looks the part so to speak.

So, I think you're right, X. I'm guessing that the stress of losing muscle and losing months of my life training for a program that I was disqualified from due to no fault of mine (I had passed both the spot test and the second phalant lantern test for color blindness, it wasn't until I went to Coronado that I even got DQ'd for it, which for those that don't know is a decent time after obtaining your contract) have both contributed to high cortisol levels. Vicious cycle, I guess.

Quick question, I've never seen any of these "troll responses" so I don't really know what you guys mean when you say that. Do they just like bait you into something to make fun of you, or are they really asking for advice and just being a douche about it, or is it something else? I'm on another board too and I don't think we have that problem so that's why I'm ignorant to it.


My shirt is looser, I've just got my arms bent. Also, I'm standing weird in the other one because my nephew is in front of me and I'm trying to keep him from running away. So my chest is like in a weird non-natural position. But my arm in the pic with the beanie on is obviously much bigger than the other. The one with the pic is before, the one with the hat after. I mainly chose that picture to accentuate the arm difference exclusively.


After I read everyones posts, I have a ton of stuff to say, so sorry in advance for it being really scattered.

You are quite right to be offended by having someone call you a troll (Sorry about that by the way...), and this site is notorious for having its fair share of smartasses, both good and bad. (The site is called TESTOSTERONE nation for goodness sake haha.)

Here is what I have come to gather since my start reading this forum (forgive me if I leave out a few):

Troll = someone who purposely makes a new account and tries to say some ridiculous shit to get people pissed off (which is easy because a lot of people on here are not only hard working but passionate, and serious about all things related to health, fitnes, and human physiology. Man I hope I said that last bit right.) (Also, if you post in the get a life forum, you will be subject to a lot of trolling. Just a fair warning. I had a thread that went south in there and I totally mistook it all.)

t-tard = this one is pretty self explanatory. People get called this when they start handing out advice that isnt helpful or is from mens health or something. Generally if it is from a "guru" it is subject to scrutiny. I personally have noticed that aside from slight variations, all the big guys on here do basically the same shit, so this stuff is easy to point out as it pretty much flies in the face of what the bigger guys are saying.

As for your measurements, they dont look to be really accurate. I am assuming that you had a bodyfat percentage test done using your neck, height, and waist measurement (at or one inch above the navel). Probably a slip up in the measurements. Correct me if I am wrong, but this is standard for the navy and they pretty much pioneered this stuff. No big deal, the advice you will get on here is "use a mirror and not that other bodyfat thingy."

I have a huge question though. I have always thought the navy wouldnt take you if you were above a certain weight. I believe it is 191 for a guy at 5'10". You obviously killed that mark so WTF?

About your diet and stuffâ?¦ Muscle is a lot more "expensive" than fat. On a crash diet, you probably lost a shitload of muscle as your body thought it didnt need it for what you were doing. Also, and someone correct me if I am wrong, I have been told that if you do things incorrectly, you will lose LBM faster than fat.

Here is what I have noticed with myself, I have noticed, due to me training and quitting and training and quitting and ... over the years, that it is easier to gain back muscle you previously had than to build a fresh 5 lbs (???nervous system???). (I dont know if youve noticed, but Im not a very big dude.)

In your case your body is used to having all that extra muscle weight due to your having it beforehand. You will get it back quick if you just go back to whatever you were doing before. For you I am assuming its just going to be back to the grind which would be the best move anyway.

We have already determined that your bodyfat measurements may have been off, so disregard them as they are a source of error in assessing your progress or lack thereof (you couldnt use inaccurate measurements in a lab report so throw them out, they are useless eventhough you may like them). And, as someone else noted, you look a lot bigger in your after pic than you do in your before pic. (mirror and logbook look good so wtf?)

Another big thing Ive learned from this site is to not fall in love with the numbers so to speak. They are important to judge progress, but sometimes they donâ??t tell the whole story (as you see may be the case here).

On a side note, me calling you a troll also got attention, and pissed you off to the point of you posting a picture (one accurate for comparison, which is rare, so kudos). Now people will take your thread seriously instead of people thinking youre a troll, and you will get a solid answer from one of the well known posters (this time from profX in case you missed that). Having an avatar of yourself helps too, its like credentials on this site (gotta get dat streed cred brah). Pics or it didnt happen is often the only reply some people get.



I am too lazy to go back and edit my last post.

Just to be clear, I dont doubt your height, weight, or arm measurements. I doubt the bodyfat measurement very much, and I think it threw you a bit off.

Also in the house pic your face is a lot thinner than in your harry potter world pic.

As for how you were able to lose a lot of weight fast. Hard work (?) and the fact that it was pretty much your job (you dont just decide to be a seal one day according to what Ive been told by a former one)? I dont think its impossible to lose weight that fast (water + fat + lbm), but I do think that something like that is beyond what most people have the capacity and means to do (because they cant invest the time or whatever else is necessary to drop that kind of weight) and that is the reason most people say it is impossible, because it practically is for just about everyone except those with the right circumstances.

I cant remember if you said you lifted during the time you dieted or not.



Haha you noticed it was Harry Potter World, badass. I appreciate the apology man, I was just frustrated that I kept getting the same answers over and over. Yeah, I agree with the fat thing. The thing with weight in the Navy is that you can be any weight you like as long as you're below 22%. If you're close to that they will laugh at you for wanting a SEAL contract, so I had to get shred fat fast to be taken seriously by my first scout. After that worked out fine I got it back up again, and then had to lose it again for my next measuring. That was this past time. And you're right about how they measure everything. Its just a height-neck-waist ratio.

Question though: you honestly think that my arms look bigger in the after picture (not being sarcastic seriously asking)? I've never really been able to tell myself, that's why I've always been obsessed with measuring. I ask because, I'm obviously not in "as-good-of shape" because I was dirty bulking at the time, but to me my arm in the before is almost incomparable to the after.

Also, yes, I did continue lifting, but my strength decreased SIGNIFICANTLY while doing the keto diet (important to not that this is the diet I used).