T Nation

Time for Some Real Strength

I have been looking on these forums for a little while and I have realized that many people on here gauge strength with bench press, squat, deadlift, clean and press. Basically looking at powerlifting stats or olympic lifts.

However, I think there is a difference between just raw strength and controlled strength. While this may sound corny, it is the foundation that I base my training around.

I would just like to encourage people to look at this list of gymnastics moves. Especially those in the rings and floor section. I think that this is a strength that many people overlook.

www.drillsandskills.com/skills/index

Many people don’t realize how much strength and control it takes to perform simple A and B level moves. Don’t get me wrong, I have respect for those who have built up those powerlifts and olympic lifts. They have worked hard and are entertaining to watch, however, I feel that the high level gymnasts are on a completely different level of strength and body control than any other athlete.

I hope that you guys can appreciate those video clips as much as I did. Thank you for reading this!

I encourage you to also look at strongman and say thats not real strength just different. Or Highland games thats real. Grabbing things picking things up throwing them carrying them etc…

Yes and you said it best the are on a “different Level” no better by far IMO but different. I Challange any of them to compete in PLing, strongman, or Highland games as I would any of the above in Gymnastics and make a good show. If its of interest. a goal.

You are comparing apple and oranges as well as your opinion.

Phill

I absolutely agree with that. I came to realize the difficulty of gymnastics when I switched from powerlifting to bodyweight training. I think you will agree that most of the stuff gymnasts do is damn hard if you weigh 200 pounds like me. Can you suggest how I can work up to a planche and a one-arm chin? Do you happen to have some resources on getting stronger at these? I’m really struggling with them. Thanks.

[quote]Phill wrote:
I encourage you to also look at strongman and say thats not real strength just different. Or Highland games thats real. Grabbing things picking things up throwing them carrying them etc…

Yes and you said it best the are on a “different Level” no better by far IMO but different. I Challange any of them to compete in PLing, strongman, or Highland games as I would any of the above in Gymnastics and make a good show. If its of interest. a goal.

You are comparing apple and oranges as well as your opinion.

Phill[/quote]

It is comparing apples to oranges but the PL’rs and guys who only lift weights do it all the time as well. The most common comparison I’ve noticed is to college and pro football players. I see people boast that they heard so and so can bench only “insert weight” and the poster can bench “insert larger weight”.

I challenge any of those people to see if they can hold thier own on a field against any of these guys or even see if they possess the total body strength and control that a professional athlete posseses.

[quote]Phoenix1911 wrote:

It is comparing apples to oranges but the PL’rs and guys who only lift weights do it all the time as well. The most common comparison I’ve noticed is to college and pro football players. I see people boast that they heard so and so can bench only “insert weight” and the poster can bench “insert larger weight”.

I challenge any of those people to see if they can hold thier own on a field against any of these guys or even see if they possess the total body strength and control that a professional athlete posseses.[/quote]

Exactly!!!

You only prove my point further. Strength, real, or what ever you wish to call it is relative.

Its realative to the sport/goal which the athelete wishes, and trains to compete in.

If you train PLing its a pretty good guess you’ll be a better PL’r than say a gymnyst or football player. Or if you train football you damn well better be better at it than a Strongman competitor etc etc.

I’m impressed by both but they are two different worlds, respect them both.

It’s too bad that more people don’t cross over.

For example, once you reach a certain level in powerlifting (let’s say 2xBW for bench and 3xBW for squats and deadlifts) you would benefit a lot from strongman and especially gymnastics training.

Of course, it will be hard at first, and most people will think “why feel like a beginner when I can get back to squatting 560 pounds”.

But the truth is your progress will be A LOT faster than that of a real beginner. In a few training sessions your body will have already adapted to the new demands, and you will start to carry over some of your overall strenght into these more complicated tasks.

In the end, someone who has mastered powerlifting, strongman, gymnastics training, as well as some form of sport (perhaps football or wrestling or MMA) will be a much better athlete. And the more you vary your training (after attaining a foothold in one of the strenght disciplines) the faster you will progress.

[quote]Phill wrote:
Phoenix1911 wrote:

It is comparing apples to oranges but the PL’rs and guys who only lift weights do it all the time as well. The most common comparison I’ve noticed is to college and pro football players. I see people boast that they heard so and so can bench only “insert weight” and the poster can bench “insert larger weight”.

I challenge any of those people to see if they can hold thier own on a field against any of these guys or even see if they possess the total body strength and control that a professional athlete posseses.

Exactly!!!

You only prove my point further. Strength, real, or what ever you wish to call it is relative.

Its realative to the sport/goal which the athelete wishes, and trains to compete in.

If you train PLing its a pretty good guess you’ll be a better PL’r than say a gymnyst or football player. Or if you train football you damn well better be better at it than a Strongman competitor etc etc.

[/quote]

Well said. This is similar to the question of “who would you rather take a punch from?” Say you’ve got Kaz and Tyson standing before you. Both men are strong. Both men can hit hard due to mass, acceleration, etc. Tyson is strong and trains to punch. Kaz is strong and trained to lift. Me, I’d take it from Kaz over Tyson.

Bruce Lee was strong but I don’t think he could squat 1,000 lbs. Who would you, or any of us for that matter, rather take a kick from, Lee or Dr. Squat?

[quote]Classy_Cojones wrote:

In the end, someone who has mastered powerlifting, strongman, gymnastics training, as well as some form of sport (perhaps football or wrestling or MMA) will be a much better athlete. [/quote]

What do you mean by “athlete”?

[quote]JustDrag wrote:
Bruce Lee was strong
[/quote]

bruce lee was weak, overly hyped, and a bad actor (although I did enjoy watching his movies as a kid)…

The old time physique culturists had it right. Many of them lifted heavy barbells and dumbbells, lifted odd objects, did gymnastics exercises and participated in sports like boxing and wrestling. All which require different types of strength. They were concerned with looking good, being strong in a variety of ways and being able to use their bodies in a variety of ways. I think that as time went on, we moved away from that.

[quote]Classy_Cojones wrote:
It’s too bad that more people don’t cross over.

For example, once you reach a certain level in powerlifting (let’s say 2xBW for bench and 3xBW for squats and deadlifts) you would benefit a lot from strongman and especially gymnastics training.

Of course, it will be hard at first, and most people will think “why feel like a beginner when I can get back to squatting 560 pounds”.

But the truth is your progress will be A LOT faster than that of a real beginner. In a few training sessions your body will have already adapted to the new demands, and you will start to carry over some of your overall strenght into these more complicated tasks.

In the end, someone who has mastered powerlifting, strongman, gymnastics training, as well as some form of sport (perhaps football or wrestling or MMA) will be a much better athlete. And the more you vary your training (after attaining a foothold in one of the strenght disciplines) the faster you will progress.[/quote]

What if that person competes in powerlifting? How would gymnastics help him compete as an athlete in his sport. Last time I checked, the rings aren’t included in your total.

I don’t understand why people have to have it one way or another. Can’t we just respect elite level performances in all sports, and appreciate the effort and work it took them to reach that point?

[quote]Classy_Cojones wrote:
It’s too bad that more people don’t cross over.

For example, once you reach a certain level in powerlifting (let’s say 2xBW for bench and 3xBW for squats and deadlifts) you would benefit a lot from strongman and especially gymnastics training.

Of course, it will be hard at first, and most people will think “why feel like a beginner when I can get back to squatting 560 pounds”.

But the truth is your progress will be A LOT faster than that of a real beginner. In a few training sessions your body will have already adapted to the new demands, and you will start to carry over some of your overall strenght into these more complicated tasks.

In the end, someone who has mastered powerlifting, strongman, gymnastics training, as well as some form of sport (perhaps football or wrestling or MMA) will be a much better athlete. And the more you vary your training (after attaining a foothold in one of the strenght disciplines) the faster you will progress.[/quote]

It’s a question of do you want to be really good at one thing, or just ok in a lot of things. Especially something like strongman; when was the last time you saw anyone below 250 lbs at any of the big events? When was the last time you saw a 300 lb gymnast period?

I don’t really care that much about being an “all around athlete”. I just want to do one thing well.

[quote]cap’nsalty wrote:
Classy_Cojones wrote:
It’s too bad that more people don’t cross over.

For example, once you reach a certain level in powerlifting (let’s say 2xBW for bench and 3xBW for squats and deadlifts) you would benefit a lot from strongman and especially gymnastics training.

Of course, it will be hard at first, and most people will think “why feel like a beginner when I can get back to squatting 560 pounds”.

But the truth is your progress will be A LOT faster than that of a real beginner. In a few training sessions your body will have already adapted to the new demands, and you will start to carry over some of your overall strenght into these more complicated tasks.

In the end, someone who has mastered powerlifting, strongman, gymnastics training, as well as some form of sport (perhaps football or wrestling or MMA) will be a much better athlete. And the more you vary your training (after attaining a foothold in one of the strenght disciplines) the faster you will progress.

It’s a question of do you want to be really good at one thing, or just ok in a lot of things. Especially something like strongman; when was the last time you saw anyone below 250 lbs at any of the big events? When was the last time you saw a 300 lb gymnast period?

I don’t really care that much about being an “all around athlete”. I just want to do one thing well.[/quote]

What I write comes from the worldview of someone who is a fighter.

When it comes to strenght training, for me, powerlifting is the basis and matters most, I do gymnastics from time to time, always looking to improve on my previous performances, and strongman is all about explosive power and using my powerlifting strenght in new angles.

To answer someone’s question, the last time I saw a strongman under 250 pounds was the last time I watched a 205 (90 kgs competition). I’m sure Brad Cardoza, who posts here, could do most gymnastics tricks, that is, if he can’t already do them. When you’re that strong, it’s just a matter of learning the move.

[quote]Kliplemet wrote:
i think you should read a textbook about strength in sports[/quote]

I think you should come with some more details, or go back to reading neat facts about your buddy Bruce Lee.

[quote]Kliplemet wrote:
DPH wrote:
JustDrag wrote:
Bruce Lee was strong

bruce lee was weak, overly hyped, and a bad actor (although I did enjoy watching his movies as a kid)…

well he was a good business man, earning 400 bucks (30 years ago?!) for an hour of kung fu instruction for celebreties[/quote]

This is interesting. I’ve only studied American Kenpo for a couple of years so I’m not a martial arts expert. Why do you and DPH feel that way? Looking forward to hearing from you both.

[quote]Classy_Cojones wrote:
It’s too bad that more people don’t cross over.

For example, once you reach a certain level in powerlifting (let’s say 2xBW for bench and 3xBW for squats and deadlifts) you would benefit a lot from strongman and especially gymnastics training.

Of course, it will be hard at first, and most people will think “why feel like a beginner when I can get back to squatting 560 pounds”.

But the truth is your progress will be A LOT faster than that of a real beginner. In a few training sessions your body will have already adapted to the new demands, and you will start to carry over some of your overall strenght into these more complicated tasks.

In the end, someone who has mastered powerlifting, strongman, gymnastics training, as well as some form of sport (perhaps football or wrestling or MMA) will be a much better athlete. And the more you vary your training (after attaining a foothold in one of the strenght disciplines) the faster you will progress.[/quote]

I dont think so. Sure they would be better all around I guess but I fail to see how training gymnastics, football, and MMA is going to make say a high level powerlifter make the next step to the best get elite etc.

They could sure then be the jack of all trade and master of none of keep focus on the sport they love and aim to be the best.

Just my opinion.
Phill

[quote]Donut62 wrote:

I don’t understand why people have to have it one way or another. Can’t we just respect elite level performances in all sports, and appreciate the effort and work it took them to reach that point? [/quote]

Great POst!!!

I doubt that there is any other sport that is so single-minded in its objective as powerlifting, except perhaps a high endurance activity such as ultra distance running.

All of the other sports have some other factors: speed, coordination, skills, etc.

So why continue to ask if other athletes could beat powerlifters in a contest?

[quote]JustDrag wrote:
Kliplemet wrote:
DPH wrote:
JustDrag wrote:
Bruce Lee was strong

bruce lee was weak, overly hyped, and a bad actor (although I did enjoy watching his movies as a kid)…

well he was a good business man, earning 400 bucks (30 years ago?!) for an hour of kung fu instruction for celebreties

This is interesting. I’ve only studied American Kenpo for a couple of years so I’m not a martial arts expert. Why do you and DPH feel that way? Looking forward to hearing from you both. [/quote]

why?

  1. he was physically weak
  2. his movie fights were staged (i.e. not real)
  3. he never matched his skills against the best martial artists of his day (i.e. he never fought a serious competitor)
  4. have you seen his movies? that man couldn’t act for shit (again though, I did enjoy his movies growing up as a kid)