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  1. #1
    IncredbleShrinkingManlet™ bogus83's Avatar
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    Question Ideal lean mass amount

    I'm curious. Currently, I'm 5'8" 186 and roughly 24.5% bodyfat, down from 210 @ 31%. I have a medium size frame (fingers just barely touch around my wrist). I'm a guy.

    Body weight charts are just about useless, but I've seen a range of as low as 145 to as high as 170 for my ideal weight (taken from multiple sources). That would mean at 10%BF my ideal lean mass would be between 130.5 to 153 pounds.

    Right now my lean mass is approximately 140 pounds, which seems to fall right between the extremes.

    But I've seen multiple people here tell others that they "don't have enough muscle to keep cutting", or variations on that theme. Is that based solely on appearance, or is there some average/ideal lean mass chart that I've not been able to find?

    I ask because my current long-term goal (middle to end of next year) is to be close to 165 @ 10% bodyfat. That would put me at just shy of 149 pounds of lean mass. But before I get there, I plan to cut into the mid 150's, which I predict will have me somewhere around 155 @ 12%, or 136lbs lean mass. I'm hoping to be just under 160 by the end of this year.

    Is that too low to continue cutting to 10%? Should I even bother attempting to cut to 10% with that amount of muscle mass? Or, if I can get to 160 @ ~14% by the end of year, would it make more sense to try to add, I don't know, 10 pounds of muscle, and then cut to 10% from there?

    I know there are a dozen of these threads a day, thanks for having the patience to look at one more.
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    [Start: 2/23/2010: 210 @ 31%] ►► [Current: 7/13/2011: 149.6 @ 14%] ►► [Goal: Under 140/12%, bulk]
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    "If I was to approach my diet like my training, I'd be murdering the hell out of every thing I ate with relentless rage. I'd be taking 20 second rest breaks between chews and supersetting steak with salad." -Webber91
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  2. #2
    All men are created equal metroins's Avatar
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    My friend is 5'9 around 8% at 154lbs. He doesn't look tiny, but isn't big. It's a lean physique. He benches around 200. Try searching bodyspace for people within those ranges and compare to what your ideal body would be.
    Back on that injury recovery time:
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  3. #3
    Registered User Revolutionize's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by bogus83 View Post
    I'm curious. Currently, I'm 5'8" 186 and roughly 24.5% bodyfat, down from 210 @ 31%. I have a medium size frame (fingers just barely touch around my wrist). I'm a guy.

    Body weight charts are just about useless, but I've seen a range of as low as 145 to as high as 170 for my ideal weight (taken from multiple sources). That would mean at 10%BF my ideal lean mass would be between 130.5 to 153 pounds.

    Right now my lean mass is approximately 140 pounds, which seems to fall right between the extremes.

    But I've seen multiple people here tell others that they "don't have enough muscle to keep cutting", or variations on that theme. Is that based solely on appearance, or is there some average/ideal lean mass chart that I've not been able to find?

    I ask because my current long-term goal (middle to end of next year) is to be close to 165 @ 10% bodyfat. That would put me at just shy of 149 pounds of lean mass. But before I get there, I plan to cut into the mid 150's, which I predict will have me somewhere around 155 @ 12%, or 136lbs lean mass. I'm hoping to be just under 160 by the end of this year.

    Is that too low to continue cutting to 10%? Should I even bother attempting to cut to 10% with that amount of muscle mass? Or, if I can get to 160 @ ~14% by the end of year, would it make more sense to try to add, I don't know, 10 pounds of muscle, and then cut to 10% from there?

    I know there are a dozen of these threads a day, thanks for having the patience to look at one more.
    It's all personal preference. There is no one "ideal" lbm weight or %. Some people want to be as ripped as possible (and don't care much about having a lot of muscle), some want as much muscle with as little fat, and some people want to be HUGE. It's up to you. Don't let other people tell you what you should look like. Work hard until you're happy with your appearance. Then work hard to keep that appearance.
    2/14: 218
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    "I'm lucky because I can eat whatever I want and I just get really, really fat." ~ Louis C.K.
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  4. #4
    IncredbleShrinkingManlet™ bogus83's Avatar
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    Thanks. I appreciate your response, although to be honest I did anticipate getting an answer like that. My real question is, does a point exist where the ratio of lean mass to fat is such that it becomes significantly more difficult to lose fat without first adding muscle?

    Or put simply, "Can you have too little muscle to burn more fat?" And if so, aside from hitting a plateau, is there any way to estimate when that would occur?
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    [Start: 2/23/2010: 210 @ 31%] ►► [Current: 7/13/2011: 149.6 @ 14%] ►► [Goal: Under 140/12%, bulk]
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    "If I was to approach my diet like my training, I'd be murdering the hell out of every thing I ate with relentless rage. I'd be taking 20 second rest breaks between chews and supersetting steak with salad." -Webber91
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  5. #5
    IncredbleShrinkingManlet™ bogus83's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by metroins View Post
    ...Try searching bodyspace for people within those ranges and compare to what your ideal body would be.
    Would you believe in two years I've never used the advanced search function for BodySpaces? I've now got 40 members to check out, who are 25-30 years old, and between 140-160 pounds, and between 5'7" to 5'9". I think that should yield some useful information.

    Thank you, repped for the idea.
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    [Start: 2/23/2010: 210 @ 31%] ►► [Current: 7/13/2011: 149.6 @ 14%] ►► [Goal: Under 140/12%, bulk]
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    "If I was to approach my diet like my training, I'd be murdering the hell out of every thing I ate with relentless rage. I'd be taking 20 second rest breaks between chews and supersetting steak with salad." -Webber91
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  6. #6
    Registered User Revolutionize's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by bogus83 View Post
    Or put simply, "Can you have too little muscle to burn more fat?" And if so, aside from hitting a plateau, is there any way to estimate when that would occur?
    No and no.
    2/14: 218
    7/7: 183

    "The poison is in the dose." ~ Brad Pilon

    "What matters is actually doing something. You usually won't find out if something is right for you ahead of time unless you just hunker down and try it. So stop worrying and start hunkering." ~ Lyle McDonald

    " 'Why' is one of the most powerful words you can put in your vocabulary." ~ Alan Aragon

    "I'm lucky because I can eat whatever I want and I just get really, really fat." ~ Louis C.K.
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  7. #7
    IncredbleShrinkingManlet™ bogus83's Avatar
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    Duly noted. One more item for the broscience column then.
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    [Start: 2/23/2010: 210 @ 31%] ►► [Current: 7/13/2011: 149.6 @ 14%] ►► [Goal: Under 140/12%, bulk]
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    "If I was to approach my diet like my training, I'd be murdering the hell out of every thing I ate with relentless rage. I'd be taking 20 second rest breaks between chews and supersetting steak with salad." -Webber91
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  8. #8
    OtterMaster csb5731's Avatar
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    Any of the standardized charts are pretty misleading. I'm 5'7", w/ ~140 lbs of lbm. At my current %BF, 11ish or so - fairly lean, I am at 157lbs total body weight, just three pounds short of BMI "overweight" status. Yet I have a LIGHT frame and friends/family think of me as needing to put on weight and aren't shy about telling me so.

    When it comes down to it, though, it's all about personal preference and appearance. Yes I'd too like to be a solid, lean 165-lber some day, but truthfully, I feel better about my physique when I'm not looking at a gut and love handles in the mirror when shaving every morning. Its been easier for me to achieve that part relatively quickly vs. gaining 5-10 lbs of muscle first (I know my body well enough to realize that will be a long-term project) and then cutting. When I feel more confident about my physique and I am actively seeing results (and I've also found that I can discern muscle gain better when I am leaner), I am more apt to stick with the program. I've actually been discouraged in the past when trying to add LBM when at relatively high %BF, from lack of readily discernable short-term results, that I stopped going to the gym entirely. It's because that's the way I work, personally. It makes sense for ME to get lean first for the purpose of improving the odds of long-term success. Others may operate differently in terms of psychology/rewards system, have different goals, or different perceptions of ascetics.
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  9. #9
    IncredbleShrinkingManlet™ bogus83's Avatar
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    If your profile picture is any indication, I'd say you're doing pretty well. I'm coming from the other end of the spectrum- I've been hovering around the 200 pound mark for a few years now, and I've been overweight for the better part of the last decade. A gut and love handles bothers me enough that I'd like to get rid of them, but not so much that I want to give up on my progress. I'm down 25 pounds, I still look "fat" but better than last month, and much better than February.

    For better or worse, stubborn/persistent is one of my defining qualities. I like to set my sights on the long term prize and get there step by step. Otherwise I'd be getting extremely impatient with this year long 60 pound cut. If I have to get 80% of the way there, spend half of a year adding muscle, and then cut again, I'm all for it. If I can get to 10% before bulking I thought that might make the rest of the process a bit easier.

    I had gotten it into my head that the amount of muscle I'll (most likely) have at 160 would make things more difficult from there to 150ish, but since there's no real way to tell I guess we'll have to wait until January to find out.
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    "If I was to approach my diet like my training, I'd be murdering the hell out of every thing I ate with relentless rage. I'd be taking 20 second rest breaks between chews and supersetting steak with salad." -Webber91
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  10. #10
    OtterMaster csb5731's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by bogus83 View Post
    For better or worse, stubborn/persistent is one of my defining qualities. I like to set my sights on the long term prize and get there step by step. Otherwise I'd be getting extremely impatient with this year long 60 pound cut. If I have to get 80% of the way there, spend half of a year adding muscle, and then cut again, I'm all for it. If I can get to 10% before bulking I thought that might make the rest of the process a bit easier.
    I often wish that I was more stubborn! How to best reach the end goal can be very different from person-to-person, and if you are the tenacious and methodical type, then you'll probably have good success with either route.
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