Tristyn Lee’s Incredible Transformation: 40 Pounds in 12 Months – Natural or Not?

Written by James C., M.S.(C), PT

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Tristyn Lee, a young bodybuilder and social media sensation, has once again stunned the fitness world with his recent transformation.

Known for his incredibly shredded physique and dedication to natural bodybuilding, Tristyn recently posted a before-and-after picture that showcases a remarkable 40-pound gain over the past 12 months.

However, this impressive transformation has sparked a heated debate within the fitness community, with many questioning the naturalness of his gains.

Tristyn’s Personal Reflection

In a recent Instagram post, Tristyn reflected on his journey, both physical and mental, over the past year. His caption read:

“The physical manifestation of my mental growth. This last year has been a learning curve, physically of course, but even more so mentally. From 2020-2023 I found myself searching for purpose in all of the work I was doing & constantly fell short. I looked for validation to fill a void that I now know could only be filled through strengthening my relationship with Christ & my family. I am not perfect. I fall short often. I don’t always have the answers. But each day I take one step, as I believe we all should. Stand firm in your faith. Be firm in what you believe in, & hold yourself to a standard that no one else will. Take action.”

Tristyn’s words highlight not just a physical journey, but an emotional and spiritual one as well.

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He emphasizes the importance of mental health and personal growth, underscoring that his transformation is as much about strengthening his inner self as it is about building muscle.

The Transformation: From 137 lbs to 177 lbs

The before-and-after picture posted by Tristyn shows a striking difference. In the span of just 12 months, he has managed to add 40 pounds to his frame, going from a lean 137 lbs to a muscular 177 lbs.

This incredible transformation has raised eyebrows, with many fans and critics alike questioning the feasibility of such gains without the aid of performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs).

The Skepticism: Greg Doucette’s Analysis

One of the most vocal skeptics is Greg Doucette, a bodybuilding expert and YouTube fitness star. In a detailed video, Doucette breaks down why he believes Tristyn’s transformation might not be entirely natural. Here are some key points from Greg’s analysis:

Unprecedented Muscle Gain

Doucette points out that gaining 40 pounds, particularly when starting at 137 lbs and standing at only 5’5″, is an extraordinary feat. He notes that even with the use of PEDs, such gains are remarkable. Doucette argues that this rate of muscle growth is highly unusual for someone who has already been training for years and is beyond the “newbie gains” phase.

Body Composition and Main Gaining

Greg further explains that Tristyn’s body composition has remained impressively lean despite the significant weight gain. Typically, bulking results in an increase in body fat along with muscle, but Tristyn appears to have maintained a low body fat percentage. Doucette speculates that this suggests Tristyn has been “main gaining,” a process where one maintains a relatively constant body fat percentage while gradually building muscle over time.

The Role of Carbs and Caloric Surplus

Tristyn’s transformation also involved a significant dietary change. He moved from a low-carb, carnivore diet to consuming up to 550 grams of carbs per day. While this caloric surplus can certainly aid muscle growth, Doucette remains skeptical that dietary changes alone could account for such dramatic gains.

Tristyn’s Perspective: Addressing the Accusations

Despite the accusations, Tristyn has remained steadfast in his claim of being natural. His transformation journey, shared through various social media posts and videos, emphasizes hard work, dedication, and strategic planning. Tristyn acknowledges the mental and emotional challenges he faced, particularly around the fear of gaining fat, but credits his coach, Jared Feather, for helping him navigate this phase methodically.

In his own words, Tristyn said, “I needed to push my food up and I knew that but the one thing that was holding me back was not having an objective plan with objective measurements that I could consistently follow… I’ve just come to the realization that I need to gain weight if I want to make any sort of productive attempt at building muscle.”

The Support and the Doubts

Tristyn’s transformation has garnered mixed reactions. While many fans have shown immense support and admiration for his dedication and results, others remain doubtful. The accusations of steroid use stem from the disbelief that such gains can be achieved naturally, especially given Tristyn’s already impressive baseline physique.


Tristyn Lee’s transformation is undeniably impressive, showcasing what appears to be a significant gain in muscle mass over a relatively short period. His journey highlights not only physical changes but also personal growth and mental fortitude. While skepticism remains, particularly from experts like Greg Doucette, Tristyn continues to inspire many with his commitment to natural bodybuilding and his openness about the mental challenges he has faced.

Ultimately, whether Tristyn’s gains are entirely natural or not, his journey serves as a powerful reminder of the importance of mental resilience, strategic planning, and unwavering dedication in the pursuit of one’s goals. As Tristyn himself advises, “Stand firm in your faith. Be firm in what you believe in, & hold yourself to a standard that no one else will. Take action.”

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