T Nation

Strong in the Gym, Weak Outside?

This seems like it would be a common issue for many people who go the gym . First of all, I’m not really THAT strong, but my numbers in the gym show that I’m far from weak and have come a long way since the early days of my training. Just a run down, I can bench 240 pretty easily, I’ve deadlifted over 400 before, I’ve squatted up to 330, have done dips with over 100 lbs attached for a few reps, can handle 25 lbs attached when I do chin ups at over 215 lbs of bodyweight, I can squat 200+ nearly 20 times continuoously (no rest pausing), etc, etc

So yeah, just a run down of some stats, nothing too impressive but pretty decent I’d say.

THe problem is, while I may be strong in the gym, in real life none of that strength really seems functional. Yesterday I found it pretty hard to pick up and carry a big fat TV (not flat screen) even when I had someone carrying it with me. I also had to pick up a bicycle and lift it high to give it to someone in the attic. I have a pitbull who’s only 56 lbs but when I pick her up, she seems much heavier than that (she seemed heavier than a barbell with 95 lbs on it at the gym and those are very light). Carrying luggage and bags shouldn’t be that hard, but when I do that I feel like I’m the weak person I was 4 years ago. Also, do anything that requires a good grip is pretty difficult for me, then again I do well with the heavy grips I use and the random grip work I do in the gym.

The point is, while I’m pretty strong in the gym, none of that really carrys over to things outside the gym. I don’t think it’s conditioning issue, but I’m just wondering if there’s something wrong with my training or perhaps I’m missing something. I’ve been on westside and have made good gains with bodyweight and strength so who knows.

Does anyone know what I’m saying?

It’s training specificity. You don’t train to lift tvs, you train to lift a bar off the ground. Completely different things.

[quote]KnjazVovk wrote:
This seems like it would be a common issue for many people who go the gym . First of all, I’m not really THAT strong, but my numbers in the gym show that I’m far from weak and have come a long way since the early days of my training. Just a run down, I can bench 240 pretty easily, I’ve deadlifted over 400 before, I’ve squatted up to 330, have done dips with over 100 lbs attached for a few reps, can handle 25 lbs attached when I do chin ups at over 215 lbs of bodyweight, I can squat 200+ nearly 20 times continuoously (no rest pausing), etc, etc

So yeah, just a run down of some stats, nothing too impressive but pretty decent I’d say.

THe problem is, while I may be strong in the gym, in real life none of that strength really seems functional. Yesterday I found it pretty hard to pick up and carry a big fat TV (not flat screen) even when I had someone carrying it with me. I also had to pick up a bicycle and lift it high to give it to someone in the attic. I have a pitbull who’s only 56 lbs but when I pick her up, she seems much heavier than that (she seemed heavier than a barbell with 95 lbs on it at the gym and those are very light). Carrying luggage and bags shouldn’t be that hard, but when I do that I feel like I’m the weak person I was 4 years ago. Also, do anything that requires a good grip is pretty difficult for me, then again I do well with the heavy grips I use and the random grip work I do in the gym.

The point is, while I’m pretty strong in the gym, none of that really carrys over to things outside the gym. I don’t think it’s conditioning issue, but I’m just wondering if there’s something wrong with my training or perhaps I’m missing something. I’ve been on westside and have made good gains with bodyweight and strength so who knows.

Does anyone know what I’m saying? [/quote]

This is why “fitness” is such a slippery term.

I am fit to move weights around in the weight room because that’s what I’ve trained, but not so good at real life stuff.

The way to get fit for general living and moving unbalanced, odd objects around is, not surprisingly, to move unbalanced odd objects around. Your muscles and nervous learn to economize on movements they do often. Unfamiliar movements throw the system for a bit of a loop, until you train up on them. Simple as that. You have the strength, but the body has to learn to express that strength in the new movement pattern - that is: coordinate the muscles to move the best way for that activity. That often shows up as being stronger and is what is responsible for “newbie gains.”

Make sense?

[quote]DaCharmingAlbino wrote:

[quote]KnjazVovk wrote:
This seems like it would be a common issue for many people who go the gym . First of all, I’m not really THAT strong, but my numbers in the gym show that I’m far from weak and have come a long way since the early days of my training. Just a run down, I can bench 240 pretty easily, I’ve deadlifted over 400 before, I’ve squatted up to 330, have done dips with over 100 lbs attached for a few reps, can handle 25 lbs attached when I do chin ups at over 215 lbs of bodyweight, I can squat 200+ nearly 20 times continuoously (no rest pausing), etc, etc

So yeah, just a run down of some stats, nothing too impressive but pretty decent I’d say.

THe problem is, while I may be strong in the gym, in real life none of that strength really seems functional. Yesterday I found it pretty hard to pick up and carry a big fat TV (not flat screen) even when I had someone carrying it with me. I also had to pick up a bicycle and lift it high to give it to someone in the attic. I have a pitbull who’s only 56 lbs but when I pick her up, she seems much heavier than that (she seemed heavier than a barbell with 95 lbs on it at the gym and those are very light). Carrying luggage and bags shouldn’t be that hard, but when I do that I feel like I’m the weak person I was 4 years ago. Also, do anything that requires a good grip is pretty difficult for me, then again I do well with the heavy grips I use and the random grip work I do in the gym.

The point is, while I’m pretty strong in the gym, none of that really carrys over to things outside the gym. I don’t think it’s conditioning issue, but I’m just wondering if there’s something wrong with my training or perhaps I’m missing something. I’ve been on westside and have made good gains with bodyweight and strength so who knows.

Does anyone know what I’m saying? [/quote]

This is why “fitness” is such a slippery term.

I am fit to move weights around in the weight room because that’s what I’ve trained, but not so good at real life stuff.

The way to get fit for general living and moving unbalanced, odd objects around is, not surprisingly, to move unbalanced odd objects around. Your muscles and nervous learn to economize on movements they do often. Unfamiliar movements throw the system for a bit of a loop, until you train up on them. Simple as that. You have the strength, but the body has to learn to express that strength in the new movement pattern - that is: coordinate the muscles to move the best way for that activity. That often shows up as being stronger and is what is responsible for “newbie gains.”

Make sense?[/quote]

X2

Mhy advice would be, that if you’re not wanting to compete as a strongman or anything like that, don’t worry. Your strength will have a carryover into the “real world”, although as you have noticed yourself it’s not a direct carryover.

Throw some kettlebells into your training. Use some strongman equipment if you have that. Do different things in your training and your body will get good at it and good at movements that mimic those. Simple as that.

Not really. if you’re struggling with luggage and odd objects that most normal humans lift anyway you’re just not big and strong, seriously. YOu SHOULD be stronger than most people walking around you if you’re benching anywhere over 2 plates for reps and squatting 3 plates. of course unfamiliar movements won’t let you use your strength potential right off the bat but there will STILL be carryover from your gym lifts. There SHOULD.

if you’re talking about moving odd objects at the strongman level, get real brah… you have very little size and strength with those numbers so duhh, you ain’t gonna do well at your weight (215?)

And of course, picking up a pitbull weighing 56 pounds will be more difficult than picking up a DB weighing 56 pounds…why does this need to be explained. If the skinny dog whisperer is able to pick your pit up more easily than you can, you need to up the food and weight in the gym.

If you’re not the guy people around you call upon for moving heavy objects on a daily basis, you’re not really big and strong (OT, but scored some poontang 11 hours ago with an asian chick because I moved all her luggage right to her apartment a few flights up and managed the somber dry smile when she said “that reminds me, I need a boyfriend”)

[quote]KnjazVovk wrote:
Does anyone know what I’m saying? [/quote]

[quote]KnjazVovk wrote:

Does anyone know what I’m saying? [/quote]

NO. I am much stronger everywhere.

I can pick up heavy shit, including a TV like you described by myself. People ask me to carry their heavy shit all the time, and I do.

After reading the rest of the reply’s apparently my body is some sort of advanced super body…

LOL!

i need chalk and a belt just to sweep the kitchen floor.

Fuck, I just realized I need elbow wraps, a weight belt and hand-chalk just to jack off.

[quote]WormwoodTheory wrote:
i need chalk and a belt just to sweep the kitchen floor.[/quote]

[quote]WormwoodTheory wrote:
i need chalk and a belt just to sweep the kitchen floor.[/quote]

I lol’ed

[quote]chimera182 wrote:
It’s training specificity. You don’t train to lift tvs, you train to lift a bar off the ground. Completely different things.[/quote]

^This.

The reality is if you hadn’t been in the gym lifting as hard as you are, you may never have been able to lift that tv.

This is another reason why using a variety of training techniques pays off, moving the same or similar weight in different ways increases functional strength.

A lot of these replies are retarded.

OP your hands just aren’t that strong.

A 240lb bench at 215lbs is pretty average. You just need to get stronger. When you start moving heavier weights your hands will be forced to get stronger. That’s really it.

Start by carrying plates around the gym with one hand instead of two and if they have handles or places to grip them, don’t use that spot.

My gym numbers suck. I am the guy people ask to move things. Strange old world

Its the whole functional movement arguement thing

[quote]KnjazVovk wrote:

Does anyone know what I’m saying? [/quote]

No, I’ve worked in Construction framing houses, and I work for a moving company now, and lifting has definitely made me stronger in the gym as well as outside of it. I think you are over thinking things.

when your liftin objects find a better leverage point, do some overhead liftin as you seem to be suggessting liftin something overhead is difficult. get some massage work done a couple times and work on your weaknesses, like your back maybe? one arm rows are good for grip and gettin used to luggin big dumbbells around

i’m weak in the gym. i carry sandbags and beat tyres with sledgehammers as my form of cardio. i’m good at carrying things around.

carry odd objects and you will get good at it.

[quote]countingbeans wrote:

[quote]KnjazVovk wrote:

Does anyone know what I’m saying? [/quote]

NO. I am much stronger everywhere.

I can pick up heavy shit, including a TV like you described by myself. People ask me to carry their heavy shit all the time, and I do.

[/quote]

This.

OP- If you want to be stronger outside the gym then do stuff outside the gym as well.

I live in the northeast and have to cut/haul/stack wood. 100# fresh birch logs get from ground to pile by: cleaning to chest, maybe jerking overhead. It’s then carried to near stack over unstable terrain. Then it’s split (along with several dozen of its friends) with an 8 lb maul, then it’s carried to pile or into house, usually over unstable or snowy terrain.

Oh, snow. Who the hell needs a prowler or sled when you can have Mother-Freakin’ Nature dump several cubic yards of wet, heavy snow. Move a few yards of snow with a shovel for a few hours.

Find a neighbor who needs rocks moved around their yard.

Do any of these chores and you’ll quickly find out what you need to work on in the gym.

I’m stronger because of the gym and there’s definitely carry over into my daily life moving ‘heavy shit’.

To clarify my point I meant that it would be harder to lift a tv that weighed the same as something you could deadlift just because you’re not used to picking up things of that shape. You should still be able to lift it, just not as easily. Or… you need to get stronger.

@ the OP: I’d have to agree about the training specificity part. Your body knows how to pick up the barbells and dumbbells because you do it so many times. So even though you have the muscle your body just doesnt know how to efficiently lift one of those big magnovox TV’s (and may they all die in peace).I’ll bet that a furniture mover cant deadlift as much as you would think they could.

In my opinion it is because you are used to “isolate” muscles when training.

Let me explain: some time ago I was tearing down a rooftop with some guy. We attached a rope to some big wooden structure. When I pulled I noticed that I just used my back muscles (like you would do with rowing). The other guy trew in his entire bodyweight and started pulling with every thing he had.