Keith vs. Reggie: Why the Difference?

In the previous post, we had two disc jockies going at it to see who could gain the most muscle and lose the most fat in a 10 week period. They both made great progress, but clearly Keith won.

In just over 10 weeks, Keith gained 27 pounds of muscle vs. Reggie’s still respectable 9 pounds. Keith also lost 40 pounds of fat to Reggie’s, still outstanding, but more modest and typical 21 pounds.

Why the big difference?

Keith is about 6 feet tall, much bigger guy than Reggie, at about 5′ 9″.

However, there are two reasons that primarily account for why Keith gained more than twice as much muscle and lost almost twice as much fat over the 72 day period from the start on March 24 to the last measurement on June 4.

How to Lose 40 Pounds of Fat in Two and Half Months

First, although Reggie’s diet was initially not ideal, when the contest started Reggie was already trying to do a lot of things right. What Keith dumped down his throat in an average day was just bad. Between doughnuts, fast food, and beer, Keith routinely consumed a staggering number of calories. This is what he agreed to do: Instead of eating the early AM doughnuts at the radio station, he had a protein shake and one banana for breakfast. He tried to eat five or six lower fat, more nutritious meals during the day instead of double bacon cheeseburgers and fries. Lastly, he cut his beer consumption in half. Without a whole lot of deprivation, I estimate that he cut his average calories in half, from close to 5000 per day down to about 2500-2800 per day.

How to Gain Muscle Really Fast

What about the muscle? How do you gain 27 pounds of muscle in just 72 days? That’s more than a third of a pound per day! First of all, routine middle age spread notwithstanding, Keith is pretty much a pure mesomorph as far as body type goes. As such, although he can obviously gain a lot of fat, he can just as easily gain muscle and lose the fat. Also, Keith had lifted weights quite a bit in high school for football. He also had lifted seriously for a four or five-year period in his early to mid twenties.

The Role of Body Types in Muscle Gain and Weight Loss

We have seen before what happens when a person who had done the hard work of gaining the muscle in the past quits for a while, and then starts up again: those original gains come back very quickly!

Our example is named Scot. Scot’s body type is a mixture of mesomorphic and endomorphic characteristics. He lifted all through high school and well into his twenties. At a height of 5′ 8″, he competed in power lifting contests in the 242 pound weight class where he would total around 1800 pounds (roughly 700 pound squat, 400 pound bench press, and 700 pound dead lift). When he squats it is truly a site to behold: As he is warming up, even with three big plates on each side of the bar (315 pounds total), you can’t tell that he is straining in the least. It honestly looks as if he is doing nothing more than a deep knee bend.

Some time along in his mid twenties, his church sent him off to do some work in Japan. Since he was only being paid enough to subsist on, he could not afford the very steep gym membership fees in Japan. As a result, he did not lift at all. After a couple of years, he moved to Nashville. He did not lift there either. When he finally showed back up in Wisconsin, he was a rather small (for him) 220 pounds.

Since he had no money at the time, we let him lift at our place in exchange for documenting his progress. In 11 weeks, he went from 220 pounds to 239 pounds, a gain of 19 pounds. Caliper fat testing indicated that he had lost 11 pounds of fat and gained 30 pounds of muscle.

We never really promoted this, for our gym, at the time because, frankly, we were not completely confident that we could believe it. I mean, 0.39 pounds of muscle per day? It was not until Keith recovered muscle at a very similar rate of 0.375 pounds per day that we were willing to accept that guys who had once worked for years for their impressive gains, could recover those gains very, very quickly.

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