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Old 10-19-2013, 12:25 PM   #1
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Default riddle me this

I'm so confused, so I helped someone move and there are guys who could move couches and tables and stuff way easier than me. But I could out lift them easily. So riddle me this of on paper I'm stronger why aren't I?
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Old 10-19-2013, 01:01 PM   #2
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I've actually read about powerlifters talking about how they seem to get more tired than people who aren't that strong when it comes to things like loading hay, or moving furniture. One of the things that happens when we lift weights, and this is especially true for people who train maximal strength, is that our bodies get better at activating more muscle fibers. This allows us to move more weight for shorter periods of time. But it also means that we don't have fresh muscle fibers when we have to do things over and over that don't require maximal strength.

Basically, your body is too good at firing more muscle fibers, so you get tired faster than people who are untrained. Bummer, right?
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Old 10-19-2013, 01:06 PM   #3
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That's a tricky question, because any potential answer requires some assumptions, IMO.
In my experience, generally speaking I am "functionally" stronger than people that I lift more than. I think there are many variables that could impact this so it isn't necessarily a hard and fast rule.
I would say the most likely variable is lifting technique (as it pertains to moving furniture, boxes, etc.) There really is a trick to moving things. When I was 18 I worked as a mover in Las Vegas and while one would assume it is simply just moving things from point a to point b, i quickly learned that there is more technique involved. Where you grab an item, how you grab an item makes a big difference, and one has to learn how to use leverages and move in ways that increase mechanical advantages. In other words, a guy who uses more efficient lifting technique could lift more than a guy who is physically stronger that uses less than efficient lifting technique.

Another possibility is anaerobic stamina. I have no clue what kind of shape you are in and I'm not insinuating anything, just sharing what I feel is a possibility. But maybe they are simply in better shape stamina wise than you. I would describe this by saying, while you lift more for a few reps with a proper rest period, on paper, you do not lift more for long durations, without proper rests in between, for extended periods of time. In other words, for 3-10 reps, with 1-4 minute rest times, over 1-1.5 hours you are stronger. But for carrying loads for distances, for many minutes at a time, over extended periods of time, without breaks in between, you are not stronger.

Another possibility could be that you are assuming you are stronger than them on paper, but given the time to learn lift techniques you aren't that much stronger. In other words you are over estimating your superior strength or under estimating there strength.

Just some of my thoughts. Sorry if it's a bunch of rambling and bro science.
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Old 10-19-2013, 01:08 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Gorship View Post
I'm so confused, so I helped someone move and there are guys who could move couches and tables and stuff way easier than me. But I could out lift them easily. So riddle me this of on paper I'm stronger why aren't I?
Technique for one, a barbell is different to a weight of a differing shape and volume.

Could you outlift or do you outlift them? There is a difference.
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Old 10-19-2013, 01:09 PM   #5
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I can say the one guy who was moving in circles. That's his gig he builds and sells and moves furniture
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Old 10-19-2013, 01:13 PM   #6
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I can say the one guy who was moving in circles. That's his gig he builds and sells and moves furniture
There you go, he probably moves furniture 4 or 5 days a week. If you "trained" moving furniture a few times a week you would be likely better than him, because once you learned how to properly move furniture, you have more strength potential.
Again, this is simply bro science.
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Old 10-19-2013, 01:16 PM   #7
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Specificity of lifts? Let's say you build up your squat. Your poundage goes up because of an increase in muscle mass and overall strength, but you're also training that specific neuromuscular pattern. And the furniture moving is unlikely to approximate that pattern.

Now obviously, if you're squatting and deadlifting 600-700, you've not only got terrific strength for that movement pattern, but pretty high general strength that applies in all sorts of real world situations. But at lower levels, sometimes real-world results can sometimes be a tad disappointing.

I can smoke most the people in my gym on the big lifts, but I can't do a farmer's walk or other strongman events for toffee.

Just my ill-informed opinion.

EDIT TO ADD: Josh and Babs covered it.
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Old 10-19-2013, 01:29 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by 5kgLifter View Post
Technique for one, a barbell is different to a weight of a differing shape and volume.

Could you outlift or do you outlift them? There is a difference.
I do out lift them on the big 3. I see what your all saying. Just a bit disheartening.
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Old 10-19-2013, 01:35 PM   #9
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I do out lift them on the big 3. I see what your all saying. Just a bit disheartening.
It's not really disheartening, it just pays us all to remember that "the body gets good at what you train it for" which is easy to forget.
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Old 10-19-2013, 02:07 PM   #10
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It's not really disheartening, it just pays us all to remember that "the body gets good at what you train it for" which is easy to forget.
I spose. Im turning this disheartening attitude into me going into the gym on monday and tear it up. Next time someone calls me to help them move, Imma break their couch with my chest! Roar. Who needs technique when you got Quads.
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