Irony at its best: A Personal Trainer pushes Gluttony to the Extreme! 40 lbs gained in 4 Days!
By Brock Picken
Let me introduce myself: I’m Brock Picken, a graduate of Brock University with a degree in Sports Exercise Management, and a successful personal trainer (and yes, I’ve heard every Brock at Brock joke!). My life is focused around health and nutrition, and running my own personal training business. I have a passion for fitness, and strive to make a difference in many people’s lives.
My favorite radio station for years has been “102.1 The Edge”, particularly the Dean Blundell Show. They’ve been running a contest for a few years now, and each is based on one of the seven deadly sins. Recently, the latest contest was “The Wheel of Gluttony”. Believe it or not, I am known among my family and friends as having a large appetite, and am not ashamed (nor proud) to admit that I have been kicked out of several all-you-can-eat restaurants (It’s a good thing I work out!). So I decided that this was my contest to win!
The challenge I chose to enter was ‘weight gain’. Whoever gained the most weight in one week qualified for a chance to win $10, 000, a 2004 MazdaSpeed Miata and a 2005 Mazda Tribute! I decided I’d have to pull out all the stops! For the first two days I depleted myself of water (much like I do when I prepare for a bodybuilding show), and ate little to no carbs. Sodium was also eliminated from my diet. I took herbal diuretics and jogged on the treadmill for a couple hours a day to flush the remaining fluids from my system (I actually dropped close to 15 lbs doing this). My official weight Wednesday night at the radio station was 164 lbs. Then the eating began!
I actually had a strategy for the next four days. I must admit, this is where my knowledge of nutrition paid off (literally). As much as it may seem like I pigged out, everything I did involved slowing down my metabolism as much as possible. First of all, I stopped working out. Exercise burns calories. Secondly, I slept very little (probably two or three hours a night). A good night’s sleep also boosts your metabolism. Third, I eliminated vitamins, water, and caffeine from my diet (all of which also boost metabolism). And fourth, I ate the most calorie-dense foods possible (ex. 6-10 white bagels a day), mainly later in the evening. As my regular diet usually consists of a healthy balance between protein, complex carbs, and healthy fats (which keeps my insulin controlled), I decided that consuming mainly simple carbs would be the quickest way to gain weight (by spiking my insulin, letting it crash, then spiking it again). Alcohol was consumed at night also in large amounts (for extra calories, naturally).
Saturated and trans fats were the next most important components to gain weight, mainly in the form of fast food burgers and fries (McDonalds was visited three times a day, ordering up to six cheeseburgers at a time). 15 grams of creatine a day was also consumed to help gain weight. I drank chocolate milk by the litre, and loads of juice or pop right before bed. As much fun as this sounds, I felt horrible. However, going to Hooters for chicken wings and beer was probably the most fun part of this diet! After the first day, I had gained a whopping 24 lbs!
I continued this pattern for the next few days. Each day I felt more sluggish, bloated, and wanted to do nothing but nap. Extra weight became noticeable in my face and stomach. My hands even became puffy due to the massive amount of sodium my body was holding from the fast food, and my vascularity and muscle definition disappeared completely. My girlfriend had fun pinching my new ‘love handles’. My mood changed as quickly as my insulin spiked (I was not the most pleasant person to be around). Stomach aches and headaches were present throughout my binge – things I hardly ever experience being as healthy as I am.
The final night before the weigh-in was Thanksgiving dinner, which could not have worked out any better! Red wine washed down handfuls of cheese and crackers before the main course. Two plates of mashed potatoes and three heaping servings of turkey was just the beginning. The next three huge plates consisted of home-made lasagna and turkey stuffing. Desert was six pieces of pie, which nearly made me sick. Later that night my step-brother forced chocolate cake down my throat, until I passed out. I awoke in my recliner the following morning holding a bottle of coke and a half-eaten piece of cake.
The morning of the weigh-in I did a sodium-load. This was by far the toughest part of the diet. I poured salt straight from the box into my mouth, and then downed a bottle of water. Within two hours of awakening, I had consumed almost half a box of salt and 14 bottles of water. I thought my bladder was going to explode!
As I entered the studio I approached the morning show guys (Dean, Jason, and Todd) and showed them a bodybuilding picture of myself, to show what my physique normally looks like. Then I lifted up my shirt. My stomach stuck out so much Dean nearly fell off his chair with laughter. Todd couldn’t believe it! I stepped on the scale, and to my surprise was well over 200 lbs! I couldn’t even believe it! Over the course of four days I had gained 40 lbs, or 25% of my total body weight! This qualified me for a spot on the wheel, along with 41 other people. The final spin to determine the Grand prize winner was two weeks away.
Over the next two weeks I was nothing but 100% confident that I was going to win The Wheel of Gluttony. My friends, family, and clients were all proud of me for qualifying, but some were very skeptical that I would win. After all, how could my odds be better than any one else on the wheel? On the Monday of the final week, I received a phone call from TD Bank. It turned out that I had won a $200 gift certificate to Canadian Tire, from a draw I had entered a few weeks earlier. As silly as it sounds, this had to be an omen. I decided I would start off the week winning something, and finish off the week the same way. I maintained this attitude all week. The night before the final spin I told my step-brother that I would come pick him up from work the next day in my new sports car.
As I drove to the studio the morning of the final spin, Dean and the guys announced that the wheel was numbered 1 through 42, and each person was assigned a number. I thought to myself that it would be great if I was number 33, as this is my lucky number. When I entered the studio I found the board with all the names, and sure enough, I was number 33! I had goose bumps. This was it, I was going to win! Minutes before the spin, someone commented that it was odd that a few people had not showed up. Todd even said “I have a bad feeling it’s going to land on someone who’s not here”
Then it was time! Alan Cross (the Producer) spun the wheel, and as it slowed down, my heart sank. It was nowhere near my number. The wheel slowed, and then finally stopped on number 3. After a couple seconds of silence, someone shouted, “He’s not here!!!!!!” The studio erupted!!! Everyone went nuts!!! Dean shouted “We’re going to spin the son-of-a-bitch again!!!!!” And they did. The second spin seemed like it took forever to stop. As it finally slowed down, I couldn’t believe my eyes! Here comes my number! And it’s.....33!!!! I went nuts! I jumped around the studio yelling and screaming! I won! I couldn’t believe it! When they calmed me down and asked me how I was feeling, unfortunately all I could manage to say was “Holy S*#T!”, which apparently you can’t say on the air!
Was it fate? Maybe. Was it luck? Probably, but I’d like to think that this happened for a reason. Many of my clients have told me that good things happen to good people. I am now debt free and able to pour more time and energy into my personal training business (which is called Brock’s Ultimate Fitness – B.U.F. for short). And in case any one was wondering, it took me one week to get back to my normal weight again! I am having a web site made, which will be launching soon. I encourage all of you to check it out at www.buf.ca. Also, check out The Edge’s web site at www.edge.ca and send the morning show guys an email. Tell them I said hi!
If there’s a moral to this story, I guess it’s that there’s no telling what can happen when you push your body to the limit! I don’t recommend going the way I did though. I don’t even know if I could ever gain 40 lbs in four days again (or if I’d even have a reason to). I must admit, it was the grand prize that motivated me to do it. Maybe if Guinness Book was involved…..hmmm, that gives me an idea…
Brock is a contributing writer/athlete for World Natural Sports Organization www.WNSO.com, the producers of the coveted FAME World Event Series and FAME 2005 Fitness And Model Expo www.FAME2005.com. For more information regarding Brock or the WNSO events coming to your area, visit www.WNSO.com or email compete@WNSO.com.