T Nation

Big and Weak?

I’ve been told by many that I look like a bodyguard, big guy, looking good, “do you take steroids”, but I STILL don’t see myself as big. It may be because I have around 15-17 % bodyfat, but my lifts are probably what convince me that I am not big. I’ve seen guys smaller than me and as well as bigger than me have bigger lift #s.

My PRs:

Squat: 405x1
Bench: 250x1
Deadlift: 405x1 (haven’t done it in a while for max)

My problem is my measurements are:
Chest - 49"
Arms - 17"
Waist - 38"
Legs - 29.5"
Neck - 20"
Calves - 18.5"

All flexed, but cold.

My bodyweight is 225 lbs right now and I am wondering if anyone else has that big, but weak build.

On a sidenote, my stomach is 38", but if I were to cut fat down to 4%, hypothetically, I would only be able to be at a 35" waist, without losing muscle. My stomach lies flat, I don’t have a round waist while standing, and it recently increased a lot since I changed my squats to ATG. I guess I am just feeling really fat at the moment because of my waist measurement. If anyone else has had this experience it would probably boost my confidence. I usually eat like a horse, but I’ve been feeling so shitty I am not even hungry most of the day.

its relative to ur weight… and some ppl just stronger at certain work outs. to me 400lbs squat for a 225 guy is pretty good. remember u r considered strong when u can lift 1.2-1.5x ur body weight.

I wouldn’t worry about it and just keep lifting for strength.

How is your form for the big 3? That could have something to do with it. Try a westside program and see what happens.

I wouldn’t worry about it. Form is the most important thing in the world, and alot of people get so worried about the stats they forget about form. People tell me I look like I should be able to squat 405, but guess what? I’m maxing out at 315. I’m weak, but I care more about form than I do the numbers.

[quote]Vaanelo wrote:
its relative to ur weight… and some ppl just stronger at certain work outs. to me 400lbs squat for a 225 guy is pretty good. remember u r considered strong when u can lift 1.2-1.5x ur body weight.[/quote]

I’m sorry, but a 1.2-1.5 x BW deadlift or squat is not “strong”. I don’t know where you heard that, but it’s just an indication of how pansy ass most gym goers are. A double bodyweight pull and squat are a goos start. I want to emphasize good start.

I don’t really have any beef with a 1.5 x bench press, but be aware most “strong” lightweight lifters will exceed that. If you weigh 300 pounds it’s a little more impressive.

I have about the same measurements as you. do you measure your neck flexed or relaxed cause relaxed mines about 18 but flexed it goes up to like 22. Bullshit outta the way i have squated 455 off a 14 inch box 16 or so is parrellel, benched 360 and pulled 585 with straps, so try doing singles to build max strength. I tried repping 315 for squats about the time i did 455 on the box and could only get 7 and thought i would die.

Constructive advice - 5’s , triples and singles.

It sounds like you look jacked. Your stomach is under 40, and if you’re around 15% you can’t be fat. Maybe chubby, but not in need of drastic help.

At 15% you should be able to see the big blood vessel that runs down your bicep. If you’ve got that and 17’ arms, then you probably look worthy of a black t-shirt with “SECURITY” on the back.

Your lifts are alright for your bodyweight.
You’re nearly at 2X BW for your squat and you’re over your bodyweight for Bench by 25lbs.

If you were to lose fat, your relative strength would improve. Your relative strength isn’t that great, but it’s not bad and it’s better than most. If you’ve only been lifting for a year then you’re doing alright. If you’ve been squatting for 2 or more years, you should be a bit frustrated that you haven’t broken the 2X barrier.

I think a good test to answer your “Big and Weak” question would be to see how many chin-ups you can do. If you can do 12 or more, then you’re doing fine. If you can’t do more than 6, then IMO you’re weak for your size.

Hmnn, well, the chest measurement is pretty darn big, but considering the waist, I’m picturing you as a barrel physique, with (and I’m being frank here, no disrespect or animosity) small arms. 17" arms are damn good for smaller framed guys, or look good on guys with a great taper. My brother is 6’ something, with a wide back, a 30" waist (very dramatic taper), and while his arms only tape at about 17/17.5", they look great when put with everything else.

I will ask whether your goals are strength or asthetics, as it does make a huge difference. I train for my physique, and along the way (over almost 15 years training), I’ve just kept getting a little stronger each year. I always thought it was just a matter of getting enough sleep, having a sound diet, and busting your ass. Sure genetics play a role, but considering I started at 20 years old, 5’9 and weighing 150 lbs, I certainly didn’t start of a ‘big dude’.

I’d like to say that your lifts arent horrible, but without a pic, I’m really having a hard time figuring out if you are indeed a solid, albeit weak guy, or (again, this is not a dig!), a guy who trains, but is a helluvas lot more fat than he wants to admit to himself (some guys like to be ‘big’, but in the end, aren’t exactly made of much muscle).

The ‘do you take steroids’ questions is common amongst anyone who doesn’t understand that you can build a great physique without chemicals, but it requires a huge commitment and an steady supply of effort.

S

[quote]FightingScott wrote:
It sounds like you look jacked. Your stomach is under 40, and if you’re around 15% you can’t be fat. Maybe chubby, but not in need of drastic help.

At 15% you should be able to see the big blood vessel that runs down your bicep. If you’ve got that and 17’ arms, then you probably look worthy of a black t-shirt with “SECURITY” on the back.

Your lifts are alright for your bodyweight.
You’re nearly at 2X BW for your squat and you’re over your bodyweight for Bench by 25lbs.

If you were to lose fat, your relative strength would improve. Your relative strength isn’t that great, but it’s not bad and it’s better than most. If you’ve only been lifting for a year then you’re doing alright. If you’ve been squatting for 2 or more years, you should be a bit frustrated that you haven’t broken the 2X barrier.

I think a good test to answer your “Big and Weak” question would be to see how many chin-ups you can do. If you can do 12 or more, then you’re doing fine. If you can’t do more than 6, then IMO you’re weak for your size. [/quote]

Oh yes, I am definately weak all right. Been lifting almost 4 years now. The only thing is I just changed my squat from 90 degree to ATG. Also I moved it back a bit on my back, allowing me to squat more. I always had a weak bench since I started lifting, and I WAS able to do about 9 maybe 10 pullups when I was 200. Now I’m down to like 5-6, I guess I will just do 10x3s on pullups or 15x1, something like that. Kinda a middle range between size and strength.

[quote]The Mighty Stu wrote:
Hmnn, well, the chest measurement is pretty darn big, but considering the waist, I’m picturing you as a barrel physique, with (and I’m being frank here, no disrespect or animosity) small arms. 17" arms are damn good for smaller framed guys, or look good on guys with a great taper. My brother is 6’ something, with a wide back, a 30" waist (very dramatic taper), and while his arms only tape at about 17/17.5", they look great when put with everything else.

I will ask whether your goals are strength or asthetics, as it does make a huge difference. I train for my physique, and along the way (over almost 15 years training), I’ve just kept getting a little stronger each year. I always thought it was just a matter of getting enough sleep, having a sound diet, and busting your ass. Sure genetics play a role, but considering I started at 20 years old, 5’9 and weighing 150 lbs, I certainly didn’t start of a ‘big dude’.

I’d like to say that your lifts arent horrible, but without a pic, I’m really having a hard time figuring out if you are indeed a solid, albeit weak guy, or (again, this is not a dig!), a guy who trains, but is a helluvas lot more fat than he wants to admit to himself (some guys like to be ‘big’, but in the end, aren’t exactly made of much muscle).

The ‘do you take steroids’ questions is common amongst anyone who doesn’t understand that you can build a great physique without chemicals, but it requires a huge commitment and an steady supply of effort.

S
[/quote]

Yea, thats how I’ve been viewing myself. The measuring tape says I’m big, but the ratio says I look all right. I thought my bodyfat wasn’t great, but I still looked all right with my shirt off. Maybe great to the average person, but not great to what I wanted to look like. I hope when I cut that I can get a few inches off the waist.

you got some pics?

Not at the moment, I’m gonna do a cycle, so I’ll get some before I start sometime in June.

I don’t know about my arms and calves, but I have pretty much the same measurements as you (the only difference is that my neck’s 18.5"), but I weigh 255. I’m 5’10", so you must be really short?

dude, i think im sort of like you
im 170 lbs, 4pack level body fat, pretty muscular but my lifts are all shit, i havent taken 1 rep maxes, but if i had i wouldnt post them beause they’d be embarassing

OKay, I wasn’t going to post my own stats because I’ve seen people on here hijack threads, and turn them into a pissing contest. But I’m seeing some interesting weights and heights, and figured I’d throw my own out as a comparison (considering my avatar is a pic of me).

Height - 5’9
Weight - 207lbs (in the avatar pic,but I’ve been as heavy as 220, and I can admit to looking kinda fat, so I have a hard time believing that anyone close to my height and weighs 240+ looks muscular at all, unless they’re roided to the gills)
Chest - 47/48"
Waist 32/33" (depending on what I’ve eaten during the day)
Arms - 18"
Calves - 17"
neck - 17.5/18"

Now, while I can freely admit that most people seeing me with my shirt off will no doubt admit I’m into bodybuilding, when I’m wearing a big coat, I like to think I can blend in with ‘normal’ folk.

Do I look ‘big’? well, thats a matter of perception, I honestly dont think so, I’m not that tall, and I do have small joints, and possibly a smaller starting frame as well. DO I look muscular? I’d be lying if I said I didn’t think so (and after 14 years training, I would have wasted a helluva lot of time). I’ve known guys who are “big”, who never touch a weight, and while their arms can tape an impressive number on a tapemeasure, the majority of it is (sadly, and don’t hate me for saying this) fat. Sure, bigger guys will have some muscle tissue just from day to day moving around their bulk, and yes, they will have developed more strength than a smaller guy who has never trained, again, for the same reason.

I guess I’ve always been the guy to er on the side of underestimating my gains. I always figured it would keep me honest, as well as progressing. But, as many young newbs there are who overestimate their own physiques as far as how huge they’re getting, I guess we have the other end of the spectrum, where “big” guys can be reluctant to realize the body composition that is creating the ‘big’ effect. I know I’d rather be a little soft and feel big than know I’m shredded and have my XL shirts fitting loosely, but I think there’s a point where if you honestly want to make any progress, you have to level with yourself.

S