T Nation

Why Gain Weight?

This is an issue I see popup all the time. People will tell smaller people that they need to gain some weight. As an OL for a little over a year (injured right now) with a snatch of 170 and a C and J of 225, at 136, I just hate people telling me or hearing other people insist you must gain weight. I enjoy finishing my deads at 365 and back squats at at 325. Is there any real reason to gain weight?

I just don’t think I have the body build for it. I am 5’7 and this is my weight. My brother is 5’7 at 215# and the number one in New England for u18 per the New England Open. Different bodies, different builds.

Anyways, does anyone else who does competitive lifts hear this “gain weight” and think it is not only nonsense but also insulting?

The only good reason I have heard to gain weight is to avoid injury.

Thanks

Just a few pros off top off head

Gain more muscle
Gain more strength
Look better

Uh their are more but thats basically what most strives for in lifting anyways.

seems tall for you to be a 62, you would probably be a better contender in OL as a 69 or 77. Hell, I’m your height and my goal is to end up at a lean 94! I’m just at the opposite end of the spectrum, I’m a fat 90kg right now.

Now, I’m assuming you do OL so that you can be strong, fast and competitive in the sport, so wouldn’t it better you to be bigger?

Generally the goal is to be the shortest in your weightclass. 5’7 is very tall for the 62kg. Look at the top guys in America for the 62kg class… they are pretty short, probably 5’2 or so.

Hell, I know a 5’2 guy who is working his way up in the 77kg class right now. His goal, to get as big as he can lean. He’ll probably make 85kg in a year or so!

Romanaz- I have thought about going up one class or too. I was waiting to see where my plateau was before I decided to pack on any muscle. I just hadn’t hit a spot where I wasn’t making gains. I am evaluating this because I am about to get some surgery on my shoulder and will be out for 6 months (says the doctor) so I am def thinking about rebuilding differently when I start back up again. I appreciate the input.

Yeah, when you get back from the operation, you’ll probably be done a few pounds and want to start making your way back to your current weight, and I say, why stop at your current weight then?

I hear you with the plateau thing, its a risk for most people (aka going 105 to 105+ or the likes), but I think for you it would probably be a solid move. All the 77kg lifters in my club are working on moving up to the 85’s (all save one), and I don’t doubt for a minute that once they start putting on muscle, they will breaking PR’s left and right.

Now, sometimes, people move up weightclass’s and don’t get much benefit from it… look at Georgi Markov… he was (still is) world record holder in the 69kg class, but he moved up to the 85’s and is barely snatching more (i think 6kg more) and clean and jerking a solid 10kg more. Was his move worth it? IMO not really, he was in the top 3 for the 69’s and now he is in the top 15 or so of the 85’s.

See what you and I are talking about is planning an educated and calculated move. But you commonly hear people make blanket statements that someone needs to gain weight. That is just not cool and I feel makes some people lose a really good ratio. At the end of the day I am impressed with a ratio,not just raw weight.

Anyways, I def am considering moving up, and getting a new trainer. I would like to see if I can hit 285 c+j and a 250 clean by next summer (09). I am move up very slowly to try to make sure my form is tight. Unfortunately I got the shoulder injury doing a light snatch when I wasn’t warm enough. It activated an old football injury.

I am very concerned about only packing the mass on if it will help. Do you know of any tips to test this before I make the commitment, because muscle is hard to lose.

[quote]Lucid_3ntr0py wrote:
See what you and I are talking about is planning an educated and calculated move. But you commonly hear people make blanket statements that someone needs to gain weight. That is just not cool and I feel makes some people lose a really good ratio. At the end of the day I am impressed with a ratio,not just raw weight.

Anyways, I def am considering moving up, and getting a new trainer. I would like to see if I can hit 285 c+j and a 250 clean by next summer (09). I am move up very slowly to try to make sure my form is tight. Unfortunately I got the shoulder injury doing a light snatch when I wasn’t warm enough. It activated an old football injury.

I am very concerned about only packing the mass on if it will help. Do you know of any tips to test this before I make the commitment, because muscle is hard to lose.

[/quote]

most people on this site don’t compete and lift weights for whatever reason

I think the question is, why not gain weight?

you don’t understand, when you gain a little weight you gain strength, so of course biger is stronger= better.

Lol at “because muscle is hard to lose”.

I dunno, I do find muscle hard to lose. Not just physically but emotionally. Seriously, atrophy sucks, it makes me feel terrible I get super stressed. So I don’t want to put myself in that situation.

On a side note, I think there may be some confusions about this “bigger equals better mentality”. It may be the case you can lift more, but does your ratio improve? As it is I have a 2.78xbw for dead and a 2.46 Olympic Style squat atg. My bench is okay with a 1.77 ratio. All of these are clean, I would lift naked if I could. I like these and I certainly haven’t hit the roof. I make consistent gains. I don’t just want to lift plain more weight, I want to lift the highest percentage of my body weight. If I knew that gaining 35 lbs would increase these ratios and allow me to maintain my mobility, I would be on it like nobodies business. But I am not 100% at all, so I am not going to risk all the time I have put in at maximizing my body just to say I lift more, or to look bigger.

I hope that clears it up some.

Whatever you find works best for you is what you should do.

Weight lifting isn’t about other people, it should be about you.

If your competing in the competitions like you do, find the class you feel best and go from there. Now you can listen to the advice of coaches and others who are at the top of their game, and then decide if the recommendations they give would be worthwhile to you.

Ex. Romanaz shares how height plays a big role in certain weight categories. Those smaller guys can pack on more muscle and still be in a certain range. That said if you can help yourself out by having that extra strength and muscle on a bigger frame but in the right weight class you might find yourself moving up the rankings because of it.

Good luck in your surgery and whatever you decide to do :slight_smile:

[quote]Lucid_3ntr0py wrote:
Romanaz- I have thought about going up one class or too. I was waiting to see where my plateau was before I decided to pack on any muscle. I just hadn’t hit a spot where I wasn’t making gains. I am evaluating this because I am about to get some surgery on my shoulder and will be out for 6 months (says the doctor) so I am def thinking about rebuilding differently when I start back up again. I appreciate the input.[/quote]

I have a similar view. I’m 5’9, 154lbs, and I dont have that natural barrel of a chest. I’m pretty long and lean. I am in no rush to get bigger. My goal is to simply get better at the big 3 lifts (maybe some O lifting eventually). I mean I will get bigger, I will gain weight, but I don’t want to be 200lbs or anything. My natural bodyweight is about 140lbs. I think 170lbs is where I would stop.

Besides, how many 100 year olds are 6ft something and 200 something pounds? They are usually smaller, and leaner individuals. I love the heavy lifting… but my ultimate goal is to be healthy. I don’t feel that being 60+ lbs over my natural weight will be best in the long run.

Also… I enjoy seeing the smaller guys lift weights that many of the naturally bigger guys wish they could. It just looks more impressive to me. Maybe because I’m a smaller guy so I have a bias…

[quote]rmccart1 wrote:
I think the question is, why not gain weight?[/quote]

If you’re kicking ass in your weight class, there’s not much reason to gain weight.

Gaining weight gives you a leverage advantage. If your legs are bigger, you can squat more because the angle of attack of the quad at the knee and of the hamstrings at the hips are all affected by an increase in the size of the muscles. If you have a thicker torso, you can bench more because you don’t need to move the bar as far.

Based on genetics, especially height and bone structure, people will have different weight goals as strength athletes. A weightlifter who is 5’4’ and 175lbs but has 7’ wrists probably doesn’t need to weigh 275lbs because he’s just built to perform at lighter weight classes. A 6’1’ football player whose 175lbs needs to gain weight because he’s too lanky.

Gaining muscle is great, but it’s not the right thing for every athlete at any point in their carrier.

like an ant.

[quote]flightposite wrote:
like an ant.[/quote]

Lol exactly like an ant. I can lift a whole lot more than one, but I am very impressed by how much they can lift compared to their size.

Same goes with people. If I see a 150lb guy bench press over like 3 plates plus a side… to me that is more impressive than a 250lb guy benching 400+ lbs.

I know a lot of people hate the relative strength thing… but I think it has its place. The lighter guy is making more use and is stronger per pound of bodyweight. If a 150lb guy benches 315, and a 230lb guy benches 405… it’s taking 80lbs more of weight to lift 90 more lbs. I can’t see how that is more impressive or even as impressive.

Just my thoughts…

The majority of exceptionaly athlethic males are in the 160-200 pounds of bodyweight range.

Put a 150 pound guy with a 315press and a 250pound guy with a 405press one besides the other in a room filled with normal people, and see who will get more attention.

Everyone will be looking at the 250 pound guy because he lifts more. How much you weigh impresses nobody in the real world, the only reason one would want to stay light is to be competitive in a sporting event.

Having good weight to strength ratios is nice and all, but it only goes so far. First off, I’d be extremely impressed with anyone weighing 500 lbs squatting 1000 lbs, yet I can out-squat them proportionately. Does that make me the better athlete? Don’t think so…it’s taken a lot more time, hard work and smart training (not to mention risk) for them to get where they are than it took for me to get more than a double bodyweight squat. However, I will always be more impressed with a lighter person out-lifting a heavier person, but proportions don’t impress me too much. Besides, when you want to move a piano or something else heavy, and you need people to help you, who’re you going to look for? The strongest guys, or the “proportionately” strongest?

Mass moves mass. The heavier you are, the more stable you are. That’s true whether it’s fat or muscle.