T Nation

Ab's or Size

Hi BigDawg,

It seems to me like your original question was “Big #'s (strength), or six pack” not “Big muscles, or six pack” yet many people have attempted to answer the latter question.

If in fact you meant to ask the second question, then I think many people have already intelligently answered it.

If you actually meant the first question, then I don’t see why you can’t have both. One of the strongest people I know is about 5’ 9" 145lbs and can press a 230 lb person over his head like it’s nothing. He can also physically overpower most guys who outweigh him by 100 lbs.

He is also incredibly powerful and unbelievably strong for his size. On top of all that he is shredded. Not just abs, but everywhere.

So, while I realize that there is a correlation between a muscle’s cross sectional area and it’s ability to generate force, the relationship between the two is not a linear one. There are a lot of big guys who really aren’t that strong and can’t put up all that impressive numbers, then again there are those who can.

There are also a lot of small guys who can’t put up all that impressive numbers and aren’t that strong, then again there are those who are.

Look at gymnasts, breakdancers, cirque de soliel performers and olympic lifters such as Naim Suleymanoglu “The Pocket Hercules” (who by the way holds the world record for the clean and jerk and snatch). All of these athletes have very low bodyfat, but also have great muscular development and are incredibly strong.

Good training,

Sentoguy

[quote]Professor X wrote:
oracleguru wrote:
I know alot of people don’t see the point of cutting.

Who here doesn’t see the point in cutting? What we don’t see is the point in cutting when you truly don’t have much size on you at all. This is a bodybuilding forum. That seems to come as a shock to some people. If you are small as hell and no one can tell you even workout, why would you diet down?[/quote]

I’ve come a long way since I got out of the Marines last august. I got out at around 170#, now I’m around 200. Sure I’ve got a little fat on my stomach, but my lifts have gone up and people can actually tell I lift with my shirt ON! Do I see a cut in my future? MAYBE when I hit 220. But ultimatly, size and strength are my goal. You can ALWAYS find the 6pack if you really want to.

DD

do whatever you want. however, there’s no need to be a fatass on one extreme or be a veggie-eating only carbophobe who’s always deprived of calories and obsessed with every gram of fat on his/her body. at least IMO.

there’s no reason why you can’t be jacked up and lean.

Who doesn’t have stretch marks but actually has some real size on them? I just haven’t met anyone who has made outstanding progress who gained that slowly. What you generally see are guys who diet down until they see their abs and then, next year, they look exactly the same with no further muscle growth. The year after, nope, still no progress. [/quote]

Are stretch marks genetic? I only ask b/c I have been a wrestler for many years now, and have lost 25-30 lbs from my preseason weight and gained it all back and then some after season without seeing any stretchmarks.

Anyway, just curious.

[quote]bigdawgg28 wrote:
so what do u all think,would u rather be stong and have big #'s or have a 6 pack?im at a piont my self where i need to decide which way i want to go with it, summer is here.and i guess winter would have been a better time to ask this but owell
[/quote]

Hey man, it’s whatever your goal is. Are you satisfied with your LBM?

[quote]copper0521 wrote:
Are stretch marks genetic? I only ask b/c I have been a wrestler for many years now, and have lost 25-30 lbs from my preseason weight and gained it all back and then some after season without seeing any stretchmarks.

Anyway, just curious.

[/quote]

Stretch marks themselves are not genetic. They are the result of the underlying tissue, either fat or muscle, growing faster than the skin can adapt to. It is minor scarring of the area. Your numbers don’t signify much as your fluctuation of 25-30lbs could still be within normal weight ranges for a sedentary person. That is why I specified those with “real size” on them. I personally haven’t seen anyone I would consider “big” who was completely free of stretch marks. Most people growing slow enough to avoid it would also be making so little progress over time that they would probably become disinterested in bodybuilding long before they actually made any truly significant progress.

Do what you want. For me, i’m 6’3 and over 250. I wont even consider “cutting” till I am at least 265++.

I’m guessing bf is at 15% rt now. But i have some areas i am really trying to pack some meat on, so not until that is done would i consider dropping any weight.

realistically, i’m looking at alot of eating and training rt through till late fall - christmas.

fun.

SIZE and turtle shell/cobble stone ABS.
none of that waspy waist either!

I’m talking a hulking gut solid as steel with bricks for abs

It is so true that many guys who think they’re “hyoooge” would be truly suprised how small they are if they dropped the fat. It is a truly humbling experience to get lean.

[quote]Leafblighter wrote:
It is so true that many guys who think they’re “hyoooge” would be truly suprised how small they are if they dropped the fat. It is a truly humbling experience to get lean.[/quote]

As opposed to continuing to build until your lean body mass gets to a point where you truly are “hyooge” and then diet down?

In the pursuit of “hyoooooge” though it seems like some guys do end up with a higher than their “ideal” body fat.

I am kind of curious about people preferences as to when they would go after the “casual cut” for want of a better phrase, i.e. not the full competition cut down to 6%. Is it when the pants don’t fit, when you you reach 20% BF, when you can’t run a six-minute mile?

One poster above said 15%-17% was where he kept it. In other threads, posters have said “back off the trough, porky” for those > 12%. I’m guessing there’s at least one here who would answer “Never.”

Yeah, I’ve seen the ACE guidelines, but I am curious about what folks here say. So how about it? Anyone use objective numerical criteria to decide that it’s time to lose a little flab?

[quote]Professor X wrote:
Leafblighter wrote:
It is so true that many guys who think they’re “hyoooge” would be truly suprised how small they are if they dropped the fat. It is a truly humbling experience to get lean.

As opposed to continuing to build until your lean body mass gets to a point where you truly are “hyooge” and then diet down?[/quote]

Not sure what your point is. My point was a lot of people who think they’re big, are really just FAT. They have a lot more muscle to build than they think they do before their body catches up with their perception of it.

[quote]Leafblighter wrote:
Professor X wrote:
Leafblighter wrote:
It is so true that many guys who think they’re “hyoooge” would be truly suprised how small they are if they dropped the fat. It is a truly humbling experience to get lean.

As opposed to continuing to build until your lean body mass gets to a point where you truly are “hyooge” and then diet down?

Not sure what your point is. My point was a lot of people who think they’re big, are really just FAT. They have a lot more muscle to build than they think they do before their body catches up with their perception of it. [/quote]

My point was there seem to be more than a few new posters logging on acting as if “bulking up” or even working on gaining is simply the process of getting fat as if they can’t comprehend what it takes to actually gain a decent amount of size. The majority of the people I know who think they are big…actually are big. You may have a few delusional ones like the small guys in another thread who wear size medium shirts yet are complaining about how they can’t find clothes because they are so big. You may have a few truly fat guys who think their obesity equals muscle, however, I truly don’t see either group as the majority. I also don’t see too many guys simply blowing up and getting “hyyoooge” without ever bulking up and looking softer for quite a while before dieting down.

[quote]polluted wrote:
In the pursuit of “hyoooooge” though it seems like some guys do end up with a higher than their “ideal” body fat.

I am kind of curious about people preferences as to when they would go after the “casual cut” for want of a better phrase, i.e. not the full competition cut down to 6%. Is it when the pants don’t fit, when you you reach 20% BF, when you can’t run a six-minute mile?

One poster above said 15%-17% was where he kept it. In other threads, posters have said “back off the trough, porky” for those > 12%. I’m guessing there’s at least one here who would answer “Never.”

Yeah, I’ve seen the ACE guidelines, but I am curious about what folks here say. So how about it? Anyone use objective numerical criteria to decide that it’s time to lose a little flab?

[/quote]

Umm forget numbers I’m so friggin tired of bodyfat numbers on these boards. I know its time to diet down, and there is a different between dieting for weight control and all out cutting,when I take my progress pics and notice that maybe I’ve put on a little more fat than I’ve wanted.

With that being said thats way into the bulking phase not two weeks in. Anyone who has done this for any amount of time at all realizes that fat comes with the territory but here’s the catch,the bigger you get,the less noticeable the fat gains are. Someone who is 6’0 260 is going to look alot bigger and more muscular with 15%(yeah there’s those numbers again) bodyfat than someone who is 6’ 225. \

I’ve done weight maitenance phases as little as 2-3 weeks just to cut back on the calories a bit. Drop down to 4000-4500 then bump it back up slowly.

[quote]Leafblighter wrote:
Professor X wrote:
Leafblighter wrote:
It is so true that many guys who think they’re “hyoooge” would be truly suprised how small they are if they dropped the fat. It is a truly humbling experience to get lean.

As opposed to continuing to build until your lean body mass gets to a point where you truly are “hyooge” and then diet down?

Not sure what your point is. My point was a lot of people who think they’re big, are really just FAT. They have a lot more muscle to build than they think they do before their body catches up with their perception of it. [/quote]

The thing is that too many new posters come on here acting like anything over 10% bodyfat is clinically obese. If you have a decent amount of muscle you can get away with carrying more bodyfat,I honestly think most people with a decent amount of size on them (230 or better) look better and healthier in the 8-10% bodyfat range than they do super cut. Thats just my opinion.

thanks to all who wrote, i think im going to stick with size and just add a bit of cardio, today i am 5-11, 210, 16%b.f with hand held fat analizer.not sure how good it is.and i hit a new pr on bench 405,missed 415.im new on here so thanks to every one i enjoy the help and info, its a great site. im learning a lot.
i have been chasing 405 for 8 yrs and i think with out size i wouldnt have got it, so i think size wins,i’m going to add 2 or 3 days a week or cardio and watch what i eat and i think i will be good to go.

[quote]dollarbill44 wrote:
The obvious question is, why can’t you strive for both? That’s my goal.

What’s more important to you? Would you like to be the guy lifting a chick over your head on the beach? Or would you rather be the skinny guy on the side with a six pack and bony shoulders and elbows?

My motivation shouldn’t be driving yours.

DB[/quote]

You don’t need an example to illustrate the choice between a clearly better option - both.