T Nation

Waistline Paradox

how do these people train to get so big with small waistlines?

Howdy.

I’m not in that category but I have a friend that is. I’m not really sure what his dimensions are but his chest is north of 48" and his waist is south of 28". I train with him. He never does squats or deadlifts. They make your waist bigger. He’s never done any sort of exercise that makes his waist bigger.

He looks awesome but he doesn’t qualify well in the category of functional strength. He doesn’t care about functional strength. Lifting is his only sport and he has much better functional strength than the population at large.

RB

i train and when i bulk i get those pesky lovehandles…i dont know how to get rid of those.i am blessed with them i think?

How do squats and deads make your waist bigger? I always thought they were great at tightening up the obliques.

[quote]Panther1015 wrote:
How do squats and deads make your waist bigger? I always thought they were great at tightening up the obliques.[/quote]

Second that. I dropped 2.5 inches off my waist (32.5 to 30), by squating and deadlifting heavily (80%+ of my 1RM), with a heavy dose of weighted core exercises like

TGU
Windmill
Full contact twist
Cable crunches
Weighted back extension etc.

And hell, now I even eat more than when I was a fat boy.

Geek boy

I’m by no means an expert, I have a big waist and will keep it that way but…

I’m in the “sqauts and deadlift expand the waistline” camp. Those exercises require core strength, and lots of it. Your back, obliques and abs will all get stronger and thus bigger. That is my logic.

Starkmann

Tightening up is different than making smaller… I’d say those core exercises increase muscle, and might thereby decrease fat. So you might initially decrease waistline, but then it will inevitably increase as long as you progress with the core exercises.

John McCallum wrote about what body measurements are realistic back in the late 60’s for Strength and Health magazine. He stated that most of the measurements written about in magazines were ficticious. He goes on to list some proportions for a well developed physiques depending on wrist size (since bone structure has a lot to do with measurement possibilities). For example for a person with small bones (7 inch wrist) good development would be
45.5in chest
31.8 waist
16.4 arm
24.1 leg

for 7.5 in wrist (average)
48.8in chest
34.1 waist
17.6 arm
25.8 leg

for 8.0 in wrist (large)
52in chest
36.4 waist
18.8 arm
27.6 leg

One thing you will note is that with a large chest and legs comes a larger waist. I’ve seen mention of people having 28in legs with a 30in waist. I don’t think these kind of proportions are possible. He goes on to say “forget about 20in arms, 53in chest and 31in waist. No one ever had such proportions”.

From my experience people that do heavy compound exercises have larger waists. You’re probably not going to squat 500 or deadlift 600 with a 30 inch waist if you’re average height or taller.

Genetics. I’m 6’/190lbs and when I’m lean (which is not very often) I have 28" waist. My bones are narrow there and that’s all. Good luck. jim

[quote]Doug Schurman wrote:
John McCallum wrote about what body measurements are realistic back in the late 60’s for Strength and Health magazine. He stated that most of the measurements written about in magazines were ficticious. He goes on to list some proportions for a well developed physiques depending on wrist size (since bone structure has a lot to do with measurement possibilities). For example for a person with small bones (7 inch wrist) good development would be
45.5in chest
31.8 waist
16.4 arm
24.1 leg

for 7.5 in wrist (average)
48.8in chest
34.1 waist
17.6 arm
25.8 leg

for 8.0 in wrist (large)
52in chest
36.4 waist
18.8 arm
27.6 leg

One thing you will note is that with a large chest and legs comes a larger waist. I’ve seen mention of people having 28in legs with a 30in waist. I don’t think these kind of proportions are possible. He goes on to say “forget about 20in arms, 53in chest and 31in waist. No one ever had such proportions”.

From my experience people that do heavy compound exercises have larger waists. You’re probably not going to squat 500 or deadlift 600 with a 30 inch waist if you’re average height or taller.[/quote]

Doug,

Not to be a wiseguy but I have to disagree with these parameters.

I’m 5’ 9", 195 lbs. My wrists are 7", I’m 47 almost 48 y/o. I am totally natural and have been my entire training life. My arms are 17.5" cold/flexed, my waist is between 30 - 31", my chest is 48", my thighs are 26", my b/f is < 10%. I bench around 350, squat 425, and dead lift 450 - 475 for 3 sets of 8 or more reps. So according to your post I must be the exception. However, I doubt it. There are lots of folks at the Gold’s Gym where I train that exceed these parameters as well.

I would have to respectfully disagree with you. I think the problem is body fat.

Ass Buster

[quote]assbuster wrote:

Doug,

Not to be a wiseguy but I have to disagree with these parameters.

I’m 5’ 9", 195 lbs. My wrists are 7", I’m 47 almost 48 y/o. I am totally natural and have been my entire training life. My arms are 17.5" cold/flexed, my waist is between 30 - 31", my chest is 48", my thighs are 26", my b/f is < 10%. I bench around 350, squat 425, and dead lift 450 - 475 for 3 sets of 8 or more reps. So according to your post I must be the exception. However, I doubt it. There are lots of folks at the Gold’s Gym where I train that exceed these parameters as well.

I would have to respectfully disagree with you. I think the problem is body fat.

Ass Buster[/quote]

I don’t see what you disagree with. You are slightly muscular than his measurements, but you still have a SMALL bone structure.

[quote]Panther1015 wrote:
How do squats and deads make your waist bigger? I always thought they were great at tightening up the obliques.[/quote]

Obliques can also grow, too. They can rapidly get very big, and some bodybuilders are careful not to do much oblique work so it doesn’t overwhelm the look of their stomachs.

Squats and deads also can put a lot of meat in the lower back, which will add up to more width meat in the waist too.

[quote]assbuster wrote:
Doug Schurman wrote:
John McCallum wrote about what body measurements are realistic back in the late 60’s for Strength and Health magazine. He stated that most of the measurements written about in magazines were ficticious. He goes on to list some proportions for a well developed physiques depending on wrist size (since bone structure has a lot to do with measurement possibilities). For example for a person with small bones (7 inch wrist) good development would be
45.5in chest
31.8 waist
16.4 arm
24.1 leg

for 7.5 in wrist (average)
48.8in chest
34.1 waist
17.6 arm
25.8 leg

for 8.0 in wrist (large)
52in chest
36.4 waist
18.8 arm
27.6 leg

One thing you will note is that with a large chest and legs comes a larger waist. I’ve seen mention of people having 28in legs with a 30in waist. I don’t think these kind of proportions are possible. He goes on to say “forget about 20in arms, 53in chest and 31in waist. No one ever had such proportions”.

From my experience people that do heavy compound exercises have larger waists. You’re probably not going to squat 500 or deadlift 600 with a 30 inch waist if you’re average height or taller.

Doug,

Not to be a wiseguy but I have to disagree with these parameters.

I’m 5’ 9", 195 lbs. My wrists are 7", I’m 47 almost 48 y/o. I am totally natural and have been my entire training life. My arms are 17.5" cold/flexed, my waist is between 30 - 31", my chest is 48", my thighs are 26", my b/f is < 10%. I bench around 350, squat 425, and dead lift 450 - 475 for 3 sets of 8 or more reps. So according to your post I must be the exception. However, I doubt it. There are lots of folks at the Gold’s Gym where I train that exceed these parameters as well.

I would have to respectfully disagree with you. I think the problem is body fat.

Ass Buster[/quote]

That population is naturally a distorted one. People with worse genetics tend not to show up at a place like Gold’s or at any gym, much less work long enough to get a 48 inch chest. There’s a much higher percentage of people in a place like Golds with exceptional genetics. I’m not saying willpower doesn’t matter, but let’s face it, without good genetics a lot of people wouldn’t be there, no more than they would be in the NBA. Well, that’s overstating it, but you get my drift.

The writer being quoted in the article may be saying “it never happens,” but my guess is he just means it’s extremely unlikely. Especially in those days, going on four decades ago, when steroids weren’t nearly as common, overtraining was very common, we as a nation weren’t consuming so many calories, and we knew less about nutrition and exercise.

It seems you look around every ten years or so and there are MANY more guys over 7 feet tall and all around just huge than before. It wasn’t long ago that six feet used to be considered quite tall. Now it’s practically short. Back then a 28 inch waist probably meant a much smaller chest than it does today.

Assbuster,

Sounds like you have developed quite a physique. Nice work! McCallum’s point was that bone structure influence measurements quite a bit. According to him, from your wrist measurement you have a small bone structure which allows you to keep near a 30in waist when very lean. However you would probably have a larger waist if your wrists (bone structure) was larger.

[quote]Professor X wrote:
assbuster wrote:

Doug,

Not to be a wiseguy but I have to disagree with these parameters.

I’m 5’ 9", 195 lbs. My wrists are 7", I’m 47 almost 48 y/o. I am totally natural and have been my entire training life. My arms are 17.5" cold/flexed, my waist is between 30 - 31", my chest is 48", my thighs are 26", my b/f is < 10%. I bench around 350, squat 425, and dead lift 450 - 475 for 3 sets of 8 or more reps. So according to your post I must be the exception. However, I doubt it. There are lots of folks at the Gold’s Gym where I train that exceed these parameters as well.

I would have to respectfully disagree with you. I think the problem is body fat.

Ass Buster

I don’t see what you disagree with. You are slightly muscular than his measurements, but you still have a SMALL bone structure. [/quote]

I think the problem there is, we can’t say what a small bone structure is unless we take height into consideration. Small for what?

A 7 inch wrist on a guy who is 6’2" means a lot smaller bone structure than a 7 inch wrist on a guy who is 5’7".

[quote]Kablooey wrote:
Professor X wrote:
assbuster wrote:

Doug,

Not to be a wiseguy but I have to disagree with these parameters.

I’m 5’ 9", 195 lbs. My wrists are 7", I’m 47 almost 48 y/o. I am totally natural and have been my entire training life. My arms are 17.5" cold/flexed, my waist is between 30 - 31", my chest is 48", my thighs are 26", my b/f is < 10%. I bench around 350, squat 425, and dead lift 450 - 475 for 3 sets of 8 or more reps. So according to your post I must be the exception. However, I doubt it. There are lots of folks at the Gold’s Gym where I train that exceed these parameters as well.

I would have to respectfully disagree with you. I think the problem is body fat.

Ass Buster

I don’t see what you disagree with. You are slightly muscular than his measurements, but you still have a SMALL bone structure.

I think the problem there is, we can’t say what a small bone structure is unless we take height into consideration. Small for what?

A 7 inch wrist on a guy who is 6’2" means a lot smaller bone structure than a 7 inch wrist on a guy who is 5’7".
[/quote]

By his standard you have a small bone structure. I won’t go into all of my measurements, but my wrists are over 8" at 5’11". I doubt my waist could get much under 35" even if I was down to 8% body fat. I would assume he means someone of average height (or at least average for the 60’s which meant around 5’8"-6’).

Take someone the size of Gunter Schlierkamp(sp?). His waist is nearly 40" on stage in contest shape even though he looks fairly proportionate. Obviously, he doesn’t have a small bone structure.

I think your argument is missing the point. I would consider your bone structure small in comparison to mine.

[quote]geekboy wrote:
Panther1015 wrote:
How do squats and deads make your waist bigger? I always thought they were great at tightening up the obliques.

Second that. I dropped 2.5 inches off my waist (32.5 to 30), by squating and deadlifting heavily (80%+ of my 1RM), with a heavy dose of weighted core exercises like

TGU
Windmill
Full contact twist
Cable crunches
Weighted back extension etc.

And hell, now I even eat more than when I was a fat boy.

Geek boy[/quote]

You guys are right. To a point. If you started with excess body fat, then squats and deadlifts will surely assist you in decreasing your waistline. If you continue, though, then as the weight you lift increases your waist will increase in size. It’ll be muscle, but it’ll be bigger, nonetheless. Now, start with someone that never let their waist get big. See what I mean? It’s all relative.

As for me, personally, squats have made my waist smaller. Deadlifts and Hypers have made my waist bigger. It’s narrower from the front, but my erector spinae muscles have increased in size so I’m up a pants size from where I started. I’m not complaining, it’s just a fact. Actually, I’m pretty happy about it, truth be known.

RB

[quote]rubberbubba wrote:
You guys are right. To a point. If you started with excess body fat, then squats and deadlifts will surely assist you in decreasing your waistline. If you continue, though, then as the weight you lift increases your waist will increase in size. It’ll be muscle, but it’ll be bigger, nonetheless. Now, start with someone that never let their waist get big. See what I mean? It’s all relative.

As for me, personally, squats have made my waist smaller. Deadlifts and Hypers have made my waist bigger. It’s narrower from the front, but my erector spinae muscles have increased in size so I’m up a pants size from where I started. I’m not complaining, it’s just a fact. Actually, I’m pretty happy about it, truth be known.

RB[/quote]

Agree and this is what I try to point out. Now I am up to a point that my squat 1RM is close to 2x my bodyweight. So yes, you can get strong, RELATIVELY speaking, without add size to your core/torso. And I think what is happening to you (core hypertrophy) will probably happen to me further down the track.

Geek boy

[quote]rubberbubba wrote:
You guys are right. To a point. If you started with excess body fat, then squats and deadlifts will surely assist you in decreasing your waistline. If you continue, though, then as the weight you lift increases your waist will increase in size. It’ll be muscle, but it’ll be bigger, nonetheless. Now, start with someone that never let their waist get big. See what I mean? It’s all relative.

As for me, personally, squats have made my waist smaller. Deadlifts and Hypers have made my waist bigger. It’s narrower from the front, but my erector spinae muscles have increased in size so I’m up a pants size from where I started. I’m not complaining, it’s just a fact. Actually, I’m pretty happy about it, truth be known.

RB[/quote]

Makes sense. I’ve always had a flat stomach and until the last couple of years when I started getting a little bit of fat pockets on my obliques, I had a 6-pack since puberty. My waist is 32" now and my abs are nowhere near as shredded as they used to be - 4-pack with decent obliques. How can I determine the size of my bone structure and figure out how narrow I can get my waistline? I think I’d look pretty damn good at 30-31"

Has anyone seen madmax’s pic? The guy seriously has the proportions of a comic book character. If you drew a picture of him, I’d tell you it’s impossible for someone like that to exist.

Madmax, if you see this, put up your measurements for everyone. Have you ever considered dressing up as “the green lantern” for halloween?