So there's no such thing as being "thinner framed"?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 24, 2015 2:07 AM GMT
    I only weigh 140 pounds and I wear 28w pants, so I consider myself to be very thin framed. I'm not all that skinny per se, because I could definitely loose some belly fat. I've been working out for about a year and I think I have a fairly athletic physique, but still my arms aren't that big. I owe this to my frame. My wrists and waist are small, even my head is small, so naturally my arms are going to be small even if they do have plenty of muscle and definition.

    My boyfriend, however, does not believe thin frame and thick frame differences exist. Besides differences in height, he thinks that differences in size has to do with just muscle and fat. So, to him, I have a non-athletic "nerd physique".

    I tried to explain it to him but he doesn't seem to understand proportions or body frame differences. I tried to show him how someone who has never worked out may have arms that are bigger than mine as far as circumference, but those people always have bigger waists, wrists, etc. It's all about proportions. COLORED TEXT GOES HERE

    Is he actually right? If not, is there a good article I could show him?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 24, 2015 2:18 AM GMT
    You're right. It's way harder for "smaller-boned" guys (I'm one of them) to put on muscle (and weight) than larger-framed guys.

    True, you can still have a great body with a small frame, but it takes twice the effort.

    (But it's worth it to hear the large-frame guys whine and make excuses when a small-frame guy outlifts, outperforms or outmuscles them.)
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 24, 2015 4:16 AM GMT
    How can you be 5'9", 170 lbs, and have a 28" waist?

    I'm 6'0", 165 lbs, and have a 32" waist...and still not as defined as I could be.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 24, 2015 4:21 AM GMT
    The weight is not updated because I am never on this site (sorry realjock). I only weigh 140 now. And it's just an American clothes waist size that I listed because that's the best unit of measurement I know lol.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 24, 2015 4:29 AM GMT
    Dissonance saidThe weight is not updated because I am never on this site (sorry realjock). I only weigh 140 now. And it's just an American clothes waist size that I listed because that's the best unit of measurement I know lol.
    Oh ok, I can understand that.

    But I don't believe in "thin framed" or "big framed." If you strip the skin, fat, and muscle tissue off of a fat person, muscular person, and a thin person - all of the same height - you'd find equally-sized bones (anatomy class, anyone?)

    With the right foods and some moderate strength training, you can totally change your "thin frame" to muscular...or even fat if that's what you're going for.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 24, 2015 1:13 PM GMT
    Here's what a Harvard University anthropologist had to say to a woman who asked if bones are all the same thickness:

    "There is tremendous variation in size and shape of human bones (some more so than others). For example, if you exercise a lot, many microscopic cracks will form in your bones and bone cells will grow into the cracks to repair them. As a result, someone who exercises a lot will have much thicker bone than someone who does not exercise. Diet, diseases, parasites, evolutionary responses to temperature and many other factors also influence the dimensions of human bones.
    It is true that the sizes of bones in a population will cluster around certain average values. This is because some aspects of bone growth are under fairly strong genetic control. But any such values are statistical approximations, not fixed limits of bone dimensions."

    http://en.allexperts.com/q/Anthropology-2291/Human-bone-Sizes.htm

    Besides the size of your bone structure, genetics can play a huge roll in whether or not your muscles respond well to lifting. My best advice to "hard gainers" is to do more leg and full body lifting days, with a focus on functional, multi joint lifts. Our bodies just to not respond well to things like dumbbell curls.
  • Hypertrophile

    Posts: 1021

    May 24, 2015 1:40 PM GMT
    When someone says, rightfully, that genetics place a major role in someone's ability to develop muscle size, your bones are included. Not just bone thickness, but length too.

    OP, you're right to look at wrist measurements. This will show you if there are differences in skeletal bone thickness and if you are indeed small framed. If you do a search for ideal proportion calculators and charts on line, you'll find many of them are based on height and wrist size. A guy with a bigger wrist will have the potential to develop more strength and mass than a guy of the same height with a smaller wrist measurement. So, yes, there is such a think as being "thinner framed".

    Good for you to not let your genetics discourage you from working out. No matter what your genetics, if you put in the effort you'll improve your physique. Focus on reaching your potential and (try to) forget about some ultimately unattainable ideal. This is my biggest problem.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 24, 2015 2:32 PM GMT
    paulflexes said
    Dissonance saidThe weight is not updated because I am never on this site (sorry realjock). I only weigh 140 now. And it's just an American clothes waist size that I listed because that's the best unit of measurement I know lol.
    Oh ok, I can understand that.

    But I don't believe in "thin framed" or "big framed." If you strip the skin, fat, and muscle tissue off of a fat person, muscular person, and a thin person - all of the same height - you'd find equally-sized bones (anatomy class, anyone?)

    With the right foods and some moderate strength training, you can totally change your "thin frame" to muscular...or even fat if that's what you're going for.


    Bone density varies significantly between the different races, and between men and women. You can have your personal bone density measured if you want to see where you fall among all men with something called a Dexa Scan. My bone density is above average, as with African American men and women in general. So while the space our bones occupy might be similar, the load bearing capacity is still dependent on your inherent bone density. You can increase bone density through weight training but obviously only to a certain extent. Weight training will never put an individual beyond another individual who also weight trains but was born with a higher bone density.

    It's obviously not fair, but that's the world we live in. No one gets to pick their genetic lot in life but we all have to make due with what we've got.

    To the OP, your boyfriend isn't correct. It's generally accepted that there are three body types. Ectomorphs, Mesomorphs, and Endomorphs. Explanation here: http://teemajor.com/teemajorsblog/3-male-female-body-types-explained

    You would fall in the Ectomorph category whereas someone like myself would fall between Mesomorph and Endomorph. I generally don't have a hard time putting on weight but I have a hard time losing fat whereas the opposite is true for you, right? That's the basic explanation for why your boyfriend is wrong.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 24, 2015 5:48 PM GMT
    Some people have larger and some people have smaller rib cages as compared to their height.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 24, 2015 9:08 PM GMT
    M_Leatherman saidHere's what a Harvard University anthropologist had to say to a woman who asked if bones are all the same thickness:

    "There is tremendous variation in size and shape of human bones (some more so than others). For example, if you exercise a lot, many microscopic cracks will form in your bones and bone cells will grow into the cracks to repair them. As a result, someone who exercises a lot will have much thicker bone than someone who does not exercise. Diet, diseases, parasites, evolutionary responses to temperature and many other factors also influence the dimensions of human bones.
    It is true that the sizes of bones in a population will cluster around certain average values. This is because some aspects of bone growth are under fairly strong genetic control. But any such values are statistical approximations, not fixed limits of bone dimensions."

    http://en.allexperts.com/q/Anthropology-2291/Human-bone-Sizes.htm

    Besides the size of your bone structure, genetics can play a huge roll in whether or not your muscles respond well to lifting. My best advice to "hard gainers" is to do more leg and full body lifting days, with a focus on functional, multi joint lifts. Our bodies just to not respond well to things like dumbbell curls.


    I saw this happen all the time with 17 y.o 140 lb "small boned" Navy recruits. After 3 months of boot camp and heavy leg workouts they would gain 40 lbs and then go on to become massive .
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 25, 2015 1:04 AM GMT
    Look up Frank Zane.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 25, 2015 8:31 AM GMT
    All 17-year olds are thin framed. Almost all anyway. Your bones stop growing/filling in at 20-25 with the jaw being the last bone to finish growing. That's why models are so young and thin.

    But like Alpha said, being thin framed doesn't prevent you from gaining muscle. You need to do more work though. If I were you I would go for more class-based workouts. It makes it easier to push yourself and you don't have to think. Just do what the bastard master sergeant tells you to. Weights and resistance are important but if you mainly do breaks and skip workouts then that's not going to help you.
  • buddycat

    Posts: 1874

    May 25, 2015 9:39 AM GMT
    There is definitely a small, medium, and large frame. You can tell by your wrist. Google it to find out more. I have a medium frame. Your pant size doesn't say much since most guys where their pants at their hips. You measure your waist in between your hip bone and rib cage, mine is an inch above my belly button. You breath out when measuring and keep the measuring tape so that is no tight. You can Google that too. Pants size also depends greatly. The average man exaggerates their waist size by at least 2 inches.