T Nation

When Weight Goes Up, But Strength Doesn't

[quote]Jarvan wrote:

[quote]T3hPwnisher wrote:
Weight can increase from a variety of factors that are unrelated to muscle gain. Eating more carbs is going to result in carrying more glycogen and holding more water, which will result in weighing more. A higher sodium diet will also result in water retention.

Strength results from making muscles bigger. Greater numbers on a lift can be a result of increasing strength by making muscles bigger or getting more proficient at a movement, or more efficient at recruiting more muscles of the movement, or shortening the ROM, or altering your leverages, or being in an emotionally aroused state, etc etc. If your diet is not supporting any of those activities, it’s why you aren’t observing increasing in strength correlating with weight gain.
[/quote]

I whole heartedly disagree. Size, weight does not equal strength. Period. And to think one can increase his strength via increasing mass is incredibly misinformed.

Take a Judo practitioner for example, or any athlete that has to be within a certain weight range. It isn’t always the biggest, largest athlete that wins.

That is just a single example but lets look at the logistics. If one affiliates weight gain with strength, why wouldn’y an obese person be the strongest man in the world?

Of course we can’t speak on behalf of the entire population, but then one would also have to at least ponder why the biggest man in the world isn’t the strongest man as well. And that is simply because size does not equal strength. Period.

Of course an ox is stronger than an ant, but an ant, for its weight, its stronger pound for pound in its arena. And when you speak in terms of combat sports, an athlete’s strength is not indicative to their size… Including many other sports…

So then why do we attribute size to strength in lifting weights?

It’s a premonition that has been bolstered by pseudo trainers who regurgitate scientific information in their own words. In other words, people translate facts, into guesses.

[/quote]

I could link to any number of articles explaining how hypertrophy has a direct influence on strength, but instead I’ll just ask you this question: on average, which class of powerlifters produces the highest totals? Is it the 52 kg guys or the super heavyweights?

The more muscular of a number of people is not necessarily the strongest person. However, you take a single person and add 25lbs of muscle to them, they will be stronger than they were before the additional muscle.

We know this because we have done stuff like given people PEDS and prescribed no exercise (as they were a control) and subsequently seen that their strength increases as a result of the additional muscle mass the PEDS give them.

[quote]tsantos wrote:
The more muscular of a number of people is not necessarily the strongest person. However, you take a single person and add 25lbs of muscle to them, they will be stronger than they were before the additional muscle.

We know this because we have done stuff like given people PEDS and prescribed no exercise (as they were a control) and subsequently seen that their strength increases as a result of the additional muscle mass the PEDS give them.[/quote]
This is because of intramuscular fluid retention and not an increase in actual muscle tissue. That study is a fine example of real broscience.

Jarvan! Welcome back my friend!


http://www.ftexploring.com/think/superbugs_p2.html

[quote]dt79 wrote:
http://www.ftexploring.com/think/superbugs_p2.html[/quote]

Haha!

So the bottomline is - size is not important to strength, you just need to build really good exoskeleton for yourself or become really tiny?

[quote]Rattus wrote:

[quote]dt79 wrote:
http://www.ftexploring.com/think/superbugs_p2.html[/quote]

Haha!

So the bottomline is - size is not important to strength, you just need to build really good exoskeleton for yourself or become really tiny?

[/quote]
I’ll tell you in another life… when we’re all cats.

I’m pretty sure none of us are stronger than Lu Xiaojun.

Strength is a skill, not a side effect of size.

Hypertrophy = increase in size of fascia
Size of fascia not directed correlated to strength.

I.E. Bodybuilders

Inducing hypertrophy CAN increase strength, but hypertrophy IS NOT the deciding factor of strength.

[quote]TrevorLPT wrote:

[quote]Jarvan wrote:

[quote]T3hPwnisher wrote:
Weight can increase from a variety of factors that are unrelated to muscle gain. Eating more carbs is going to result in carrying more glycogen and holding more water, which will result in weighing more. A higher sodium diet will also result in water retention.

Strength results from making muscles bigger. Greater numbers on a lift can be a result of increasing strength by making muscles bigger or getting more proficient at a movement, or more efficient at recruiting more muscles of the movement, or shortening the ROM, or altering your leverages, or being in an emotionally aroused state, etc etc. If your diet is not supporting any of those activities, it’s why you aren’t observing increasing in strength correlating with weight gain.
[/quote]

I whole heartedly disagree. Size, weight does not equal strength. Period. And to think one can increase his strength via increasing mass is incredibly misinformed.

Take a Judo practitioner for example, or any athlete that has to be within a certain weight range. It isn’t always the biggest, largest athlete that wins.

That is just a single example but lets look at the logistics. If one affiliates weight gain with strength, why wouldn’y an obese person be the strongest man in the world?

Of course we can’t speak on behalf of the entire population, but then one would also have to at least ponder why the biggest man in the world isn’t the strongest man as well. And that is simply because size does not equal strength. Period.

Of course an ox is stronger than an ant, but an ant, for its weight, its stronger pound for pound in its arena. And when you speak in terms of combat sports, an athlete’s strength is not indicative to their size… Including many other sports…

So then why do we attribute size to strength in lifting weights?

It’s a premonition that has been bolstered by pseudo trainers who regurgitate scientific information in their own words. In other words, people translate facts, into guesses.

[/quote]

I could link to any number of articles explaining how hypertrophy has a direct influence on strength, but instead I’ll just ask you this question: on average, which class of powerlifters produces the highest totals? Is it the 52 kg guys or the super heavyweights? [/quote]

So do you expect 52kg weight class competitors to gain enough weight to be a super heavyweight? Or is this your example of how size equates strength? If it’s the latter, anyone who starts at the 52kg bracket, then becomes 120+kgs would be extremely unhealthy, and otherwise detract from their performance. Don’t you think? And I’m pretty sure, if anything, people try to move down in weight classes, not bulk up to try to move up.

With that said, does every 52kg competitor lift the same weight? Because if the size were to equate to strength, than all of their lifts should, in theory, be the same no?

[quote]dt79 wrote:
Jarvan! Welcome back my friend![/quote]

Howdy!
Won’t be for long, but I see not much has changed.

You are turing this into an either/or thing.

Muscle - SKELETAL MUSCLE TISSUE - is what allows you to move your limbs and external loads. Hence it is what gives you potential for strength.

Skill mastery allows you to fully express that strength in a SPECIFIC MOVEMENT.

Weight gain - fat, fluid etc - allows for more load distribution over a larger surface area. You may be able to move more weight due to the resulting neurological effects.

Using worlds best weightlifters as an example does not really carry out to common generalizations. And have you seen Xiaoujun without a shirt? He’s muscular as shit.

OF course strength is a skill. But saying you dont need muscles for strength is absurd.

[quote]Rattus wrote:
OF course strength is a skill. But saying you dont need muscles for strength is absurd.[/quote]

I concur, but not sure where you retained such notion.

"Size, weight does not equal strength. Period. And to think one can increase his strength via increasing mass is incredibly misinformed. "

Perhaps it was this. What i should have said was …via ‘only’ increasing mass…

Well that’s something I can definitely agree.

Still, for most people it is good place to start after the basic movement patterns are in control. Just because it is most easiest way to increase strength and muscle is something most untrained people will lack.

But you’re right that one can not increase their strength only by adding mass for a long period of time. And some elite athletes will reach a point, where increasing muscle is not useful/possible any more.

Just if somebody is interested - there’s a thread where CT makes very valid arguments concerning muscle mass and strength:

[quote]dt79 wrote:
You are turing this into an either/or thing.

Muscle - SKELETAL MUSCLE TISSUE - is what allows you to move your limbs and external loads. Hence it is what gives you potential for strength.

Skill mastery allows you to fully express that strength in a SPECIFIC MOVEMENT.

Weight gain - fat, fluid etc - allows for more load distribution over a larger surface area. You may be able to move more weight due to the resulting neurological effects.[/quote]

Ding ding ding.

However, I am rather amazed at the delightfully insane direction this topic has moved in.

[quote]Jarvan wrote:

[quote]TrevorLPT wrote:

[quote]Jarvan wrote:

[quote]T3hPwnisher wrote:
Weight can increase from a variety of factors that are unrelated to muscle gain. Eating more carbs is going to result in carrying more glycogen and holding more water, which will result in weighing more. A higher sodium diet will also result in water retention.

Strength results from making muscles bigger. Greater numbers on a lift can be a result of increasing strength by making muscles bigger or getting more proficient at a movement, or more efficient at recruiting more muscles of the movement, or shortening the ROM, or altering your leverages, or being in an emotionally aroused state, etc etc. If your diet is not supporting any of those activities, it’s why you aren’t observing increasing in strength correlating with weight gain.
[/quote]

I whole heartedly disagree. Size, weight does not equal strength. Period. And to think one can increase his strength via increasing mass is incredibly misinformed.

Take a Judo practitioner for example, or any athlete that has to be within a certain weight range. It isn’t always the biggest, largest athlete that wins.

That is just a single example but lets look at the logistics. If one affiliates weight gain with strength, why wouldn’y an obese person be the strongest man in the world?

Of course we can’t speak on behalf of the entire population, but then one would also have to at least ponder why the biggest man in the world isn’t the strongest man as well. And that is simply because size does not equal strength. Period.

Of course an ox is stronger than an ant, but an ant, for its weight, its stronger pound for pound in its arena. And when you speak in terms of combat sports, an athlete’s strength is not indicative to their size… Including many other sports…

So then why do we attribute size to strength in lifting weights?

It’s a premonition that has been bolstered by pseudo trainers who regurgitate scientific information in their own words. In other words, people translate facts, into guesses.

[/quote]

I could link to any number of articles explaining how hypertrophy has a direct influence on strength, but instead I’ll just ask you this question: on average, which class of powerlifters produces the highest totals? Is it the 52 kg guys or the super heavyweights? [/quote]

So do you expect 52kg weight class competitors to gain enough weight to be a super heavyweight? Or is this your example of how size equates strength? If it’s the latter, anyone who starts at the 52kg bracket, then becomes 120+kgs would be extremely unhealthy, and otherwise detract from their performance. Don’t you think? And I’m pretty sure, if anything, people try to move down in weight classes, not bulk up to try to move up.

With that said, does every 52kg competitor lift the same weight? Because if the size were to equate to strength, than all of their lifts should, in theory, be the same no?

[/quote]

Yes, adding 70 kg of bodyweight to a 52 kg frame would probably be unhealthy in most cases. However, I can imagine cases where it would definitely improve performance. Imagine an lanky, teenager who weighs 52 kg at 6 feet tall. Now imagine, over the course of 15 years of hard training and eating, he more than doubles his bodyweight and ends up at 120 kgs. Do you think he’d be stronger at 52 kg or at 120? Do you think he’d reach the exact same pinnacle of strength regardless of if he had gained that weight or not? This is pretty common sense stuff.

In any case, I was responding directly to the question you asked here: “So then why do we attribute size to strength in lifting weights?” It is because, with all other factors being equal, the larger lifter tends to be stronger. These “other factors” include: neurological efficiency, technical mastery of the lifts, genetics, anthropometrics, psychology of the lifter in question, etc. When you equate for all of those, hypertrophy and overall body size are the remaining factors, and they happen to be an extremely relevant ones.

[quote]Jarvan wrote:

Hypertrophy = increase in size of fascia
Size of fascia not directed correlated to strength.

[/quote]

Hold up, I think I see the problem. You literally don’t know what hypertrophy is. We’re talking about MUSCULAR hypertrophy (i.e. muscle growth), not fascial hypertrophy.

Fascia is connective tissue with no contractile properties. Of course hypertrophying connective tissue (which I’m not sure is even possible) doesn’t lead to increases in strength. No wonder you were so confused.

[quote]Jarvan wrote:
"Size, weight does not equal strength. Period. And to think one can increase his strength via increasing mass is incredibly misinformed. "

Perhaps it was this. What i should have said was …via ‘only’ increasing mass…[/quote]
So what your saying its not beneficial for a person to gain lean mass to maximize their strength potential? Or am I misunderstanding what your getting at.

May i ask your experience in regards to pure strength sports? Such as Strongman , Powerlifting , weightlifting and so on?Your point of view seems to be from a point of a combat sports prospective. That being the case I can see what your getting at for say for someone whom is a wrestler and may need to look at getting stronger without bumping themselves out of their weight class .

[quote]TrevorLPT wrote:

[quote]Jarvan wrote:

Hypertrophy = increase in size of fascia
Size of fascia not directed correlated to strength.

[/quote]

Hold up, I think I see the problem. You literally don’t know what hypertrophy is. We’re talking about MUSCULAR hypertrophy (i.e. muscle growth), not fascial hypertrophy.

Fascia is connective tissue with no contractile properties. Of course hypertrophying connective tissue (which I’m not sure is even possible) doesn’t lead to increases in strength. No wonder you were so confused. [/quote]
Ok… What the FUCK does fascia have to do with MUSCLE hypertrophy?