Permission To Be Light

I was first exposed to the idea of giving yourself permission to get light after reading an article on Scott Tousignant’s Metabolic Masterpeice website.  He was talking about how he was 5’7” and around 170 lbs.  Nothing he was doing was helping his physique.  He had tried just about every type of training program he could think of in order to get the body he wanted.  After talking with one of his friends in the fitness industry, John Barban, he was exposed to the idea of giving yourself permission to be light.  John had told him that he would probably have to do this in order to get the physique he wanted.

The reason you will need to give yourself permission to be light is because of the great deal of psychological conditioning people are faced with, males specifically, when it comes to unrealistic body weight.  I understand this may be counterintuitive as many people feel that women deal with the majority of body image issues.  For men body-dismorphia is a very real thing.  There are countless men walking around who feel that they are not big enough and do not have enough muscle.  Theses men believe that they would feel good about their bodies if they could only gain a little bit more muscle.  This cycle can continue for years and years as men focus on moving their scale weight up in order to pack enough muscle on their frame.

The problem with this mindset is that it is not supported by the bodies physiology.  The amount of anabolic hormones, testosterone in particular, that your body produces determines the amount of muscle that your body will be able to hold onto.  While it is true that you can manipulate this with dietary and lifestyle modifications, the fact remains that this is largely dictated by your bodies circulating hormones.  There is a limited amount of muscle a natural trainee will be able to pack onto his or her frame.  There are multiple fitness authors who have put up standards of muscularity for men who are long time weight trainers in lean condition.  These standards are great for natural trainees who want a reasonable idea of what they will weigh in ripped condition once they have reached their genetic potential.  The reality is that most people in truly ripped condition will weigh far less than they have been lead to believe by most popular fitness media sources.

Permission to get light gives men the ability to get into truly lean condition.  Giving yourself permission to get light will take the breaks off of your fat loss effort.  What’s more is that it will make you more likely to reach your relative strength goals.  This is important as relative strength should be your ultimate goal if you are training to look or perform better in general.  This is exactly what happened to Scott Tousignant, the fitness author mentioned above, when he took John barban’s advice to give himself permission to get light.  He went from the 170 lb range all the way down to 140 lbs.  At 140 lbs he was absolutely ripped.  One year later he was able to raise his ripped condition weight by 5 lbs all the way up to 145 lbs.  Though he was much lighter, most people thought he looked like he weighed in the 160s due to his conditioning.  While 145 seems light, it is more a reaction to the misconceptions that are promoted by the mainstream fitness industry.  Most people do not understand what it takes to achieve the type of conditioning that is seen in most fitness magazines.  With few exceptions the athletes shown are on many different drugs.   Most people just do not understand how common and widespread drug use is in the fitness industry.

      Without drugs there is a fairly tight range of body weights that a natural trainee will be able to obtain in ripped condition.  This weight is largely dictated by the trainees height.  In a future article I will go over what weight you can expect to get to in lean condition as you near your genetic potential.  Anyway, I think this is an important topic as unrealistic body weight goals keep many men and women from reaching their potential for health and fitness.