# How much muscle do I need for optimal strength to weight ratio?

Ever since I started getting into powerlifting at age 16, I've been weighing 100kg+ at 192cm. Lately I've burned a ton of fat by playing badminton and my bodyweight is now around 90kg with 7%bf. However I'm trying to get to around 80-85kg now since I notice most badminton pros my height weigh between 70-82. This means I have to cut some muscle mass. Which makes me wonder if anyone has some nice information or articles about how much muscle mass do you need relative to your height and bodytype in order to maximize strength to weight ratio?

(assumptions)

1. Let's assume the athlete already has an optimal bodyfat% so they can't cut fat anymore
2. Let's also assume that the neurological efficiency of the muscle mass is very high and the strength of the athlete's muscle is close to powerlifting records for that weight class.

Here's a chart I made based on some existing drugfree powerlifting records: http://puu.sh/hZNC8/48a8ccfec5.png We can see that the general trend seems to be the lighter the athlete, the higher their strength to weight ratio. However these records involve different people with different body compositions. The lighter strength athletes will also likely be shorter people. So this doesn't really help me that much because what I want to know is how having more or less muscle mass would affect the strength to weight ratio of people with the same body composition

• If we're controlling for bodyfat and muscle strength per unit size, then the only downside to adding as much muscle as possible is the square-cube law. (And the limits of human digestive capability, I suppose.) Your assumptions turn this into a useless fantasy scenario. If we take X pounds of lifter with powerlifter-efficiency muscle, and adding muscle doesn't require adding fat or lowering neuromuscular efficiency, then that lifter wants to add infinity muscle. You're holding the relevant variables constant. – Dave Liepmann May 25 '15 at 8:14
• @Dave Liepmann so you're saying the more mass of highly-efficient muscle, the better for strength to weight ratio? Then how come we see lighter athletes generally having better strength to weight ratio? Also I updated my chart: puu.sh/hZMHh/7eacb850e0.png. The horizontal axes of the graphs represent weight class in lbs, the vertical axes represent str-to-weight – xcrypt May 25 '15 at 11:20
• That's part of what I'm saying. More importantly I'm saying that you're assuming impossibilities that won't help you understand your situation. To understand your graphs I think you should consider noise due to height, # of competitors in each class, and higher body fat %s in higher weight classes. Also it never hurts to label your axes or to use consistent units from the table to the graph. :) – Dave Liepmann May 25 '15 at 11:38
• It's also possible I'm wrong in one of my specific claims, and that building muscle necessarily involves adding more non-fat, non-muscle tissue than the added muscle can proportionally lift, thereby decreasing one's strength to weight ratio. But that still doesn't tell you anything useful about how to train or what goals to give yourself. – Dave Liepmann May 25 '15 at 11:40
• @Dave Liepmann Sorry for the messy graphs, I'm not particularly craftsy with excel, just enough to make myself some stuff but I understand it may be confusing for others. Anyway, you have me quite confused now, can you or someone else possibly advise me some articles or books to read to clear things up in this regard? – xcrypt May 25 '15 at 11:44