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21-02-2006, 09:48   #1
kwinabeeste
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Are bodybuilders really strong?

I was just wondering if bodybuilders are strong. I saw a guy who was built like a sh1thouse and was really defined a while ago. He was benching 100kg on smith machine and 50kg bar bells on incline. I thought for the size of him he would be doin a hell of a lot more. I am lifting 60kg on smith machine at the moment, but before xmas when I was training 3/4 times a week I was lifting 80kg on the smith machine.

Would it be closer to a competition the weights may go down and increase reps to get more definition? Just curious!
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21-02-2006, 09:59   #2
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In the main, yes bodybuilders can be quite strong. However, not all body builders are strong, and not all strong people are bodybuilders. To work the muscle to the point where it will grow and you will get a nice shaped, detailed muscle then contraction of the muscle is more important than the weight you are actually using.

There is no doubt however that for the most part, big weights build big muscles so this is the way that most bodybuilders will train, doing the heaviest weight they can handle with good form for sets of 8 to 12 reps.

That said, some people do just seem to develop very well regardless of the weights they use, and this is pretty much down to genetics. As for the weight they use going down as the get closer to a comp, this is generally going to happen. As they get closer to a comp, they are more worried about cutting bodyfat and conditioning that building more muscle, so the weights will go down, the reps will go up. The fact that they would be a bit weaker as well from a lack of carbs in the diet would also play a factor.

There good also be many other reasons why he was lifting those weights, maybe it was his last excercises and he had already hit something else, maybe he was nursing an injury and playing it safe, or maybe he is just weaker than he looks. That said, the reps he was doing would tell a different story. Maybe he was doing a light weight, extremely high rep day??? A friend of mine would sometimes do 100kilo's for as many reps as he could get and would normally come in at 35 to 40 reps. That’s hardly weak!!!

As for judging the weights people do in the gym, this is normally a mistake to make, concern yourself only with what you yourself can rep on any given lift with good form and you will be heading in the right direction.
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21-02-2006, 10:23   #3
kwinabeeste
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragan
There is no doubt however that for the most part, big weights build big muscles so this is the way that most bodybuilders will train, doing the heaviest weight they can handle with good form for sets of 8 to 12 reps.
Thats what I thought. He was giving a demo cos there was some competition coming up. Maybe he had trained already that day or something.

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Originally Posted by Dragan
As for judging the weights people do in the gym, this is normally a mistake to make, concern yourself only with what you yourself can rep on any given lift with good form and you will be heading in the right direction.
Yes I hate when some guy is stanging beside ya lookin at how much(or little) you are lifting. But as i said the guy in the gym was doin a demo and I thought for that he was gonna be lifting close to 200kg or something.
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21-02-2006, 10:28   #4
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Originally Posted by kwinabeeste
Yes I hate when some guy is stanging beside ya lookin at how much(or little) you are lifting.
The only thing they're generally working out is their ego. Pay no attention to it. Besides which you'll often find that some of the so-called 'heavy lifters' are only doing partials, which have their place in a good programme, but not as the main-stay of a workout. Or their form sucks. Just make sure your own form is good and work on personal goals, not comparisons of what others are lifting.

Last edited by g'em; 21-02-2006 at 10:31.
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21-02-2006, 10:34   #5
Dragan
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Originally Posted by kwinabeeste
But as i said the guy in the gym was doin a demo and I thought for that he was gonna be lifting close to 200kg or something.
Why??? Maybe he was more concerned about portraying excellent form, so he was just using a light weight to do so?? Or maybe he was concerned about the whole "you gotta lift huge" so he was trying to leave an image in the minds of people that it's not what you lift, but you you lift it???

And besides, if i am demoing a lift for someone you can be sure it's with a light weight as well!!!

And as for the judging what weights someone is or is not doing, you seem to be doing that to this guy? Yes, no?

Last edited by Dragan; 21-02-2006 at 10:37.
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21-02-2006, 10:34   #6
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I find it depends on the lifter there's two body builders in my gym who train together both are massive and about the same size but one of them is a beast was military pressing 50kg dbs for 12 with strict form the other while he looks identical to the other in size was doing 20kg dbs and struggling.
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21-02-2006, 11:23   #7
kwinabeeste
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Originally Posted by Dragan
And as for the judging what weights someone is or is not doing, you seem to be doing that to this guy? Yes, no?
Yes, BUT he was giving a demo! When I'm in the gym I don't announce it over the PA system that I will be on doin some dumbell presses and then using the smith machine after that do I?

Quote:
Originally Posted by amazingemmet
I find it depends on the lifter there's two body builders in my gym who train together both are massive and about the same size but one of them is a beast was military pressing 50kg dbs for 12 with strict form the other while he looks identical to the other in size was doing 20kg dbs and struggling.
Thats all I wanted to know! Some people can be strong and not look it and others can be really bulk and not be as strong!
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21-02-2006, 11:28   #8
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Originally Posted by kwinabeeste
Yes, BUT he was giving a demo! When I'm in the gym I don't announce it over the PA system that I will be on doin some dumbell presses and then using the smith machine after that do I?
So, what was he doing a demo in????? Weightlifting form????? As for what you do in the gym, i don't know you dude so i don't know. Sounds to me like you were either let down or pissed off the people when would be watching this guy when you feel you can come close to the weights he lifts.


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Originally Posted by kwinabeeste
Thats all I wanted to know! Some people can be strong and not look it and others can be really bulk and not be as strong!
Thats just kinda common sense bro.
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21-02-2006, 11:45   #9
kwinabeeste
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragan
So, what was he doing a demo in????? Weightlifting form????? As for what you do in the gym, i don't know you dude so i don't know. Sounds to me like you were either let down or pissed off the people when would be watching this guy when you feel you can come close to the weights he lifts.
I obviously didn't say anything in the gym. I am not a heavy lifter in the gym and other guys lift way more than me.

I was just curious as to a programme for body building. I thought that to add mass you lift heavy weights and low reps and to tone its lighter weights and more reps. But since the Tank in the gym was lifting weights, I was wondering are they his "light" or "heavy" weights. He is apparently 2 weeks away from some competition and he looks toned so maybe they are his "light" weights?
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21-02-2006, 11:55   #10
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To put some light onto the subject i copied extract from Joe Defrancos Article " Why all Muscle was not created equal "

Sarcoplasmic Hypertrophy

Sarcoplasmic hypertrophy is an increase in the volume of the non-contractile muscle cell fluid, sarcoplasm. This fluid accounts for 25-30% of the muscle’s size. Although the cross sectional area of the muscle increases, the density of muscle fibers per unit area decreases, and there is no increase in muscular strength (2). This type of hypertrophy is mainly a result of high rep, “bodybuilder-type” training (3).

One of the biggest problems I see with the training of power athletes (football players, baseball players, basketball players, wrestlers and even powerlifters) is too much emphasis on training in the 10 – 15 rep range. This type of training has its place, yet should not be the focal point for these athletes. For example, most football lineman benefit from added bulk to prevent from getting pushed around on the field. “Bodybuilding” methods, using these rep ranges, can be beneficial if incorporated during the season to prevent muscle mass loss, as well as after the season to add bulk, which may have been lost during the season. Also, there is some scientific evidence that states a bigger muscle may have a better chance of becoming a stronger muscle once maximal strength training methods are employed. The key to remember is that this type of hypertrophy has little to do with such explosive movements as hitting, running, throwing, jumping or performing a one-rep max. This is why professional bodybuilders, whose training mainly hypertrophies the Type IIA fibers and causes an increase in the non-contractile components of the muscle (sarcoplasmic volume, capillary density, and mitochondria proliferation) are not the fastest or even the strongest of all athletes. This is despite the fact that they generally have more muscle than any other class of athlete! I consider this type of hypertrophy to be form over function.

Myofibrillar Hypertrophy

Myofibrillar hypertrophy, on the other hand, is an enlargement of the muscle fiber as it gains more myofibrils, which contract and generate tension in the muscle. With this type of hypertrophy, the area density of myofibrils increases and there is a significantly greater ability to exert muscular strength (2). This type of hypertrophy is best accomplished by training with heavy weights for low reps (3).
One must remember that the average football play lasts 4.5 seconds, it takes about 3 seconds to complete a 1 RM, it takes less than a second to swing a bat, less than a second to throw a punch and less than a second to jump for a rebound. As you can see, most athletic activities are explosive in nature. This is why it is imperative for athletes to incorporate maximal strength training methods (1-5 reps), which train the part of the muscle responsible for these explosive contractions, into their routines. Repetitions in the 1-5 rep range, using 85 – 100% of a 1RM, also have the added benefit of training the nervous system – which I feel is the most overlooked component of training the athlete. Some of the many benefits of training the nervous system are: increased neural drive to the muscle, increased synchronization of motor units, increased activation of the contractile apparatus, and decreased inhibition by the protective mechanisms of the muscle (golgi tendon organ) (1). These training methods also hypertrophy the pure fast twitch fibers – the high-threshold, Type IIB fibers. Incorporating these training methods into your routine at the right time will undoubtedly improve your muscles ability to generate more force and contract maximally during any sporting activity. In essence, myofibrillar hypertrophy is what I would term functional hypertrophy.

Conclusion

Although the human eye cannot tell these two types of hypertrophy apart, the difference will always become quite apparent as soon as it’s time for an athlete to put his/her muscle to use. As athletes and strength professionals, I feel we all have a responsibility to prevent ourselves from getting into the “3 sets of 10” rut. It is our job to educate ourselves, be creative, and put together the most result-producing programs available for our athletes or ourselves. This may mean incorporating both types of hypertrophy training into your routine, depending on your goal and training phase. But remember that no matter how bad those high-rep sets of leg extensions burn, they will never build the strength, power, and functional hypertrophy of a heavy set of squats or deads!
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21-02-2006, 12:03   #11
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If you want to get big, you will necessarily need to get strong. Muscle contraction strength is related to the cross-sectional area of muscle fibers. People also have very different ideas as to what strength means - is it max benching strength, the ability to hold a cupboard overhead up against the wall for 10 minutes while your buddy drills it into place, the ability to throw a 'lights-out' punch? All these things require different kinds of muscle ability, and this is where the idea of weak bodybuilders usually springs from.

The other thing is that to actually apply your muscular strength to a movement you will probably need to be able to hold something (i.e. have a strong grip) and be well trained in executing that movement (i.e. if your friends ask you to help them move, you don't concentration curl their couch - you deadlift it and farmer's walk it out to the car). These are areas where bodybuilders (especially those who deal alot with body-part splits, isolated exercises, lifting straps etc.) can be a bit weak. It kind of comes back to the CNS (central nervous system). Repeating a movement over & over makes that CNS pattern stronger, and you learn to do the movement more effectively and efficiently. This is why one boxer may be able to punch harder than a slightly more muscled boxer with less boxing experience, because he is using what muscle he has with 99% efficiency while the second guy is only working with 80% efficiency (for example).

So what the hell am I talking about?
Basically, some-one looking to get big will use every tool available to them, including using exercise variety to keep the CNS from learning them all well and doing them efficiently (so the muscles have to keep growing), whereas someone interested in a strength-sport, or any sport, would be better doing sports specific movements to make sure the CNS learns it well and so increase their effective strength in that movement. Bodybuilders may seek sarcoplasmic hypertrophy to look bigger, whereas someone interested in performance only probably won't (although many athletes admit to sneaking in a bit of this on some body areas out of pure vanity), but make no mistake, those boys you see parading around on the Mr.O stage have trained all ranges to optimise their growth - and they are really that strong.

And BTW, make sure you aren't always benching on the Smith - that thing sucks monkeys.
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21-02-2006, 12:06   #12
Cravez
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And BTW, make sure you aren't always benching on the Smith - that thing sucks monkeys.
Damn Straight, Smith is easy compared to free bench.
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21-02-2006, 13:15   #13
kwinabeeste
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Thanks for the info guys!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Cravez
Damn Straight, Smith is easy compared to free bench.
I alternate between smith and free bench with dumbells. Is that ok or would a bench with a barbell be better?
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21-02-2006, 13:19   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kwinabeeste
I alternate between smith and free bench with dumbells. Is that ok or would a bench with a barbell be better?
Use Free bench with dumbells AND barbell. Machine weights(including smith) are inferior in terms of muscle building and strenght building as they only use push mechanisms mostly. Free weights mostly use push AND pull. Therefore using more stabiliser muscles. So do both dumbell and barbell free bench and use both incline and decline on different weeks e.g week one flat, week 2 incline and week 3 decline.

P.S meant smith being easy a BAD thing

Good luck

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21-02-2006, 14:28   #15
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Realistically, do you need a spotter for a barbell bench?

That is only reason I avoid it, coz I have nobody to work out with.

I use smith and db presses on the bench and last week did an incline on the smith(which I loved and cant wait to do again).

I'd love to the barbell bench, but am anxious about it crashing down on me.
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