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Old 12-08-2013, 10:07 PM   #11
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I have absolutely no frickin' idea, but have heard time and time again that gaining weight can help squat and bench, or at least certainly not hinder them, whereas it will do nothing at all for deadlifts (beyond "gaining weight" in the sense of gaining muscle, obviously).

Don't know why that would be, exactly.
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Old 12-09-2013, 12:51 AM   #12
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We'll more weight gained usually increases the mass around the midsection and putting you further away from the bar and harder to get in position.

I've had to completely revamp my deadlift set up but once I did my numbers sky rocketed. So a step back but many steps forward in terms of strength
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Old 12-09-2013, 08:19 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by KCStrongmanben View Post
We'll more weight gained usually increases the mass around the midsection and putting you further away from the bar and harder to get in position.

I've had to completely revamp my deadlift set up but once I did my numbers sky rocketed. So a step back but many steps forward in terms of strength
Could you explain how you changed your deadlift set up? I don't have a huge belly yet but I definitely cant get in the same position that I used to be able to get into when I just started lifting. Never thought about changing anything in my setup untill you said that just now.
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Old 12-09-2013, 12:09 PM   #14
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Could you explain how you changed your deadlift set up? I don't have a huge belly yet but I definitely cant get in the same position that I used to be able to get into when I just started lifting. Never thought about changing anything in my setup untill you said that just now.
Sure thing man. I basically was a high hip puller before and just used pure back strength. After a back injury (spondo of l5/s1 and bulging discs) and gaining weight that method just didn't feel right anymore. I needed to get more legs in my pull. What I do now is grasp the bar straight legged, get my air, bend the legs and pull myself down to position. This serves 2 purposes. I pull the slack out of the bar and get my shoulders back automatically and I also load up the hips and legs and think about pushing back and away. Keeps the bar in tight, uses a little stretch reflex and gives me more speed for lockout. You can see it here

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Old 12-09-2013, 02:32 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by jdmalm123 View Post
What is stronger? An ant or an elephant?

In terms of relative strength, the ant. He can lift up to 20x his body weight...around 100 milligrams!

In terms of absolute strength, the elephant. He probably can't lift his body weight, but can lift actual tons...thousands of pounds.

For people, you'll see this best in something like pull ups. The skinny guy can rep pull ups and a big guy can often only get a few, but the big guy can bench, squat, dead lift, etc. much more.



PS - Another answer is: leverage.

Great analysis JD.
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Old 12-09-2013, 02:56 PM   #16
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Always wondered about this too. Scaling is a science in itself, it should be hard to find factors to compare strength of different sized people I would guess.

I read something last week about the size of calves; even if they never train, 300lb guys generally have huge calves. Sumo wrestlers have more lean mass than bodybuilders despite not doing any preacher curls, shrugs etc...

I guess the it's a combination of anabolic effects of eating, and the training effect of carrying more mass around...
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Old 12-09-2013, 05:15 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by GT55 View Post
Always wondered about this too. Scaling is a science in itself, it should be hard to find factors to compare strength of different sized people I would guess.

I read something last week about the size of calves; even if they never train, 300lb guys generally have huge calves. Sumo wrestlers have more lean mass than bodybuilders despite not doing any preacher curls, shrugs etc...

I guess the it's a combination of anabolic effects of eating, and the training effect of carrying more mass around...
The calves makes a ton of sense. That would be like a skinny guy walking around with a 150 lb vest. Maybe that has something to do with the squatting as well. The constant weight of their body is like constant strength training (it's practically a squat every time they sit down or stand up)
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Old 12-09-2013, 06:35 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by jdmalm123 View Post
What is stronger? An ant or an elephant?

In terms of relative strength, the ant. He can lift up to 20x his body weight...around 100 milligrams!

In terms of absolute strength, the elephant. He probably can't lift his body weight, but can lift actual tons...thousands of pounds.

For people, you'll see this best in something like pull ups. The skinny guy can rep pull ups and a big guy can often only get a few, but the big guy can bench, squat, dead lift, etc. much more.



PS - Another answer is: leverage.
Just out of interest...

Would that mean if the ant was scaled up to the elephant's size, he would lift 100 tons?

The answer is no, an ant as big as an elephant would lift about the same as an elephant.

Take a cube sized animal, named A. He measures 1 cm x 1 cm x 1cm and weighs 0.001kg (same density as water). He's got arms measuring 0.1 cm x 0.1 cm = 0.01 cm square in cross-sectional area. These allow him to lift 0.01 kg.

His ratio of strength to mass is 0.01/0.001 = 10

Now take animal B, who is one hundred times taller and wider than A. His arms measure 10 x 10 cm. So the cross sectional area of his arms is 100 cm, or ten thousand times greater than A.

As strength is directly proportional to cross-sectional area of muscle, his strength is also 10,000 times greater. He can lift 0.01 x 10,000 = 100 kg.

But his volume and therefore weight has increased as a cube of 100. He is 100 X 100 X 100 cm, a million times the volume, and that means he weighs 1000kg.

His ratio of strength to mass is 100/1000 = 0.1 or one hundredth that of animal A.

Incidentally, this explains several unconnected things:

1) Why power-weigh ratio goes down from the lightest lifters to the heaviest ones
2) Why you could never get land animals above a certain size
3) Why a flea the same size as a man wouldn't be able to jump over a building.

(I think my calculations are right, but it's getting late )
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Old 12-09-2013, 10:34 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Tannhauser View Post
Just out of interest...

Would that mean if the ant was scaled up to the elephant's size, he would lift 100 tons?

The answer is no, an ant as big as an elephant would lift about the same as an elephant.

Take a cube sized animal, named A. He measures 1 cm x 1 cm x 1cm and weighs 0.001kg (same density as water). He's got arms measuring 0.1 cm x 0.1 cm = 0.01 cm square in cross-sectional area. These allow him to lift 0.01 kg.

His ratio of strength to mass is 0.01/0.001 = 10

Now take animal B, who is one hundred times taller and wider than A. His arms measure 10 x 10 cm. So the cross sectional area of his arms is 100 cm, or ten thousand times greater than A.

As strength is directly proportional to cross-sectional area of muscle, his strength is also 10,000 times greater. He can lift 0.01 x 10,000 = 100 kg.

But his volume and therefore weight has increased as a cube of 100. He is 100 X 100 X 100 cm, a million times the volume, and that means he weighs 1000kg.

His ratio of strength to mass is 100/1000 = 0.1 or one hundredth that of animal A.

Incidentally, this explains several unconnected things:

1) Why power-weigh ratio goes down from the lightest lifters to the heaviest ones
2) Why you could never get land animals above a certain size
3) Why a flea the same size as a man wouldn't be able to jump over a building.

(I think my calculations are right, but it's getting late )
Yes, there are diminishing returns at most extremes.

Great detailed post!
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Old 12-10-2013, 02:11 PM   #20
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Good post Tanner.

As surface area increases the ratio 'volume/surface area' increases.
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