Tuesday, September 21st, 2010 at 12:57 pm  |  47 responses

Links: Prepping for MUSCLE WATCH 2010

Keep those eyes peeled…

by Lang Whitaker | @langwhitaker

Do you smell what the NBA is cooking? Trainers are getting the icy hot ready, equipment managers and laundering the uniforms, coaches are figuring out playing rotations, media relations guys are filling out credentials… It’s time for training camp!

But more importantly, it’s time for…

drumroll please…


I explained this phenomenon during Musclewatch™ 2009

What is MuscleWatch™? Well, I started doing this here on SLAMonline about six years ago, but in actuality, MuscleWatch™ started in the fall of 1995. Matt Harpring was playing basketball at Georgia Tech and was heading into his sophomore season. Suddenly, there were a bevy of stories in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution about how Harpring had spent the summer working out and had gained 15 pounds of muscle. My friend Matt and I thought it was strange that this was mentioned about two dozen times heading into the season, and even stranger that it was always mentioned as 15 pounds of muscle. Never 16, never 14, never 13, but always 15 pounds of muscle.

We took note of that, and suddenly we started seeing it everywhere: athletes from various sports all over the world were gaining 15 pounds of muscle. Once I started writing The Links, I noticed that magic “15 pounds” again showing up everywhere.

The suspicious thing to me is the number 15. Is that a target guys know they can reach? Is that just a good general number to throw out there? Is 15 impressive without being overwhelming?

There are some people who contend that Musclewatch simply rewards those who have regained weight they lost during a season, and perhaps this is true. But there are other players who have shed musclesweight, or lost fat and added muscle (or so they say). Also, we long ago moved past the benchmark 15 Pounds Of Muscle to become a record of most of the interesting fitness fluctuations.

All I know is that it falls to me to chronicle the proverbial pounds. Which players have spent the off-season shaping their bodies? I feel like we need to know. And if this be my legacy, my friends, then so it must be.

But I need your help. Despite the wonders of Google News, one man alone can not possibly keep his eye out for every bit of MUSCLEWATCH™ news. Last year, reader Ken Somolinos cemented his lifetime Linkstigator status by sending me literally dozens of links to stories related to MUSCLEWATCH™. Luckily for all of us,  Ken is already on top of MUSCLEWATCH™ this year as well, sending me a link last week about The Tim Duncan Robot, who came into camp a year ago having shed 15 pounds, and this year has apparently arrived having dropped even more weight than last summer. (I guess Duncan is one of the rare guys who gains weight each season? Either that or he now weighs about 180 pounds?)

Now, it’s time. Email me or tweet me, whatever, by clicking on my byline at the top of the column.

Keep them eyes peeled and muscles popped!

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  • dma

    that picture is creepy.


    test tube baby!

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    That kid has bigger arms than Chris Bosh.

  • http://www.dontevenreply.com total scrotal implosion

    Bron gained 25 lbs of muscle, hes now at 330

  • JTaylor21

    Popeye better watch out cuz little big man is coming for ya.

  • Javy

    Baby Davis, this is your baby’s mama, please send me the child support check or I won’t send you any more pictures of our son!!!

  • http://www.basketbrasil.com.br Rubens

    Add twiterer (yeah, making up words, like Shaq) @jose3030 to the list , other than provinding great screen caps, videos and animated gifs on sporting events claimed to have droppes the 15lbs…

  • http://www.slamonline.com/ niQ

    Hey its the Michelin guy!

  • http://aspov.blogspot.com Cheryl

    I love MUSCLE WATCH, however, wouldn’t it be more fun to check out which of the “gainers” actually look like they gained muscle, instead of just reporting they did? I mean, for example, I think last summer it was reported that Quentin Richardson had gained the proverbial 15 pounds of muscle, and you could tell. Whew. Now, perhaps this is more fun from a female perspective and you fellas might feel a bit uncomfortable reporting whose physique really looks like a gainer. Maybe, I should take that one on. Let me know… ;-)

  • http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/chicago-bulls-confidential/ Diesel

    I’m looking for the link but Lamarcus Aldridge has added 15 pounds of muscle for like the 4th year in a row now

  • http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/chicago-bulls-confidential/ Diesel
  • http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/chicago-bulls-confidential/ Diesel


  • http://www.stonesthrow.com Michael NZ

    Its a bit like how each offseason teams proclaim their going to be ‘uptempo’ (said conveniently right around season ticket buying time)… then the season starts… and… they look exactly the same.

  • The D Train
  • Fat Lever

    What about a MuscleWatch for the Slam staff? Can we get that?

  • http://swishdevelopment.com ionmic

    I beleive eddy curry gained about 80lbs of cheeseburger

  • http://swishdevelopment.com ionmic
  • RedRum

    ΟΚ, I have said it before in last years musclewatch… the NBA anti-drug policy is a joke. all these people put on 15 pounds of muscle because this is the typical amount of muscle that an athlete puts in a cycle of steroids/HGH.

  • http://www.michaelcho.com M Cho

    I swear that kid looks like one of those LEGO figures — you know the tiny ones with the yellow pill head and the square bodies? That kid is LEGO.

  • JTaylor21

    RedBum you do know that it is really easy to gain 15 pounds if you train hard and eat right. You probably don’t know anything about working out, the only thing you exercise is your arm to lift a bottle of rum and your stomach muscles to woof down kfc buckets.

  • http://www.triplejunearthed.com/dacre Dacre

    a bottle of rum??? what is he a pirate?

  • http://www.triplejunearthed.com/dacre Dacre

    M Cho – hahaha. That kid is gunna mess you up is whats happening.

  • http://www.slamonline melvin ely

    I absolutely LOVE the look on that kid’s face. He’s all like “What, you want some of this? Didn’t think so.”

  • Rusty

    lol eboy. that kids hectic.

  • http://aspov.blogspot.com Cheryl

    Cracking up @ Dacre’s pirate comment… good one, dacre.

  • rob stewart

    Is it possible for a skinny guy to gain muscle but lose weight?

  • RedRum

    @Jtaylor32: it is not easy to put on 15 pounds of muscle, especially in 2 months as these players do it. The only way to do it is using PEDs. If you think your beloved NBA players have no idea what PEDs are and they do not use them you live in fairyland…

  • Lazarus

    ehh iono 15lbs isnt that much. its only like 5kgs, i gained 30 kgs in 6months, drug free.

  • RedRum

    15lbs is 8 kg. We are talking about fat-free, muscle only gains. of the 30 kgs you gained, at least half of it would be fat. these athletes have 5-6% body fat. You cannot achieve that in two months unless you use PEDs. Read the NBA drug testing policy. It is a joke.

  • Byotruce

    @redrum: maybe they just gained weight and say it’s muscle. Like Lang said they are probably just gaining weight back they lost during the season.

  • http://hoopistani.blogspot.com hoopistani

    eddy curry has reportedly added 15 pounds of muscle weekly over the off-season

  • RedRum

    probably. Just to burst you bubble though, NBA players use both steroids and HGH. It has been happening for at least 25 years. And no… taking PEDs does not mean that you will become buff and big.

  • http://www.goal.com Tariq

    15 pounds is not 8 kgs.

  • http://slamonline.com Carlos

    I hate to point this out but I noticed it when reading this article and instantly thought of MUSCLEWATCH.

    I wonder if because of MUSCLEWATCH, and that the writer is from SLAM, that they may have purposely not written “gained 20 pounds of muscle.” Instead the wording was very clever and simply stated the previous and current weight. Just an observation, not an accusation.

  • http://slamonline BossTerry

    (clapping hands) Hercules, Hercules!!

  • http://www.stonesthrow.com Michael NZ

    15 pounds = 6.8038855 kgs.

  • RedRum

    ok its seven… it is still too much to gain in two months. This means a 2 pounds of muscle per week… come on… you know what is going on there…

  • http://www.slamonline.com J

    is that the kid from the movie “Up”?

  • http://www.stonesthrow.com Michael NZ

    Its Arvydas Sabonis, aged 4.

  • j4zzm4n

    uh it is possible to gain muscle like that drug free dude.

  • Overtime

    Its funny how people like redrum act as though they know things are fact

  • RedRum

    OK… sorry, my bad. No NBA player uses PEDs and the drug-testing policy of the NBA is the strictest you can find in the world, on par with WADA.

  • todd

    pretty sure these guys are professional athletes who work with professional trainers and can afford professional nutritionists. #Justsayin

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  • http://www.oprah.com Doyouwantmore


    This one says Evan Turner gained ten pounds of muscle, but that it’s all tied in to the fact that he’s destined to be a huge bust.

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