T Nation

Out of Control Waist


I was under the assumption that after certain point in your life your hips, like your shoe size, stopped. I'm no moron. I know people's waist measurements get bigger and bigger as they get fatter and fatter but I was under the impression that they weren't undergoing much bone growth.

I always thought the only reason pro bodybuilder's waists expanded was from irresponsible use of Human Growth Hormone or other hormones that could kickstart bone growth after puberty and cause jaw growth and skull growth (Jay Cutler and Barry Bonds come to mind).

But today, after shopping for pants, I've found that not just my legs but my waist has grown. And that's not gonna help my hopes of having a good V-taper.

I'm lean enough to have a six pack and serration in my pecs and shoulders. I can see my pelvic bone. I really can't understand why my waist has expanded.

Is there anyway I can reverse my waist expansion while continuing to put on mass? Some sort of different ab training? I don't think I have weak transverse abdominals because I'm not a reverse breather unlike most people.



You started off talking about bone growth, then said your waist had grown...do you mean your hips..? There isn't much bone in your waist...haha...i guess, you knew that....

If you mean your hips, if you are doing squats, DL, etc., your glutes, etc. will grow as well as your thighs....

sorry, I don't really know what you're referring to....



If you are doing a lot of dead lifts and squats and not using a belt or not using one properly you will get bigger in the waist...


Whoops. Should Have double checked that. Yeah. I'm talking about hip bone growth. My pelvis and my waist have gotten bigger even though I have stayed lean.


It's not out of the question that if you've put some meat on your obliques that could account for an inch or two on your waist. The whole hip girdle can get more substantial from heavy compound lower body exercises. Some of the old time gurus were careful with squats for instance for that reason.

To my way of thinking it's just part of the deal. Somebody else may think differently and have some tricks, but that's how I see it for what it's worth.


If you do alot of weightlifting and powerlifting squats where you push out on your abs as you lift, it could cause you to gain a few inches on your stomach as well.

Also, don't kid yourself, you may have gained some fat on your stomach and lower back. That's why its a good idea to keep skinfold measurements periodically.


Don't forget that apparently today's sizings are for anorexic kids (hah! in the middle of an obesity epidemic). I used to be able to fit into any old pair of 32's but now they don't even get up to my waist (the only one's I've found so far that even remotely fit me are the Gap's).

I mean, yeah my legs have grown, but my old 32's still fit, even though they've got too many holes to actually wear out and about. It's not too hard to believe that the manufacturer's are skimping on the waist measurements too.


I won't dismiss the idea that I've gained some fat. Even though I've staid lean I'm positive I have more pounds of fat on me that I had before. I plan on cutting down in October.

But is there any way to reverse the whole pelvic expansion or slow it down? Should I stop avoiding the lifting belt? Should I just do legs 1 day a week or do more lunges and front squats and less deadlifts and back squats?


First time i've heard that and i highly doubt that. Any sources ?

to the OP: I think there could be a number of reasons

1) muscle growth (e.g. Glutes, Obliques etc)

2) Changes in clothing size. The actual 'size' (circumference) differs from model to model and even from season to season

3) obvious ones like fat or maybe full stomach after a big meal etc


Charles Glass (trainer)
King Kamali (bodybuilder or BB)
Lee Priest (BB)
Larry Scott (BB)
Scott Warman (power lifter)

All have either wrote about it or I have spoken to about it..


same issue here over time, its your ass taking up space in your pants. Used to be a 32 when cut down, then a 34, now those are getting tight while lean. If you squat heavy it will happen.


I always thought it was better to not wear a belt, as you get a better core workout. I haven't worn a belt since I started DLing and squatting about 12 months ago... now each lift as either doubled or tripled, but I have noticed my waist has grown as well. My lats have grown substantially in the past year, but I still feel that I look the same proportionally... maybe that is why...


Check out this video, I think it explains what your are referring to


So is there anything I can do about it?

And if my waist has increased in size is there any way I can SAFLEY increase my skeletal shoulder width?


You can add Vince Gironda to that list and I think even Thibs has talked about it as well.


Yea, do some TVA work, that is supposed to help. I just started so can't say if it works or not for sure.


Also like you said focus on your shoulder width: upright rows, lateral raises, etc.


Bigger legs and glutes could affect how your pants fit in the waist. They're not custom tailored, I assume.


Yes for more power, no for smaller waist.
Don't were a belt your supporting muscles get stronger they enlarge and so your waist grows...


thats right


Working the fuck out of your abs will do it too. Welcome to getting older where all the shit you don't want to happen, will happen.