T Nation

Hypertrophyability

Yeah, I made that up, but it describes a phenomena I’m interested in… I found this part of your work particularly intriguing (paraphrase coming)–while you were olympic lifting, though focused on strength, power, and speed most of the time, you’d gain more size during your 4-6 week hypertrophy blocks than most bodybuilders would gain in 4-6 months!

The typical explanation goes something like this: “The stronger lifter will be able to use heavier weights in the ‘hypertrophy’ ranges, leading to greater muscle gain.”

I believe that statement to be true but that there is more to it than that… Faster, more powerful athletes gain muscle very easily. A sprinter who decides to take up bodybuilding puts on muscle at an alarming rate. We chalk this up to his (or her) fast twitch makeup and say “it must be nice to be genetically blessed!” But maybe we shouldn’t just stop there…

Your olympic lifting background primed you for muscle gain and I have an idea as to how: Motor unit “conversion”. Sort of. I don’t necessarily mean that you converted fibers from slow to fast (maybe, maybe not), but that you pushed them down the “firing rate spectrum” (made up term?) in the fast direction. Then when you’d do a hypertrophy block you would blow up like the aforementioned sprinter.

I know that I am speculating here, but might I be on to something? If so, how could this be applied? How could power training be fit into a hypertrophy plan in order to maintain “hypertrophyability”? Could such training help to prolong “newbie gains”? Your layer system already has a power exercise (high pull) and really, you’ve altered the deadsquat protocol to increase power output… maybe that’s enough to illicit the effect to which I am referring? Would pushpress as a layer exercise be useful in this respect? Could choosing the speed layer over the max pump layer (or maybe incorporating periods using each) result in more size gains down the road?

i have been doing this for the last few months with good results. keeps things fresh and i have not hit any kind of wall towards my goals.

this is used alot with olympic athletes

accumulation (high volume, short rest periods, lots of reps, moderate weight)
Intensification (low volume, high intensity (weight), less reps, more sets, longer rest breaks)

Cool questions, i’d be curious to hear the response. To throw a counter, there are also explosive athletes (some Olympic lifters, martial artists, etc.) who don’t “blow up” - or perhaps never trained in a “hypertrophic” style to blow up. And there are the large (sometimes largest) dudes who just pump away, constant tension, without having had an explosive training background.

To add on to Cubuff’s question, do you find that closed chaine xercises, moving body through space, more “complicated” movements (to a point) involving more muscle mass or element of instability, also “prime” the body to grow more muscle? It’s like ring work through different planes of motion activated all these muscle fibers one didn’t know existed. And then suubsequent muscle groups (lats for me) grew much faster.

[quote]cubuff2028 wrote:
Yeah, I made that up, but it describes a phenomena I’m interested in… I found this part of your work particularly intriguing (paraphrase coming)–while you were olympic lifting, though focused on strength, power, and speed most of the time, you’d gain more size during your 4-6 week hypertrophy blocks than most bodybuilders would gain in 4-6 months!

The typical explanation goes something like this: “The stronger lifter will be able to use heavier weights in the ‘hypertrophy’ ranges, leading to greater muscle gain.”

I believe that statement to be true but that there is more to it than that… Faster, more powerful athletes gain muscle very easily. A sprinter who decides to take up bodybuilding puts on muscle at an alarming rate. We chalk this up to his (or her) fast twitch makeup and say “it must be nice to be genetically blessed!” But maybe we shouldn’t just stop there…

Your olympic lifting background primed you for muscle gain and I have an idea as to how: Motor unit “conversion”. Sort of. I don’t necessarily mean that you converted fibers from slow to fast (maybe, maybe not), but that you pushed them down the “firing rate spectrum” (made up term?) in the fast direction. Then when you’d do a hypertrophy block you would blow up like the aforementioned sprinter.

I know that I am speculating here, but might I be on to something? If so, how could this be applied? How could power training be fit into a hypertrophy plan in order to maintain “hypertrophyability”? Could such training help to prolong “newbie gains”? Your layer system already has a power exercise (high pull) and really, you’ve altered the deadsquat protocol to increase power output… maybe that’s enough to illicit the effect to which I am referring? Would pushpress as a layer exercise be useful in this respect? Could choosing the speed layer over the max pump layer (or maybe incorporating periods using each) result in more size gains down the road?
[/quote]

Glenn Pendlay agrees with you.

Well,could the things be done from the the opposite side of things?
Lets,say,a bodybuilder using the typical split system,high time under tension,high reps program,builds a overall big body and then starts to focus on Oly lifts.Wouldnt he in a matter of months be cleaning,jerking and snatching solid weight?

Yes these are all good thoughts and questions.I look forward to CTs view on these as well.This is what i love about CTs layering system.It has a blend(layer) for all the types of training that i love in every session.

[quote]cubuff2028 wrote:
Yeah, I made that up, but it describes a phenomena I’m interested in… I found this part of your work particularly intriguing (paraphrase coming)–while you were olympic lifting, though focused on strength, power, and speed most of the time, you’d gain more size during your 4-6 week hypertrophy blocks than most bodybuilders would gain in 4-6 months!

The typical explanation goes something like this: “The stronger lifter will be able to use heavier weights in the ‘hypertrophy’ ranges, leading to greater muscle gain.”

I believe that statement to be true but that there is more to it than that… Faster, more powerful athletes gain muscle very easily. A sprinter who decides to take up bodybuilding puts on muscle at an alarming rate. We chalk this up to his (or her) fast twitch makeup and say “it must be nice to be genetically blessed!” But maybe we shouldn’t just stop there…

Your olympic lifting background primed you for muscle gain and I have an idea as to how: Motor unit “conversion”. Sort of. I don’t necessarily mean that you converted fibers from slow to fast (maybe, maybe not), but that you pushed them down the “firing rate spectrum” (made up term?) in the fast direction. Then when you’d do a hypertrophy block you would blow up like the aforementioned sprinter.

I know that I am speculating here, but might I be on to something? If so, how could this be applied? How could power training be fit into a hypertrophy plan in order to maintain “hypertrophyability”? Could such training help to prolong “newbie gains”? Your layer system already has a power exercise (high pull) and really, you’ve altered the deadsquat protocol to increase power output… maybe that’s enough to illicit the effect to which I am referring? Would pushpress as a layer exercise be useful in this respect? Could choosing the speed layer over the max pump layer (or maybe incorporating periods using each) result in more size gains down the road?
[/quote]

I actually wrote something about that a long while ago. I called it “priming hypertrophy”. I absolutely believe that doing heavy and explosive work (enough of it that you significantly improve neural efficiency) will allow you to grow more muscle from short “bodybuilding” phases than a person only doing that later type of training would.

You are not converting slow twitch fibers to fast twitch (sadly slow to fast is “east” to accomplish, slow to fast almost never happens) but with enough heavy-explosive work the slow and intermediate twitch fibers can take on fast-twitch properties (store more glycogen, able to produce more force and at a faster rate, more fatiguable). And thus they will have a greater growth potential… not up to par with true fast twitch fibers, but higher than slow or intermediate fibers.

Plus the higher neural efficiency also makes you better at recruiting the fast twitch fibers and also in recruiting them sooner when doing an exercise. As a result these fibers will receive more growth stimulation.

[quote]-Sigil- wrote:
Cool questions, i’d be curious to hear the response. To throw a counter, there are also explosive athletes (some Olympic lifters, martial artists, etc.) who don’t “blow up” - or perhaps never trained in a “hypertrophic” style to blow up. And there are the large (sometimes largest) dudes who just pump away, constant tension, without having had an explosive training background.

To add on to Cubuff’s question, do you find that closed chaine xercises, moving body through space, more “complicated” movements (to a point) involving more muscle mass or element of instability, also “prime” the body to grow more muscle? It’s like ring work through different planes of motion activated all these muscle fibers one didn’t know existed. And then suubsequent muscle groups (lats for me) grew much faster. [/quote]

  1. A lot of explosive athletes actually try NOT to add any weight so that they stay in their weight class, so it is unlikely that they do any hypertrophy work. The muscle mass they have is basically what they have built despite trying not to gain any! The exception are the chinese olympic lifters, which is why I like to learn from their methods. They do a lot of high pulls as well as some “bodybuilding” exercises like lateral raises, dumbbell and barbell rowing, dips and triceps extension. As a rule of thumb the chinese lifters are those with the more muscular physique. I would think that their lower skeletal weight, a lighter frame allows them to gain more muscle while still staying in the same weight class and thus can spend time building more muscle.

  2. Yes… after all gymnasts do have decent muscle mass and there is more than a few instances where former gymnasts became bodybuilders and powerlifters once their stopped gymnastics (Charles Glass in bodybuilding, Fred Hatfield and Mark Reifkind in powerlifting for example). One of my strongest female olympic lifter (180lbs snatch, 210lbs clean & jerk at a bodyweight of 135)… well she is a Crossfit athlete, but also trains as an olympic lifter, is a former gymnast.

But again, it does take some time to build the neural efficiency to make a difference. After all, the former gymnasts I mentioned did this for 25-30 hours a week for 5-10 years.

[quote]SKELAC wrote:
Well,could the things be done from the the opposite side of things?
Lets,say,a bodybuilder using the typical split system,high time under tension,high reps program,builds a overall big body and then starts to focus on Oly lifts.Wouldnt he in a matter of months be cleaning,jerking and snatching solid weight?
[/quote]

Not really.

It is true that bigger muscles technically have more strength and power potential. But I found through experience that there is little correlation between being strong in controlled movements and being strong in fast movements if you have not train explosively for a significant time period.

Second, muscle mass acquired through isolation exercises is harder to make good use of in complex structure movements.

Third, mobility would be a huge issue… I do not buy into the musclebound idea. But it is a fact that “bodybuilder types” lack mobility in several joints as it pertains to the olympic lifts. For example, every time I want to get back to the olympic lifts it takes me about 3 weeks of daily mobility work just to be able to rack a clean properly. In the OL, mobility is important, otherwise you will fight not only the barbell, but you body’s tension.

Fourth, the olympic lifts have a high technical component. YES strength is important but without proper technique you will be severely limited in the weight you can lift. And I find that people who are already strong have a harder time becoming technically efficient because they (subconsciously) rely more on muscle strength than technique and they take bad habits early on.

Fifth, just like sprinting, OL requires a complex relaxation/tension relationship. For example during the pull the back should be tight, grip solid but the shoulders and arms should be relaxed. This is hard to do, even more so for someone who is used to training bodybuilding-style.

So on paper, yes a bodybuilder-type should be able to lift big weights in the OL, but in reality we rarely see that happens.

Now, in all fairness some people can pull it off. But normally these are guys with a strong background in power sports (e.g. football, sprinting) that went into bodybuilding once their playing days were over.

Is it possible for someone who trains for strength (lift a max 1-5 twice a week at all times along with ‘speed work’?) to have their fast twitch fibers take on some properties of slow twitch from their rep work (assuming their volume work stays in the 8-25 range most of the time, 18-25 being stuff like shrugs and rear delts)? This is mostly out of curiosity, since I know certain muscle groups respond well to high reps and being burnt the life out of (traps and delts for example) or just respond well to volume (back and quads).

[quote]DSSG wrote:
Is it possible for someone who trains for strength (lift a max 1-5 twice a week at all times along with ‘speed work’?) to have their fast twitch fibers take on some properties of slow twitch from their rep work (assuming their volume work stays in the 8-25 range most of the time, 18-25 being stuff like shrugs and rear delts)? This is mostly out of curiosity, since I know certain muscle groups respond well to high reps and being burnt the life out of (traps and delts for example) or just respond well to volume (back and quads). [/quote]

EVERY type of training actually makes the fastest/highest threshold fibers adapt toward an intermediate profile… even explosive lifting! That doesn’t mean that your fibers lose explosiveness or strength but that they adapt to become able to handle more work and recover faster.

Now, is higher reps work on some exercise gonna detract from your heavy/explosive work? If the bulk of your training is with heavy weights or explosive reps this is highly unlikely and not to an extent that would affect performance anyway.

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:

[quote]cubuff2028 wrote:
Yeah, I made that up, but it describes a phenomena I’m interested in… I found this part of your work particularly intriguing (paraphrase coming)–while you were olympic lifting, though focused on strength, power, and speed most of the time, you’d gain more size during your 4-6 week hypertrophy blocks than most bodybuilders would gain in 4-6 months!

The typical explanation goes something like this: “The stronger lifter will be able to use heavier weights in the ‘hypertrophy’ ranges, leading to greater muscle gain.”

I believe that statement to be true but that there is more to it than that… Faster, more powerful athletes gain muscle very easily. A sprinter who decides to take up bodybuilding puts on muscle at an alarming rate. We chalk this up to his (or her) fast twitch makeup and say “it must be nice to be genetically blessed!” But maybe we shouldn’t just stop there…

Your olympic lifting background primed you for muscle gain and I have an idea as to how: Motor unit “conversion”. Sort of. I don’t necessarily mean that you converted fibers from slow to fast (maybe, maybe not), but that you pushed them down the “firing rate spectrum” (made up term?) in the fast direction. Then when you’d do a hypertrophy block you would blow up like the aforementioned sprinter.

I know that I am speculating here, but might I be on to something? If so, how could this be applied? How could power training be fit into a hypertrophy plan in order to maintain “hypertrophyability”? Could such training help to prolong “newbie gains”? Your layer system already has a power exercise (high pull) and really, you’ve altered the deadsquat protocol to increase power output… maybe that’s enough to illicit the effect to which I am referring? Would pushpress as a layer exercise be useful in this respect? Could choosing the speed layer over the max pump layer (or maybe incorporating periods using each) result in more size gains down the road?
[/quote]

I actually wrote something about that a long while ago. I called it “priming hypertrophy”. I absolutely believe that doing heavy and explosive work (enough of it that you significantly improve neural efficiency) will allow you to grow more muscle from short “bodybuilding” phases than a person only doing that later type of training would.

You are not converting slow twitch fibers to fast twitch (sadly slow to fast is “east” to accomplish, slow to fast almost never happens) but with enough heavy-explosive work the slow and intermediate twitch fibers can take on fast-twitch properties (store more glycogen, able to produce more force and at a faster rate, more fatiguable). And thus they will have a greater growth potential… not up to par with true fast twitch fibers, but higher than slow or intermediate fibers.

Plus the higher neural efficiency also makes you better at recruiting the fast twitch fibers and also in recruiting them sooner when doing an exercise. As a result these fibers will receive more growth stimulation.[/quote]

Makes sense. Would this explain why ~50% of your training at this point is explosive even though you are after size gains–to maintain or even improve this “primed state” ? It’s this sort of unconventional thinking that gets me fired up about following your work. Thank you for the time and effort that you put in to helping us.

[quote]cubuff2028 wrote:

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:

[quote]cubuff2028 wrote:
Yeah, I made that up, but it describes a phenomena I’m interested in… I found this part of your work particularly intriguing (paraphrase coming)–while you were olympic lifting, though focused on strength, power, and speed most of the time, you’d gain more size during your 4-6 week hypertrophy blocks than most bodybuilders would gain in 4-6 months!

The typical explanation goes something like this: “The stronger lifter will be able to use heavier weights in the ‘hypertrophy’ ranges, leading to greater muscle gain.”

I believe that statement to be true but that there is more to it than that… Faster, more powerful athletes gain muscle very easily. A sprinter who decides to take up bodybuilding puts on muscle at an alarming rate. We chalk this up to his (or her) fast twitch makeup and say “it must be nice to be genetically blessed!” But maybe we shouldn’t just stop there…

Your olympic lifting background primed you for muscle gain and I have an idea as to how: Motor unit “conversion”. Sort of. I don’t necessarily mean that you converted fibers from slow to fast (maybe, maybe not), but that you pushed them down the “firing rate spectrum” (made up term?) in the fast direction. Then when you’d do a hypertrophy block you would blow up like the aforementioned sprinter.

I know that I am speculating here, but might I be on to something? If so, how could this be applied? How could power training be fit into a hypertrophy plan in order to maintain “hypertrophyability”? Could such training help to prolong “newbie gains”? Your layer system already has a power exercise (high pull) and really, you’ve altered the deadsquat protocol to increase power output… maybe that’s enough to illicit the effect to which I am referring? Would pushpress as a layer exercise be useful in this respect? Could choosing the speed layer over the max pump layer (or maybe incorporating periods using each) result in more size gains down the road?
[/quote]

I actually wrote something about that a long while ago. I called it “priming hypertrophy”. I absolutely believe that doing heavy and explosive work (enough of it that you significantly improve neural efficiency) will allow you to grow more muscle from short “bodybuilding” phases than a person only doing that later type of training would.

You are not converting slow twitch fibers to fast twitch (sadly slow to fast is “east” to accomplish, slow to fast almost never happens) but with enough heavy-explosive work the slow and intermediate twitch fibers can take on fast-twitch properties (store more glycogen, able to produce more force and at a faster rate, more fatiguable). And thus they will have a greater growth potential… not up to par with true fast twitch fibers, but higher than slow or intermediate fibers.

Plus the higher neural efficiency also makes you better at recruiting the fast twitch fibers and also in recruiting them sooner when doing an exercise. As a result these fibers will receive more growth stimulation.[/quote]

Makes sense. Would this explain why ~50% of your training at this point is explosive even though you are after size gains–to maintain or even improve this “primed state” ? It’s this sort of unconventional thinking that gets me fired up about following your work. Thank you for the time and effort that you put in to helping us. [/quote]

Well, in part yes… but it’s mostly because explosive work is a lot more stimulating for me.

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:

[quote]cubuff2028 wrote:

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:

[quote]cubuff2028 wrote:
Yeah, I made that up, but it describes a phenomena I’m interested in… I found this part of your work particularly intriguing (paraphrase coming)–while you were olympic lifting, though focused on strength, power, and speed most of the time, you’d gain more size during your 4-6 week hypertrophy blocks than most bodybuilders would gain in 4-6 months!

The typical explanation goes something like this: “The stronger lifter will be able to use heavier weights in the ‘hypertrophy’ ranges, leading to greater muscle gain.”

I believe that statement to be true but that there is more to it than that… Faster, more powerful athletes gain muscle very easily. A sprinter who decides to take up bodybuilding puts on muscle at an alarming rate. We chalk this up to his (or her) fast twitch makeup and say “it must be nice to be genetically blessed!” But maybe we shouldn’t just stop there…

Your olympic lifting background primed you for muscle gain and I have an idea as to how: Motor unit “conversion”. Sort of. I don’t necessarily mean that you converted fibers from slow to fast (maybe, maybe not), but that you pushed them down the “firing rate spectrum” (made up term?) in the fast direction. Then when you’d do a hypertrophy block you would blow up like the aforementioned sprinter.

I know that I am speculating here, but might I be on to something? If so, how could this be applied? How could power training be fit into a hypertrophy plan in order to maintain “hypertrophyability”? Could such training help to prolong “newbie gains”? Your layer system already has a power exercise (high pull) and really, you’ve altered the deadsquat protocol to increase power output… maybe that’s enough to illicit the effect to which I am referring? Would pushpress as a layer exercise be useful in this respect? Could choosing the speed layer over the max pump layer (or maybe incorporating periods using each) result in more size gains down the road?
[/quote]

I actually wrote something about that a long while ago. I called it “priming hypertrophy”. I absolutely believe that doing heavy and explosive work (enough of it that you significantly improve neural efficiency) will allow you to grow more muscle from short “bodybuilding” phases than a person only doing that later type of training would.

You are not converting slow twitch fibers to fast twitch (sadly slow to fast is “east” to accomplish, slow to fast almost never happens) but with enough heavy-explosive work the slow and intermediate twitch fibers can take on fast-twitch properties (store more glycogen, able to produce more force and at a faster rate, more fatiguable). And thus they will have a greater growth potential… not up to par with true fast twitch fibers, but higher than slow or intermediate fibers.

Plus the higher neural efficiency also makes you better at recruiting the fast twitch fibers and also in recruiting them sooner when doing an exercise. As a result these fibers will receive more growth stimulation.[/quote]

Makes sense. Would this explain why ~50% of your training at this point is explosive even though you are after size gains–to maintain or even improve this “primed state” ? It’s this sort of unconventional thinking that gets me fired up about following your work. Thank you for the time and effort that you put in to helping us. [/quote]

Well, in part yes… but it’s mostly because explosive work is a lot more stimulating for me.[/quote]

I didn’t mean to imply that explosive pulls don’t stimulate size increases (they might need a little more total volume as time under tension/rep is less), but that they both increase size and potentiate it at the same time. I’ve realized that the physique effects of these are unmatched to say the least.

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:

[quote]SKELAC wrote:
Well,could the things be done from the the opposite side of things?
Lets,say,a bodybuilder using the typical split system,high time under tension,high reps program,builds a overall big body and then starts to focus on Oly lifts.Wouldnt he in a matter of months be cleaning,jerking and snatching solid weight?
[/quote]

Not really.

It is true that bigger muscles technically have more strength and power potential. But I found through experience that there is little correlation between being strong in controlled movements and being strong in fast movements if you have not train explosively for a significant time period.

Second, muscle mass acquired through isolation exercises is harder to make good use of in complex structure movements.

Third, mobility would be a huge issue… I do not buy into the musclebound idea. But it is a fact that “bodybuilder types” lack mobility in several joints as it pertains to the olympic lifts. For example, every time I want to get back to the olympic lifts it takes me about 3 weeks of daily mobility work just to be able to rack a clean properly. In the OL, mobility is important, otherwise you will fight not only the barbell, but you body’s tension.

Fourth, the olympic lifts have a high technical component. YES strength is important but without proper technique you will be severely limited in the weight you can lift. And I find that people who are already strong have a harder time becoming technically efficient because they (subconsciously) rely more on muscle strength than technique and they take bad habits early on.

Fifth, just like sprinting, OL requires a complex relaxation/tension relationship. For example during the pull the back should be tight, grip solid but the shoulders and arms should be relaxed. This is hard to do, even more so for someone who is used to training bodybuilding-style.

So on paper, yes a bodybuilder-type should be able to lift big weights in the OL, but in reality we rarely see that happens.

Now, in all fairness some people can pull it off. But normally these are guys with a strong background in power sports (e.g. football, sprinting) that went into bodybuilding once their playing days were over.[/quote]

Arnold Schwarzenegger allegedly snatched 240 lb. and clean-and-jerked 300 lb. at about 250 lb. bodyweight.For sure he used more pure power and less technique to lift it.Not too shabby for a bodybuilder!

[quote]SKELAC wrote:

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:

[quote]SKELAC wrote:
Well,could the things be done from the the opposite side of things?
Lets,say,a bodybuilder using the typical split system,high time under tension,high reps program,builds a overall big body and then starts to focus on Oly lifts.Wouldnt he in a matter of months be cleaning,jerking and snatching solid weight?
[/quote]

Not really.

It is true that bigger muscles technically have more strength and power potential. But I found through experience that there is little correlation between being strong in controlled movements and being strong in fast movements if you have not train explosively for a significant time period.

Second, muscle mass acquired through isolation exercises is harder to make good use of in complex structure movements.

Third, mobility would be a huge issue… I do not buy into the musclebound idea. But it is a fact that “bodybuilder types” lack mobility in several joints as it pertains to the olympic lifts. For example, every time I want to get back to the olympic lifts it takes me about 3 weeks of daily mobility work just to be able to rack a clean properly. In the OL, mobility is important, otherwise you will fight not only the barbell, but you body’s tension.

Fourth, the olympic lifts have a high technical component. YES strength is important but without proper technique you will be severely limited in the weight you can lift. And I find that people who are already strong have a harder time becoming technically efficient because they (subconsciously) rely more on muscle strength than technique and they take bad habits early on.

Fifth, just like sprinting, OL requires a complex relaxation/tension relationship. For example during the pull the back should be tight, grip solid but the shoulders and arms should be relaxed. This is hard to do, even more so for someone who is used to training bodybuilding-style.

So on paper, yes a bodybuilder-type should be able to lift big weights in the OL, but in reality we rarely see that happens.

Now, in all fairness some people can pull it off. But normally these are guys with a strong background in power sports (e.g. football, sprinting) that went into bodybuilding once their playing days were over.[/quote]

Arnold Schwarzenegger allegedly snatched 240 lb. and clean-and-jerked 300 lb. at about 250 lb. bodyweight.For sure he used more pure power and less technique to lift it.Not too shabby for a bodybuilder!

[/quote]

And Sergio Oliva was actually an olympic lifter… but Arnold actually started out as a weightlifter and did some contests when he was younger.

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:

[quote]SKELAC wrote:

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:

[quote]SKELAC wrote:
Well,could the things be done from the the opposite side of things?
Lets,say,a bodybuilder using the typical split system,high time under tension,high reps program,builds a overall big body and then starts to focus on Oly lifts.Wouldnt he in a matter of months be cleaning,jerking and snatching solid weight?
[/quote]

Not really.

It is true that bigger muscles technically have more strength and power potential. But I found through experience that there is little correlation between being strong in controlled movements and being strong in fast movements if you have not train explosively for a significant time period.

Second, muscle mass acquired through isolation exercises is harder to make good use of in complex structure movements.

Third, mobility would be a huge issue… I do not buy into the musclebound idea. But it is a fact that “bodybuilder types” lack mobility in several joints as it pertains to the olympic lifts. For example, every time I want to get back to the olympic lifts it takes me about 3 weeks of daily mobility work just to be able to rack a clean properly. In the OL, mobility is important, otherwise you will fight not only the barbell, but you body’s tension.

Fourth, the olympic lifts have a high technical component. YES strength is important but without proper technique you will be severely limited in the weight you can lift. And I find that people who are already strong have a harder time becoming technically efficient because they (subconsciously) rely more on muscle strength than technique and they take bad habits early on.

Fifth, just like sprinting, OL requires a complex relaxation/tension relationship. For example during the pull the back should be tight, grip solid but the shoulders and arms should be relaxed. This is hard to do, even more so for someone who is used to training bodybuilding-style.

So on paper, yes a bodybuilder-type should be able to lift big weights in the OL, but in reality we rarely see that happens.

Now, in all fairness some people can pull it off. But normally these are guys with a strong background in power sports (e.g. football, sprinting) that went into bodybuilding once their playing days were over.[/quote]

Arnold Schwarzenegger allegedly snatched 240 lb. and clean-and-jerked 300 lb. at about 250 lb. bodyweight.For sure he used more pure power and less technique to lift it.Not too shabby for a bodybuilder!

[/quote]

And Sergio Oliva was actually an olympic lifter… but Arnold actually started out as a weightlifter and did some contests when he was younger.[/quote]

just looked up oliva. His arms make elvis dumerville’s look short–great deadlifter? Is that an asset or a handicap for the classic lifts? what sort of limb length/ratios make for a gifted olympic lifter? I’d imagine the russians, bulgarians, chinese screen for this sort of thing when selecting their athletes?

[quote]cubuff2028 wrote:

just looked up oliva. His arms make elvis dumerville’s look short–great deadlifter? Is that an asset or a handicap for the classic lifts? what sort of limb length/ratios make for a gifted olympic lifter? I’d imagine the russians, bulgarians, chinese screen for this sort of thing when selecting their athletes? [/quote]

Sergio was an international-level olympic lifter before being a bodybuilder BTW.

And Arnold actually competed in weightlifting before competing in bodybuilding.

You have lifters with different wingspan in olympic lifting. For example in the 105kg class the top 3 guys (although they all missed the olympics) are Akkaev who has short arms, Klokov who has long arms and Aramnau who has VERY short arms.

In the light and middle classes, 62, 69 and 77kg, Chinese (and Koreans) seem to dominate and they generally have short arms/leg and a long torso.

In the +105kg guys tend to have longer arms, mostly because they are taller guys.

In the 94kg class you have both short and long armed guys with Ilya Illyin having shorter than average arms.

Long arms do make it easier to deadlift a lot of weight. But in OL they are not really an advantage. They might even be a slight disadvantage in the jerk. In the snatch there are not a problem.

But if you look at long vs. short limbed lifters, they have different lifting techniques… shorter limbs guys stay more upright during the whole movement and tend to pull in a straighter line and be faster under the bar… long limb guys have their torso more bend over from the start, tend to have a bar path that is “S” shaped and pull the bar a bit higher.

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:

[quote]SKELAC wrote:
Well,could the things be done from the the opposite side of things?
Lets,say,a bodybuilder using the typical split system,high time under tension,high reps program,builds a overall big body and then starts to focus on Oly lifts.Wouldnt he in a matter of months be cleaning,jerking and snatching solid weight?
[/quote]

Not really.

It is true that bigger muscles technically have more strength and power potential. But I found through experience that there is little correlation between being strong in controlled movements and being strong in fast movements if you have not train explosively for a significant time period.

Second, muscle mass acquired through isolation exercises is harder to make good use of in complex structure movements.

Third, mobility would be a huge issue… I do not buy into the musclebound idea. But it is a fact that “bodybuilder types” lack mobility in several joints as it pertains to the olympic lifts. For example, every time I want to get back to the olympic lifts it takes me about 3 weeks of daily mobility work just to be able to rack a clean properly. In the OL, mobility is important, otherwise you will fight not only the barbell, but you body’s tension.

Fourth, the olympic lifts have a high technical component. YES strength is important but without proper technique you will be severely limited in the weight you can lift. And I find that people who are already strong have a harder time becoming technically efficient because they (subconsciously) rely more on muscle strength than technique and they take bad habits early on.

Fifth, just like sprinting, OL requires a complex relaxation/tension relationship. For example during the pull the back should be tight, grip solid but the shoulders and arms should be relaxed. This is hard to do, even more so for someone who is used to training bodybuilding-style.

So on paper, yes a bodybuilder-type should be able to lift big weights in the OL, but in reality we rarely see that happens.

Now, in all fairness some people can pull it off. But normally these are guys with a strong background in power sports (e.g. football, sprinting) that went into bodybuilding once their playing days were over.[/quote]

That’s funny you mentioned this because i was talking to a friend about how a guy at the gym does 405 on the seated shoulder press for 8 reps but can’t push press 275. His timing, explosiveness and mobility are his main downfalls. He got so frustrated it with it that he never came back to it.

[quote]RawMinded wrote:

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:

[quote]SKELAC wrote:
Well,could the things be done from the the opposite side of things?
Lets,say,a bodybuilder using the typical split system,high time under tension,high reps program,builds a overall big body and then starts to focus on Oly lifts.Wouldnt he in a matter of months be cleaning,jerking and snatching solid weight?
[/quote]

Not really.

It is true that bigger muscles technically have more strength and power potential. But I found through experience that there is little correlation between being strong in controlled movements and being strong in fast movements if you have not train explosively for a significant time period.

Second, muscle mass acquired through isolation exercises is harder to make good use of in complex structure movements.

Third, mobility would be a huge issue… I do not buy into the musclebound idea. But it is a fact that “bodybuilder types” lack mobility in several joints as it pertains to the olympic lifts. For example, every time I want to get back to the olympic lifts it takes me about 3 weeks of daily mobility work just to be able to rack a clean properly. In the OL, mobility is important, otherwise you will fight not only the barbell, but you body’s tension.

Fourth, the olympic lifts have a high technical component. YES strength is important but without proper technique you will be severely limited in the weight you can lift. And I find that people who are already strong have a harder time becoming technically efficient because they (subconsciously) rely more on muscle strength than technique and they take bad habits early on.

Fifth, just like sprinting, OL requires a complex relaxation/tension relationship. For example during the pull the back should be tight, grip solid but the shoulders and arms should be relaxed. This is hard to do, even more so for someone who is used to training bodybuilding-style.

So on paper, yes a bodybuilder-type should be able to lift big weights in the OL, but in reality we rarely see that happens.

Now, in all fairness some people can pull it off. But normally these are guys with a strong background in power sports (e.g. football, sprinting) that went into bodybuilding once their playing days were over.[/quote]

That’s funny you mentioned this because i was talking to a friend about how a guy at the gym does 405 on the seated shoulder press for 8 reps but can’t push press 275. His timing, explosiveness and mobility are his main downfalls. He got so frustrated it with it that he never came back to it.
[/quote]

That is a perfect example… I’m sure core stability and shoulder mobility had a lot to do with it too; the bench support them and they tend to transform the seated overhead press into a high incline bench, which makes you press up and forward while in the push press you must push up and back, which requires a lot more mobility.