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Thread: The Correlation of Strength & Size In Regards to Muscle

  1. #51
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    ... to the OP about literature.

    I had the Ultimate Diet 2 by lyle mcdonald awhile ago and i am pretty sure that he has a good chunk explaining your question. since his book is about recomp and all.
    Starting over...

    You get out what you put in.

  2. #52
    Senior Member JHarris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chalky Palms View Post
    you are right, I wasn't on the debate team, and I wasn't in band either.
    Are you bragging about this? Is it bad to have extracurriculars that aren't sports? Sheesh.. you'd probably mock me for having spent countless hours performing on the piano in high school.

    Chalky, you've gotta calm down a little on here. Telling people to stop talking or throwing names around just defeats the purpose of what is supposed to happen here - this is supposed to be a place where people can come to learn how to train better, and to discuss methods.

  3. #53
    Nuttin to it but to do it Chalky Palms's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JHarris View Post
    Chalky, you've gotta calm down a little on here. Telling people to stop talking or throwing names around just defeats the purpose of what is supposed to happen here - this is supposed to be a place where people can come to learn how to train better, and to discuss methods.
    I agree that it should be kept as a place to discuss methods, that is why I get angry when people take stuff out of context when I am only trying to help and they make it look like I am giving wrong info. There is no reason to give advice to someone by saying they should work to be an exception in the bodybuilding world by getting insanely strong and staying small, it just isn't practical. If you want to get bigger the best advice is to get stronger (along with all the other things that go in to this such as diet/sleep/supplementation). Telling someone that they don't have to necessarily get bigger to be stronger is true but it is a rare case and definitely not the best advice.
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  4. #54
    Senior Member JHarris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chalky Palms View Post
    I agree that it should be kept as a place to discuss methods, that is why I get angry when people take stuff out of context when I am only trying to help and they make it look like I am giving wrong info. There is no reason to give advice to someone by saying they should work to be an exception in the bodybuilding world by getting insanely strong and staying small, it just isn't practical. If you want to get bigger the best advice is to get stronger (along with all the other things that go in to this such as diet/sleep/supplementation). Telling someone that they don't have to necessarily get bigger to be stronger is true but it is a rare case and definitely not the best advice.
    Yeah.. despite this being a 'bodybuilding' forum, general athletic questions are often asked. Being that this was about strength, I wasn't targeting what I was saying to bodybuilders. What bodybuilder cares a huge amount about strength?

    It is not rare to be very strong without putting on size. Its also not bad advice at all if the athlete doesn't want to get bigger for whatever reason (but most likely due to the sport they are playing)! In fact, it would be terrible advice to tell such an athlete to gain weight. I get annoyed when the canned response to "I want to be stronger" is simply "get bigger", because you can make remarkable strength gains without getting bigger. I've done it, I've seen it, and I've coached it.

    Outside of some of the more elite lifters on these boards, the grand majority that are here could get a lot stronger without gaining weight. It isn't the easiest way, but sometimes, depending on the situation, it is the better way.

  5. #55
    Nuttin to it but to do it Chalky Palms's Avatar
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    you still don't understand, the best way to get stronger is to get bigger, that's a cold hard fact. I don't care how strong you think you are but you aren't in the elite of lifters, I can tell from your avatar because you are not huge, and all elite lifters are big. Show me one elite powerlifter that isn't big. Now you are going to ramble on about olympic lifters but how do you think they would do in a powerlifting meet? Most of them wouldn't be considered elite. Olympic lifts have a lot more to do with technique and momentum, this is why they are able to keep their smaller size.
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  6. #56
    Senior Member JHarris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chalky Palms View Post
    you still don't understand, the best way to get stronger is to get bigger, that's a cold hard fact. I don't care how strong you think you are but you aren't in the elite of lifters, I can tell from your avatar because you are not huge, and all elite lifters are big. Show me one elite powerlifter that isn't big. Now you are going to ramble on about olympic lifters but how do you think they would do in a powerlifting meet? Most of them wouldn't be considered elite. Olympic lifts have a lot more to do with technique and momentum, this is why they are able to keep their smaller size.
    I am an Olympic lifter. I am top 10 in the country in the 94kg weight class. I can full squat 240kg. I have coached 3 other athletes to be nationally competitive, along with a number others who are currently working towards that goal. I've jerked 183kg. Have you ever put 400lbs over your head in any way? I promise you, it takes a lot of strength. I'm not really concerned if you think I am elite or not.

    That being said, a full olympic squat is not at all the same thing as a parallel powerlifting squat. Of course Olympic lifters could not just walk into a powerlifting meet and be elite right off the bat - they don't train those types of lifts. But you are kidding yourself if you think that Olympic lifters are not among the strongest people in the world. Powerlifters also wouldn't do very well against Olympic lifters in a full squat contest without gear. Does that mean they are weak? They are two different lifts, period.

  7. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chalky Palms View Post
    you still don't understand, the best way to get stronger is to get bigger, that's a cold hard fact. I don't care how strong you think you are but you aren't in the elite of lifters, I can tell from your avatar because you are not huge, and all elite lifters are big. Show me one elite powerlifter that isn't big. Now you are going to ramble on about olympic lifters but how do you think they would do in a powerlifting meet? Most of them wouldn't be considered elite. Olympic lifts have a lot more to do with technique and momentum, this is why they are able to keep their smaller size.
    Come on man, this doesnt even make sense. You are making generalities like crazy.

    J:dont know if you know but I sent you a PM back.
    Last edited by ZenMonkey; 12-08-2008 at 10:31 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JHarris View Post
    I am an Olympic lifter. I am top 10 in the country in the 94kg weight class. I can full squat 240kg. I have coached 3 other athletes to be nationally competitive, along with a number others who are currently working towards that goal. I've jerked 183kg. Have you ever put 400lbs over your head in any way? I promise you, it takes a lot of strength. I'm not really concerned if you think I am elite or not.

    That being said, a full olympic squat is not at all the same thing as a parallel powerlifting squat. Of course Olympic lifters could not just walk into a powerlifting meet and be elite right off the bat - they don't train those types of lifts. But you are kidding yourself if you think that Olympic lifters are not among the strongest people in the world. Powerlifters also wouldn't do very well against Olympic lifters in a full squat contest without gear. Does that mean they are weak? They are two different lifts, period.
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  9. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by JHarris View Post
    That being said, a full olympic squat is not at all the same thing as a parallel powerlifting squat.
    What are the difference between these two? Do olympic squats just go deeper? I looked at some videos and olympic squats look similar to what I have been doing.

    edit: nvm figured it out
    Last edited by primal21; 12-08-2008 at 11:33 PM.

  10. #60
    Senior Member OGROK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JHarris View Post
    Powerlifters also wouldn't do very well against Olympic lifters in a full squat contest without gear. Does that mean they are weak? They are two different lifts, period.
    What? You think a 1000lb geared squatter ain't gonna be able to go ATG with, say, 600 lbs raw? That kind of weight is childs play to these guys. That's the kind of weight that these guys would use on SPEED day.

    Anyways, I agree with Chalk, olympic lifts are not a test of brute strength, but rather strength, explosiveness, technique, etc... Yes, you do have to be pretty ****ing strong to be good at it, but you also have to have relentlessly perfect technique, and ridiculous explosive power. There are MANY factors going into whether an olympic lifter is good that have NOTHING to do with strength. So I ask why do you insist at looking at the olympic lifters? Powerlifters are training for lifts that are basically pure brute strength, and it's obvious that there is a huge correlation between strength and size in that sport. The fact that the same convention doesn't always hold in OL means nothing to me.
    Last edited by OGROK; 12-09-2008 at 12:40 AM.

  11. #61
    Nuttin to it but to do it Chalky Palms's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OGROK View Post
    What? You think a 1000lb geared squatter ain't gonna be able to go ATG with, say, 600 lbs raw? That kind of weight is childs play to these guys. That's the kind of weight that these guys would use on SPEED day.

    Anyways, I agree with Chalk, olympic lifts are not a test of brute strength, but rather strength, explosiveness, technique, etc... Yes, you do have to be pretty ****ing strong to be good at it, but you also have to have relentlessly perfect technique, and ridiculous explosive power. There are MANY factors going into whether an olympic lifter is good that have NOTHING to do with strength. So I ask why do you insist at looking at the olympic lifters? Powerlifters are training for lifts that are basically pure brute strength, and it's obvious that there is a huge correlation between strength and size in that sport. The fact that the same convention doesn't always hold in OL means nothing to me.
    this is the point I was trying to make in so many words, +1

    and jharris, can you point out where your name is on this list:
    http://assets.teamusa.org/assets/doc...nking_List.pdf
    Last edited by Chalky Palms; 12-09-2008 at 02:22 AM.
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  12. #62
    small flabby and hairy joelhall's Avatar
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    to answer your question (and i apologise as this is going to get long winded, though im only going to briefly explain), this is all about stimulation and recovery...

    all skeletal muscles are made up of two classes of fibers, fast and slow twitch, divided thus:

    type 1 fibers - those with a long time-to-peak tension otherwise known as slow-twitch.

    type 2 fibers - those with a rapid time-to-peak tension, otherwise known as fast-twitch.

    without going into the complexities of how these are studied (the histochemical differentiation of myofibrillar ATPase, which shows evidence that the amount of ATPase bound to the fibers myosin limits its rate of contraction), the type of fibers stimulated by exercises will correlate on how much muscle can be stengthened and how much hypertrophy can induced during recovery to a certain extent. there is also roughly double the quantity of sarcoplasmic reticulum in type 2 fibers as in type 1, which hints that uptake of ionic calcium and troponin is quicker in type 2 fibers, which should mean reactivation of the fiber is faster.

    type 1 fibers have denser capillary networks supplying them, greater numbers of mitochondria and myoglobin than their fast-twitch counterparts, making them more resistant to fatigue, though they have less ATPase, making them peak their contractions slower. oxidative activity and therefore fatigue more rapidly.

    type 2 fibers are known to change their metabolic profiles with various types of training. the sub-groups of type 2 fibers (2b and 2c, the latter being of far lesser quantity in human skeletal muscle than other types) will be affected by endurance training.

    with prolonged exercises, all fibre types, not just the slow-twitch, will show increase in the size & number of mitochondria, concentration of mitochondrial enzymes, and capillary density. anaerobic power can also increase in the slow-twitch fibers. studies show that type 2b fibers, which have apparently changed to type 2a, will decrease in number with endurance training.

    although fiber type proportions are mostly genetic, we can see that the characteristics of various type 2 fibers can change through training. generally: fibers form in specific proportions for the type of work needed to be done.

    now to stimulation. given the differences in the fiber types organelles, there is obviously a difference to how each can be stimulated properly. the type 1 fibers, with their greater capillarisation will of course recover quicker. however, their usage is more limited by their lesser time-to-peak tension for heavy resistance exercises. whilst the type 2a and 2b will have a greater capacity for this type of work, the type 2c fibers, and to some extent the type 2b fibers, will display some degree of 'specialisation' in response to training (which could explain why your gains begin to diminish over time). the correct stimulation causes a very vague line for a whole muscle, as it must adequately fatigue the fibers to the extent where they will overcompensate with the correct amount of recovery time, but not so much that they become damaged beyond the recuperative potential in a given amount of time.

    whenever trauma is inflicted on a muscle the fibres become damaged. this is the precursor to overcompensation and hypertrophy. factors affecting recovery include:

    adequate amino acids available (excuse the alliteration) for repair
    adequate capillarisation of the fibres
    adequate glycogen, oxygen as well as other cellular energy compounds needed for normal cell activity
    amount of trauma initially inflicted
    amount of rest given
    and of course how advanced the trainee is

    ... among many others.

    therefore this gives us certain rules to follow during our training cycles (training, rest and nutritive practices).

    firstly, do not train to failure at least most of the time. luckily many cannot do this at least not completely until they are used to training intensely.

    secondly, it is vital to ensure the correct amount of rest not only between training sessions, but between sets. this can be done by time, by pulse-taking or by 'feel'

    stretching is of course an important part of recovery both between sets and sessions, as well as light resistance (a completely sedentary muscle will not recover as well due to the low limit of venous blood flow, and lack of stimulation to the muscle).

    the food you eat (as everyone knows) will directly affect your recovery abilities. you need to create the correct internal environment for proper recovery from your training. this is drummed home all the time to us but it never hurts to repeat:

    eat plenty of proteins from various sources, especially meats, eggs, milk, etc.

    eat often to ensure a ready supply, and that there is a surplus over what your body needs for normal physiological processes.

    take in plenty of carbs to ensure that you have a steady flow of energy into the blood and cells.

    eat fats, but do not go overboard on saturates. fat is essential to normal health, though high levels of saturates are related to certain diseases ad functional problems.

    ensure you get good levels of vitamins and minerals in your diet. these do not build muscle directly, but are essential for health and metabolic processes.

    there are other things you can try such as whirlpools, massage, hot&cold showers, etc.

    as far as training goes, focus on those rep ranges which will create the best stimulation. remember that the fiber ratios will be different based on what each part is designed for. e.g. there will be a higher proportion of type 1 fibers in the soleus than the triceps. however... remember that it is not so much the reps, as the size of the load placed upon the muscle.

    when there is advice over the rep ranges (e.g. 6-8) this means using a weight that just allows the target reps. a better way of expressing this is the %1RM (one repetition maximum). for ease the rep range is usually given.

    to properly explain this, lets recall the factors of muscles mentioned above.

    it is true to say that generally one fiber-type will respond better to one type of load (i.e. a specific %1RM). what most people forget is the proportions of various types in each muscle. you may find that you respond best with 6-8 reps, but is that true or is it just your chest, lats and upper arms, while your legs and forearms seem to be lagging? true, there is good growth capacity in a fast-twitch fiber, but what if a specific muscle is only 30% fast-twitch? why is it that one body-part is lagging when everything seems to be sound in training & nutrition? try a different rep range predominantly and see if theres a difference.

    next is intensity. yes, higher intensity will cause more rapid gains usually, but only in the short term. during a plateau it is best to increase rest between sets, use another rep range to rest those fibers usually fatigued, and sometimes even take a week off.

    sometimes your body forces this on you with over-training syndrome. signs include loss of enthusiasm, loss of strength, etc, etc. as well as being a response of too high intensity, it is there for a reason - to slow you down.

    in short the best way to get strong is to adequately fatigue the fibers, inducing hypertrophy as a response to the stimulation of inflicted trama using the best suited %1RM for the proportions of fiber types in the muscle, then leaving adequate recovery time and nutrient availability, above that needed for your basic life and health sustaining processes for this task to be carried out, whilst stimulating increased blood and lymph flow to and from the targeted muscle through recuperative behaviours and exercise-induced cellular and physiological changes.

    in other words the best advice is:

    stop worrying over detais, follow the basic rules, experiment to see what works for you and enjoy your lifting


    all the best,

    joel

  13. #63
    Senior Member brihead301's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rbtrout View Post
    I'm a car guy. Always have been. I look at size/strength like horsepower/torque. You can build a motor to make horsepower, but it won't necessarily make alot of torque. BUT, if you build a motor to make torque and lots of it, you will get horsepower.
    In other words, you can build yourself to get big, but no necessarily strong. BUT, typically, if you build yourself to get really strong, you will get big, as well.
    I like that analogy.
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  14. #64
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    One thing that has been overlooked is WORK LOAD or volume/tonnage. One reason why heavy weight/low rep isn't as effective as moderate weight/high reps for SIZE is b/c you can accumulate MUCH more tonnage with moderate weights and high reps. For example, let's say you squat 500 pounds, and you want to get stronger so you focus on singles, doubles, and triples. If you can muscle out 5 triples with 450, for example, you've put up 6750 pounds/tonnage, and you're probably pretty exhausted. Compare that to a moderate weight/high rep workout. If you squat 500, and do 5 sets of 10 with 315, you've put up 15750 pounds/tonnage! You've more than DOUBLED your tonnage. It is a greater growth stimulus. Additionally, higher reps increase sarcoplasmic hypertrophy, which you don't get/need with heavy weight/low rep schemes.

    It's not just "low reps = strength, high reps = size." It's a matter of tonnage. You simply can't put up the tonnage doing max singles that you can put up doing sets of 10-12 with 65% of your max. Interestingly, there are some protocols that have you doing lots of triples and sets of 5 with heavy weights, and that WILL quickly add muscle to your frame b/c you've got a great combination of tension (heavy weights) AND tonnage.

    Another example (assuming you squat 500):

    5 singles with 475 (95% of your max) = 2375 pounds lifted
    5 sets of 5 with 400 (80% of your max) = 10,000 pounds lifted
    5 sets of 10 with 325 (65% of your max) = 16,250 pounds lifted

  15. #65
    Senior Member JHarris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OGROK View Post
    What? You think a 1000lb geared squatter ain't gonna be able to go ATG with, say, 600 lbs raw? That kind of weight is childs play to these guys. That's the kind of weight that these guys would use on SPEED day.

    Anyways, I agree with Chalk, olympic lifts are not a test of brute strength, but rather strength, explosiveness, technique, etc... Yes, you do have to be pretty ****ing strong to be good at it, but you also have to have relentlessly perfect technique, and ridiculous explosive power. There are MANY factors going into whether an olympic lifter is good that have NOTHING to do with strength. So I ask why do you insist at looking at the olympic lifters? Powerlifters are training for lifts that are basically pure brute strength, and it's obvious that there is a huge correlation between strength and size in that sport. The fact that the same convention doesn't always hold in OL means nothing to me.
    Ogrok - I really don't know how to say this any differently way than I already have. I keep pointing to Olympic lifters SQUAT STRENGTH as the indicator of their strength. Over and over. Normal sized guys in Olympic lifting has gigantic SQUATS. That's where the convention doesn't hold! Moreover, there are a lot of lighter weight class guys even in powerlifting that have great numbers.

    I'm not sure if a 1000lb geared squatter could drop the additional distance to hit a full squat without gear at 600. I'm not sure they'd have the flexibility down there, or the coordination since they don't train it. Further, while their PC may be up, their quad strength is probably down and since the full squat depends more on quads, that might be a problem. Its possible, but its like speculating about the Olympic lifters who full squat 800lbs raw - shouldn't they be able to put gear on and squat better than 1000lbs? I don't know that either! They are two different lifts, and one group specializes in 1, the other group in the other. A baseball pitcher can throw a great fastball but probably could not throw a football nearly as hard a quarterback. Trying to make a good comparison between the arm strength of a great quarterback and great pitcher is pretty ridiculous, as is comparing a full, high bar squat to a low bar parallel squat.

  16. #66
    Nuttin to it but to do it Chalky Palms's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chalky Palms View Post
    and jharris, can you point out where your name is on this list:
    http://assets.teamusa.org/assets/doc...nking_List.pdf
    still waiting on this..
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  17. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by OGROK View Post
    What? You think a 1000lb geared squatter ain't gonna be able to go ATG with, say, 600 lbs raw? That kind of weight is childs play to these guys. That's the kind of weight that these guys would use on SPEED day.

    Anyways, I agree with Chalk, olympic lifts are not a test of brute strength, but rather strength, explosiveness, technique, etc... Yes, you do have to be pretty ****ing strong to be good at it, but you also have to have relentlessly perfect technique, and ridiculous explosive power. There are MANY factors going into whether an olympic lifter is good that have NOTHING to do with strength. So I ask why do you insist at looking at the olympic lifters? Powerlifters are training for lifts that are basically pure brute strength, and it's obvious that there is a huge correlation between strength and size in that sport. The fact that the same convention doesn't always hold in OL means nothing to me.
    On their speed days they are still doing wider stance squats with at least light or moderate amounts of gear on. So I don't think it would be accurate to say they are doing 600 ATG raw on the speed days for speed work. 600 pounds? Yes. But to a box or still with wider stance and briefs on.

    PLers have to focus on technique on every lift they do. It requires just as much tech. as it does strength. Just watch the Westside or MM videos or any big PL gym for that matter... just about every lift is coached with verbal commands. Especially with the gear where the sweet spot can be so small a slight deviation from it can make the difference between a missed lift and smoke show. Both PL and OLY stuff require strength and technique to maximize your lift on the platform. If a small guy can c&j 400 pounds, does he not have to do essentially a speed deadlift to get it off the ground to start with? What isn't strong about that?

  18. #68
    Squat Heavy, Squat Often Cards's Avatar
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    65 Jared Harris 1990 100 130 230 1/12/2008 Newnan, GA, assuming that's you.
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  19. #69
    Nuttin to it but to do it Chalky Palms's Avatar
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    primal, thank you for the evaluation, where do I send my check?

    and cards, that is not him, his date of birth on there is 1990 which would make him 17 or 18, his profile says he's 26, plus that is the 105kg class and 65 is not top 10.
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    I think to sum up the thread we can say:

    Getting bigger will lead to increased strength, but you can also increase strength without adding mass. Up to a certain point at least.
    Last edited by Travis Bell; 12-09-2008 at 05:23 PM.

  21. #71
    Nuttin to it but to do it Chalky Palms's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by primal21 View Post
    Getting bigger will lead to increased strength, but you can also increase strength without adding mass. Up to a certain point at least.
    This is exactly what I've been saying the entire time, although it is a lot easier to make strength gains if you are getting bigger while doing it. That's my argument, this wasn't a thread about can you get stronger without getting bigger, yes you can, but you are limiting yourself. Now jharris will argue that not everyone wants to get bigger, I don't care, the OP didn't ask this he wanted to know the correlation, increase in raw strength = increase in size, bottom line.
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  22. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chalky Palms View Post
    This is exactly what I've been saying the entire time, although it is a lot easier to make strength gains if you are getting bigger while doing it. That's my argument, this wasn't a thread about can you get stronger without getting bigger, yes you can, but you are limiting yourself. Now jharris will argue that not everyone wants to get bigger, I don't care, the OP didn't ask this he wanted to know the correlation, increase in raw strength = increase in size, bottom line.
    Yeah, I agree with you on that aspect, just not necessarily the way you were going about making your statements.

  23. #73
    THUNDER THIGHS! Fuzzy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OGROK View Post
    Dude, that's olympic lifting. There is a lot less emphasis on strength there and tons more emphasis on technique and explosiveness so the strength and size correlation isn't as obvious. Also it's way easier to **** up your leverages and **** in Olympic lifting. Even after all that, it's still there -- the biggest guys competing still put up the biggest numbers.

    Lot less emphasis on strength? People seem to think strength and technique are seperate things. The ability to keep the bar in the right places and move properly IS strength, it is also technique. These are movements.

    Funnily enough, my squat moves from 300 to 450 in a matter of 8 months.... surprise, my legs ballog by a good few inches, I have pics if you would like to see. So I think that strength and size not correlating is also disproved.

    **** up leverages? Um.... maybe being shorter, but that's it. Bar starts on floor an finishes overhead, there really isn't much else to it. You want a sport that has '****ed up leverages' take a look at our cousins in Powerlifting. Chen things like a monolift have to be invented to accommodate the stance you know leverages have been compromised.

    And ofcourse the biggest guys move the most weight, that's scientific fact. Mas moves mass... but consider this.

    No class has failed to increase as rapidly as the superheavy class in Oly weightlifting. Size eventually turns against you when the bar can't get around your enormous belly. A guy in the 231 class did 200/235, the superheavy did 203/258. At this rate we could have heavies moving more than the superheavies in oly lifting purely because supers just can't get bigger.
    Last edited by Fuzzy; 12-09-2008 at 06:24 PM.
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    My wrists hurt, but some people don't have wrists to be sore. My knees have tendinitis, but some people don't have legs to get tendinitis in. I seem to be going backwards with training, yet some people can't even walk let alone lift 400 pounds on a daily basis.

    Dust out the vagina, and keep on lifting.

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