This morning I purchased a new Tee Shirt at Revolution Training Systems and I came to learn that I am once again a size small. When I started losing weight I was 205 lbs. and comfortably fitting in larges. After dropping to around 190 lbs. mediums felt snugger. Now as I approach 180 lbs. I’ve been told that I look “skinny” or that I’m “wasting away” as my medium sized shirts start to look baggier around the waist.
While I have lost 23 lbs. let’s put things into perspective. I pushed my weight up from 168 lbs. @ 14% body fat to 205 lbs. @ 25-27%. I am 5’9″, my wrist circumference is 6.75″, my ankle circumference is 8.5″, and my shoulder width is approximately 16″ (acromion to acromion). I don’t have a very wide nor thick skeleton. I have also been training seriously for 3 years now and have been lifting weights for 18 years. I’d like to also point out that I went from 168 to 205 over the course of a year. So despite the weight gain being “slow and controlled” it still resulted in fat gain nonetheless. The likelihood of me ever being a 93 kg male @ 15% body fat or less is slim to none but that in no way means I’ll stop trying to grow.
So where does that bring us. While I have lost 23 lbs. and dropped to 182 lbs., my body fat is still 19%. Therefore in order to get down to 15% or less we are talking about 173 lbs. or less assuming all of the weight lost is body fat. To dig even further, if I’m going to take it down to 9% before massing back up, I will have to take my body weight down to 162 lbs. Now how much will I be able to lift at a lower weight? Stay tuned for the results of that experiment. The point here is that body weight is only one piece of the picture and recommending an experienced lifter to gain copious amounts of body weight simply to weigh a certain number on the scale is not always the best course of action nor does it always equate with performance benefits.
In short, I am a lightweight and I accept this. I didn’t ask for these wrists, ankles, and shoulders, I was born with them and that’s what I have to work with. I’ve intentionally gained weight 4 times in my lifetime in an effort to build muscle and it simply ends the same each and every time. With the exception of an untrained, underweight novice, you cannot offset a small skeleton with excess body fat in an effort to get bigger and stronger. It works when your skin and bones and have never touched a weight before, but if you’ve been at this for a while it’s not the best use of your resources unless you simply do not care about your health. Now this is assuming you are a drug free lifter. I cannot speak on the effects of a small framed individual taking PEDs at a high body fat percentage but logic tells me that the experience would likely be different.
Update 4/16/16: I am now 175 lbs and I’m sittin around 16-17% body fat if I had to guesstimate. Judging by these photos it looks like I’ve lost mostly fat weight and yet my abs are still not completely visible nor am I vascular. My squat and deadlift have held steady and I lost a little off my bench press. In short, the likelihood of me weighing 205 without turning into a fat sloppy mess is slim to none.