T Nation

Goal Weight for Short Guy


Long-time T-Nation reader, lifter, cook, but rarely a poster. I am 5'7, 170 lbs and have decent relative strength (245 bench, 275 squat, 315 dead - had a bad knee but fixed my form, now squatting 3x/week to bring up the legs). Over the last 6 months I have finally figured out and have been absolutely nailing my nutrition. I'm confident that whichever course I decide on I can accomplish with my nutrition/lifting regime.

I VERY MUCH want to get bigger but have been reading a couple of contradictions from different coaches here and elsewhere. One school states that a clean bulk is best started from 8-12% body fat because the body can handle nutrients better. The other school suggests that no cutting should be done until you are basically huge.

In 2-4 weeks I can probably cut down to 160 @ 10%. I would like to hear personal experience about how well a bulk has gone starting from 15-20% bf vs. 8-12%. Has anyone tried both and noticed a difference in the results?

As a side question, what is a good goal weight for a guy my height? I'm always hearing about the magic 200lb number for a guy with an average frame (5'10 or so). It seems like 180 and lean would be large enough to put up some big #s and achieve a balanced look.

I'm well aware that a lot of this stuff is based on the individual. Tell me your experiences. Thanks guys.


In my pic in my profile in the red shorts Im around 185 at whatever bodyfat and pretty bloated. I'm 5'7. Im about 3 pounds lighter now and leaner and can't wait to start adding weight again.

It really depends how your body holds weight. Numbers dont mean much.


I've gained over 50 lbs over the course of about 3 years. Now, not all of that has been bulking. I started at 8% BF when I started lifting, I am now around 11 % probably. What I've done is taken breaks from bulking, instead of doing a long bulk, I will do one for about 4 months, then take 4 months to focus on strength, and basically just flip flop it for the most part. It has worked out well and I have managed to put up some decent numbers for my bodyweight, comparatively. So basically my numbers have looked like this:

Height is 5'9"
Start: 130 lbs @ 8% BF
Current: ~185 lbs @ 11% BF

1RM Strength Stuff...
At 164 lbs, 375 lbs Squat (Smolov!)
At 170 lbs, 435 lbs deadlift
At 180 lbs, 300 lbs front squat, 405 lbs squat

So basically, I'll hit a body weight goal, say 170 lbs, and I'll take a few months to chill out on the massive eating and I'll lean up a bit, maintain the weight, and work on strength, then start bulking again and do more bodybuilding type stuff. I get tired of eating some much, so it works for me, and generally by the time I'm getting near a bulk I am looking forward to training differently :slight_smile: