Ben Bartch's Legendary Weight Gain

He's like Fear Factor meets Top Chef.

Jim Rome
February 27, 2020 - 10:08 am
Ben Bertch

USA Today

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The NFL Scouting Combine is a truly unusual place, full of great things and weird things, things that are really important and things that don’t matter at all. And this year, it’s moving into primetime.

That’s right, instead of having the workouts start in the morning and run through the day, the workouts will be at night. And tonight kicks off with the quarterbacks, wide receivers, and tight ends doing their drills.

And as much as you want to clown the combine and make fun of the spectacle, admit it, you know you’re going to be watching. Of course you will. Because even if you want to make fun of the underwear Olympics…and clown the idea of people watching football players not playing football, but just working out, you know you’re going to be posted up  right in front of your TV set, waiting to see something amazing or working on your own mock draft. 

You’ll be looking at Jordan Love’s arm strength and trying to measure it for yourself. Or Henry Ruggs III 40 time and trying to project what that would look like on an NFL field.

And you’ll be seeing new drills, like the addition of an end zone fade for quarterbacks to throw and the timed smoke/now drill, where quarterbacks will throw to a receiver on one side running a smoke route and then do the same thing on the other side.

Receivers and tight ends will also be participating in the fade route, which mimics Twitter’s most polarizing red zone play call.

When it’s time for the running backs to go later in the week, they’ll be tested on the Duce Staley drill, while defensive backs will get four new drills and drop two drills.

But of course, there will still be the staples like the 40, the vertical jump, and the broad jump.

And there will be very large human beings doing those events in utterly ridiculous times.

You’ll be seeing guys like former Louisville left tackle MA-KAI BECHTON. And I get it. He’s 6’7 and 3/8ths and is talking about dropping a few pounds to get down into the low 350s. In other words, he is absolutely massive. And at 20 years old, he might not be done growing. And he still hasn’t been in an NFL weight room or through an NFL strength program.

No wonder he’s saying things like "I feel like I'm the most dominant tackle in the draft. You wouldn't go wrong taking me." I believe him. I totally believe him.

And then there’s a legend like Ben Bartch, a tackle out of Division III St. John’s. He started out as a tight end, but was moved to tackle and had to bulk up. And I mean bulk up. Bulk the hell up. Legend has it that he put on 70 pounds since making the switch. So how did he do it? By breaking out a blender and creating the most hideous sounding smoothie ever.

Are you prepared for this one? Have you eaten today or thought about eating ever again in your life? Because you might not after hearing this ingredient list.

First item: 7 scrambled eggs.

Okay, that’s fine. That’s not too crazy. Eggs aren’t for everyone, but you certainly can’t say that someone is crazy for eating them, even if he’s having seven of them. Any high school kid who has had to tried to add weight, or any parent of a high school kid looking to gain weight has seen this: junior loading up on 6-8 eggs per sitting. I can remember our oldest son Jake, looking to get bigger and stronger playing high school baseball, and slamming 8 eggs at a time, and chasing it with peanut butter covered eggos and then asking me if I was going to finish my breakfast. So you see it all the time: 6, 8 eggs per sitting, not that unusual for an athlete. If that’s all it was. But it’s not. Bartch is starting with those 7 scrambled eggs. And he’s chasing them with grits.

Again, that’s fine. Eggs and grits make sense. But remember, we’re not talking about loading your plate with eggs and grits. We’re talking about loading your blender with eggs. And grits. Because, I guess, if you have to eat them in bulk, putting them in a smoothie is easier.

Next: peanut butter.

You knew that was coming. It’s a staple of weight-gaining shakes because it’s got a lot of calories and it’s relatively inexpensive. Peanut butter. All. Damn. Day. 

Followed by a banana. Again, classic smoothie ingredient. Of course, you’ll smash a banana into that concoction. So, Right now we’re at seven eggs, quick grits, peanut butter, and a banana. Heavy, sure, but nothing really crazy. Not yet. 

Next up: a big tub of cottage cheese.

Hello! This just got real. My guy is just chucking a whole tub of cottage cheese into that smoothie. Holy crap that’s strong. 

Strong, But damn, this thing is going to be thick. I’m not even sure how you’d pour it. Have to have something to cut it or thin it out a little. Our boy ben has that covered, too. 

What do you cut that now disgusting concoction with: Gatorade. Of course. 

Shut it down! Let’s go home. That is the final ingredient and somehow that makes it even worse.

7 scrambled eggs, a big tub of cottage cheese, quick grits, peanut butter, banana, and Gatorade. That is the absolute worst episode of Chopped ever.

I’m not even going to ask what flavor of Gatorade because it doesn’t matter. Gatorade is great, on its own.

But there isn’t a flavor of Gatorade that pairs well with eggs, cottage cheese, grits, and peanut butter. It’s not like going with Cool Blue is any better than Artic Blitz when you’re slamming this monstrosity

So how’s it taste? According to Bartch, not great. “I’d gag sometimes, but that’s what you have to do.”

So how did he come up with this beast? “I just kind of researched online for the most clean and healthy ingredients for putting on good mass.” And apparently took everything he found, threw it into a blender, and drank it. And it worked. “That summer I went from 250 (pounds) to 275, and then after that I went from 275 to 305.”

And now my guy is that the NFL Combine.

I don’t even know why he would stop there. If you mixing all that shit up; how do you not throw a couple of big ass pickles into the blender while you’re at it. Maybe a slab of liver. Or a package of head cheese. Or a vegemite sandwich. Or both. 

You want the real ratings tonight? Have old Ben Bartch mix up that smoothie, serve it to people, and watch their reactions. It will be like Fear Factor meets Top Chef.