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How to bulk up a 17 year old male?

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  • How to bulk up a 17 year old male?

    My brother is 17 and is looking to join the army after he graduates from college. He would like to receive an ROTC scholarship, as well. However, the army recruiter told him that he may not even pass the physically, since he is so skinny. He is about 5'7 and 120 pounds. He is borderline underweight, and may not pass the physical in order to get his ROTC scholarship.

    I'm not exactly sure of what he eats throughout the day, but it usually consists of this: sugary cereal with milk, hot pockets, ice cream, pancakes, bread with Nutella, frozen microwaveable hamburgers, etc. My mother does cook sometime, but not always healthy. He is a very picky eater, and so often times she will make lasagna or pasta for him. My mother also makes very healthy dishes(a lot of wheat free dishes such as vegetable stir frys, or stews. However, he doesn't eat them.

    His workout routine consists of almost all cardio. He runs cross country for his high school, and so he can run very well. His endurance is extremely high. However, he is severely lacking in muscle.

    What are some foods he could eat that would help him gain weight? (The right type of weight. He needs more muscle weight than fat weight). I was thinking steak, eggs, etc. are good. Eat other suggestions? Also, the problem is that he eats very very very little. My 55 year old frail mother eats way more than he does. He doesn't have an eating disorder. He just truly is not hungry.

    Any thoughts? My mother and I have been trying to get him to eat healthy.

  • #2
    Tell him to cut out cardio, hit the weight room and eat Milk, Cheese, potatoe, butter, steak.

    Or become an endurance athlete instead of the army thing

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Rocco Hill View Post
      Tell him to cut out cardio, hit the weight room and eat Milk, Cheese, potatoe, butter, steak.

      Or become an endurance athlete instead of the army thing
      Thank you. His heart is set on the military, and so that's what he wants to do. I'm going to cook him a steak meal with tons of butter and maybe some white rice on the side. I tend to cook for my family anyway.

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      • #4
        Give him one liter of chocholate milk as a "dessert" to finish every meal and buy him a gym membership...
        "All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident."

        - Schopenhauer

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        • #5
          He's going to need a reality check if he's going to reach his goal. The truth is that he's going to have to sack up. He needs to start eating like a functioning human being: meat, potatoes, rice, milk, yogurt, fish, cottage cheese, nut butters, fruits, and vegetables.

          He needs to cut down on the endurance training and start a basic beginner's weight lifting routine (Starting Strength would be a good place to start) and put on some mass. If he doesn't like it, too f'in bad. If he wants to reach the goal he's set for himself, he's going to have to find some internal motivation and be willing to take the steps necessary to succeed.

          Yes, you and your mother can help him to an extent, but if he's going to make a change, it's got to be a decision that he makes for himself.
          My nutrition/fitness/critical thinking blog:

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          • #6
            Protein!!! Protein!! But make sure it's HEALTHY sources of protein - grass-fed beef, wild game, free-range pork, turkey and chicken (free ranged too), omega-3 enriched eggs, wild fatty fish... Things like that. Also, be sure he eat copious amounts of healthy fat too; coconut oil, olive oil, avocados, olives, fish, egg yolks, grass-fed beef tallow... Things like that!

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            • #7
              Jake is right.

              Looks like he's not going to put muscle on eating his way and he wont eat real food to put on muscle.

              Nothing can be done.

              When he realizes this he can correct his eating or find something else to do.

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              • #8
                Yep, less cardio &: Milk, cheese, steak, potatoes. Dense, clean calories & lots of them

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                • #9
                  Liquid calories are best for low appetites. You could devise a heavy cream or coconut milk potion with the necessary flavors and nutrients.
                  37//6'3"/185

                  My peculiar nutrition glossary and shopping list

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                  • #10
                    A gallon of milk a day plus weight lifting. Real food, too. He's not going to get hot pockets in the military.
                    Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by sbhikes View Post
                      A gallon of milk a day plus weight lifting. Real food, too. He's not going to get hot pockets in the military.
                      This. Starting Strength plus GOMAD will do him good.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by sbhikes View Post
                        He's not going to get hot pockets in the military.
                        This!

                        I would find out what kind of food he can expect to get in the military and make him some version of that. If he naturally tends toward super-leanness, he won't be able to afford picky eating once he's in either, and he won't have you catering to his tastes.
                        50yo, 5'3"
                        SW-195
                        CW-125, part calorie counting, part transition to primal
                        GW- Goals are no longer weight-related

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                        • #13
                          The food he gets in the military would be chow hall food--think, cafeteria style. Probably very similar to the dining halls at colleges. (I've eaten in plenty of military chow halls, only a couple times in a college dining hall.) Lots of different kinds of food, not always the most healthy, but with some good choices and adequate amounts.

                          And he will also get what he makes for himself, or buys for himself.

                          As others have said, he needs to realize that HE is ultimately responsible for himself and meeting his goals. He needs to learn how to eat healthy, how to cook, and how to make good food choices.

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                          • #14
                            There are fitness tests in order to join. Can he even pass those now? It's best to get started on that early. It's not about running (though that becomes a big part of training once you're in, according to my husband). He needs to be able to do a certain # of push-ups and sit-ups, timed. Possibly pull-ups as well. Weight lifting would definitely help, but all the other food recommendations are wise.
                            Depression Lies

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                            • #15
                              1) Eat more. No, more. No, EVEN MORE THAN THAT.

                              2) Lift heavy. No, heavier. No, EVEN HEAVIER.

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