T Nation

Who Could Do 'What Constitutes Strong?'


#1

I've been reading a lot of Paul Carter's stuff recently and came upon a series called What Constitutes Strong, a list of PRs that he and Wendler would make a person unquestionably strong, big, and all-around awesome (which will be obvious once you see the weights and reps lol).

Squats/Deads- 500*20
Bench-315*20
OHP-315*1
Dips-200*10
Pull-ups-100*10
Barbell curls-185*10

There may have been a few more but that's what I can remember. My question is, of those on T-Nation, who do think could possibly have a legitimate chance at a few of these at least?

Personally, I could see Bauber and Alpha hitting a few of these. What do y'all think?


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#2

The only person who I’ve seen do more than one of those was maraudermeat (who doesn’t post here anymore) but he always did a ton of videos. Maybe there are others like you mentioned but they just don’t post enough to show they’ve done these.


#3

From memory, Reed would stand a good chance at the squats.

And several people would stand a good chance at the pull-ups, including my self many years ago. Jarvan and Ecchastang probably can.


#4

[quote]dagill2 wrote:
From memory, Reed would stand a good chance at the squats.

And several people would stand a good chance at the pull-ups, including my self many years ago. Jarvan and Ecchastang probably can.[/quote]

I have done sets of 6 at 85 on the pullups, so I could probably get there with some decent effort. The only other one I might ever get would be the dips. The BW ones give me an advantage.


#5

In order to pull most of these off you’d have to have a naturally large frame. Those are crazy numbers. Wendler himself couldn’t do those. The only two I’d have a shot at are the dips and pull-ups. List is pretty unrealistic for all but those genetically predisposed for moving heavy shit.


#6

Alpha’s got a shot at these would be my guess. I bet the late Mike Jenkin’s (who posted here at one time) hit several of these in his life.


#7

[quote]WhiteFlash wrote:
In order to pull most of these off you’d have to have a naturally large frame. Those are crazy numbers. Wendler himself couldn’t do those. The only two I’d have a shot at are the dips and pull-ups. List is pretty unrealistic for all but those genetically predisposed for moving heavy shit.[/quote]

Same here.

-Is any form of grip allowed on the pull-ups?


#8

Those are pretty insane haha! I’m wondering if they were being serious or just fuckin around with people online. Because I’m sitting here trying to think of people who could actually do all of those things. Kaz back in the day? He’s the best example I can think of off the top of my head.

But if you’re defining strong as Kaz level and up that’s kind of like defining tall as being anyone over 8 feet. I don’t see how it’s a useful descriptor at that point rofl.


#9

Ronnie Coleman, Matt Kroc, several strongman competitors could probably do most of them (bw work would give them trouble I think) The list of people that could complete more than a couple of those is probably really small.


#10

Yeah I think they made those numbers so crazy on purpose… basically its a example of Carter’s mantra of being big, strong, AND in shape, just taken to an extreme level lol.

I think it’d be cool to put together a list of these that a natural lifter of average (don’t know of a better word) genetics should strive to hit in their lifetime. Make it more of an “everyday strength” list, rather than a list of absolute maxes.

And I agree with Csulli, Kaz definitely came to mind here.


#11

[quote]csulli wrote:
Those are pretty insane haha! I’m wondering if they were being serious or just fuckin around with people online. Because I’m sitting here trying to think of people who could actually do all of those things. Kaz back in the day? He’s the best example I can think of off the top of my head.

But if you’re defining strong as Kaz level and up that’s kind of like defining tall as being anyone over 8 feet. I don’t see how it’s a useful descriptor at that point rofl.[/quote]

Didn’t think of the “messing with youtubers” angle. Honestly, not sure if there’s anyone who can do all of those. The larger framed guys could hit the weiggt numbers but the bodyweight stuff would kill 'em, and it’d be the exact opposite for the relatively lighter guys. Kaz and your boy Mark Henry would murder the strength moves for example, but I’d be surprised if Henry could do one legit pull-up.


#12

[quote]kollak95 wrote:
I think it’d be cool to put together a list of these that a natural lifter of average (don’t know of a better word) genetics should strive to hit in their lifetime. Make it more of an “everyday strength” list, rather than a list of absolute maxes.
[/quote]

For 1 rep maxes
Deadlift - 500
Squat - 400
Bench - 300
OHP - 200

For rep stuff
Squat 225 x 20
Bench 225 x 10
Deadlift 315x10-20 I’m not sure what is reasonable for “average” here
Dips-4510
Pull-ups - bw
10
Barbell curls- I don’t really like this one is too easy to cheat on these even if your trying not to.


#13

Those are definitely reasonable and are pretty in line with my goals… thanks for posting that.

One more guy, not from this site, but someone I think could really probably do it… Konstantinovs. 1000 pound squat and 55 pullups? I think he could come close.


#14

[quote]WhiteFlash wrote:
Didn’t think of the “messing with youtubers” angle. Honestly, not sure if there’s anyone who can do all of those. The larger framed guys could hit the weiggt numbers but the bodyweight stuff would kill 'em, and it’d be the exact opposite for the relatively lighter guys. Kaz and your boy Mark Henry would murder the strength moves for example, but I’d be surprised if Henry could do one legit pull-up. [/quote]
Haha yea. Kaz back in his heyday had pretty crazy arm strength and wasn’t absurdly heavy (compared to strongmen these days at least), so I’d give him a shot at the pullups. Dips I think he’d have for sure given how his bench was.

That’s why he was the first to come to mind for me. Although duh, these probably would have been a joke to Ed Coan lol. Pullups might have been a challenge for him as well though. But again, if the only guys I can think of doing it were Ed and Kaz, it’s a pretty crazy list lol.


#15

[quote]csulli wrote:
Those are pretty insane haha! I’m wondering if they were being serious or just fuckin around with people online.[/quote]
Wendler explained it here (click "Oldest First to read it easier):
http://www.T-Nation.com/strength-training-topics/1252
"Paul Carter and I came up with a list through a series of emails of what he and I considered strong. Now these were debated and we came up with an agreement on 7 different lifts and the weights and reps for each one. Of course, you are welcome to disagree with them but the important thing is that he and I came up with our standards, and always check in to see where we are at. What this does is keep us grounded in our own strength world.

Before I list the “What is Strong”, I want each of you whose goal is to be strong to think about your own goals and what you think is awesome. Don’t be afraid to shoot high - this isn’t ‘What I think I can do in a year’. It’s ‘What can I do in the weight room that would turn some heads?’ If you are a lighter lifter you can obviously change the weights as you see fit. But at least this will give you a starting point AND initiate discussion."

That’s half the point.

That’s the other half. But, in terms of long term goal setting, they’re not entirely unrealistic. As in, someone saying “By 2024, I’ll deadlift 500x20, curl 185x10, and OHP 315x1.”


#16

I like Dan John’s strength standards. He has a few but I thought this one was cool:

"Push
Expected: Body weight bench press
Game Changer: Body weight bench press for 15 reps

Pull
Expected: 8-10 pull-ups
Game Changer: 15 pull-ups

Squat
Expected: Body weight squat
Game Changer: Body weight squat for 15 reps

Hinge
Expected: Body weight to 150% bodyweight deadlift
Game Changer: Double body weight deadlift

Loaded Carry (Farmer Walk)
Expected: Farmer Walk with total body weight (half per hand)
Game Changer: Body weight per hand

I used to use different terms than “expected” and “game changer,” but no matter. I recommend the basic training templates if you haven’t reached the minimum level of simply expected. You honestly don’t need much more than linear periodization and perhaps a few minutes or hours on the basics of technique.

If you have game changing numbers across all five movements, well, let’s just say the weight room isn’t your problem unless you’re in a pure strength sport like powerlifting or Olympic lifting or strongman competition."


#17

Like Chris pointed out, both Wendler and Carter know that to hit ALL of those numbers would be ridiculous, but they kind of reflect both of their methodologies- think about the LONG TERM. If one were to continually shoot for these numbers and maybe end up at a 27510-20 bench, 365-40510-20 squat/dead, etc., you’re going to more than likely be a pretty big dude. It also reinforces that you don’t need many exercises to get bigger and stronger (something I still struggle with at times).

I’ve never seen Dan John’s list, his stuff is always so straightforward and sensible lol.


#18

[quote]sufiandy wrote:

[quote]kollak95 wrote:
I think it’d be cool to put together a list of these that a natural lifter of average (don’t know of a better word) genetics should strive to hit in their lifetime. Make it more of an “everyday strength” list, rather than a list of absolute maxes.
[/quote]

For 1 rep maxes
Deadlift - 500
Squat - 400
Bench - 300
OHP - 200

For rep stuff
Squat 225 x 20
Bench 225 x 10
Deadlift 315x10-20 I’m not sure what is reasonable for “average” here
Dips-4510
Pull-ups - bw
10
Barbell curls- I don’t really like this one is too easy to cheat on these even if your trying not to.

[/quote]

These are way to easy to be a what constitutes strong. If a below average-average male can achieve most of them with a year or two of consistent training then they aren’t really that spectacular.

EDIT: That sounded a little harsh. I guess the point I am trying to make is that none of those are lifts that are going to make anyone in the gym stop and watch their performance and that’s what this list should be somewhat. Lifts that people would notice that either mean you are a genetic freak or you put in a shit ton of work to achieve them.


#19

I reckon I might be able to do the pull ups if I really trained for it. Couldn’t get close to any of the others.


#20

[quote]philipmein wrote:
If you have game changing numbers across all five movements, well, let’s just say the weight room isn’t your problem unless you’re in a pure strength sport like powerlifting or Olympic lifting or strongman competition."[/quote]

This is the key in Dan John’s definition, and one that I think people lose sight of.

I don’t think strong needs to mean something that only the select few can achieve. Rather, I think it should mean a set of numbers or performance that legitimately influences how you perform in a variety of physical activities.

Before I started lifting, my judo was lackluster. I was slow, easily tired, and frankly incapable of meeting the physical requirements.

Then I got to be able to do at least all of the “expected” on Dan John’s list over a period of time. Viola, strength and physicality is no longer an issue for me.

There are legitimate strength requirements to be able to perform in a number of sports, and I think Dan John’s list is a nice way to represent that.

Obviously none of those come close to constituting big numbers for powerlifting in any weight class. But that doesn’t mean that you’re not strong enough for your sport.