T Nation

How Big Can You Get Naturally?

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:
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.[/quote]

Thib, I must say that that has always been a very insprirational photo to me.

[quote]new2training wrote:
ImmenseFiend50 wrote:

Immense,

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

[/quote]

Agreed. Correction though, one of the most BADASS characters ever.

“As for young Vallon, I will paint paradise square with his blood, two coats. I will festoon my chambers with his entrails.”

/End Hijack

I’ve read through the natural BBing magazines, and you’d be surprised at how light many of these pros are. Yes, there are in contest shape, which is way more insane than any normal gym rat would consider ‘ripped’. I know Layne Norton does typically weight 220 or so offseason (I doubt he’s close to that for a show), but the one guy I keep in mind (I know I’ve mentioned his name on another thread) is Jim Cordova.

He competes at a contest weight of 172 lbs at 5’9. Offseason, he’s probably around 200, maybe 10% bf tops. Sure he could get heavier, but is it really all about weight for you, or is it about quality? (Looks at Thibs article ‘the beast evolves’).

I myself am 5’9, and about 200/205 lbs. Am I ripped? Not by bodybuilding standards, but were I to magically lose my shirt on the street, people would most likely comment how diesel I look (normal folks only care if your 6 pack is visable). We all have our dreams of one day being 240 and shredded when we start, but you know what, being solid at 205 than sloppy at 240 will impress a lot more people.

S

[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]

that whole thing about anyone who gains more than 20 lean pounds could not be more true for someone in high school. Im in high school now and have a friend whos been training for a bodybulding comp for 2 years smartly and went from being skinny to 185 at about 11% bf and he was prob weighing in at like 140 before he started and everybody thinks hes on roids.

Unitl people heard what he eats and trians like they dont change there mind.Plus anyone in hs whos big evryone thinks is on roids and its usaulyl said by someone who ways 120 and is a skinny little wimp

[quote]The Mighty Stu wrote:
I’ve read through the natural BBing magazines, and you’d be surprised at how light many of these pros are. Yes, there are in contest shape, which is way more insane than any normal gym rat would consider ‘ripped’. I know Layne Norton does typically weight 220 or so offseason (I doubt he’s close to that for a show), but the one guy I keep in mind (I know I’ve mentioned his name on another thread) is Jim Cordova.

He competes at a contest weight of 172 lbs at 5’9. Offseason, he’s probably around 200, maybe 10% bf tops. Sure he could get heavier, but is it really all about weight for you, or is it about quality? (Looks at Thibs article ‘the beast evolves’).

I myself am 5’9, and about 200/205 lbs. Am I ripped? Not by bodybuilding standards, but were I to magically lose my shirt on the street, people would most likely comment how diesel I look (normal folks only care if your 6 pack is visable). We all have our dreams of one day being 240 and shredded when we start, but you know what, being solid at 205 than sloppy at 240 will impress a lot more people.

S
[/quote]

Excellent point. The more defined you are, the bigger you look. I bet Stu would look bigger next to me due to his lower bf%.

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:
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.

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’’.[/quote]

My goal is 250 at 10% one day. I have no doubt I will have to damn near kill myself to get there. BTW, I didn’t realize you were only 5’9, not there’s a thing wrong with that, it just somehow escaped me. I always thought you taller.

preety ambisous goal and I prob spelt that wrong

[quote]crod266 wrote:
preety ambisous goal and I prob spelt that wrong[/quote]

Yes it is pretty ambitious and you’re right. You spelled it wrong =]

lmao half the word was wrong

[quote]evo2008 wrote:
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…

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]

Well Mike Tyson in his prime was well above that. I think he was about 5’10" and pretty lean too.

Here’s the previous thread on this topic and it had a link to an article that caused quite a stir.

http://www.T-Nation.com/tmagnum/readTopic.do?id=1576559

And here’s the offending article that estimates the maximum weight you can carry at a body fat% level as a function of your height, wrist size, ankle and neck measurements.

http://www.weightrainer.net/potential.html

While some may feel this article was a disservice to the weight training community, it brings a lot of things into perspective.

Of course, I do hear about (and see pictures of) Dante’s natural trainees ripping such statistics apart time and again, but they do BULK UP to add muscle mass, which is out of vogue these days.

Enjoy!!!

im not so sure about that article

[quote]crod266 wrote:
im not so sure about that article[/quote]

I am. It’s bullshit.

That article is some of the most professionally prepared non-science I’ve ever seen. I guess Ph.D’s are getting easier to come by nowadays.

[quote]Dirty_Bulk wrote:
That article is some of the most professionally prepared non-science I’ve ever seen. I guess Ph.D’s are getting easier to come by nowadays.[/quote]

They’re two for 5 bucks at Walmart. You want one?

I actually know a couple of guys who received PHDs online, so I guess so, yeah.

S

[quote]Professor X wrote:
crod266 wrote:
im not so sure about that article

I am. It’s bullshit. [/quote]

For some reason I stop reading an article when square roots are involved and the topic is related to bodybuilding.

If anybody thinks that they can explain or predict ANY aspect of muscle-growth with mathematics, they deserve to be shot.

OK, I’m back from shopping and they had all PhD’s on sale. I got one for EVERYBODY!!! Yeah!!!

These days the focus seems to have shifted from actually BEING big and strong to just LOOKING big in a standalone photograph (with no one else in the background) with strategic lighting and carefully placed cameras. Half the “studs” who look amazing on the RMP forum would look emaciated (and usually on the short side) standing next to day to day people.

Some of the kids I coach want to walk around at 7-8% body fat without carrying SUFFICIENT muscle mass and just yakking about how much bigger they would look in a semi-contest condition (usually stabding alone) and very few of these kids would look bigger than average (or like thhey lift weights) in everyay clothes standing near everyday people.

If youre 5’4" and 120 with amazing (usually genetically determined) proportions and low body fat, WHOPPPEEEE for you but you’ll look like a starved midget walking around with other people and you DEFINITELY don;t LOOK strong. On the other hand Lee Priest may look stumpy at 5’3" but he physically overshadows people a foot taller even in everyday attire. There’s something to be said about bulding enough REAL size beyond the “illusion”.

Frank Zane wasn’t massive but he looked bigger than the average guy in regular clothes as you can see from some of the pictures of him walking around before he got older.

IF anyone remembers caveman, he mentioned his goal was to be BOTH BIG as well as ripped, not just “look big”.

Anyway, sorry for the rant but does anyone have a damn clue why this is happening? probably because people are unable to build up appreciable muscle mass and once they’re happy with their general proportions (as evidenced by a photograph like I mentioned) thy consider themselves at the peak of human perfection and stop trying to build SIZE. AND if someone actually tries to go past his limits (with whatever he needs for that) and ends up with over-hypertrophied obliques and a distended gut (due to the massive food intake) he automatically gets labelled by some as a “bloated fetish object” (like an author labeled Ruhl a few months back)

Iit seems that a lot of natural-for-life bodybuilders are UNABLE to put on mass (and/or maintain it while dieting) and instead are content with the “illusion of looking big standing alone in the buff” - and are then releagetd to the status of “card carrying” natural heroes for life who vehemently expect thers to worship their choice to not do assistance.

The whole point of that article I bumped is: “There is a limit to how much muscle you carry (as we knew already) and this is it! BOOOSH!
And to the disappointed small-jointed readers, he says - Don;t worry, you may not actually BE BIG but you will look big if you have these proportions.” Thats all. Someone who focusses on actually building size and strength and worrying about proportions and definition after building enough mass, chances are he won’t be limited by statistics generated by looking at golden age drug free bodybulders from a less-informed era.

end rant!

Good post Mombooto