T Nation

Setting Realistic Targets


Hi forum

I am about to start a new 10 week regime with my trainer.
If I give you an idea of my ability and my goals, along with my current stats, could anyone give me a steer on what might be realistic 10 week targets?

Sex: Male
Age: 27
Height: 6 ft 2 (188cm)
Weight: 12 st (75kg)
BMI: 22
Fat %: 13.1

Sex: Male
Age: 27
Height: 6 ft 2 (188cm)
Weight: 12 st 11 (80kg)
BMI: 23
Fat %: 10

Biceps: 12.75â?? (31cm)
Forearm: 10.5â?? (26cm)
Chest: 37â?? (94cm)
Neck: 14.75â?? (37cm)
Quads: 20.5â?? (52cm)
Calf: 15â?? (38cm)

CURRENT ABILITY (indication)
8 x barbell clean and press: 20kg + bar = 38kg
8 x machine chest press: 73kg
8 x barbell bench press: 40kg + bar = 60kg
8 x Smith machine squats: 50kg + bar = 55kg
8 x single leg press: 60kg
8 x dumbbell shoulder press: 15kg each
8 x dumbbell lateral raises: 7.5kg each
8 x dumbbell biceps curls: 12.5 kg each

Over the next 10 weeks Iâ??ll train around three times a week: Chest & Back, Legs & Shoulders, Biceps & Triceps. The routines Iâ??ll be doing will involve more exercises than those set out above, I just wanted to give you an idea of my â??strength.â??

Assume that I train hard, eat well and take the right shakes. Does anyone have an idea on what SIZE differences (rather than strength differences) would make tough but realistic targets for 10 weeks?

Biceps: 12.75â?? (31cm)
Forearm: 10.5â?? (26cm)
Chest: 37â?? (94cm)
Neck: 14.75â?? (37cm)
Quads: 20.5â?? (52cm)
Calf: 15â?? (38cm)

Kind regards


How can you be so weak and small at that height, weight and fat percentage? Not meant as an insult, we all start somewhere, I'm just surprised.

You don't need a trainer, you need to learn how to lift weights. And as you're still new to this, there's no telling how much size you'll gain as a lot of your strength gains will come from technique. And worrying about that at this stage is pointless. Try to get twice as strong on everything as fast as possible, that should be your first goal. Search around the site, there are tons of better ways to train.

Do you train your back?


I dont understand any of that "cm's and kg's" nonsense so i cant comment


What are you trying to accomplish? What sort of Calories are you going to be eating? What sort of plan are you on lifting wise?


First, I'm glad to see that your gender hasn't changed. :wink:

Second, BMI is a pretty worthless method of tracking progress for people who lift weights.

Third, what method is your trainer using to measure your bodyfat? Caliper pinching, handheld electronic device, etc.?

Lastly, in six months you've gained about 10 pounds of total bodyweight? That's slow progress. How have you been eating? What, exactly, did you eat yesterday?

I'm not trying to blatantly disagree with your trainer, but a dude as underweight as you are absolutely does not need one entire training day, a third of your training week, just for arms.

At the rate you've been progressing, 10 weeks is a drop in the bucket and I wouldn't expect any significant size changes at all. Again, consider what it took you the last six months to accomplish. And now we're trying to plan for the next two and a half? It's too short, man.

You need to realize that at your height, most guys won't look "built" until they're well over 200 pounds. Everything until then is just bringing you up to a certain base point. Of course everyone needs to start somewhere, I'm not trying to be a buzzkill, but there's no need to take things slower than necessary. I just have a feeling either you or your trainer are playing things a little too conservative.

Try setting a longer-term goal, like where you'd like to be a year or two from now both size and strength-wise. And then track back, breaking it into shorter goals to reach that point.

Also, since you did go through the expense of getting an actual trainer, have you asked them these same questions (RE: expectations and goals)? What was their answer?


Thanks for the tips guys. I'm comfortable with my diet and my training for now, but if you think you can work out from my size what kg I should be using then let me know.

My question is: what kind of size progress is possible in 10 weeks? Assume that I eat and train as well as can be done. Are we saying that whatever I eat/train, I will not be able to record any size change?


'Lastly, in six months you've gained about 10 pounds of total bodyweight? That's slow progress'

Um...no it's not. Take into account the drop from 13.1% bodyfat to 10% + 5kgs weight gain(would have to be all muscle gain due to bodyfat % drop) and I'd say this dude is bad at maths, juicing or full of it.


Ugh. I'm so glad I asked all those questions before. Okay then... here are few strength goals to to work towards, based on the exercises you listed earlier:

Clean and press: 175x10-12
Flat barbell press: 225x10-12
Barbell squat: 300x10-12
Dumbbell shoulder press: 75x10-12
Dumbbell curl: 60x10-12

Those are mid- to long-term goals that will be difficult, if not impossible, to reach without getting built all 'round.

If, and it's a big if, you get your eating and training 100% in line, you could put on about 10 good pounds in that time frame.

I'm saying that, at the pace you've been going for six months, you won't see any major changes in another 10 weeks.

Suffice it to say, a drastically-underweight guy like this dude should be adding more than 1 or 2 pounds of total bodyweight per month.


get the hell out the smith machine and learn how to Babell squat, bench and deadlift properly, preferably not from that trainer