T Nation

Is the Idea of Strength Philosophical?


#1

OK so as I stated in a previous thread My gym closed down, I hve just joined a new and more expensive one. I was having the mandatory let me show you how so we don't get sued induction and I overheard two guys who were benching. I found their little talk pretty interesting.

They were clearly really friendly, just breaking each others balls but one of the guys was joking around about how he could lift more and the other quipped back that he might not be able to lift as high as the guy could for a max effort for a few reps but could lift more for 10-12 reps.

I have always found whenever I do low reps it does not seem to translate to being stronger if i go back to high reps.

For example the first routine I did i went from benching 5okg for 8-12 reps for 3-4 sets to lifting on a 5 rep template and I went from lifting 55kg to 75kg but when I tried going back to high reps I wasn't able to bench more than 50kg for 10-12 reps.

So why is a guy who can say squat 1000lbs for one rep stronger than a guy who squats 250lbs for 20 reps?

I get that some people would call that endurance but per poundage lifted 250lbs x 20 =5000lbs where as 1x100lbs obviously = 1000


OK one more question i have always been interested in. when people say everyone is different and no one program is best for everyone, why is that, are we not all the same and respond the same to different types of resistnace as each other?

Mendhi says strength is the only way to get big and strong
The huge guys at the gym are always preaching volume
Metzner preaches intensity

Now if we are all made of the same tissue and biological make up, how can something not be best for everyone?


I posted in the combat forum because it seems to produce the best answers, if it has to be moved, apologies.


#2

First off, although everyone human is the same species, we have individual differences beyond let's say being white or asian type of thing. People have different blood types for example, and other differences can affect let's say how a doctor prescribes something to you.

Getting more specific, People have different proportions of fast twitch and slow twitch muscle fibres. slow twitch don't have that much power, but can maintain what power they have longer. Fast twitch are the opposite, you would likely find more on a team of north american game football players.

When calculating you 250 X 20 vs. 1 X 1000, you don't really make any sense, even for the same person. the closest to most accurate calculation for determining likely one rep max from a lighter weight repped several times until failure is this:

(weight used)/(1.0278-(0.0278*reps achieved))

Others here might help with other aspects of your questions.


#3

In the end "strength," in the non-technical sense, is a competition.
The endgame is to produce a feat unlike what others have done before you.

A lot of people can bust out 250x20, but how many squat a grand?

It's about doing something, and hence becoming, special.
It's about compiling all you're work, and the work of your ancestors, into one original moment.

In the technical sense, strength is the ability to produce force, absorb force, or withstand force, which is kind of running the gamut of athletic achievement. That's why there's a bunch of different athletes, with different needs and goals, at different levels of development who can all be considered "strong." It's all about the attainment of the goal you set out to achieve.

For instance, Mariusz Pudzianowski is strong, as is Dmitri Klokov. One a world strongman, the other a weightlifter.
Two extremely different builds, with completely different movement skills, both accomplishing unbelievable feats in their special area of "strength." We can go even farther, compare Bruce Lee and, oh, how about Vincent Wilfork? There's no way that either of those men are considered anything less than damn strong, but look at how different they are, their goals and their genes define who they are.

So really, "strong," is whatever you want it to be, and whatever your definition, it will decide how you train, and what you get in terms of results.


#4

How does this discussion end up in the combat forum?

Anyway, its about as circlejerky as trying to pinpoint "fitness"

Fit for WHAT?

Similarly, strength could mean any number of things. I know some fucking obese but strong dudes who can hit up massive numbers on the bench press but struggle with pushups or just walking up a flight of stairs.

As to differences in training philosophy, I struggle to take advice on training from guys who use massive amounts of drugs with anything but a large serving of salt. Mostly because they dont want to acknowledge just how big a part the drugs play.


#5

well that was my point, I am asking more for personal opinions of strong than an actual answer because there is not one answer.

As we are on the combat forum I would gear the question more to combat sports. I am probably watching too much elliot hulse and playing second rate philosopher, if so apologies.

I just find the idea of a strongest version of yourself to be intriguing, would a fighter who can bang out 20 reps of overhead press at 60kg be stronger in terms of the rigours of fighting than someone who trains for maximal strength or tries to develop relative strength to his weight class by 1rep maxing double his bodyweight overhead for a single lift.

I get the feeling i just went full retard, did I?


#6

Muscular Strength is not really a relative term, it describes the ability to produce force. Being able to produce more force means that you are stronger. The ability to maintain force output is called "strength endurance" or just "endurance" if you prefer.

So in your example, the person who can squat 1,000 lbs is stronger than the person who can squat 250 lbs (no matter how many times they can repeat/sustain that amount of force it's still only 250 lbs) while the person who can squat 250 x 20 has better strength endurance. The ratio between each individual's ability to produce maximal force and their mass/bodyweight is what determines their "relative strength".

Different athletic endeavors require varying degrees of strength and endurance. Something like powerlifting is almost entirely strength oriented while something like marathon running would be almost entirely endurance based. Most athletic pursuits (including all combat sports) fall somewhere in the middle though.

So while greater strength is an advantage in combat sports (especially those with grappling components), if one cannot sustain their strength or relies on it too heavily (without technique to support it) then they will quickly "gas out" and be at a disadvantage to someone with less strength but greater endurance.

It's also important to note that the human body and athletic movement in general is a very complex topic. There are approximately 650 skeletal muscles in the human body, the ones that we can usually name while important play only a part in three dimensional, athletic movement. Generally what makes people really strong in their given athletic arena is developing great amounts of strength in the smaller supporting/synergizing/stabilizing muscles as well as the big prime movers.


#7

To lend this thread some "combat" cred.

I absolutely loved seeing Mariusz Pudzianowski get in the ring against an old, fat and out of shape Tim Sylvia. That was funny. At the bell Timmer looks like an old drunk and Pudz looks like a marvel comic book action hero all ripped and pumped. I'm thinkin i hope old Timmer comes out of this alive.

But then...after a couple minutes you get to see the "World's Strongest Man" turn beet red, and then just lay down on the mat. Not from getting hit, just laid down.

Poor Timmer had this puzzled look on his face like "is this really happening" so he goes up and kicks him, not to do any real damage mind you, but more to just see if worlds strongest man was still breathing.

Got me alot more respect now for even old, fat and out of shape MMA boys.
And lost all respect for world's strongest men.
Youtube that, its good fun.

LB


#8

strength is specific to whatever it is you are doing


#9

I loved sylvia, his treatment at the hands of a bullying matt hughes as a fresh faced fat kid in the gym endeared him to me.
Also the nog v sapp fight had a similar feel to it. saying that bob sapp used pure strength to beat remy bonjosky.


#10

Pudz's problem was that he was too big and strong for his own good and didn't train anywhere near long enough to prepare himself for a professional MMA career. As a result he relied almost entirely on his physical strength to get him by and as a result he had a tendency to gas out if he couldn't finish his opponents quickly. Had be been younger and had enough time to really train properly and develop his technical skill he would have faired better IMO.


#11

I agree with every facet of this post.

Including the one that asks "How the fuck did this get in the combat section?"


#12

Lmao.... x 3.,.... WTF is this doing here. Fuck it off

Grab Fred Hatfield's book on power and you will have all your answers. Da' fuck man, cunts don't read any more.


#13

muscle needs oxygen, he's had time to prepare now and he still sucks bob sapp is an anomaly to me just because his conditioning was pretty good and he was so freaking big


#14

Muscle actually does not need oxygen, hence two of the three energy systems are "anaerobic". However, these energy systems are relatively short lived (can last up to maybe 4 minutes depending on the intensity of effort/work).

Pudz's first MMA fight was in December of 2009, a year in which he had placed 2nd in the World's Strongest Man competition. He fought Silvia in May of 2010, just 14 months after having placed 2nd in Strongman's most prestigious event (the WSM). Now, it's possible he was doing a little bit of MMA training prior to retiring from Strongman, but it was hardly the focus of his training. So, on just over a year's worth of MMA training he was fighting the former UFC champ (who, although not considered a highly skilled fighter, had considerably more fight experience and training time/skill than Pudz).

Pudz also TKO'd Sapp in case you weren't aware.

Again, his biggest problem isn't his musculature, there are a number of professional MMA fighters who are/have been successful and who have muscular/stocky builds (Sherk, Reem, Palhares, Maynard, Faber, Coleman, Kerr, etc...). What Pudz lacks is high levels of skill in any of the related MMA skill sets (striking, wrestling, submissions). Unfortunately, as myself and several other grapplers on this site have pointed out, very strong people tend to have a tendency to rely on their strength (as it often times brings them early success) when learning grappling. IME this is also fairly common in striking as these individuals simply pressure and overwhelm their training partners with their size and strength.

Until Pudz relinquishes his reliance on his size and strength and actually starts learning to rely instead on proper technique, timing, and judgement he is never going to be a top level MMA fighter. Unfortunately, this generally takes not only a very knowledgeable coach, but high level training partners, and time. Hopefully training with ATT will help him with those first two things, but the third one will likely be his ultimate limiting factor.


#15

No muscles do need oxygen because the glycolytic system literally cannot maintain fifteen minutes of intensity, or 5 etc... After you've sapped that energy system you're fucked. He will literally never be aerobically efficient, his best bet would be to pace himself but he is not skilled enough and does not have enough power to make this an efficient fighting style. Also I would beat Bob Sapp in a fight, why? because he openly throws fights now. Comparing K1 Sapp who actively trained, was on roidz and sought to win fights is a stupid comparison of the Sapp of today who is open about throwing fights for paydays. Being as strong and anaerobic as Pudz is a plan for failure in mma. The new breed of HW are the Velasquez and Dos Santos types. Fast, good cardio, power, and highly skilled.


#16

I'm not arguing at all that just being really big and strong isn't a recipe for success in today's HW MMA division. What I am saying is that Pudz's lack of skill and not his size and strength is the reason for his mediocre, at best, success in pro MMA. Fighters today are too skilled and too well conditioned to be able to be simply overpowered by sheer brute force (especially since the UFC, unlike Pride, has a limitation on their HW division).


#17

name one huge strong fighter who didn't get beat by a smaller skilled fighter, it's his size, he will never be in good enough shape to crack the middle of the division and it's solely due to his size


#18

benson? i mean hes been beat but right now he is huge for a LW.


#19

Name ANY fighter who has no losses on their professional record who has fought top level competition. You can't because there aren't any out there. Everyone who is fighting at the top level will eventually end up fighting someone who they match up poorly with from a stylistic standpoint or who just happens to have their number on that given night.

If you want me to list muscular successful MMA fighters, then:
-Shawn Sherk
-Alistair Overeem
-Urijah Faber
-Mark Coleman
-Mark Kerr
-Frank Shamrock
-Tito Ortiz
-Wandy (in Pride days when he was substantially more muscular)
-Sapp (in Pride days)
-Vitor (early in his career when he was HW)

Yes, Mariusz is more muscular than some of them, but again what separates him from (most of) them is less about his muscle and more about his lack of skill.


#20

And of course there's Lesnar too.