T Nation

Weight Lifted vs. One's Bodyweight

I guess this is just asking opinions really…
What are your thoughts on ratios for weight lifted compared to bodyweight?
Absolute weight matter once you’re fucking strong as shit, but for the normal people and T-Nation followers, does the ratio matter?

For example, is the 280lb powerlifter doing deads of 900lbs (random numbers) really that much more impressive than the dude weighing 165 pulling 795 lbs (Can’t remember name, but close to actual numbers of a real lifter)?
…Or…

For the normal (me and coworkers) to tmuscle level dudes (I’m working my way there) what about this? (rearrange the numbers for your own example but use the same ratio)
I can bench 230 at 157lbs. My coworker is 1 inch taller, weighing 215 can bench 275. Thoughts on that?

He’s just a bit stronger than you, perhaps he’s been training longer? I find that weighing more doesn’t make someone stronger than a less heavy person. Theres a beast at my old gym, hes taller than me and definitely weighs more than me (very muscular) and he does weights, MMA, cardio, but at the end of the day I’m still rowing more than he is.

ingest more calories…lift heavy… get bigger…and you wonâ??t need to rely on ratio comparisons to boost/sooth your ego

I mean I think It’s always impressives to see an over 4x bw deadlift. (I think your refering to ed coan btw). I wouldn’t use bw ratios as something to be satisfied with your current level of strength though.

The bigger/taller you are naturally (before you started lifting weights) the more disadvantage you have to get an impressive body weight ratio on lifts. Big guys have the biggest lifts, small guys have the best x*Bodyweight lifts. Look up 10x body weight total for powerlifting, I’m not sure if more than 1 person has even done it but the first guy was like 5’2". For Olympic lifting the best ones are like 5’0 Asian dudes.

We had a guy in the open category this year weighing in at 75kg who totaled 765 at this years Nationals (265, 200, 300). Body proportion has a lot do with it, long legs can be a bitch for squatting, short arms an advantage for benching etc.

I have honestly never come across a serious lifter who was all that concerned about bodyweight ratios. They just want to be strong. Not strong for their size or strong for a little guy, etc…

More often than not I see people use bodyweight ratios as a way to make themselves feel better when someone else is bigger and stronger. Even elite lifters in the smaller weight classes don’t seem to mention these ratios, they just want to break records in their weight class. They certainly don’t go around saying their bodyweight ratio is better than some bigger guy who has a bigger total.

wilks

http://www.marylandpowerlifting.com/wilks.asp

[quote]SRS2000 wrote:
I have honestly never come across a serious lifter who was all that concerned about bodyweight ratios. They just want to be strong. Not strong for their size or strong for a little guy, etc…

More often than not I see people use bodyweight ratios as a way to make themselves feel better when someone else is bigger and stronger. Even elite lifters in the smaller weight classes don’t seem to mention these ratios, they just want to break records in their weight class. They certainly don’t go around saying their bodyweight ratio is better than some bigger guy who has a bigger total. [/quote]

^ This.

Strength is strength. I see what your saying where you’re asking strength for your size. But most people who care about that wrestle, do MMA, or any various other sports with weight classes. The powerlifters I know can care about this to an extent.

Height, weight and how much u ca put up doesn’t mean shit from person to person, It all on you individual ratio,

I was always told to shoot for a 200% bw bench 250% bw dead lift and a 300% bw squat. It doesn’t matter how tall or short some on is it all evens out. short guys can usually bench more ant tall guys usually dead lift more. then what it comes to squats “usually” its pretty even between height because form plays such a large roll.

in the end tho it should just come down to your total and thats what really matters

[quote]SRS2000 wrote:
I have honestly never come across a serious lifter who was all that concerned about bodyweight ratios. They just want to be strong. Not strong for their size or strong for a little guy, etc…

More often than not I see people use bodyweight ratios as a way to make themselves feel better when someone else is bigger and stronger. Even elite lifters in the smaller weight classes don’t seem to mention these ratios, they just want to break records in their weight class. They certainly don’t go around saying their bodyweight ratio is better than some bigger guy who has a bigger total. [/quote]

Some feds will often use a bodyweight/total coefficient to determine the best lifter in the entire competition. I agree that it’s useless to worry about ratios at the beginning, but if you are an elite lifter then it is something you should definitely pay attention to. An extremely high coefficient will most likely mean that you also had the highest total in your weight class as well.

However, being the newb I am, the ratios are merely guides to see how I’m progressing. I’m not set on a weightclass yet, but I do pay attention to certain milestones like 1.5x BW, 2x BW, etc.

I was just using myself/coworker as an example, just for that purpose. Not really trying to say I’m better b/c I can deadlift 360 at 160 and some dude is weak bc he can only lift 650 at 300lbs.
(not using ratios to justify strength, always thought it was an interesting concept tho, the pound-for-pound strength)

Just an opinion post really.
Also, some articles came to mind, like ‘challenges’ that used bodyweight rations for reps to say you were the shit or not. Always made me wonder if that was even worth looking at, bc like you all said, frame makes a big difference.
I believe ed coan was the dude who came to mind, chap manly, thanks.

people don’t go to the circus to see mice performing stunts, they go to see the elephants…

[quote]matsm21 wrote:
people don’t go to the circus to see mice performing stunts, they go to see the elephants…[/quote]

The circus sucks

[quote]DoubleDuce wrote:
wilks

http://www.marylandpowerlifting.com/wilks.asp[/quote]

The sport of powerlifting is ALL about strength to weight ratio. If it wasn’t, we wouldn’t have things like the wilks formula or weight classes or weigh ins. We would all just lift and the highest total wins.

[quote]SRS2000 wrote:
I have honestly never come across a serious lifter who was all that concerned about bodyweight ratios. They just want to be strong. Not strong for their size or strong for a little guy, etc…

More often than not I see people use bodyweight ratios as a way to make themselves feel better when someone else is bigger and stronger. Even elite lifters in the smaller weight classes don’t seem to mention these ratios, they just want to break records in their weight class. They certainly don’t go around saying their bodyweight ratio is better than some bigger guy who has a bigger total. [/quote]

I’m calling BULLSHIT on this right here.
Strength to bodyweight is exactly what matters. More often than not, people who claim it doesn’t are Lard-Asses. Every serious lifter takes body weight into consideration when comparing themselves to other lifters.

The naturally big guys don’t like it, and they scream & bitch like sissies everytime it get’s brought up, but bodyweight always matters. When the best lifter award is presented; it rarely goes to the lifter with the biggest total.

It’s a two way street. Those who are weaker care about the ratios a bit more in regards to their bodyweight and those that are fat asses care more about the lbs they are putting up in their lifts. I don’t see why anyone wouldn’t strive to excel at both.

Lift the heaviest shit you can, while staying in a healthy range of bodyfat levels (healthy by our standards, not the FDA) and be strong both in regards to the max poundage you can lift and in relation to your bodyweight.

Personally I have some numbers I’m striving for. I’d like a 3.5x BW deadlift, 3x squat, and 2x bench (my bench has always been my weak point), as well as a 1.5X military press.

I’ll be doing my first PL meet in November so we’ll see how it goes. I’m competing in the Raw Open 82.5kg class. We’ll see how it goes and how my numbers compare to my goals (not at any of those right now).

BlueCollar, that’s the same shit I hear all the time. I don’t really like to make the comparison to make myself feel better, but I sure do think hard about it sometimes.

Pullups are a big thing. I have a friend who did a run at BBing last summer, he’s decent sized for sure, 190 during the off season and visible abs. We are the same height and actually about even on limbs.

We would compare each other all the time, like with pullups. He’d add 30lbs to his waist while I’d add 55 to mine (was 165 then) and rep it out. I always said I won, even though we would do the same reps or very close bc I was smaller so my muscles were stronger.
It’s just BS’in and fun really, but that’s really all this post is about…

If you care about simple body weight ratio, then just do dips, pull ups, push ups, and other body weight exercises. The strength curve isn’t linear which is why the wilks and schwartz formulas exist.