Why Are T Nation Men So Chubby?

I’m not a T Nation man but I’m going to insert myself into this conversation because I want to :rofl:

I don’t think T Nation men are fat… I think they have more realistic beliefs of what it means to be lean. I consider myself in the category that you suggested; walking around leanness or the 4-pack diet… so if I took a poll right now I would consider myself fluffy/fat. I like to see a 6 pack and definition in my legs before I would ever consider myself lean. I love lifting heavy, looking good and eating! It’s a difficult combination but I enjoy the challenge.

Back to the point… I think the majority of men (or women) on T Nation have high expectations of themselves. If they aren’t as lean as they have been at some point in the past (ex. For stage) or as lean as they desire to be then it’s somehow unacceptable to consider themselves lean.

I have met people who are very fat and they claim to be in peak physical condition and other people with 6 packs who think they are fat. It’s all about perception I suppose… and some people are delusional!


Whoa. I interpreted the first poll results way differently than you. (I also wrote these polls.) :wink:

But I wanted to see if our Twitter followers would categorize themselves as ectomorph (lean, lanky), mesomorph (strong, thick), or endomorph (soft, cuddly). And it was a pleasant surprise to see that most of the participants considered themselves mesomorphs… or they at least see themselves as having an effective training plan. You can add option D to that too! So, only 17% of the poll participants categorize themselves as chubby.

As for the ab-definition poll, I think flipcollar is onto something with this statement:

Since we consume more fitness-related content and follow athletes and other super fit people on social media, our standards are skewed in a different direction than those of the general public.

I’d say T Nation men and women are way above average. Especially if they’ve taken the time to form community here; it means they’re serious about keeping certain values and habits locked in.


YES! Exactly.


Is the question simply “why?”
I like beer.


This was nearly always the case for me – a very short period where I was happy with the numbers I’d achieved followed but the desire to hit even higher numbers. It is only now looking back and knowing my biggest lifts are in the rearview mirror that I have lasting satisfaction regarding the numbers I achieved.

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Amen to this.


Personally, I have never had the ambition to see my abdominal muscles well and be so cut. I even like the look of this great bodybuilder in the picture the most. I like to be a little fuller. I think Bill is over 91 years old. Interestingly, he is a vegetarian (not a vegan) and in his best years he was one.
By the way, how much weight do you think you need to lose to lose fat from 32-33% to 20%. I ask, in case you have any idea.

Cuz America.
In a bit more shitty countries it is actually expensive to buy food you dont actually need to survive. You have to chose to buy a pound of meat or a chocholate bar.
You can feed a family 3 times a day for the price of 1 good McDonalds order.
I think the problem is just simple good life. You have money you can swallow. If i would make 10 times the money i make, i would also eat cereal for breakfast and McDonalds three times a day. The problem is that the stuff i just mentioned is my food bill for a week, haha.

In medieval times, being chubby was considered hot because it showed you have food. Only poor people were skinny. Not much has changed, its just that Americans dont see 75% of the total worlds population.
We are here just watching your movies and wondering - who the fuck eats cereal for breakfast? We got 1 box for birthday and ate like 10 pieces a day for a month :smiley:


It might surprise you that in the US this diet resembles that of the average poor American far more than that of the well to do folks.


And likely stronger than the vast majority of folks who have gym memberships. For those of us who get deep into lifting and in particular chasing numbers, our perspective of what is strong gets seriously warped.

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I know, yea. But for us its what you get for a birthday as a kid.
A normal meal for us is…potatoes. Thats it. Plain, fried. With salt. This can be a meal 2 times for a week straight.
Or potato, carrot and and some cabbage boiled in water. You call it a soup and you eat bread with it. And a lot of bread. Its considered unpolite to eat this soup without a ton of bread because without the bread you will eat more of this soup and thats a major asshole in here :smiley:


Ah P.S - bread is super expensive now because like 90% grains came from Ukraine and Russians stole all the reserves, so bread prices have trippled and i guess it means just not giving anyone more than one bowl of soup, lol.

This will depend on total bodyweight, but using a 250# man as an example, you’d need to lose ~40#s to get to 20%. This assumes all of the weight lost is fat and no muscle is gained.

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In the states, a bread and soup meal will cost you way more than a McDonalds cheeseburger. It’s wild. Primarily a product of government subsidies.


Lots of good points above concerning realistic expectations and us being a bit warped in our perspectives because we’re deep into all this. And we’re very tough on ourselves. This is especially true for self-described bodybuilders (real ones or fan boys) and for women who have competed. We say “I’m a little fat right now” and probably have the goal body of the average Joe or Jane on the street.

I also remember sitting on a plane with pro-bodybuilder Nasser El Sonbaty. We were headed to the Arnold or the Olympia (I forget) and discussing the competitors. His comment about one of the top three guys: “He has no legs!” The guy’s legs, I’m sure, were colossal tree trunks… but not in Nasser’s warped world.

By the way, Nasser also drank at least 8 Diet Cokes on that short flight and never had to pee. That stuck with me, weirdly. :smiley:


I do not know what the prices of meat are in the United States, but in my poorest member Eastern European Country of the European Union, normal pork costs from 4 to 7 dollars per 1 kg. /2.2 pounds /. From larger cities the average poorest receive a salary of about $ 1,000. At McDonald’s it is much more expensive. I personally do not know a person who does not eat meat at almost every meal. Unless he enjoys eating something else for breakfast. I’m talking about ordinary people. In most pizzerias a nice big pizza with beer will cost you 7-8 dollars, and in the most expensive about 10-12 dollars.

You probably know this, but don’t forget that losing fat may lead to fewer plates, but it’s not necessarily “strength” loss. It’s a variety of factors, like passive stability. Also, I’ve never been that impressed with a big bench that’s aided by the fact that the guy has 4 inches less range of motion to go through because he has 4 inches of fat on his chest and back!

“I bench heavier now because I worked on lockout strength by bringing up my triceps. Also, I grew titties and I’ll stroke out by age 53.”


Anyway, here’s CT talking about passive stability:


Before the tax. You get 650 on hand after tax. In capital.

Two easy metrics to cure the chubbiness:

  • waist to height ratio < 0.5 (preferably less than 0.46)
  • FFMI > 25

As to the question in the title…dietary choices. Good thread. Thanks.

In our country, the so-called Gray Economy is being implemented in full force in many sectors. According to documents and bank transfer, your salary is lower compared to what your boss gives you by hand at the end of the month. This damages the state, both from taxes and from the social security contributions that actually have to be paid. You see him insuring himself on a salary of $ 1,000 and driving a Mercedes S500. In our country this phenomenon is massive and daily. The state has been lied to by workers, employers and businessmen. Summary - a collection of crooks and tricksters.
But let’s get back to the topic. In this regard, I will say that the majority in my country are not fat. Perhaps most are athletic, a small percentage are trimmed and the least are obese. I’m only talking about gym goers.