news.com.auDECEMBER 6, 20198:49AM
Stacking on the kilos by eating clean hasn’t worked for Wests Tigers star Luke Garner, so he’s being forced to gorge on junk food instead.
An aversion to indulgent foods is not a common problem among NRL athletes but Wests Tigers second-rower Luke Garner is struggling to “eat dirty” to gain weight. He’s tried it the right way, by eating larger volumes of “clean” foods, but on his trainer’s advice he has been forced to attempt a diet of pizza, burgers and ice cream to increase his size.
The 24-year-old back-rower weighs almost 100kg but he has representative ambitions for 2020 and beyond. And to achieve them, he needs to size up.
“First of all I’ve got to put on a little more weight. I’m a bit light for a back-rower now at 98, 99 kilos,” he said. “I’ve got three or four more I want to put on. “It’s so hard to put on weight because I don’t like eating too dirty. “I spoke to the trainer the last week and he said, ‘You have to eat dirty’.
"Over the weekend I just had chocolate, pizzas and burgers. I put on a little — about a kilo-and-a-half — but there’s more to go. “It’s not the worst situation to be in.”
Leading into the festive season, NRL players tend to avoid “I’ve been trying to put on weight for the past couple of years, and that’s been by eating clean, and I just can’t do it,” he said.“Maybe eating dirty might be the way.”
Garner made his NRL debut with the Tigers last year and had a breakout season in 2019, with seven tries in 14 games to establish a place in the pack.He recently signed a contract extension for a further two years, until the end of 2022, but will need to compete for a starting position on an edge with new recruit Luciano Leilua and Michael Chee Kam.
Still, he is amazed at what he has been able to achieve. “I looked back in the off-season and came to the realisation of what happened,” he said. “I was very happy with how my year went.
“I’m pretty excited to take that further into 2020 and hopefully my goal is to play representative football at some stage.”