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Is 80:20 Muscle to Fat Ratio Realistic for Muscle Gain?

I am 5’10", 172 lbs, and approximately 17-18% body fat per accu-measure (no visible abs, slight love handles). If I gain 30 lbs through the end of February 2017 (9 months), is it realistic to expect to gain only 6 lbs of fat and 24 lbs of muscle? It’s either that or cut to 155 lbs/10-11% bodyfat (slightly visible abs). Gaining a significant amount of fat in my current state is unacceptable, for both endurance races and aesthetics. thanks.
for reference:

depends on your genetics, diet and training. It’s not a question anyone can give you a definite answer for.

Like Yogi stated, there are a few factors that will play a huge part in gaining that much muscle. Is it possible? Yes - technically. Is it guaranteed? No. Is it realistic? If your diet, training, and recovery are all on point, yes. But most people don’t have perfect diet, training, and recovery.

It’s my personal opinion that the calipers are wrong and that you are more than 20% BF, but it really doesn’t matter. That’s based on my interpretation and my experience with Accu-measure calipers. They are typically about 6 points lower than my BIA measurement, which I think is a point or two high.

You should also know that abs begin to show about 15% for most people.

If I were you, I would cut slowly while lifting until you see abs, then stop cutting and keep lifting.

Just my generally worthless opinion.

I envision on scenario wherein you gain 30lbs in 9 months and only 4lbs of it is fat and 26lbs is muscle.

At the very least, SOME of it is going to also be water, glycogen, etc, but even then, that’s an insane amount of weight to gain in that short of a timeframe with hopes that it is an overwhelmingly majority of muscle.

Why the #30?

imagine it could be that easy?

I think that’s what he needs to gain in muscle to get his BF where he wants it - that or cut to where he wants it - and he’s deciding which to do.

Nothing special about 30 lbs, I just used it as an example. My ideal body composition, for the time being, is around 185 lbs and ~11-13%ish body fat.

Do you know this from prior experience being 185lbs at 11-13% bodyfat?

My questions stem from a concern that you may be placing too much value on scale weight.

I’d say the short simple answer is, no.

Nope, no prior experience. I just want to become better than I am now, in terms of body composition, endurance, and strength. I use numbers to keep measurable goals, but I’m not beholden to “185 lbs, 11-13% bodyfat” exactly.

I think it’s possible. I don’t think it’s probable.

Anything is possible if you…

Eat Clen.
Tren hard.
Test your limits.
DBOLish your goals.
GHet huge.
Keep husSLIN.
Winny it all.
Anavar give up.

Sorry, I had to.

Based on the responses here and what I’ve read elsewhere, It would probably be best to focus on fat loss.

I only bring this up because it’s a trap I fell into, so take it for what it’s worth, but I got really fat when I chased numbers on the scale in the hopes of adding muscle to my body. It’s really cool to see that scale go up, but it can make you do some dumb things.

Numbers are good, but you won’t really know what those numbers look like on YOU until you hit them. Almost every guy who has ever dropped to low levels of bodyfat can tell you stories of how they thought they’d be absolutely shredded after losing 20lbs, only to find out they needed to lose ANOTHER 20lbs before they hit the look they were after.

Were I in your situation, I’d cut down to the bodyfat % I wanted to look like to start with, and then slowly add quality weight from there. I have found that it’s easier to measure progress gaining muscle when you are lean to start with. When you start out puffy, it’s easy to convince yourself that it’s all muscle you’re putting on, but when you can actually watch yourself lose some definition, you can tell when you’re pushing the food a little too hard.

Are you joking or do you not think this is possible for someone with above average genetics?

I’ve read statements like this many times over the last several months and yet I keep bouncing forth between wanting to drop weight and build muscle. I blame myself for not having training program focus and I think the culprit is too much choice. I’m going to freeze my gym membership for 6 months and focus on using just what I own to training (bodyweight, pull-up bar, weighted vest, adjustable kettlebell and dumbbells). With less choices in terms of equipment and training programs, I think I can focus on running a consistent program for 6+ months and make actual progress.

I suggest you do the exact opposite and cut off your internet connection instead.


I know we can like posts that we like, but I am also manually liking this post because it’s so awesome.

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I think you should try adding muscle you currently have little to none