T Nation

Strength Wars - Calisthenics vs Powerbuilder


#1

I was rooting for the calisthenics guy and he did better than I expected. What do you think of the exercise selection? Is it a fair test? I'm a big fan of weighted pull-ups and I think they are neglected both by traditional strength athletes and calisthenics/CF types (it's a different animal to high reps/kipping), so I'm glad they were included.

What exercises would you use to test general strength and athleticism in a relatively short amount of time, if you only had to pick a handful?


#2

I’ve seen most of these strength wars videos and I reckon they are great fun.

I like the lanky Oly lifter pressing nearly 50% more than the brick shithouse dudes.

It’s not meant to be serious or fair - you have 70kg guys up against 110kg+ monsters in a few but does show that strong is strong regardless of discipline


#3

I love that channel. Really enjoyed the squat and DL contests between powerlifter/bodybuilder/strongman/oly lifter.

There’s also a good one with a German climbing coach showing a bodybuilder around his grip gym.


#4

I agree that it can’t really be a fair test. I’d be interested to see the carryover of their training to unusual exercises/odd objects that neither participant has had much training with (maybe something similar to the Firefighter Olympics).


#5

[quote]Iron Condor wrote:
I agree that it can’t really be a fair test. I’d be interested to see the carryover of their training to unusual exercises/odd objects that neither participant has had much training with (maybe something similar to the Firefighter Olympics). [/quote]
That was the original idea of strongman, but then the events became more standardized and people started to train for them.


#6

[I agree that it can’t really be a fair test. I’d be interested to see the carryover of their training to unusual exercises/odd objects that neither participant has had much training with (maybe something similar to the Firefighter Olympics).]

that would be cool if participants had a big list of possible events[impossible to train all events individualy] not knowing what the events or weights would be until day of contest


#7

[quote]cavemansam wrote:
[I agree that it can’t really be a fair test. I’d be interested to see the carryover of their training to unusual exercises/odd objects that neither participant has had much training with (maybe something similar to the Firefighter Olympics).]

that would be cool if participants had a big list of possible events[impossible to train all events individualy] not knowing what the events or weights would be until day of contest[/quote]

That sounds like Crossfit. Some strongman contests do that as well.

As for the question about what events to test general strength, I’d argue that sandbag clean and press would be pretty high up there as an “equalizer”. Yeah, you CAN develop aptitude with the bag, but for the most part you just need to be brutally strong to clean and press a heavy sandbag.


#8

fun thing about sand bags pack it tight,pack it loose ,becomes two different lifts
loose you got something to grab,tight makes it harder to transition from the pull off ground to the press


#9

The test becomes the curriculum.

The power lifts used to be the test, to see how well your barrel shouldering and anvil pull-overs worked. But then everyone just started doing the lifts.

I dont know about tests of strength, but Kaz “loading” those kegs back in the day really sticks out as a great display of strength.


#10

[quote]T3hPwnisher wrote:
Yeah, you CAN develop aptitude with the bag, but for the most part you just need to be brutally strong
[/quote]

This is the sort of thing that I think would make for the ideal strength sport. What I don’t like about the current sports is that they’re too specific. When you have a sport focused around a handful of lifts with standardised equipment there comes a point where you start to game the system and develop very specific strategies to deal with those lifts. It becomes about who can practice the perfect movement pattern the most and shorten the ROM as much as humanly possible rather than a contest of general strength.

Sandbags and similar objects would be ideal, because even if you know ahead of time what you’ll be lifting it will still be different and challenging every time, and you’ll just need pure brute force. I think there needs to be some kind of relative strength component as well (weighted pull ups/dips), otherwise everyone will just balloon up to 400 lbs.


#11

This is a good test: http://img.izismile.com/img/img8/20150109/1000/daily_gifdump_754_01.gif

Measurable weight, but with high variability caused by the movement of the girls. And on sand as well.


#12

I actually know some of the people who help out with the channel. Almost all of the battles ended with a fairly close win. This, to me, is a sign of a fair contest in itself. Also, the athletes actually get to participate in the exercise selection beforehand - it’s like a duel where two people agree on time, place, and weapon of choice.

Oh, one more thing: I start to agree with Paul Carter in hating the term “powerbuilder”. Powerbuilding as a training ideology has its place, but “powerbuilder” just means you don’t compete in anything.


#13

[quote]nighthawkz wrote:
I actually know some of the people who help out with the channel. Almost all of the battles ended with a fairly close win. This, to me, is a sign of a fair contest in itself. Also, the athletes actually get to participate in the exercise selection beforehand - it’s like a duel where two people agree on time, place, and weapon of choice.

Oh, one more thing: I start to agree with Paul Carter in hating the term “powerbuilder”. Powerbuilding as a training ideology has its place, but “powerbuilder” just means you don’t compete in anything.[/quote]
Unless you compete in both bodybuilding and powerlifting. My understanding is that is what the term means and anything else is misusing the term.


#14

No way!

Think of dudes like Johnnie Jackson and shadowbobo. Just do lots of rows, and compete at more than one thing. Or Geoff Capes, Jon Cole, and Chad W. Smith who throw and lift.

Immortals like Jesse Murande and Jon Pall. Diesel and strong dudes like Super Star Billy Graham and Doug Young, who had the biggest bench press and taught Arnold about mass.

I started lifting to be huge and strong and fast and explosive. Not to wrap my knees and refine my sumo technique.


#15

I will also agree that “powerbuilder” is a silly thing, but given how many trainees feel apt to call themselves “powerlifters” when they’ve never actually been in a meet, it’s no wonder that a term without an actual qualifying basis has caught on so quickly.

On the topic of other universal tests of strength, I’d throw in side handle car deadlift there. It’s a unique apparatus to be sure, but not a whole lot of technique needed to get it going as compared to a barbell deadlift, or even really a trap bar lift.


#16

[quote]T3hPwnisher wrote:
I will also agree that “powerbuilder” is a silly thing, but given how many trainees feel apt to call themselves “powerlifters” when they’ve never actually been in a meet, it’s no wonder that a term without an actual qualifying basis has caught on so quickly.

On the topic of other universal tests of strength, I’d throw in side handle car deadlift there. It’s a unique apparatus to be sure, but not a whole lot of technique needed to get it going as compared to a barbell deadlift, or even really a trap bar lift.[/quote]

Purely for the sake of comedy - here’s a bodybuilder trying to power lunge - er, flip a tire for the first time.


#17

[quote]T3hPwnisher wrote:
I will also agree that “powerbuilder” is a silly thing, but given how many trainees feel apt to call themselves “powerlifters” when they’ve never actually been in a meet, it’s no wonder that a term without an actual qualifying basis has caught on so quickly.[/quote]

Conversely, if a guy who did one meet 3 years ago because his friends dared him to walks around calling himself a “powerlifter”, would you say that’s more reasonable?

I know a bunch of people that have been training in a PL gym for years, train like a PLer, have seen decent progress, and even help out during meets, yet have never had the desire to compete themselves. I suppose it’s rather similar to the distinction we draw between recreational and competitive bodybuilders.

I don’t mind the term “powerbuilder”. To be honest, I think it’s probably the most succinct way to describe my style of training and goals. That’s kind of how I see “powerbuilding” anyway: concisely summarizes a set of goals and, to a lesser extent, methodology. Has absolutely nothing to do with competing.


#18

It’s interesting how over produced (and short) the newer stuff is. Personally, I liked the older 20-30 minute marathons but I guess only the truly tragic will sit around for that.


#19

[quote]Apoklyps wrote:

[quote]T3hPwnisher wrote:
I will also agree that “powerbuilder” is a silly thing, but given how many trainees feel apt to call themselves “powerlifters” when they’ve never actually been in a meet, it’s no wonder that a term without an actual qualifying basis has caught on so quickly.[/quote]

Conversely, if a guy who did one meet 3 years ago because his friends dared him to walks around calling himself a “powerlifter”, would you say that’s more reasonable?

I know a bunch of people that have been training in a PL gym for years, train like a PLer, have seen decent progress, and even help out during meets, yet have never had the desire to compete themselves. I suppose it’s rather similar to the distinction we draw between recreational and competitive bodybuilders.

I don’t mind the term “powerbuilder”. To be honest, I think it’s probably the most succinct way to describe my style of training and goals. That’s kind of how I see “powerbuilding” anyway: concisely summarizes a set of goals and, to a lesser extent, methodology. Has absolutely nothing to do with competing.[/quote]

I would actually say a person who does 1 meet still qualifies as a powerlifter. It goes to show how the term itself really doesn’t hold a lot of merit, and just how ridiculous it is that people choose to give themselves the title as some sort of accomplishment.

All you need to do to be a powerlifter is be able to lift the bar for the 3 competition lifts and then do it in a meet, but a lot of internet dorks have greatly romanticized the term to mean some hardcore ammonia huffing shaved head goatee having hardass banging their head on the bar, and then they call themselves one so that they can show how hardcore they are. It’s silly really.

It’s the same thing with the whole “train like a powerlifter” thing. At my very first powerlifting meet, I was doing DoggCrapp beforehand. I don’t think any two guys at the meet trained the same way. Hell, Jamie Lewis held the record at 181, and he just trained to be a big strong dude.

This could just be me, but it’s something I’ve tried to hold true to myself, and not give titles where they aren’t warranted. I trained boxing for years, never had a fight, and never called myself a boxer because I didn’t feel it was an appropriate thing to do.

As for what to refer to yourself, you could definitely go with powerbuilder if you feel it summarizes you. I just say I’m training to get bigger and stronger, as I feel you’d be hard pressed to find someone who ISN’T doing that, haha.


#20

Muscular Bulk and Power Enthusiast!

Curls and Cleans!
Presses and Pullups!
Benches and Box Squats!

Nothing is off the table in the quest for The Develepment of Muscular Bulk and Power.