Tuesday, September 02, 2008

What is your goal weight?

It seems like everyone has their 'goal weight' or 'ultimate goal weight' that they are trying to reach.

I can remember back when I first started University my goal weight was to hit 198 pounds.

There was no scientific reason why I picked this number. In fact, I picked it purely because it was how much professional hockey player Doug Weight was listed as weighing on a hockey card I once owned.

Now Doug Weight wasn't my favorite hockey player (my hockey idol was his teammate Ryan Smyth), but he was the captain of the Edmonton Oilers (my team) and was around my height, so I figured this would be a good weight to aim for.

It's not only guys who have goal weights - I know a lot of women who claim 110 pounds is their ULTIMATE goal weight.

The funny thing about goal weights is that they are actually a very poor predictor of how you will LOOK at that weight.

When I finally reached 198 pounds, I was NOT happy with what I saw..sure I hit my goal weight, but I did it by gaining the wrong TYPE of weight.

Definitely NOT what I had planned (damn you Doug Weight!)

These days, I don't have a goal weight, but I do have a goal LOOK.

Specifically, I have a goal ratio.

I used the same mathematic formulas that were developed for the Adonis Index to create my own personal goals.

Now, I won't give away the rational for these equations, however I will show you how I calculated my goal ratios:

So for me the 'Look' I am aiming for is 5'10.5" (the half inch is important) with a 31.5 inch waist circumference and a 51 inch shoulder circumference.

Now, here is the cool thing about aiming for something like actual body measurements - You can't POSSIBLY be overweight with a 31.5 inch waist and 51 inch shoulders.

In fact, hitting these numbers would mean I would look very lean and pretty darn jacked (I'm at 32.5 and 50.25 right now)

And that's the beauty of goal measurements - they are a VERY GOOD predictor of how you will look once you reach them.

If you want to change the way you look, don't worry as much about what your scale tells you, instead, work with your mirror.

And when using a mirror, try to be as honest as possible. We all have our 'Fat Days' and most of the time we are simply overreacting to bad lighting or bad angles..be honest with your assessment of how you look, and use your measurements to guide you.

This rule is even more important for women then it is for men, since THE SCALES LIE to women a lot more then they do to men. (Water fluctuations based on changes in hormone levels can cause a woman's weight to go up or down by 5 pounds)

The bottom line is - if you are trying to change the way you look, stick with measurements and the mirror as your guide..you can use the scale as a rough idea of whether or not you are heading the right direction, but it is a poor estimator of how you actually look.


PS - for an easy, practical way to get to your goal wight click here ==> Ultimate goal weight


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Keighton said...


Please tell me there is an equation like this for woman!


Anonymous said...

If you're a female with a "muffin top", where exactly does one measure for the waist? At the navel, at the largest circumference(1 inch above the navel), or at the smallest circumference below the ribs?

Denise DeGrazia said...


Is the waist to height equation the same for men and women?

BTW, I have lost 16 pounds since April with ESE. I've dropped 3 pant sizes and have lost 3 inches from my waist. All with no loss of strength. Who knew losing weight would be this easy and intuitive. And yet the conventional wisdom and so called diet experts are still pushing the eat small meals 4-6 times a day.

Brad Pilon said...

Hi Keighton and Denise-

There is an amazing amount of research on the ideal masculine form..everything from job success to attractiveness has been thoroughly researched..even the anatomy of variance in skeletal size has been scrutinized heavily in men.

Unfortunately I haven't been able to find anything as conclusive on women, and either has John Barban, the guy who did a lot of the research developing the Adonis Index.

I don't know if its because studying the ideal female form is taboo, or if it is just more difficult than studying men, but whatever it is, there's not a lot out there.

We're working on it now...but we don't really have anything to share.

One thing is for certain..it's not 36-34-36....unless you're barbie!


Brad Pilon said...

Denise -

Congrats on the amazing success so far! Keep up the great work!


Brad Pilon said...


On men, the bellybutton is the best marker..tends to be right in the middle of our girth.

For women, I think it may be slightly higher, I'll look into it more for you.


JasonInChina said...


Let me say that I've done ESE for 2 months and have dropped to 10% BF...the way I look now is so much better (ESE helped me drop those last 8lbs to get me here that I couldn't get rid of before).

And this article is great...while my primary goal is to get stronger, of course I want aesthetics as well. THIS gives me something "tangible" to shoot for.

Thanks man, for ESE and this article.


Denise DeGrazia said...

For women the waist to hip ratio has been studied pretty extensively and a ratio of .7 waist to hip has been found to be universally attractive in most cultures. But this still doesn't give us a to waist to height equation. More research needed in that department.


habergri.01 said...

hey brad

First i would like to say i think it is great to have people like you telling men that you should look triangular and have a mesomorph shape than just trying to pack on pounds. I am a subscriber to you emails list and greatly enjoy what you say.

But these equations do not work for me as i am 5 10, and I worked out my ideal waist as 31.29. My actual waist as it stands now is 28.0. This means i would have to gain weight around my waist to get my ideal but that would mean putting on fat and it would cover up my six pack. I worked out my shoulders should be 50.6. My shoulders are 45.5. My actual measurements give me an adonis index of 1.625 which is extremely close ideal adonis number. It makes no sense for me to put on weight around my stomach to then just have to put more on my shoulders. I thought your system was great until now as i see too many guys in my gym building muscle when they should be losing that belly decreasing the body fat and revealing that six pack. My body now looks great istarted out as a stick skinny guy and i just built muscle now i ahve great shoulder wiast ration with a six pack due to having only 8% body fat. I would like to hear some comments about this little problem with these equations thank you.

Anonymous said...

Hi Brad,

Can you tell me if The Adonis Effect programme and Eat Stop Eat are compatible if you need to lose a bit of weight and also add some muscle at the same time?

I looked at Adonis and I'm sure your nutrition would help with the fat loss, but would I be able to 'build and burn' using it too?


Brad Pilon said...

Hi Jason,

Thanks for the compliments - much appreciated.


Brad Pilon said...

Hi Denise,

0.7 is definitely the number, for the ratio, but there also seems to be a BMI component, and we haven't found a definitive that correlates either the waist or the hips to total height (like you said).

I've contacted some friends in the art community to see what they come up with.


Brad Pilon said...

Hi Rueben,

Firstly - those are some very impressive numbers.

The interesting thing is if you were to try to increase the girth of your shoulder circumference (IE increasing the muscle mass of your upperback, shoulders and upper chest) you would end up putting a small amout of muscle around your mid-section.

Specifically your spinai erectors in your lower back..

So to hit your ultimate numbers, you don't actually have to get a fatter stomach, just a slightly stronger lower back.

I hope this helps,


Brad Pilon said...

Hi Anon,

The Adonis Effect workout comes with a series of nutrition programs, but you could easily adapt it and combine it with Eat Stop Eat.

This is sort of what I do.


Anonymous said...

funny how you still use feet & inches, very imprecise measurements and still say you are using "solid metrics" while doing all the calculations. Improve the output by using the metric scale.

Code Nutrition said...

interesting formula... ill have to bust out the calculator and give it a try :D

Brad Pilon said...

Hi Anon,

Since its a ratio and not a single measurement, it really doesn't make a difference at this point.

Because it's a ratio, the goal number 1.612 isn't related to any specific measurement. It could be inches, meters, centimeters, yards..its still 1.612


matt said...

Nice calculation. My ideal waist came to 29.5 which is where I pretty much want to be! (guessed 30, currently 34)

sallyb said...

All very interesting!

Anonymous said...

Good point about "goal" weights..There is a great site I came across that shows people at various weights... (http://www.cockeyed.com/photos/bodies/heightweight.shtml) I am 5'1 female who is quite overfat but I was surprised to see that at 148 lbs I still don't look all that different from people my height at a much lower weight...I guess my frame size and muscle structure may account for it (I am short but not petite and used to be athletic)...