T Nation

Body Weight

I am curious: how much do you guys buy into the idea that the real measure of a guys strength lies in the ratio of poundage lifted/body weight? In other words, if a guy weighs 150 and benches 200, that’s the same as a guy weighing 210 and benching 280?

Not all of us do. I think that’s a damn good point. Pound for pound an ant can kick my ass. But last time I checked I didn’t have much of a problem crushing one under my boot.

[quote]Whisper9999 wrote:
I am curious: how much do you guys buy into the idea that the real measure of a guys strength lies in the ratio of poundage lifted/body weight? In other words, if a guy weighs 150 and benches 200, that’s the same as a guy weighing 210 and benching 280?

[/quote]

personally I’m more impressed with someone that can bench 500 lbs at 300 lbs bodyweight than a 140 lbs guy that benches 280 lbs.

to each his own…

If you’re not an athlete/powerlifter, it’s hard to appreciate relative strength over maximal strength.

I’m way more impressed by someone who can lift a huge amount compared to his bodyweight than a huge behemoth who cannot.

My bench is 30 lbs more now at 175 than it was when I was 148 three years ago.

I was more impressed with my own lifts bach when I was 148 benching over 2 and 1/4 times my weight, and squatting and deadlifting almost 3 times my weight.

I was also able to win trophys much easier, including a “best overall” trophy.

My new goal is to lift the same or more, lb for lb, at 181.

I always wondered how difficult it would be for a heavyweight powerlifter to cut weight to a lower class and get get a better relative lift. I don’t think any of them would saccrifice strength to do that though.

[quote]SWR-1222D wrote:
My bench is 30 lbs more now at 175 than it was when I was 148 three years ago.

I was more impressed with my own lifts bach when I was 148 benching over 2 and 1/4 times my weight, and squatting and deadlifting almost 3 times my weight.

I was also able to win trophys much easier, including a “best overall” trophy.

My new goal is to lift the same or more, lb for lb, at 181.

I always wondered how difficult it would be for a heavyweight powerlifter to cut weight to a lower class and get get a better relative lift. I don’t think any of them would saccrifice strength to do that though.[/quote]

Interesting: so from what you said it almost becomes harder to keep up the same proportion as your weight increase, right??

[quote]Whisper9999 wrote:

Interesting: so from what you said it almost becomes harder to keep up the same proportion as your weight increase, right??
[/quote]

Well, I’m not sure yet. The weight I gained early in the past 3 years was fat, while losing some muscle, and a lot of strength.

My strength is now greater, I have more muscle, but I still have quite a bit more fat on me than I did at 148.

I’m 175 right now (down from 185 9 months ago, and up from 160 5 months ago), and I don’t think it will be impossible to bench 410 (raw) by the time I reach 181. My squat and dead should go up a great deal more too, now that I’m training better.

I guess by comparison, lb for lb my dead and squat will need to be in the lower to mid 500s. I also see this as feasible by the time I reach 181 lbs.

On the same body frame, shouldn’t more muscle mass, while training for strength and keeping fat gains low, lead to greater lb for lb strength gains?

I’m impressed by relative strength…but only on someone who has some size.

[quote]BorisTheSpider wrote:
I’m impressed by relative strength…but only on someone who has some size. [/quote]

Why would size factor in to that? The ratio would still be constant and nonetheless impressive.

One thing I’ve wondered…

Who said relative strength is necessarily a linear realtionship?

It seems that the ratio of weight lifted/body weight decreases as on gets into the heavier range.

Could it be that a 148lber with a 300 bench has as much relative strength as a 308lber with a 550 bench?

Are we bringing height into this too? The guy i lift with every day is at about the same strenght level as me but he is 8 inches shorter than me so he is much lighter.

[quote]DRock wrote:
Are we bringing height into this too? The guy i lift with every day is at about the same strenght level as me but he is 8 inches shorter than me so he is much lighter.[/quote]

True. There are many factors that come into relative strength, both for and against being lighter or heavier (or shorter or taller).

I remember reading that part of the leverage advantages for deadlifting, besides having relativley long arms, is having extra weight in your lower body. Even if it’s in the form of fat.

I guess it acts like a counter weight as you lean back.

I don’t believe that weight and strength is linear, but I just figgured that, adding a pound of muscle (added in the right areas) should increase your lifts by more than a pound, to a point, as long as your CNS is maxed out in terms of strength gains. I don’t know what that point is though.

[quote]sasquatch wrote:
BorisTheSpider wrote:
I’m impressed by relative strength…but only on someone who has some size.

Why would size factor in to that? The ratio would still be constant and nonetheless impressive.[/quote]

It takes a lot more work to have a double bodyweight bench at 220 than it is at 110. I’ve know 100 pound guys who can bang out pullups and handstand pushups like nothing. Overall strength is more important in many situations.

I think it’s more impressive to have a high strength to weight ratio, but nonetheless, guys like scott mendelson still impress the hell outta me. But a gymnast’s strength compared to how much he/she weights (usually around 135ish for males, the heaviest olympic gymnast was 5’8" 175ish though I think) is absolutely astounding and takes the cake for me.

Most people need to gain plenty of weight, even to reach their optimum relative strength for a given height. Yours truly included. Gymnasts may not be huge by PL standards, but their upper bodies are extremely well developed. Oly lifters in the lighter weight classes look big for their height (Naim Suleymanoglu, for instance).