Discussion exploded all over the Internet last week after StrongLifts Member Jake’s article “Former Hardgainer Gains 100lb without Drugs or Getting Fat” in which he revealed the 6 weight gain strategies he used to gain 100lb in only 2,5y years. Unfortunately, I spotted lots of ignorant comments like these…
- “He sure looks fat to me. Holding in his gut in the second pic.”
- “If you switched the before after pictures I would have said nice job.”
- “I don’t want to look like that. I’m happier ripped and squatting 300lbs.”
- “Honestly it looks like you went from being a young boy to an old uncle.”
- “It’s easier to eat and lift like a horse than to be balanced and disciplined.”
Let’s start with the original picture I posted, compared with a new picture that Jake just sent me. Pay close attention and tell me if Jake is truly a fatto.
If you still believe that StrongLifts Member Jake is a fatto because he doesn’t look like one of those frigging abercrombie models: congratulations – you have been successfully brainwashed by advertisements and muscle magazines. Some guys seem to consider anybody above 10% body fat to be fat. Get real.
Aside from the better lightening, here’s what made the dramatic difference in physique in the new picture that Jake just sent me…
I posted an after picture (left) of me at close to 245 pounds, although I listed my weight at 240. This is because I had just eaten a very large meal and drank a bunch of water, so I was nowhere near my dry weight. Needless to say, I was bloated as all hell! I was letting everything hang out, not flexing one muscle in my body. Why? Well you don’t walk around all flexed do you?
At the beginning of March 2011 I got Strep throat for the first time. Couldn’t eat properly for about 5 days. Then I went on vacation for 7. When I got back I weighed 228 pounds. That’s 12 pounds of weight loss in 12 days without even stepping foot in a gym. That’s around the time I took picture on the right and at the bottom.
-StrongLifts Member Jake, 18y, Canada.
This illustrates a point I’ve stressed before: fat loss is mostly a matter of diet. It took Jake 2,5y of training to accomplish a 600lb Squat and break the provencial record. But it only took him 12 days to eliminate his gut – do the math. The best part: Jake lost 10lb during vacation… in Cancun! He didn’t lift weights, he just partied, ate buffet and drank sugary drinks all day long and yet still lost 10lb.
Obviously NOT 17lb pure fat loss in 12 days. Be sure most of that weight loss is water loss combined with less bloat and less bowel content. Similarly, the 100lb weight Jake gained in 2,5y isn’t 100 pure muscle gain either. But who freaking cares? Jake is strong, not fat and feels good about his body. For the yearbook, classmates actually voted Jake #1 for “nicest body.” Excerpt from Jake’s log:
We just did the yearbook voting “most likely to succeed, largest cranium” etc. And I got the most votes for “biggest biceps” lol. I also -surprisingly- am at the top if not #1 for “nicest body”. That caught me by surprise because I assumed that we were all voting for this guy who looks like a goddamn Ambercrombie model. I guess some people like the thick back, thick legs look haha.
–StrongLifts Member Jake, 18y, Canada.
The 12day 17lb weight loss also shows how much Jake needs to eat to not only keep his weight, but also to continue gaining weight. And it shows why “It’s easier to eat and lift like a horse than to be balanced and disciplined” is pure idiocy. As if you don’t need darn discipline to eat 5000kcal every single day until you’re bloated. Heck, get under 600lb before claiming it’s easy to train like a horse.
Yes eating 15 eggs per day until bloated like Jake does is extreme. But that’s because he knows that weight gain is a tailwind to strength gains. And that’s also the answer to how he blew away the BC provencial record with his 600lb Squat and 600lb Deadlift … at age 18, after only 2,5y of training and without using any drugs. Dramatic results require drastic measures. As Jake says:
I’m all about performance over looks. I could look good all the time, or I could keep a layer of bodyfat allowing my strength to move quicker. Look at Benni Magnusson, would he be deadlifting 1015 pounds without that layer of fat covering his muscles? I think not. Some guys have the genetics to stay lean and get really strong, and that’s great! But I’m not one of them.
You may be happy with staying lean and squatting 300 pounds, but I’d rather carry some fat around and be able to squat 600 whenever I want. Nobody cares what you look like when you step onto the platform, it’s about how much you lift.
–StrongLifts Member Jake, 18y, Canada.
By the way, it’s perfectly okay NOT to want a 700lb Squat and 400lb Bench like StrongLifts Member Jake does, to value other things like aesthetics or fitness. Just remember almost all top bodybuilders including Schwarzenegger and Reg Park started as powerlifters. Do not be puzzled when SL Members like Jake lose their gut in a couple of days without even trying. Recognize we did the work.