T Nation

Confused =(

Okay, here is my problem. I want to be strong as hell, but i don’t want to be so strong, able to lift heavy weight and lose in an arm wrestle to some guy whose 100 lbs with 5 pairs of underware on, soaking wet, you dig? Also i want to be athlete/strong not some meathead who can’t run 1/4 mile in under 2 minutes.

So what type of training am i looking to do. I know it isn’t strict hypertrophy. What kind of lifts do i focus on and which should i not.

HEre is my plan:
Eat Big
Train for strength.
Interval running.

Any input would be cool. Remember i was everyday functional strength. Thanks

I believe it was Ian King who said something like “If you want to be big, train like a bodybuilder. If you want to be strong, train like a powerlifter. If you want your strength to be functional, train like a strongman.” Nuff said.

Well where would you place athletes then. Sports like hockey, wrestling and football.

You beat me to it. Strongman combines the best of all worlds.

Bobo, if you want functional strength, read everything by Coach Davies. You should know this. C’mon.

In order to maintain lean, I would recommend sprinting, swimming, etc. along with your strength training. This should prevent you from gaining too much bulk. As for the arm wrestling thing, there are particular exercises that target area of the arm. One of which is the arm wrestling movement with an adjustable cable machine.

Uh i could care less about arm wrestling i was just using that as an example.

Some huge guy arm wrestled my small friend and got his ass kicked. my friend doenst work out either.

Definitely agree about strongman training. You’re going to become strong, functional and have a hell of alot of fun in the process.

That’s pretty cool.

Your friends ability to win the arm wrestling match with a much bigger guy probably has more to do with his CNS than it had to do with actual muscle size. I have a friend that is naturally big, his arms are twice as big as mine and he rarely works out. I can easily lift twice as much weight as he can on any given lift due to having a more efficient and more extensively trained CNS than he has. He has much bigger muscles but his CNS isn’t efficient enough to recruit a high enough percentage of muscle fibers, or even recruit them for maximal output so his muscles fail to exert more than a fraction of thier potential power. Now along the same lines as everyone elses advice but put a little differently… If you want funtional strength without getting too huge and still be able to run a mile or two without dying just do strongman training, don’t eat much more than maintenance level calories and do sprints twice a week. You’ll get functional strength, but won’t have enough calories to grow huge and sprints will increase your VO2 max without incurring too much type I muscle fiber stimulation so you don’t hurt your strength gains.

Tendon insertions probably played a part as well.

Check out a book called Dinosaur Training, by Brooks Kubric (I think that’s the name - someone correct me if I’m wrong).

Does your CNS ever weaken if you train for something else. Let em explain…

Let’s say your lifiting very heavy to strengthen your cns. Then for 12 weeks you choose a different type of program which doesn’t put as much stress on your cns as the previous one did. Will it weaken?

Arm wrestling is a combination of a few things, most notably speed and technique. Strenth is important, but I can beat guys stronger than myself because I know how to do it.

Ok, sorry for the generalization on the arm wrestling, of course there are more aspects involved than just the CNS etc. I was thinking more along the lines of answering his overall question about getting strong, functional, good cardiovascular system, and not too big etc.

Bobo- about the CNS “weakening”, it’s kinda like anything else, whatever you practice is what you will be best at. If you aren’t training your CNS for maximal strength output then you aren’t going to be able to perform at maximal strength levels. However, similiar to riding a bike, you can pick it back up fairly quickly if you start training that way again if you have trained that way in the past… I’m not the most knowledgeable or the best person for expaining this stuff, so I hope my answer helps. Usually I sit back and let the real bodybuilding techno-weeny brainy dudes (kidding guys) answer these sorts of questions but no-one seemed to be really spelling it out for you so I thought I’d chip in.