T Nation

A 'Bigger' Look at Same Weight

Fellas.

A bit confused. I’ve now met a few people at the gym who weigh the same as each other, but one dude looks far bigger than the other in every single way.

Yesterday, a guy’s weight was 10 lbs more than mine, but I would have guessed it to be at least 30-40 lbs more. He was actually taller than me and I was shocked to see that he only weighed 4kg more.

a) Which factors have the biggest effect in this size difference even if the weight/height are the same?
b) Just how much can the “bigness” vary between two guys who are of an equal weight, and equal height?

Appreciated.

Muscle simply weighs more than fat (we’re ignoring really basic stuff though, like bone size, density etc, which will also affect how much you can weigh). Here’s an example: there’s a guy at my gym, we’re the same height, same wrist circumference and both usually hover around 200 lbs. But he ‘takes up much more space’ than I do… cuz he’s a big fatass and I’m mostly muscle at that weight-lol ( a little harsh, but there’sthe root of the issue).

Also, when I cut weight for a contest, even though I’m getting smaller (or at least losing fat weight), I actually can appear to be getting bigger because of the increased muscular definition. visible

S

[quote]The Mighty Stu wrote:
Muscle simply weighs more than fat (we’re ignoring really basic stuff though, like bone size, density etc, which will also affect how much you can weigh). Here’s an example: there’s a guy at my gym, we’re the same height, same wrist circumference and both usually hover around 200 lbs. But he ‘takes up much more space’ than I do… cuz he’s a big fatass and I’m mostly muscle at that weight-lol ( a little harsh, but there’sthe root of the issue).

Also, when I cut weight for a contest, even though I’m getting smaller (or at least losing fat weight), I actually can appear to be getting bigger because of the increased muscular definition. visible

S[/quote]

Thanks for the explanation Stu. In two average gym go-eros, how far do you think that the appearance can make your weight seem in comparison to another? For example, could you look 30lbs ‘bigger’ than someone else at 200lbs or can the variation not get that big?

Also in competitions, how are weight classes set? And do guys usually come into the competition at fairly similar weights within a weight category? Is it like boxing where there are lots of tiers, or are the brackets larger?

I ask because when this dude claimed to be 10 lbs more than me, my first reaction was 'bullshit!" He’s about 3 inches taller and appears thrice as big as me. So it prompted my question. For now, I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt.

Thanks!

Invidual things like muscle shape and insertion points, clavicular width etc. all play a big part in the visual appearance of people. If you have great genetics in the structural appartment you can look much heavier than you really are, and thus heavier than someone with a different structure but the exact same weight, height and bodyfat.

[quote]toolshed wrote:
Invidual things like muscle shape and insertion points, clavicular width etc. all play a big part in the visual appearance of people. If you have great genetics in the structural appartment you can look much heavier than you really are, and thus heavier than someone with a different structure but the exact same weight, height and bodyfat.[/quote]

Shit. I guess this means more steaks for me then.

Cheers.

This may be of interest. These people are not bodybuilders but it’s a neat thing to check out.

http://www.cockeyed.com/photos/bodies/heightweight.shtml

Well, this is nice, I found the guy occupying my place on the chart, a bodybuilder (6 feet, 250lbs)
http://www.cockeyed.com/photos/bodies/600-250.shtml

And here’s me at the same, his legs are bigger, well…he’s just bigger.

[photo]28442[/photo]

[quote]Nards wrote:
Well, this is nice, I found the guy occupying my place on the chart, a bodybuilder (6 feet, 250lbs)
http://www.cockeyed.com/photos/bodies/600-250.shtml

And here’s me at the same, his legs are bigger, well…he’s just bigger.

[photo]28442[/photo]

[/quote]

That’s a really interesting resource. 250lb?! How old were you when you began lifting, and how much did you weigh? Congratulations btw. Is that the weight you maintain or are you shooting for higher/lower?

I started lifting at 18 (37 now) and for the longest time I was 230lbs, but last year I started bulking (I think it was from reading the thread “Bodybuilding My Way” by FattyFat) and got up to 265 or so. I’ve been trying to get my bodyfat level down, but that won’t happen without losing lbs so I’m at 250 or so now.

There may be more factors than these, but I think relevant things include:

Head size. A bigger head results in the same body looking smaller, and vice-versa.

Rib cage size: A big rib cage and larger lungs results in larger volume for same weight (lung tissue takes up a lot of space for a given amount of weight.)

Hip size: An amount of weight in the hip structure put instead into the same number of pounds of muscle elsewhere gives an appearance of larger size. If for the same weight, height, bodyfat and other factors someone has a heavier hip structure, he’ll look smaller overall.

Bone thickness: Heavier bone structure, for same bodyweight and bodyfat, results in smaller appearance. Not, of course, that small bone size tends to be a contributor for guys who are really big, but having relatively heavy bones for their weight may hurt the size appearance of a number of guys who are of a smaller-looking size.

For example, way back early in training when I was 158 lb and not ripped, I was underwater weighed at 6% bf. (As personal opinion, true bodyfat was probably 10%.) The best explanation for that is relatively heavy bones for my weight, despite a small frame.

Personally, I manage to combine all four of these features (or perhaps now only three: the last is now open to question, as perhaps at my current weight the bone weight might be proportional) and I look at least 20 lb lighter than actual weight. Which of course is an awful trait for bb’ing.

I think they’ve said it, but the “size appearance” is just the interaction between your muscle mass, bodyfat percentage, muscle belly shape and height.

[quote]Bill Roberts wrote:
There may be more factors than these, but I think relevant things include:

Head size. A bigger head results in the same body looking smaller, and vice-versa.

Rib cage size: A big rib cage and larger lungs results in larger volume for same weight (lung tissue takes up a lot of space for a given amount of weight.)

Hip size: An amount of weight in the hip structure put instead into the same number of pounds of muscle elsewhere gives an appearance of larger size. If for the same weight, height, bodyfat and other factors someone has a heavier hip structure, he’ll look smaller overall.

Bone thickness: Heavier bone structure, for same bodyweight and bodyfat, results in smaller appearance. Not, of course, that this tends to be a contributor for guys who are really big, but it may hurt a number of guys who are on the smaller-looking side for their weight.[/quote]

I’m kind of funny as I have a big head (army buds used to ask: “What would you rather have? A million bucks or Nard’s head full of nickels?”) and I have small hands and thin wrists, as they’re 7.5 inches to my forearm’s 13.5
I think my bones are quite gracile all over.

[quote]Nards wrote:
“What would you rather have? A million bucks or Nard’s head full of nickels?”[/quote]

LMFAO!!!

[quote]Nards wrote:
This may be of interest. These people are not bodybuilders but it’s a neat thing to check out.

http://www.cockeyed.com/photos/bodies/heightweight.shtml[/quote]

That is neat. I need to complete the 5’11", 230 spot

Haha T-Nation needs to fill that pace up, too many chubby chicks in high weight categories

[quote]Iron Dwarf wrote:

[quote]Nards wrote:
“What would you rather have? A million bucks or Nard’s head full of nickels?”[/quote]

LMFAO!!!
[/quote]

If anyone ever tries to take you up on this bet…take the million dollars! You’ll be ahead by close to fifty bucks.

[quote]Nards wrote:

[quote]Iron Dwarf wrote:

[quote]Nards wrote:
“What would you rather have? A million bucks or Nard’s head full of nickels?”[/quote]

LMFAO!!!
[/quote]

If anyone ever tries to take you up on this bet…take the million dollars! You’ll be ahead by close to fifty bucks.[/quote]

Holy shit, I just realised - that IS a massive head. So are you actually 160lb body and 90lb head?

I’m often surprised by how light some big-looking dudes are, usually because they have massive upper bodies perched atop two birdy legs

People used to say I looked way bigger than what I weighed. I think it has a lot to do with small joints. However the more weight I put on the less I hear this, maybe because I have gained a lot of size in my legs.
There is a guy at my gym who is only 5kg heavier than me, same height but just looks massive! He does carry a bit more bodyfat but I just cant imagine looking that big only gaining 5kg

When I tell people I only weigh about 165, their jaws hang open.