Bodybuilding Articles

Your Maximum Muscular Bodyweight and Measurements

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When it comes to your maximum muscular bodyweight and measurements many bodybuilders will have you believing that the sky’s the limit. Sadly, this isn’t the case. We all have an upper limit of what we can achieve without using performance enhancing drugs such as anabolic steroids or growth hormone. Don’t get too down though, most natural bodybuilders will never get near their limit!

In this article we’ll look at the best way to estimate your natural maximum muscular bodyweight, as well as your maximum body measurements. We’ll be using the formula devised by Martin Berkhan to help you estimate your maximum muscular bodyweight and we’ll use Casey Butt’s formula for estimating maximum body measurements.

Estimating Maximum Muscular Bodyweight

Martin Berkhan’s formula is one of the simplest out there (to use that is, it must have been insanely challenging to come up with). This is a big plus, because most of the formulas for estimating maximum muscular bodyweight take about four pages of text to explain!

Here is the formula:

  • (Height in cm – 100) = Bodyweight in kilograms

The measurement of bodyweight in kilograms is based on the idea of you being shredded, in other words having less than 6% bodyfat.

This formula works incredibly well and has been battle-tested on many of Martin Berkhan’s natural bodybuilders. As he points out, it is remarkably accurate. However, he has fine-tuned it even further to split people into “ripped and slightly dehydrated” and “ripped and not dehydrated” categories.

Here are the new formulas:

  • (Height in cm) minus between 98 and 102 = kg bodyweight while ripped and slightly dehydrated
  • (Height in cm) minus between 96 and 100 = kg bodyweight while ripped

Usually, you’d expect a formula as simple as this to be rather inaccurate, but it works! Martin Berkhan points out that it’s very difficult to ascertain whether someone is truly natural or not, but that the people he is 99% certain are natural have all found the equation to be accurate.

Estimating Maximum Body Measurements

Casey Butt created a well-known calculator for maximum body measurements. It uses measurements of your height (in inches this time), wrist circumference, and ankle circumference to determine what the maximum size your muscles can become. There are six sites that are to be estimated; chest, biceps, forearms, neck, thighs, and calves. Here are the formulas for each site:

  • Chest = (2.222 x wrist) + (1.76 x ankle) + (0.347 x height) – 9.514
  • Biceps = (1.609 x wrist) + (0.126 x height) – 3.444
  • Forearms = (1.280 x wrist) + (0.100 x height) – 2.740
  • Neck = (1.561 x wrist) + (0.122 x height) – 3.342
  • Thighs = (1.872 x ankle) + (0.181 x height) – 4.957
  • Calves = (1.257 x ankle) + (0.122 x height) – 3.330

This may all seem a bit random but the science works, it’s based on levers and joints that can affect how much muscle you can pack onto your frame. Remember, these measurements are a guide for the natural limitations of your physique. Don’t feel disheartened, hitting these targets will give you a fantastic competition-winning physique that can be achieved naturally without using any dangerous or illegal substances.

Final Thoughts

One thing you should remember is: a lot of the “natural” bodybuilders you see on social media are fake nattys. Many of the “natural bodybuilding” competitions are untested, and natural bodybuilding models are under no obligation to be tested either. Because of this, some truly incredible physiques that were not attained naturally have warped the public’s expectations of what a true, natural bodybuilder can accomplish.

On the other hand, many people are under the impression that truly impressive physiques are impossible to attain without steroids, but this is simply not true. Your maximum muscle size may not be as large, but aesthetically-speaking, almost anyone can still create an excellent body naturally.

What is your maximum bodyweight and measurements? How far off are you from this limit now? Leave a comment in the box below. 

Casey Butt

Casey Butt runs Weightrainer.net. He is a PhD, and has authored articles for Milo and Hardgainer.
2 Comments
  • Anon Jan 11,2014 at 3:37 am

    Pure research.

  • Chris Jan 10,2012 at 2:57 pm

    Good articles. I appreciate the research that you are doing, and you have a good muscular development too. But, you keep assuming that John Grimek and Steve Reeves were natural bodybuilders. John Grimek was on testosterone (look it up on Wikipedia), and Steve Reeves is reputed to have used dianabol. Sergio Oliva said that Steve Reeves introduced him to dianabol. T has been around since the Nazis.

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