T Nation

How Big Can You Get Naturally?

Hi Guys.

I’ve been having a debate elsewhere (ok an argument) about natural and ‘pharmaceutical’ bodybuilding. This guy (who claims to be an ex pro) says it’s impossible for a genetically average guy standing 5ft 10 (@180cm) to weight over 200 lbs at 8% body fat. Would appreciate your thoughts on what he says…

[quote]5’11 205 ~ 5’10 198 (~7lb/inch for male) = NOT possible 100% completely natural with no supp while remaining at 8% no clothes on. (in the morning after 8 hour sleep no food in system with one single glass of water drank before weighin, no clothes/shoes/pump which =3-8lb)

thus you were 5’11 ~198~7% which is parallel and will look very much alike as 5’10~190~8% = POSSIBLE COMPLETELY NATURALLY as i said before if ones have extra ordinary response to training which i assume you have if you were at those numbers at this body fat. 5’11 198lb 7% bf is SUPERB physiqe and only minority of trainees will be able to achieve it naturally.

guys you need to pay attention to the way i write and to the small details i put in. they are exteremly important. when you see the 5’7 guys in the bronx weighin 220 they are not 8% they are sitting at a good 18-20% bodyfat and in most cases been working out in the past with the intake of supplements and in many cases trial periods with hormones.[/quote]

off the top of my head, I can think of the scivation team. I know layne norton is all natural and he competes at over 200 at 5’10"

Where’s my shovel…

“while remaining at 8% with no clothes on”

So wearing clothes makes a difference in your bodyfat %?


200 on 5’9’’ - 5’10’’ with single digit bodyfat is a great physique. The thing is that most peoples underestimate what 8% looks like. Some peoples begin to see some abs and some veins and immediately think that they are 10%!

A TRUE 8% is VERY close to a bodybuilding competition shape. On the picture attached I am 208 (I’m 5’8’’) at 7.5% body fat (one of the rare times I had my BF calculated).

So 200lbs at 8% on 5’9’’ - 5’10’’ is nothing to sneeze at and is in fact a very challenging goal to achieve. Not many peoples will actually reach that level.

BUT that is not to say that it’s IMPOSSIBLE to get bigger at a similar degree of body fat. I knew a guy in high school, I played football with him, he was 180lbs on 5’7’’ and absolutely devoid of any body fat (he was under 8% without a doubt). Did he take steroids? Heck, the guy DIDN’T EVEN TRAIN!!!

Normally we account for a 5lbs difference per inch. So 180 on 5’7’’ is pretty much like 195lbs on 5’10’’. Surely if this guy had trained and ate more than 2 meals of crap a day he would have easily reached a much higher body weight than 200 in good condition.

Granted, this is ONE case (although I have played with quite a few guys who were in the 190-205lbs range on 5’9’’ - 5’11’’ with sub 10% body fat and who only did minimal training and ate sub-par diets) but there are many like this out there.

Sadly, it’s not us! But it goes to show that the human body cannot be put in a box saying that ‘‘it’s impossible to achieve this’’.

Do I believe that one can be bigger than 200lbs on 5’9’’ - 5’10’’ without drugs? YES!

Do I believe that everybody can reach that level? NO! And I do believe that it is a much better physique than most peoples imagine.

I am living proof of the possibilities. Granted, I have been bulking since I was 13! I did it the right way, not knowing it at the time, with powerlifting. I built a superb base. I was quite successful and put up big numbers throughout my teenage years. I packed on plenty of mass and passed every drug test along the way.

I never went to body-part splits until 20 years old. Along the way I have used plenty of supps, such as creatine, glutamine, whey/casein, and a prohormone when I was younger. It was a Twinlabs Andro supplement, that I took when I was 18, after I saw Mark McGwire used one. LOL. I’m not even sure if it did much of anything, because I didn’t blow up!! But I guess you could consider that unnatural. But in terms of AAS, I’m clean.

I am now 25, 5’9 and 244, with a BF% around 14. The highest I got was almost 290, although with high body fat. So, unless I totally screw up my cut right now, I will be definitely be over 200 at under 10%. Only time will tell though.

I’d consider myself a rare case, I could be wrong. My whole life, I ate everything in sight, lifted heavy consistently, never suffered any setbacks and never stopped growing. So with the proper basics and genetics, anything is possible.

I KNOW somewhere between where I’m at now and an IFBB stage my natural possibilities end. I’ll let you know when I get there.

What about a 6’2" person? I’m 245 lbs, 18% bf as of now, and I have never touched a weight in my life until 7 months ago. According to this 5-lbs-per-inch rule, an arguable genetic limit for a 6’2" person would be 220. I highly doubt that after I reach my genetic limit that I will be of 220 lbs with 8% bf.

You will only know how big YOU can get naturally.

Do you also ask yourself the question “How much money can I earn in a lifetime ?”. Sounds kind of silly doesn’t it.

Ya know what’s funny about this?

When I first got into training in 1991 most gym rats vastly overestimated how much size they could ultimately gain. Everybody was going to be like the guys in the mags.

Today few think they can get any bigger than Ryan Reynolds.

What happened?

For one, widespread reporting on steroids happened. Back then it was just becoming commonly known that the guys in the mags had pharmaceutical help, so many believed they had the potential to maybe get somewhere near that big.

Now it’s swung waaaaay back the other way and everybody knows that the guys in the media are enhanced, but have come to the mistaken conclusion that since they will never be that big naturally they will never be big at all.

I really believe this, among other factors, like femmy girlie men being held up as the ideals of sex appeal on Madison ave., go a long way in accounting for the “I don’t wanna be huge” trend.

Most guys now think anybody who gains more than 20 lean pounds must be on drugs. I wish I had some pictures of myself before I ever touched a piece of training equipment. If I did I would have posted progress pics by now. I weigh 80 pounds more right now at 6’2 than than I did in my late 20’s with not a lot more fat and have never had a single dose of anabolic drugs in my body. I do not think that’s exceptional. I think it’s doable for most guys with long term vision and determination and I know I have some more to go.

I believe many natural trainees can hold 240 and relatively lean. I believe many more natural trainees can hold 225 and lean. 200 lbs is nothing.

[quote]Aragorn wrote:
I believe many natural trainees can hold 240 and relatively lean. I believe many more natural trainees can hold 225 and lean. 200 lbs is nothing. [/quote]

It does depend on how tall you are and other factors. You can’t just throw a number out and say that’s what people can do. CT, for instance centered his comments around somebody close to his height.

[quote]Tiribulus wrote:
Aragorn wrote:
I believe many natural trainees can hold 240 and relatively lean. I believe many more natural trainees can hold 225 and lean. 200 lbs is nothing.

It does depend on how tall you are and other factors. You can’t just throw a number out and say that’s what people can do. CT, for instance centered his comments around somebody close to his height.[/quote]

Yes, we normally add 5-7lbs per inch.

So 200lbs for someone who is 5’9’’ would be 225-235 for someone who is 6’2’’.

PLUS I was not talking about ‘‘relatively lean’’ but on shredded, near contest condition. Most guys competing at 200lbs are around 230 in their off-season and ‘‘relatively lean’’.

Agreed 100% on another board im tryin to tell this guy claiming he is 248 @ 10% at 5’8 that he is closer to 18 percent,he just wont here it.

[quote]Tiribulus wrote:
Ya know what’s funny about this?

When I first got into training in 1991 most gym rats vastly overestimated how much size they could ultimately gain. Everybody was going to be like the guys in the mags.

Today few think they can get any bigger than Ryan Reynolds.

What happened?

For one, widespread reporting on steroids happened. Back then it was just becoming commonly known that the guys in the mags had pharmaceutical help, so many believed they had the potential to maybe get somewhere near that big.

Now it’s swung waaaaay back the other way and everybody knows that the guys in the media are enhanced, but have come to the mistaken conclusion that since they will never be that big naturally they will never be big at all.

I really believe this, among other factors, like femmy girlie men being held up as the ideals of sex appeal on Madison ave., go a long way in accounting for the “I don’t wanna be huge” trend.

Most guys now think anybody who gains more than 20 lean pounds must be on drugs. I wish I had some pictures of myself before I ever touched a piece of training equipment. If I did I would have posted progress pics by now. I weigh 80 pounds more right now at 6’2 than than I did in my late 20’s with not a lot more fat and have never had a single dose of anabolic drugs in my body. I do not think that’s exceptional. I think it’s doable for most guys with long term vision and determination and I know I have some more to go.[/quote]

Good points. I also think that most guys who want to get big do not eat enough. Sounds dumb as there seems to be an obesity epidemic in the U.S. But it seems like most guys who want to get big, especially newbies, are more concerned about what supplements to use, which drugs to take, etc. etc., but they don’t realize that you have to eat plenty of good foods to get big, simple as that. The bodybuilders of decades ago ate plenty of food and that’s how they get big.

Nowadays guys want to get big and lean and expect miracle supplements and drugs to do that for them without proper nutrition. Maybe it’s all this mantra that eating is bad that’s why hollywood types starve themselves all the time to anorexia levels.

Pushing your body to a natural genetic limit is a slow painstaking process.It takes years of consistent,hard training.But most importantly,smart training.When to overload,when to back off,cycling,etc.Will you ever get as big as you would if you were taking gear?No.Thats why people take it.But youll be healthier,and have more money in your wallet.Which gives you more to spend on food.

But in order to get as big as possible naturally,you gotta spend some time with excess bodyfat and do some serious powerlifting/strength training.Heavy bench,deads,and squats ,working up to 5,3,1 rep sets.Lots of food too.You will have a high BF,but this is temporary.You gotta stretch out those muscles and your skin to make way for growth.Worry less about ab’s and more about PR’s and 1 rep singles.With strong comes big.

[quote]viking666 wrote:
Pushing your body to a natural genetic limit is a slow painstaking process.It takes years of consistent,hard training.But most importantly,smart training.When to overload,when to back off,cycling,etc.Will you ever get as big as you would if you were taking gear?No.Thats why people take it.But youll be healthier,and have more money in your wallet.Which gives you more to spend on food.

But in order to get as big as possible naturally,you gotta spend some time with excess bodyfat and do some serious powerlifting/strength training.Heavy bench,deads,and squats ,working up to 5,3,1 rep sets.Lots of food too.You will have a high BF,but this is temporary.You gotta stretch out those muscles and your skin to make way for growth.Worry less about ab’s and more about PR’s and 1 rep singles.With strong comes big. [/quote]

sounds like a speech given by a charismatic leader to his iron-pumping masses. very nicely put

[quote]viking666 wrote:
Pushing your body to a natural genetic limit is a slow painstaking process.It takes years of consistent,hard training.But most importantly,smart training.When to overload,when to back off,cycling,etc.Will you ever get as big as you would if you were taking gear?No.Thats why people take it.But youll be healthier,and have more money in your wallet.Which gives you more to spend on food.

But in order to get as big as possible naturally,you gotta spend some time with excess bodyfat and do some serious powerlifting/strength training.Heavy bench,deads,and squats ,working up to 5,3,1 rep sets.Lots of food too.You will have a high BF,but this is temporary.You gotta stretch out those muscles and your skin to make way for growth.Worry less about ab’s and more about PR’s and 1 rep singles.With strong comes big. [/quote]

I disagree with the get fat stretch out your skin part.fat cells never leave they only shrink,if you go too far you may never be able to tighten that pooch,love handle inter ab area up. Im going thru that now myself.

[quote]viking666 wrote:
Pushing your body to a natural genetic limit is a slow painstaking process.It takes years of consistent,hard training.But most importantly,smart training.When to overload,when to back off,cycling,etc.Will you ever get as big as you would if you were taking gear?No.Thats why people take it.But youll be healthier,and have more money in your wallet.Which gives you more to spend on food.

But in order to get as big as possible naturally,you gotta spend some time with excess bodyfat and do some serious powerlifting/strength training.Heavy bench,deads,and squats ,working up to 5,3,1 rep sets.Lots of food too.You will have a high BF,but this is temporary.You gotta stretch out those muscles and your skin to make way for growth.Worry less about ab’s and more about PR’s and 1 rep singles.With strong comes big. [/quote]

Agreed. I was never concerned with my abs until about June of last year when I made the decision to compete in an upcoming contest. I was 282 at 5’9’, with a good amount of bodyfat, but with way more muscle. I’m taking a slow cut approach so that I don’t lose much of it.

My whole life I’ve been eating myself stuffed all the time, with quality food, and lifting heavy and hard with compound movements.

Too many kids these days want it all too fast and aren’t willing to put in the time. They think that No-Xplode or 1-AD will turn them into Cutler.

[quote]ImmenseFiend50 wrote:
[/quote]

Immense,

Nothing to do with this thread but nice avatar. One of the best movie characters ever. /hijack