This page is designed to help you set realistic goals for your weight lifting journey. There is so much misinformation regarding weight training out there that it's easy to get the wrong impression about what it takes to get to your ideal body type.
Setting unrealistic expectations can be harmful to your mental health as you start second guessing your genetics, obsessing over your image, and comparing yourself unfairly to what you see in movies, magazines and on message boards.
The length of time it takes to get to your goal may surprise you.
The calculations below are based on a few assumptions:
|Lean mass to goal||Fat to goal||Bulking weeks to goal||Cutting weeks to goal|
|12.45 lbs / kgs||-9.25 lbs / kgs||42 weeks||12 weeks|
How does this calculation work?
It first calculates how much muscle you need to gain and how much fat you need to lose to get to your ideal physique. Then, it's just a matter of solving a system of equations:
And it solves for x (bulk weeks) and y (cut weeks). It's not perfect as it assumes that muscle/fat gain/loss are linear, but over a long period of time I think that assumption is fair.
Who are you some kind of trainer?
Not even close! I'm actually in the middle of my journey now. I'm just someone who had unrealistic expectations when starting weight lifting, got depressed, was certain I had low T, got mad / more depressed when I didn't get approved for TRT, and almost gave up completely.
I did a ton of reading and found out that nothing was wrong with me, but rather my expectations were skewed by what I was reading on forums and seeing in the movies. I created a spreadsheet to help track my progress and I wanted to share my findings with you.
So do I bulk first or cut first?
Lyle McDonald suggests cutting down to 10-15% BF before bulking up. However, if you aren't very strong, you may find that this puts you at a really low overall weight, so use your best judgment and figure out what aligns with your short term goals and motivations.
I have further questions / comments!
Drop me a note on twitter!