Back in the Poconos in 2015, the final buzzer sounded and Carmen had handled a paltry 13 hot dogs. Others had eaten more than 50 in the same time. But he had the bug, and now he was determined to learn to eat more and faster so that he would qualify the following year.
Carmen had to figure how to make his mind ignore his stomach and so he applied his Biomedical Engineering education to the problem, using it to train himself to eat like a champ.
He learned to push through the signal the stomach sends to the brain telling us to stop eating, he used his physiology education to train his stomach muscles so that he could expand his stomach on command, and he devised an eating schedule that maximised his training in the days and weeks leading up to competitions. It worked.
In 2016 he qualified and ate 42 hotdogs at the Nathan’s 4th of July championship. In 2017 he ate 60 hot dogs, clinching 2nd place. And he entered competitions involving other foods: Carmen is the current World Record holder for corn on the cob (61 ¾ ears in twelve minutes) and bratwurst (101 links in ten minutes). He also recently ate 10lbs of kale in 8 minutes, and he has downed 67 slices of pumpkin pie in 8 minutes.