T Nation

Bodybuilders Are Weak

To say BBers are weak is foolish. Just the act of getting in the gym and training makes them stronger than 90% of folks on the street. Most people cannot even BP their bodyweight. So by that standard they are not weak, and most top bodybuilders are pretty strong, with a few being outright freaky strong.

Still, the BBers bad showing on early Superstars competitions, the weakness of BBers getting ready to compete, and the non-competitive or local competition BBer who uses very light weights doesn’t help impressins folks get.

Better to focus on what you are lifting than what others do, unless others are curling in the squat rack.

From a layman’s point of view, I never, never, never would think that bodybuilders are weak. They’re friggin’ huge.

Don’t know when I realized it, but my surprise came when I realized they weren’t really the strongest mofo’s on the planet. In my younger days, I figured they would be.

They’re strong as hell but I don’t guess there are many (any?) competitive bodybuilders winning powerlifting, oly-lifting, or strong man competitions.

Doesn’t really matter though, that’s not what they train for.

Are bodybuilders weak? No, I don’t think so. But if you are talking about a pound for pound comparison then maybe that argument would carry some merit. I know that if you read some stuff written by Charles Poliquin, Coach John Davies, and especially Pavel Tsatsouline they all seem to poke fun at a bodybuilders “unfunctional pump”.

Bodybuilders are good at what they do: muscle hypertrophy. Just like powerlifters are good at the powerlifts, weightlifters are good at olympic lifts, and gymnasts are good at gymnastics. You obviously can’t get as big as Dorian Yates or Ronnie Coleman without lifting some serious poundages. Weights are just a means to an end for a bodybuilder. The amount of weight lifted is the end for a powerlifter or weightlifter.

That being said, I’d much rather be at powerlifting competition with a bunch of dudes with shaved heads and goatees screaming, banging their heads on bars getting ready to lift, sniffing smelling salts, and blasting Slayer than at a bodybuilding competition with a bunch of dudes all oiled up in speedos.

“The widespread use of steroids and other chemical supplements is frequently an admission that one has run out of training ideas to produce further progress naturally” - Dr. Mel Siff

Jealousy.

BBers are not week. Remember a lot of the lifts are practice too. So can someone who is really strong but has never performed an olympic lift outlift someone who is not so strong but trains olympic lifts very often? most likely not. Can you be the best soccer player on the planet if you’ve never played soccer? nope, i dont think so.

There are many strong bbers out there, this is a myth that needs to die.

I heard this for years when training martial arts. The instructors and higher ranks used to tell me lifting weights was stupid and would only make me slow, weak and ugly. Were they right? Hell no.

BB’s build muscle. PL’s lift heavy things. Strongmen do amazing feats of strength. Will a pro BB do well in one of the other disciplines, no. He is a BB. A strongman will not become Mr. O, and a MMA fighter will not win olympic gold in swimming. Why is there need to finger point in such a simple concept. You are what you do. I’m never going to be on a movie dancing the tango or taking the checkered flag at Talladega.

I’m a personal trainer and a poker player. Bodybuilders are not going to take the WSM by storm. MMA fighters will not place in the bobsled. This is a very simple concept to me.

[quote]TrainerinDC wrote:
I’m a personal trainer and a poker player. Bodybuilders are not going to take the WSM by storm. MMA fighters will not place in the bobsled. This is a very simple concept to me.[/quote]

Nicely stated!!

[quote]TrainerinDC wrote:
I heard this for years when training martial arts. The instructors and higher ranks used to tell me lifting weights was stupid and would only make me slow, weak and ugly. Were they right? Hell no.

BB’s build muscle. PL’s lift heavy things. Strongmen do amazing feats of strength. Will a pro BB do well in one of the other disciplines, no. [/quote]

While I agree with what you’re saying on the whole I think it’s a little short sighted to say a bodybuilder could never be a good powerlifter and vice versa. From PL to BB I could cite numerous examples… Dave Gulledge are 2 that instantly spring to mind Dave Tate. As for pro BB’s being good powerlifters… Jonnie Jackson.

I think unlike the comparisons with other sports, powerlifting and bodybuilding conform to alot of the same principles, hence there’s a lot of crossover.

I think the nail was hit on the head when someone said “Bodybuilders are as strong as they look, it’s just powerlifters are a hell of a lot stronger than they look.”

Also dont forget about Charles Bailey
he used to do bodybuilding, now hes the highest total in GPC history.

A pro BB could be a champion strongman or powerlifter. But he will not do it with his focus on bodybuilding. In order to do it, the bodybuilder would have to become a strongman or a powerlifter. This is what I mean. I’m not saying a BB would never be a powerlifter or strongman, they could. But they would have to change their focus.

My statement remains true. You are what you do. Bodybuilders bodybuild, strongmen compete strongmen and powerlifters lift huge weight. In order to become one of the others, you would have to change your training, your strategy and many other aspects of your life to do so. Doing this would make you a (insert new thing) instead of (insert old thing).

[quote]CaliforniaLaw wrote:
PGA wrote:
“Body builders may be big but they’re weak as hell.” Where did this stereotype come from?

Read Nietzsche for the answer. It’s something small and weak people say to make themselves feel superior to bodybuilders. Envy and resentment will lead people to do this.

When a smoking hot chick walks by a group of girls, you can bet one of them will say, “bitch,” “slut,” etc. Why? Because the other girls feel threatened.

When a big boy walks by, all the small and weak guys need to insult that person to make themselves feel better. Hence, they say bodybuilders are weak.

Now that the UFC is on TV just about every day, fewer guys say bb’ers are weak. Now they say, “I could totally tap him out!”

Also, everyone under 200 pounds refers to everyone over 200 pounds as fat. Why? Same emotions - envy and resentment - are at play.[/quote]

We don’t always see eye-to-eye, CaliforniaLaw, but I totally agree with you on the points made above. Great post.
-Dan

Glenn Ross used to be a competitive bodybuilder.

I’ll try to find the picture of him in contest condition, it’s funny to see how lean he used to be.

Randal Strossen, the author of Super Squats and the publisher of Milo is one of the Anti-Bodybuilder crowd.

I have not read Milo in a couple of years but he was still bashing bodybuilders as recently as '04.

I find it ironic, the routine outlined in Super Squats is classic bodybuilding.

[quote]TrainerinDC wrote:
A pro BB could be a champion strongman or powerlifter. But he will not do it with his focus on bodybuilding. In order to do it, the bodybuilder would have to become a strongman or a powerlifter. This is what I mean. I’m not saying a BB would never be a powerlifter or strongman, they could. But they would have to change their focus.

My statement remains true. You are what you do. Bodybuilders bodybuild, strongmen compete strongmen and powerlifters lift huge weight. In order to become one of the others, you would have to change your training, your strategy and many other aspects of your life to do so. Doing this would make you a (insert new thing) instead of (insert old thing). [/quote]

Very good points made by a lot of people in this thread. I think it was in a different thread that someone said that people do this sort of mudslinging in any endeavor: they’ll make fun of an old rich guy because he’s old, a fitness model because he’s “a pussy,” a marathon runner because he’s tiny, etc.

When mediocre people see greatness, they tend to find some way to knock down the other person because they never built themselves up to be on par with them in the first place. I’ve noticed that I’ve done this in the past and am trying to get over it because it really is just idiotic bigotry.

Everyone has their strengths, and I think if you’re going to knock a specialist, you’d better be knocking him for whatever he’s specializing in, otherwise it’s just petty bullshit.

Usually if you’re good enough at what you do, the people whose respect REALLY matters will respect you for it. I say fuck what anyone else says.

All well and good regarding the people saying it who are jealous, but I have heard this claim from people who have no reason to be jealous - i.e., athletes.

For some reason, it seems to arise even in a number of contexts even outside the jealousy situation.

[quote]thunderbolt23 wrote:
All well and good regarding the people saying it who are jealous, but I have heard this claim from people who have no reason to be jealous - i.e., athletes.

For some reason, it seems to arise even in a number of contexts even outside the jealousy situation.[/quote]

  1. Please elaborate

  2. Why would athletes have no reason to be jealous of someone else’s physical development? You don’t think a football player would be irked at a primitive level at a bodybuilder who dwarfs him, when he’s usually the local “big dude?”

[quote]thunderbolt23 wrote:
Difficult to say, but I do know of people who say it this way: if bodybuilders were as strong/athletic as they claim to be, why aren’t they playing the sports to prove it? And, therefore, since they aren’t, they clearly are not that strong, etc.
[/quote]

Well, its not as if power lifters or strongmen are dominating football/basketball/baseball/hockey/mma etc either.

Despite what some S&C coaches would have you believe, skill in these sports trumps raw strength & conditioning.

[quote]TShaw wrote:
I never heard the term “weak” used until this website. [/quote]

Me either and I ahve been lifting for a while now. I NEVER heard of this growing up in any gym. It wasn’t until it started getti8ng repeated by small guys on internet forums that it became some “law” that kept getting repeated. Meanwhile, I still don’t see all of those super strong skinny guys in the gym. They must be hiding.

http://www.btinternet.com/~philip.j.wright/GlennRossBefore.htm

Glenn Ross before bulking.