Why Does Christian Bale look better than me at the same weight?
One of my clients asked me an interesting (but common) question when I was chatting to him today.
He had been reading about Christian Bale, and his remarkable transformations for his roles.
If you aren’t aware, Christian Bale is a famous actor. He’s over 6 feet tall (Google says 1.83 metres which is about 6’1). For his role in The Machinist, he dropped to 124 pounds.
6 months later, he had to be Batman. Being Batman means being a muscular badass. He gained 60 pounds for the role (a lot of it muscle).
So my client was confused because he’s a similar height to Bale and when he was in shape in the past he was a similar weight to Bale in Batman (about 185 pounds – which is about 84 kilograms)
BUT he says he didn’t look like a BEAST whereas Bale did.
What gives? Why do some people look better at a lighter body weight?
It’s actually pretty simple. The answer lies in the body composition of each individual (how much of their mass is made up of lean body mass, and how much is fat).
Bale at 185 pounds is under 10% body fat. My client at 185 pounds was about 16% bodyfat.
If my client was to get under 10% bodyfat he’d weigh about 14 pounds less than Christian Bale.
This is due to the differing amounts of each person’s mass that is being made up from muscle and fat.
Bale’s weight is mostly muscle, whereas my client’s has less weight coming from muscle and more from fat.
Bale has about 14 pounds more muscle than my client. If you don’t think that sounds like a lot, go to the meat aisle of your local supermarket and collect 14 pounds of steak. Now imagine it on you.
14 pounds is a lot of muscle, and adding that to your frame will make a considerable difference in how you look.
However, there’s something else at play here too. It’s an illusion!
As you diet down to lower body fat levels you start to look bigger even though you are getting smaller.
You occupy less space. You lose fat from your waist, chest, face and other areas. However, this means your shoulders, lats and arms start to look bigger in comparison to the rest of you. Muscles that weren’t there before become visible. You start to get that V-tapered look.
All of this has the effect of making you look bigger. This is provided you have a fair bit of muscle mass already. If you do not, you will not look bigger. You will look very thin and possibly unwell.
Bale being at low body fat levels means he looked even bigger and more “beastly” simply from the optical illusion effect.
14 pounds more muscle, plus the optical illusion effect of being low bodyfat will make you look like an absolute beast!
Want to learn how to lose fat, effortlessly and transform the way you look? You need to download this free guide
Here’s an example of my own:
I took these 2 pictures, 3 months apart.
The left photo is taken in May 2018, and the right one in August 2018:
On the left, I weigh 99kg, on the right, 85kg.
People usually try to sell supplements or workout programs by throwing around pictures like this. They try to claim their product will give you a crazy amount of muscle gain, even though no muscle has been gained between the two pictures!
Frankly, it’s not possible to build enough muscle in a few months that will make that much difference to how you look. However, it is possible to lose fat and UNCOVER muscle that is already there.
I can tell you, in the second picture (the one on the right) I have gained NO additional muscle. At best, I have the same amount of muscle, but it’s likely I lost some – because I go pretty aggressive with my calorie deficit in a fat loss phase.
The average person probably wouldn’t think that I had potentially MORE muscle in the first picture, or at least the same amount – but I do.
I’m benefiting massively from the improved ratios that come with being around 10% bodyfat or below. Your waist gets narrower, your shoulders and lats appear wider and you look MUCH more aesthetic.
You can get these results and transform how you look too
Learn how muscle is built by going here and clicking through all of the links at the bottom. Make sure you pay attention to the section about progressive overload otherwise you’re not going to get very far.