T Nation

Real Life Situations


I would like to know if people who lift do it just to build muscle for show or do it to help them in real life situations. At the gym I rarely see people do the tough exercises such as squats and deadlifts in favor of machines such as the leg press and machine curls.

A squat for example is an exercise that can translate into the real world for events such as helping a friend move. A 400 pound squat or deadlift will help me move washers and dryers since lifting those use the same movement as a squat. I have never come into a real life situation where I had to sit back on a chair and push something with my legs. I think that leg press is an excellent exercise but does not help in real world situations. I am a lifter who says that if you have the muscle have the strength to back it up.

I see too many people who look strong but have trouble benching 225 pounds and have trouble and cannot even squat 315 pounds. What is your opinion on the subject?


is it me, or are you trying to create a ruckus with your posts since joining?


This is the bodybuilding forum. If a person has enough muscle on them to look big and strong, I doubt the more serious BBers would really give two shits about how strong they actually are. I know I don't. I only want to get stronger in a BBing rep range because that will increase muscle size.


You bring up a very good point!


This section is about muscle size, not "functional" muscle, relative strength freaks, carrying your grandma, and all that shit we don't care about.


I can see the value of a deadlift (and farmers walks) for moving heavy shit. It's useful for things like ripping out tiny trees of the ground with the root and all too.

I cannot see the great value of a squat compared to a leg press for functionality. I'm not nearly strong enough in any exercise, but I gotta say I use movements similar to a leg press more often than something similar to a squat..

When I'm pushing heavy stuff, I usually lean my whole back into it, or one shoulder. Then I put both my feet on the ground or against a wall/rock/whatever is near and push.

It's not very often I get down, ass to the grass, load some serious weight on the top of my back/shoulders and rise straight up. It's not very often I lie on my back pushing things straight up either.

But who gives a shit about functionality in the BB forum anyways? If we did care, you'd see people doing a lot more front and lateral raises than they should for pure bodybuilding purposes, as an example :smiley:


Lets be honest, I know bodybuilding is about muscle size and not strength, but I find it funny to watch competition sports such as arm wrestling and see a large muscle bound person get humiliated by someone who looks as if they do not even lift weights. I still say that muscle should have some real life functional use and not just be for show.


Opinion: If that person is after size and he gains size then he did a great job. If that person is after strength and he's struggling to gain strength but is gaining size I hope he changes his goals and really applies himself towards gaining size.

In the realm of bodybuilding no one cares how much your gym weight is when your physique is getting compared to other people this is why there's multiple sections on this site. There's this one and the one for strength sports amongst others...


Obviously if you're competing in a bodybuilding contest, strength doesn't directly affect how you place. It's all about size and conditioning.

Personally, I started out wanting to get bigger. But after a while I figured out it isn't just about having big muscles. It's about wanting to feel and be physically powerful. Being big makes you feel powerful. Lifting heavy weights makes you feel powerful. Plus, getting stronger helps you get bigger and vice versa.

The way I see it, why would you want to just be 215 ripped pounds when you could be 215 ripped pounds and squat 2.5 times your bodyweight? This is just my opinion, with regard to myself.

Again, if you're a competing bodybuilder and you need to sacrifice a bigger squat for better detail and conditioning, then the decision is obvious.


Competing bodybuilders are much stronger in the offseason when they are carrying more mass. It's not like that same person will not regain the lost strength almost immeidiately when the calories are increased after the show.

Bodybuilders don't avoid getting stronger. It would be impossible to get bigger if you didn't get stronger.


Plus if (somewhere down the line...) someone says I have big muscles and asks how much I lift, I'd rather have a big number to report.


I really don't reply to those questions. Not because I don't lift alot but mainly because it's asked in a place that it really isn't for discussing those things and simply because I'm not trying to have a conversation with that person.

Hell I remember one guy asked me when I was at a gas station in Utah at 4am (driving from Colorado to Socal) and my reply to him was "at 4am I don't lift anything"...


I apologize, I wasn't implying that competing bodybuilders were weaker than other people who lift weights without competition or anything. I just meant that their goal is to win their competition by being the biggest and most ripped they can be, regardless of how much they lift.

Just like powerlifters couldn't care less about how they look, as long they are lifting as much weight as they can.


"Muscle bound" ???


I agree, but chances are if someone says you have big muscles then your probably going to be very strong anyway, so worrying about the actual strength to size ratio of your muscles isn't really necessary.


I have a real life example from my own experience in the past. I wanted to get bigger so was trying differnt exercise programs to see how my body responds.

I did a pumping program where I used light weights and high volume to increase the size of my muscles. When I say light, I mean light: 45 pound lat pull downs, 50 pound BARBELL curls, 135 pound bench press and so on. The crazy thing is that my muscles got larger, I mean very large very quickly where people thoughtI was taking something.

My arms grew big fast where even I was getting nervous about the fast results. My point is that yes people everywhere I went constanlty commented on my size, yet I never wanted people to know how weak I actually was. When people needed help moving something big and heavy they would call me for help thinking it would be a piece of cake for me.

In reality I had so much trouble that they would have been better off without my help. From a physique stand point yes I looked good, but for the size I had, I was completely useless for helping others move. I say that gaining muscle mass without strength is pointless. Now I have the size and strength to back it up.


I have a very strange feeling that you just might be full of shit.

I could be wrong.

But, I don't think so.


Personally I'd say that depends on what his grandma looks like.


Judging by his other threads and posts I'd say he's just a little misguided.

You say you are a competing bodybuilder, correct?

If doing 50 lb. barbell curls makes your arms grow faster than using heavier weight, why on earth would you choose the method that resuts in slower progress?

I can't see how trying to be as big/conditioned as possible and as strong as possible at the same time will result in anything but mediocrity in both.


Is the feeling really that strange?