T Nation

All Show, No Go

I understand that everyone here has different wants from training and different goals; me, I’m more of a strength person. I train using a modified Westside template and I do “backyard workouts” once or twice a week with kegs, sleds, wheelbarrows, and other miscellaneous heavy objects.

Being that strength is my priority, I put my physique and appearnace secondary. Now I’m no fat slob, but you won’t find a six-pack under my shirt, either. I try to eat clean, but I do like beer and ice cream and ding-dongs.

Sometimes I catch myself getting a little too wobbly around the waist and I will commit myself more to a diet and clean eating. I would guess that I am usually 15%-18% bodyfat; although last summer I did get up to 20%.

Anyway the point I’m getting at here is that I would guess that most “strength” guys(strongman, powerlifters, olympic lifters, etc.) have the feelings I do. Strength first, bodyfat second.

Dr. Lowery’s “All Show, No Go” article, as well as the “Back That Diablo Built” post( http://www.t-nation.com/readTopic.do?id=517508 ) got me thinking about those of you out there that train bodybuilder style.

When you train to be hyooge, or to look good nekkid, or to get ripped, or whatever, does strength even matter? If you could easily reach all your appearnace goals but not gain any strength, would that be ok with you?

I guess I don’t totally understand the bodybuilder’s mentality, but I can’t imagine going to the gym and not having strength as priority. I’m just curious as to what other’s training goals and priorities are, and what role strength and bodyfat play in your quest.

Really feeling the pump,
Toddy

I train for both strength and looks, but not the maximal strength, like powerlifting. Now I don’t train for endurance either. My goals are somewhere inbetween. For instance something like be able to do 20 pullups with a 20kg plate or do a max-strength 6 week cycle and then attempt to turn my previous 3 rep maximums and acheive 10 reps with them. It may sound weird, but that’s the way I like it and that’s what motivates me.

I would never train just for looks if strength wouldn’t be an option. Another thing that I’ve learned is that the only way to excel in the looks department is to look from the opposite side and train for performance. You just can’t see inprovements all the time in the mirror. You’ll loose any motivation pretty quick. But when you look at your log from a few months ago and see the difference - that’s motivation! Even if you don’t look like your goal you’ll have no doubt about training the next time because you’re a strong bastard. And that’s the best damn pat on the back.

I would say that appearance does rank first for me but strength is a close second. Which means I want it all: big, lean, and strong. But what I will refuse to do is go around carrying 20 + bf percentage in the name of strength only. I still want to look good.

I feel that when many people (not all) on this board say that their main goal is to be strong, they mentally give themselves a free meal ticket to eat whatever the hell they want and gain way too much body fat in the process and use the “I want to be strong as hell” excuse. Yeah, it takes discipline to get really strong. I think it takes even more discipline to be strong, big, and lean.

[quote]w2097 wrote:
My goals are somewhere inbetween. For instance something like be able to do 20 pullups with a 20kg plate [/quote]

20 pull ups with a 45lb plate? That’s quite a goal.

I figure most people with say they’re training strength, because you will make some gains on almost any program. I guess we also have to realize that there are different strength qualities that you can train for.

I guess being on testosterone, I’m less likely to find the type of people that completely neglect strength in their pursuit of size. In the gym, though, that’s a different story. Everyday I see many of the same people pressing and curling the same weights they were 8 or 9 months ago. I know some people hit plateaus, but I doubt you peaked with 155 on the bench. Geez. Don’t be afraid to push yourself once and a while.

Like I said, I’m just trying to understand the “looks only” training mindset. Personally, I can deal with a 2 or 3 extra inches on my waist as long as I know I’m getting stronger.

Now, I know the bodyfat doesn’t help me get stronger, but right now I don’t think it’s hurting me either. Besides, being only 5’6" I like to have a couple extra pounds. I feel small if I get below 200 lbs.

Plus, right now strength is my primary concern and my time and energies go into getting stronger. I don’t want to deal with a food log and drive myself nuts avoiding foods I like. At the same time, I do normally eat fairly clean.

Drinking a malt liquor protein shake,
Toddy

Given my decades of sendentary lifestyle and total lack of thought for health and fitness, I’m slowly working back from a “No Show, No Go” perspective.

I’ve got more strength and muscle now then I’ve ever had before in my life. However, in all honestly, though I’m probably doing better than the average schmo, I’ve got a long way to go.

I’m happy improving my “show” or my “go” since I’m sure there is adequate crossover until you get well beyond where I am.

[quote]malonetd wrote:

Anyway the point I’m getting at here is that I would guess that most “strength” guys(strongman, powerlifters, olympic lifters, etc.) have the feelings I do. Strength first, bodyfat second.
builder style.

When you train to be hyooge, or to look good nekkid, or to get ripped, or whatever, does strength even matter? If you could easily reach all your appearnace goals but not gain any strength, would that be ok with you?

Really feeling the pump,
Toddy[/quote]

Good post.

For me, all show and no go is a no-go.

Right now, I’m working primarily on strength (just started O-lifting a couple months ago). However I want to be fit in many ways (strength just happens to be my weakest point), and many of those aspects of fitness (endurance, wind, strength to bodyweight ratio) require and enforce low bodyfat.

I think the people who want ‘looks only’ are sort of disassociated from it all. To them weighttraining is like a social chore. They do it solely for other people to like them more, to get more tail, money etc

Another type of people I saw are the desperate ones. They’ve tried for a period of time and didn’t get even close to where they wanted because they did not have a comprehensive source of info(such as T). They are so desperate for progress in the looks department that it becomes all they care about. I recall my desperation for progress when I used to hit plateau after plateau due to the improper concepts that plagued my brain.

All in all I would say that most people know that there’s carry-over and that they’ll still be much stronger than the average guy. Not to mention that alot of people don’t know the difference between strength and bb training.

maloneted:

Another good post from you! Great question.

I have trained in many different ways through the years. However, I have always found that I seemed better suited to higher reps, than lower reps for pure strength, as a powerlifter.
For example, I enjoy doing a hard set of 20 rep squats rather than going for a difficult single.

Lowering body fat has always been a priority for me. Early on for vanity, now more for health. Interesting, same goal but for two different reasons.

At this stage of my life there is a good deal of “training for health” going on. I have increased the cardio interval training and other things that will prolong my ability to train. Yet, at the same time I know that when spring rolls around I will be outside lifting my strong man stones, logs, sandbags etc. (my wife thinks I’m a bit eccentric with this…anyone get those looks?) While I’m never going to be a threat to any serious strong men, I just love to lift outside in the spring and you can’t beat strongman training to break up the routine.

As far as looking good, I always felt that if I went to the gym and did any sort of training whatever on a consistent and intense basis, I would end up looking far better than the average guy (probably not saying much).

You know…as I write this it just occurred to me, I just love to train no matter what style it is. I know you guys can understand this. Right?

Hey, if there’s any place to look for people who love physical training…

[quote]ZEB wrote:
I know that when spring rolls around I will be outside lifting my strong man stones, logs, sandbags etc. (my wife thinks I’m a bit eccentric with this…anyone get those looks?)[/quote]

Ha, all the time time. I get enough questions about my chains at the gym. Then I have to explain to my friend who works for Miller Brewing Company, what the hell I need kegs for. I don’t know what people are going to think when I finally get my hands on a heavy tire.

After reading the responses, I’m starting to think that most people are stuck in the middle. Moderates, I guess. Some want to look good, but want to add a little strength. Some want to be strong, but don’t mind improving their appearance, too. Unless you’re some sort of professional, or aspiring pro, you want to reap all the benefits of training.

Competetive bodybuilders and powerlifters would be extremists and the rest of us are in the middle leaning in one direction or the other. Some just lean further than others.

In one of my earlier posts I asked if someone could get all the size and looks they wanted without any added strength, would they do it. I thought it would only be fair to reverse the question to apply to me.

Would I accept being overly fat to reach my strength goals? Probably not. I have to admit though, it would be tempting. Very tempting.

How fat would I have to be?,
Toddy