T Nation

I've Given Up Trying To Be Big


Ive come to the conclusion that after 10 years of training Im as big as Im going to get.
Im 6 4 218 12%BF, when I started lifting I was 6 4 175 pounds 14% BF.
If I work my ass off in the gym and eat and eat and eat I can get that up a few more (my highest weight was 230). Unfortunately I find that extra weight never sticks to my frame like the first 40 pounds did.
Illness, a few weeks holiday or injury is all it takes to lose it.
My current body weight though seems to stick by me through every dodgy curry, injury, holiday and hung-over morning were you cant even look at food.
As such Ive decided to stop chasing the carrot, chill out a bit and enjoy life.
Ill never give up training as its part of my life and I love it. But im sick of compromising fun times just to hold on to 5-10 pounds.

The reason I posted it here is Im not after any advice on how to improve my diet, training or supplementation regime.
I just wanted to know how many other people have realised the truth, we all have a genetic set point that can be temporarily exceeded, but only if you live an breathe this life style and as you can see Im no Mr O contender.


None of what you wrote means that is your genetic set point. Your body likes to feel "comfortable" at a certain weight. That particular weight set point can often take holding a heavier weight for a significant period of time for your body to become adjusted to it. What many people (especially today) do is jump up in weight and then immediately start dieting as soon as they gain an ounce of body fat. Their bodies never stick at a higher weight for it to become "normal" for them or for their body to acheive homeostasis at a new set point. That sounds like exactly what your problem is. That may mean adding weight and working much harder and being much more consistent with MAINTAINING that heavier weight for a few months. Yo yo dieting every couple of months won't help you. That is why so many beginners who log on talking about how they will add in cutting periods before they even gain any weight are told to gain weight for a few years before that even becomes the priority.


I don't think it is necessarily a genetic setpoint. More about what you are comfortable with.

I am 6' 190# and have been lifting weights and playing rugby forever.

Everytime I moved into the 200# plus range I felt slow and uncomfortable.

Keep hitting the iron, keep making good food choices, be athletic and don't worry about it.




it works like a charm.


Very well said!

I would only add one thing: You need to start believing that you can add as much weight as possible. The body will eventually follow the mind.


Sorry to hijack the thread, Zap, what position do you play?


I haven't played since I tore my ACL 2 1/2 years ago. I have played every position on the field except front row, but I usually play flyhalf or wing.


i agree if that's what he really wants. i played linebacker all the way through high school and college and i was obsessed with always being bigger. i entered college at about 210lbs, redshirted, then played the next four years between 225 and 230lbs. Then when i got done playing about two years ago i was determined to gain weight. i pretty much quit doing cardio and just lifted.

within the first six months i was up to about 275 and within a year i was about 298. i went from probably 8-9% bf to right at about 21% so the BF gain wasn't horrible considering i gained 70lbs in a year. i gained a TON of strength which was awesome but after a few months i just didn't feel good. i didn't like struggling to tie my shoes and i didn't like my shins feeling like they were going to explode everytime i tried to run so i decided to cut it back.

right now i hit between 260 and 265 at about 13%bf. i feel a lot better. i'm not as strong but i'm coming to grips with that and i feel so much better that i'm willing to sacrifice that. i sleep better, i breathe better. i would never want to go back to that weight. i guess my point to the threadstarter is just that, like he said, sometimes you just have to be satisfied. 220lbs is not a bad weight.

you're probably still bigger than a lot of guys in your gym even at 6'4". i would say just enjoy your workouts from now on. don't worry about trying to be bigger or losing a pound here or there. just let it be what it is. you might even get some gains from not being so stressed about it all the time. good luck man.


Maybe you should have laid off the Dbol for a while...


The guy shared his experiences in a good posting and you have to give him shit. Adding that much quality weight is impressive whether he used steroids or not.

I have made a couple excursions above 200#. The biggest I ever got was between 210# and 215#. It looked good but it did not translate well to sports.


Actually I was talking about his shins feeling like they were about to explode..not the weight gain.


Is this kind of pain a side effect?


it's hard to believe but it was 100% natural. just good food and hard training. i have never used. is that really a side effect???


A good portion of people get painful "pumps" on dbol...


Stevo, I hear you. When I started, I was 5'10", 130lbs. Heavy lifting, heavy eating and 100% dedication let me pack on 35 pounds. But getting over 165lbs is murder. And sometimes I wonder if 175lbs is really that much better than 165lbs. Enough to justify eating 4000 calories a day and taking the risk of lifting really heavy, especially now that I am in my early 30s and my joints are starting to ache.

The problem is I love bodybuilding and I can't imagine admitting to myself that 5'10", 165lbs is what I put in 14 years of training to achieve. My current plan is to put the hammer down for one more year, gain about 10lbs, and compete in a natural bodybuilding show. Maybe I won't win. But I think just stepping on stage will finally let me feel like it's all been worthwhile.

The worst part is getting "advice" from people who have added a mere 10 pounds to a naturally muscular, 240-pound build.


Well, there aren't that many of them. Many of the really big people did not start out even close to that and worked damn hard to get where they are. You just don't know about. However, everybody must make their own decision on how big they want to get and what they want to sacrifice to do it. Steve-O, you may honestly have gotten as big as you want to given what you're willing to do for more size.

And that's absolutely fine. If there's not enough value to you in being bigger, it's a waste for you to pursue it. But that don'st mean you CAN'T get bigger. You almost definitley CAN given where you are. If it's worth it to you to do so, listen to what Professor X said. If you stay at a higher weight long enough and give your body enough fuel to do so, you'll re-set your 'set' points.


I know this is off topic, but have you tried any supplements to help you with your joint problem? My joints ached more in my thirties than they do now at 49. PM me if you want my joint regime. That goes for anyone!

I now return you to the regularly scheduled thread :slightly_smiling:


After reading you post, I feel like bitch slapping you. Why? Because you gave up. That negative attitude will not help you at all. I have been lifting for 11 years and in just the past 5 months I have put on over 20lbs. this was after being "stuck" at the same bodyweight for quite a while. what I did was reassess what I was doing and how I was eating and adjusted it to meet the my goal. Plus I made sure to keep the idea of growing in the back of my head at all times.

I never forget about what I want to achieve. Postitve thinking goes a lot futhter than most people realize. Since this mental reboot and the changing of habits I am enjoying new growth and strength like I did when I was a beginner. I tip the scale at 220 now and all signs say that I will make 230 by early next year.

Biggest thing is, DON'T FUCKING GIVE UP!!!!! If you beat youself down, you will never reach any of your goals. Now get your ass back in the gym and lift hard and eat animals after!!!! Don't make me smack you.


I haven't.



i doubt you're at your genetic limit. i can't say for sure because i dont know your lifting performance, numbers, progress, design, diet, hormone levels, etc. but the fact that you told us your measurements but not your lifting stats suggest very much that you're not at your genetic limit.