T Nation

SHORT PEOPLE

I was wondering what a good wt would be for a male who is 5’4.Right now my wt is 147@10% bf.I know Nate Dogg has these stats and from reading his post my goal is pretty the same as his.So any one with any ideas please let me know.Thanks

Zach, I can’t tell you what your ideal bodyweight would be. That’s up to your own standards. But I would suggest that you concentrate on getting strong in the key exercises. When you can do 150% of your bodyweight for bench press, 8 reps, 200% of bw for squat, multiple reps, and bw+33% for chins, multiple reps, you will be quite strong and muscularly developed. Those are just a few examples, you can come up with your own. Your bodyweight will be where it should be for your height, provided that you keep your bodyfat low.

ZACH, it’s really hard to say what your ideal weight would be for your height. You have to take into a few things such as bone structure (small, medium, large) and if you have any freaky bodyparts (large quads or thick upper body). And it also depends on how much bodyfat you carry.

I personally think that my genetic potential (and I have small bones) is probably 155-160lbs at less than 10 percent bodyfat. I’m currently 145 and my bf is about 10-12 percent. My weight has been between 130-160 in the last six years. It depended on how I was training at the time. When I was at my heaviest, I was training hard and eating like crazy, but I also got quite smooth…probably around 18-20 percent bodyfat. But my legs were huge.

Rather than going by your bodyweight, you should go by how you look! I’ve actually been 133lbs and 7 percent bodyfat and looked really good. I have a picture of myself when I was this lean on my web site. And 133lbs is not big. But being lean makes you appear much larger. Hope that helps!

(Insert music here) Short people got…no reason to…short people got…no reason to live…

Hey, wait a minute. I’m pretty short at 5’7-1/2". The above are the lyrics from a song, so please, no offense meant!

Hyok, you’re not that short. Shit, I wouldn’t mind being 5’7" or 5’8." So you don’t have it quite the same as the rest of us. Of course, I do have a friend who is 5’3" and about 155lb and he is massive. This dude is a genetic freak. He benches 315 easily, in fact he set a record in college for benching 409lb in the 148lb weight class. He has huge arms and a thick wide back. Now he competes in Olympic lifting at 69kg. He can easily clean 135-140kg and snatches 105-115kg. If only I were genetically enhanced!

Wow, your friend really is impressive. He must have some really good leverage in his joints. Hey, thanks for the words of encouragement. No matter what your lot in life is, there is always someone worse off, I guess.

Yeah, my friend Chris has the right leverages to lift huge weights. He used to compete in powerlifting for quite some time. He has medals galore to prove his strength.

And yes, there is always someone else worse off than you! So you gotta be thankful for what you do have.

A good formula for coming up with weights
for given heights is the so-called mass index:
weight in kilograms divided by the square of height in meters.

25 is a good number for a natural
trainer; 28 is a potentially-contest-winning number a bodybuilder in a natural organization,
if condition is suitably lean at that bodyweight and symmetry and bone structure
are good.
30 and above is the province of the steroid
user for sure.

So, at 5’4", you are 1.63 meters tall.
That squared is 2.64. Multiply, say, 25
by that and you get 66 kilos… multiply
that by 2.2 lb per kilo, and you get 146
lb. So in other words, if you were your
same weight but at say 6%, you’d look
quite good.

At a mass index of 28, you’d be 163 lb.
So it is unrealistic to expect to be
heavier than that while remaining natural
and while being in lean condition, and
you’d look great at that weight.

You’re ideal weight is whatever you want it to be. At 5’6 200, I still feel smaller than people who are 6’1 190. I will not be satisfied until I have reached my genetic potential of 330 pounds.

Interesting formula Bill. Thanks for the info. It was pretty cool. Hmmm…so now I need to keep this bodyweight but get my bodyfat down to 6-7 percent. That would be pretty sweet.

Nate, after reading your reply, I re-read
what I wrote and realized that I missed
saying something, though you yourself got exactly what it was I was trying to say.

The 25 mass index figure in lean condition is a genuinely good number for the typical natural
trainer. It looks good (of course, bone
structure and symmetry are important too)
and most guys will find that they can’t
really get past it or much past it while
staying natural. However on the other hand, it’s a goal that most guys can eventually attain.

The 28 mass index figure is for someone who
is really gifted at acquiring muscle naturally.
For example, the Mr USA winner (an AAU
natural contest) from a couple of years back,
Steve Kidwell, was at that mass index, and
looked awesome for a natural competitor.

Thanks everyone for the advice, I feel I can reach 155lb @ 7-8% bf I’m not to far away.

Bill, the BMI always bugged me. Not a criticism of you, but I don’t see how it is an improvement on the old height and weight table. Let’s see, the units that go into calculating BMI are mass and length, the same units used to make the height weight charts. It just seems like whole lot more work to get the same result. Am I missing something here?

Ran Bill’s formula for myself and I came out to 27.26 (but at 15%bf). At 10%bf I’d be 25.83. I guess a big part of this is what you consider ‘lean’. Either way an index of 28 is quite achievable. Good info.

Hyok…I’m not trying to speak for Bill and I hope I’m not approaching this the wrong way, but here’s how I see it. I don’t think Bill is looking at this calculation the same way the traditional BMI is looked at by health professionals. It is well-known that the BMI is not a good standard for bodybuilders. For example, a 5’8 200lb bodybuilder with 7%BF has the same BMI, per se, as a 5’8 200lb couch potato with an inflated bodyfat %. Also, the professionals adopt the rating scale where I think less than 22 or 24 is considered to be normal and healthy. If you work out the calculations, most bodybuilders don’t fit into this sample of the population. That’s why Bill says that bodyfat percentage plays a role and also why the higher the number (with a lower percentage of bodyfat) the better. So, while this calculation is identical to the traditional BMI calculation, there’s a different rating scale…you could say that it’s been adapted to fit our population. That’s how I see it. I’d rather be off the charts with my BMI but be leaner and healthier than some scrub that fits into the normal population.

Timbo explained my intended use of BMI exactly… it’s a very simple way (if
the individual is very lean; or if comparing
two individuals, they have the same bodyfat)
to say whether two people of different heights
are “like” each other in their build; and
also to get a handle on what is attainable
naturally and what is not.

Or to compare individuals.

Now the numbers
I gave (25-28) as the range are at very low bodyfat.

Let’s say that someone you’d like to look like
weighs 220 in some particular condition,
at 6 feet 1. You however are 5’6". How much
do you need to weigh to appear similarly massive, similarly proportioned, just shorter?
Well, his mass index was 29 (a steroid user if that weight was in contest condition) and
so, applying that to 5’6", you’d need to be
180 pounds in contest condition. Time for some juice to be exactly the same, though if you’re quite gifted you could get very close naturally.

Those are the uses I was saying BMI is good
for: not for labeling people as obese or not,
or in-shape or not, based on the number.

BTW, characters like Lee Priest are in the
mid 30’s. Dorian (at ultra low bodyfat)
was somewhere around 34 I think (I don’t
recall his contest weights exactly.) At 6% he would be more like 40 or 41. Might have taken a drug or two in his day.

Timbo, my objection to the BMI is that health professionals are touting it as a better method of determining a healthy weight than the height weight tables. It looks like the same thing to me.

Hyok…in essence, the formula is the BMI formula, so it will look the same. However, Bill has manipulated the scale and added some considerations (such as leanness) that should be taken into account so that we can apply the calculation to the bodybuilding population. The BMI calculation and the ranges that the health professionals prescribe, cater to the general population–sedentary or less active individuals, in general. It was established for the reasons that you have pretty much hinted at: an easy way for the professionals to tell people that they’re out of shape and obese and that they need a personal trainer.

Bill...I'm not sure if you created this or not, but I think it's a pretty cool index and gives me something to shoot for. It gives me an idea of what level I can reach--which I'm still a long way from, so I can keep busting balls for a long time to come. Dorian in the 40s??? That's absolutely ridiculous! He's a beast.

I am 5’6" at 195 lbs. My body fat is around 12%. I really don’t have any problems lifting big weight, but i have to constantly work on my bodyfat. I think that i personally could get to 188 or 190 with under 10%. My bench usually runs around 390lbs.

So I’m a steroid user for sure? Even when i’m lean enough to see 6 abs and thigh seperation at 190, I still have a bmi of 30.5 and have never touched steroids. I’m not saying this to brag, I just think it’s a big joke to tell people what they can and cannot acheive without drugs. Ok, your bmi is 28, stop trying, you can’t do any better than that! I’m not saying that you can look like an Olympia competitor without drugs, but the idea that these guys should settle for being 150 pounds at any height is ludicrous. When I started lifting I was a massive 115 pounds, so I don’t think it’s genetics. I was going to go squat today, but my bmi is too high. Better hit the playstation instead.