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Question for John C. Hill
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Swissmom
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Wed Sep 12, 2007 6:16 am      Reply with quote
Hi John! I enjoy and appreciate all the advice you have given us here and in the YTF weightloss board. I am very impressed with what you and your wife have accomplished.

I was wondering if you can help me. My 16 year old son is interested in gaining weight and bodybuilding. He is underweight, but most of it is genetic since both his dad and grandpa were built the same way. I do workout to home videos like Cathe Friederich and P90X so I can help him with form. He wants to workout at home too since he will be doing this after school.

What would you recommend in terms of diet for him? He barely has time for breakfast so I was thinking a protein shake? Something that will help him put on some weight?

Also, do you recommend any body building sites geared for teens? I am not sure what type of routine to start him on. Also,since he does have a very slim build, should he do cardio?

Thank you so very much for any advice you can offer.

Madeline
John C. Hill
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Wed Sep 12, 2007 9:06 am      Reply with quote
OK Swissmom, I am extremely qualified to answer this question and I'll tell you why. Your son's situation sounds almost identical to my past.

I'll start by telling you my story. Let's go way, way back.... back to when I was a junior in high school at age 16. I was almost 6 foot tall at that time but I weighed just 100 pounds! I'm not kidding, I was wiry thin! I was so light that the high school wrestling coach actually forced me to wrestle for the team at the 98 pound weight class (!) because nobody else was light enough, and the team would have forfeited that match if nobody could make the class!!

By the time I graduated from college in 1981 I was fully 6 feet tall, but still weighed only 155 pounds. I started both martial arts and bodybuilding right out of college. I am now at almost 200 pounds and have only about 9% bodyfat and I've been at that mark since about 1996 when I first started competing in bodybuilding. I was able to put on about 3 pounds of pure muscle mass per year, naturally, and that's about the best he can hope for. You can do it faster on steroids, but I highly discourage it, especially for young people even though as a scientist, I believe hormone replacement thearpy is actually the fountain of youth (but, that's another topic).

Here is what he is going to HAVE to do....and some of your post is quite "telling". Especially the "He barely has time for breakfast" part.

Just like me, your son is an "ectomorph" (google search it) and is thin and barely can put on weight. He is going to have to eat food like it is going out of style.

I can't emphasize this enough...he has got to make time to eat. And, he must eat at least 6 or 7 meals per day, spaced out about 2 to 3 hours apart. Now, I know this might be difficult being in school and such, so here is how you can do it.

1) Get him up early and get a good, full breakfast in him. Make him eat as much as he can, such as a full bowl of oatmeal with raisins and wheat germ sprinkled in. Feed him whole grain pancakes with strawberry flavored protein powder sprinkled into the pancake mix for flavor. Make him eat at least three or four eggs, scrambled is easiest. A glass of juice and a full glass of skim milk is good. A whole wheat muffin or bagel is also good. Sounds like a lot, but he has to eat a lot to get the calories he needs to put on weight.

He should be eating at least 2,500 calories per day. Keep a log and add them up to make sure he is getting it.

2) He probably can't eat from about 8 am to school lunch time which is unfortunate. So, pack his lunch. Make tuna sandwiches, or turkey sandwiches. Put a yogurt in there plus fruit like a banana, apple or grapes. Buy protein powder (I prefer Next Nutrition Whey Protein in strawberry or chocolate) and make him drink the protein drink rather than sodas. NO freakin' sodas...high fructose corn syrup is death liquid!! Add a cheese stick or two. If he likes cottage cheese put some low fat version in a tupperware bowl and add it to the lunch bag. Then make sure he eats all of it.

3) The instant he comes home hit him with a meal. protein shakes are easy to get down and not too filling. Have chicken breasts cooked and ready to eat. Pasta with tuna mixed in is always good.

4) Normal dinner time. Cook a wonderful meal full of protein, complex carbs, and healthy fats. Chicken Breast, fish, turkey are all good. A good steak now and then is good. Eat yams and lots of them. A baked potato dry with no fatty toppings is good. Broccoli, corn, carrots, peas, brussel sprouts, asparagus are all good choices for veggies. Add more non-fat cottage cheese as a side dish. A big plate of spaghetti with low fat ground beef meatballs is wonderful. This meal should be big and he needs to eat all of it.

5) Snacks...keep him snacking but on good stuff such as fruit of all kinds. "Toasteds" brand wheat crackers are good. Quaker Oats brand "rice cakes" are wonderful snacks and taste good these days. More cheese sticks or another yogurt is good.

6) Before bed, another whopping big protein drink.

As you can see, you are going to have to plan his day all around eating. That's how it will have to be, and it worked for me. Eat healthy and eat a LOT....spelled L....O....T !!! Make sure the meals are high in protein to be converted into muscle.

Keep any cardio activity that he does down to a minimum. If he is like me, he can burn off bodyfat in no time flat. I worked in my garage this weekend on a custom bike in 104F heat....and lost 5 pounds!!!

Have him work out with weights, but not too heavy just yet. His bones are not fully fused at the ends at his age, and he doesn't need any injuries. By age 18 he can "graduate to the very heavy weights if he likes.

Keep me informed on your progress!

ps I'm taking a break now at 9:30am for my second full meal out of six that I eat everyday.

John

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Swissmom
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Wed Sep 12, 2007 12:02 pm      Reply with quote
John, thank you so much for taking the time to help me. This is very valuable information. I am going to go over the plan with him when he gets home from school. He is built the same. Almost 6' and very thin build. We will give this a go and will give you an update. Thanks again!
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Wed Sep 12, 2007 12:25 pm      Reply with quote
Almost forgot to mention supplements. Get him on a good multi-vitamin. Add in a supplement that has the full range of amino acids. Amino acids are building blocks to muscle mass. I would also recommend a supplement called "udo's oil" which is botanical fatty acids...the "good" fats. And finally, after workouts make sure he takes extra glutamine for muscle recovery.

This will keep his body at peak levels which will enable him to put on muscle mass a lot easier than I did back in my "no knowledge...experimenting" youth! I wish I knew then what I know now!

Good luck...

John

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Swissmom
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Wed Sep 12, 2007 1:24 pm      Reply with quote
I just picked up some multivitamins and minerals for him today. I will get the Udo's. I could probably put it in his shake. I just talked to him, he seems to be receptive to the whole thing so we will give it a go.
Lifeplyr01
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Wed Sep 12, 2007 8:30 pm      Reply with quote
WOW! What an awesome plan John!! Very Happy

Swissmom~
I find this thread quite interesting as my son has a small build. Do you think your son can actually consume all of the food that has been suggested?? My son is 16yo and about 5'5 tall, 125lbs. He could stand to put on some weight and build his upper body. I wish the best for your son. Keep us posted!!

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Swissmom
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Thu Sep 13, 2007 12:26 pm      Reply with quote
I think it will be very difficult for him at first, but if we can get through the adjustment period, it could work for him. He eats exactly the way they tell overweight people to eat. He is a slow eater, doesn't like big portions of anything, etc. So he is going to have to learn how to eat this way. Thank you for wishing us well. I hope to report something in the near future.
rosebud
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Fri Sep 14, 2007 2:54 am      Reply with quote
This is great!
I think I might have a go at semi following some of this myself, I have been losing weight like there is no tomorrow and hate the way my clothes are hanging off me. Thanks John, you gave me lots of ideas for meals Very Happy

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Lifeplyr01
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Fri Sep 14, 2007 9:22 pm      Reply with quote
Swissmom~
I'm looking forward to your posts. I do hope your son can consume the calories needed. Very Happy

Rosebud~
Go for it girl!!!!! Keep us posted!

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