After a busy weekend, I was sitting around catching some T.V. and looking at some tapes. It was then that I began to realize that this whole concept of “strength” is very activity specific. These were the examples:
1)Andre Agassi: Caught a little bit of him this weekend. Probably in his late 30’s? For almost TWO HOURS fires a ball across the net at greater than 90 miles per hour! By the look of his skinny legs and arms, Andre ain’t gonna win no “Strongman” competition. But I bet the average strongman would not last TWO MINUTES serving, much less two hours… and the velocity of that serve would be no where close to Andre.
2)Ironman/Ironwomen: DAYUM! Yes…this has a lot to do with endurance, but these athletes are also STRONG! (On a side note; the top competitors have that sort of “swimmer’s” body. Is this a case of genetics pre-deposing one to a certain sport OR the sport leading to this type of physique? Just a thought). Again…strong…but not huge. And I doubt they have powerlifter numbers on benches and squats.
3)SEALS/Airborne/Special Ops: Almost all training officers, without fail, will tell you that the “musclebound” recruit will most likely fail, and they can spot them a mile away. The most likely to succeed? That “Pavel/Bruce Lee” lookin’ guy…smart…fast on his feet…and pound-for-pound a STRONG sum’ bitch!
So. Thoughts and questions:
1)This whole idea of neuromuscular connection, leading to efficiency of motor unit firing (i.e. more motor units firing per nerve impulse or “increased strength”) plays itself out in the real world.
2)There APPEARS to be some “ideal ratio” of body weight to strength that one reaches that is either an impediment OR an asset to a particular activity. (i.e. as a more rhetorical question: if there where weight classes, could someone with an “Agassi” physique win a “Strongman”? IF they had the endurance, could a “Strongman” win an “Ironman”, or does their shear bulk pre-clude it?).
3)Again…bench and squat numbers are okay…but wouldn’t you all agree that with activities outside of lifting, that they are in fact poor measures? And that “strength” is VERY activity specific, as the above have illustrated?
As always…I love you guy’s thoughts on an interesting subject!