T Nation

1 Yr Goal Setting


Beginner who is also turning 39 in a month. I am 6'4" and 'skinny fat' with thin bones...stupid genetics. I have spent the last couple months building strength and now I want to dive in and set a goal for my 40th birthday next year.

How much in LBM (pounds) should I set as a goal for a year from now?. I will be following CW's plans and eating 3000-4000 cal/day. Is 25#-30# of LBM at my age a realistic goal if I lift heavy and eat big? I will worry about losing the fat after that. I want some muscle to be under it first.



depends on how much fat you are willing to gain with the muscle. if you are talking about a fairly slow bulk, gain .5-1 lb a week(well at least in thinking) I'd say (im imagining you are a beginner) you can expect to gain 15-25 lbs in 1 year. but then again, the longer you bulk, the more fat gain becomes a problem, because usually the higher BF% you are, the more fat accompanies muscle gains, if that makes sense.

but dont worry about that, just eat clean, eat alot, and fuck some shit up in the gym.
goodluck bro.


If you truly are a beginner to resistance training, and you don't have any significant injuries or health problems, and you learn as much as you can and work hard and smart, I'd bet you could gain 30-35 pounds of muscle in one year


In terms of being a beginner, I have experimented with lifting but never really lasted more than several weeks. This is a little more information

18% bf (about)

arms = 14.5" (flexed)
chest = 44"
legs = stilts

I think that qualifies me as a beginner. I realize that I can only fight my genetics up to a point. But I intend to fight them as much as I can over the next year.



It's not your genetics. It's your lack of consistency with nutrition and training.

Put in the time, and you will reap the rewards.


Good thinking in wanting to set goals! That can be one of the most neglected areas when it comes to getting your body in better shape. Just remember to also set some short term and slightly longer than short term goals too.

You can also re-evaluate your longer term goals as you progress to keep them challenging, yet attainable (I'd say more emphasis on challenging). If you notice that your short term goals are coming quickly, and you come close to your 1 year goal in about 8 months, you can set a higher goal for the end of the year.

I think reading the articles on this site, and staying motivated enough to follow through with the advice could very well be the best thing anyone could do for themselves in terms of improving their bodies. You've come to the right place for achieving your goals!

Stay with it and post your progress.


While "bulking" what would a good LBM/Fat ratio be for every 10 pounds? In addition to my year goal, I have quarterly checkpoints to see if I am thinking 60/40 or 70/30, but would like to hear the thoughts of others.

I am finding it very hard to be "ok" with adding fat after all the brainwashing I went through prior to taking what I read here to heart, so any guidance on this subject would be appreciated.

I have also attached the one of the ways I am tracking my goal (split so image is viewable). I am actually ahead of where I thought I would be...so this is good news.



Goals are a great way to stay motivated. They will keep you focused and on track. Be committed to meeting them, do what it takes to meet them, and you will certainly meet or exceed them.

Here's my story regarding goals and fat loss/lean body weight gains. Be advised that I am 47 and my goals and time frames are probably MUCH different than most. My father died a while ago of congenitive heart failure. The docs said it was probably a genetic thing and his younger brother and sister had already had heart problems. His advice to me was control the lifestyle issues.

I did and bought a Bowflex. At the time I was almost 45.5 yrs old (my dad had his first heart attack at 44). I followed the eating and exercise plan as outlined by Ellington Darden, PhD. (see his interview with Shugart at: http://www.t-nation.com/readTopic.do?id=508353). I had met Darden back in the late '70s while attending Baylor. Fast forward 25 yrs and I began my new fitness endeavors.

As I had participated in sports all my life and was no stranger to the weight room, I went for it. I began researching nutrition and exercise, all the while following the "Bowflex Body Plan."

My numbers were as follow (I did my own caliper measurements):
weight: 228
bf: 30% / 68.4 lbs
lbw: 159.6 lbs (Lbw=lean body weight)
That was January of 2003.

Today, the numbers look like this:
weight: 210
bf: 17% / 35 lbs
lbw: 174 lbs

That's 15 pounds in a calorie restricted, high carb, moderate protein and fat diet. I have good energy stores and my CNS is not over taxed. I have kept records of everything from skinfold measurements to workout log. Recently, I have been journalling all food and water consumption.

When in fat loss mode, my caloric intake was between 1500-1800 kcals/day. I worked out 3x / week following a HIT protocol of 1 set per exercise, 8-12 reps done to momentary muscular failure in relatively exceptional form. I would complete 10 - 12 exercises per day. When I began, I was benching about 130 on the machine 8 times. Today, the 310 lbs is not enough and I have to pre-exhaust to max out. I know, the "weight" isn't accurate, but the progression is. As you can see, I am not catabolic and am seeing results. I do not always limit myself to 1500-1800 kcals, only during a fat loss cycle. Usually I am at around 2000-2400 kcals

Today, I still use the Bowflex with a HIT protocol with some variations. I am, once again, in a fat loss mode. I perform seven exercises plus ab work. I follow up with a resisted Tabata Protocol using dumbells. I work out 5 times every two weeks and take a week off every two months.

Bottom line, I set goals and have achieved them. I have set new goals and am on my way to meeting those. Just because my methods are different, doesn't mean they are wrong. Remember, my goals are different than most, as well.

As an aside, I train elite HS and college athletes and don't recommend a calorie restricted diet, unless in the offseason and there is fat to lose. Usually only for a two week stretch as elite athletes don't usually have much fat to lose.

At my age, I am pleased but not satisfied. My eating and workout habits will pretty much fly in the face of what is talked about on this site. TFB.



So to follow up on my last question...what ratio should I expect/accept?