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Old 12-08-2013, 12:14 PM   #1
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Default What advantage does weighing more give to someone in terms of strength

What is the exact benefits of weighing more have to being stronger. I always here pound for pound strength..2x bodyweught this and that but what does weight specifically have to do with relating to your lifts. Say someone is a shorter 170 lb guy with a good amount of lean body mass for his frame. And someone is taller at 200 lbs or more with not as much lean body mass on his frame..but he simply weighs more naturally.. what advantage does he have? Or if simply someone is carrying more body fat then someone else the same height and around the same LBM..what advantage does simply being heavier have? I guess I'm looking for a more scientific explanation..
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Old 12-08-2013, 12:33 PM   #2
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Someone else might, but I have no scientific explanation. There does come a point to where progress is slow, and gaining bodyweight helps the lift, especially for naturals. Having a bigger foundation will make your lifts go up. I know it worked for me.
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Old 12-08-2013, 01:41 PM   #3
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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.
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Old 12-08-2013, 01:50 PM   #4
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1. More muscle. Bigger muscles have the potential to be stronger muscles.

2. More stability. When you have more fat, especially around the joints, everything is more stable. More stability means you can focus more on producing force instead of maintaining stability. Kind of like a machine press vs a dumbbell press. Because the machine stabilizes the movement for you, you can produce as much force as you want.
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Old 12-08-2013, 02:31 PM   #5
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I have heard two theories
1) your body can hold more muscle mass with more body fat. This is the reason that body builders add fat during the off season, so they can put on more muscle. With the exception of juicers a person can't hold on to 220 lbs of lean mass with no body fat or you would see it in natural body building

2) I was told that "spreads the load out over more area" which means nothing to me. I take this as it is harder to get proper depth with larger mass which creates tension. This tension helps to get you out of the hole. An example would be someones thighs pushing on there torso in the bottom position of the squat.

Hope that was helpful
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Old 12-08-2013, 02:40 PM   #6
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The extra food helps with building muscle more quickly and accruing strength. It's more a case of that than anything for me.
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Old 12-08-2013, 02:44 PM   #7
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A big part of it is actually simple.

The more food you eat, the more nutrients your body has to recover/grow (the further you increase your intake, the bigger % of the energy will be stored in fat cells, but the amount of nutrients your body has to recover/grow will increase still.

This means that people who eat more (and as a result get fatter) give their muscles more 'to work with'.

Similarly when you cut weight you are limiting the amount of nutrients your body has. In an ideal world 100% of the energy deficit would come from fat cells, but this is not an ideal world. Cutting WILL have an (sometimes quite significant) effect on your ability to recover/grow stronger.

As a result people will almost always be weaker than that person wouldve been if he/she didn't.


TL;DR whether or not someone is fat/lean 'does not' (see below) effect someones strength directly, but is a byproduct of the process that person went to on his/her way to that bodyfat%.

note: having more fat mass can help in certain lifts by giving the lifter more favorable leverages. a few examples:

being heavier can make a deadlift easier because it reduces the ease at which the weight pulls you forward

some people say they are stronger in the hole of a squat because they can 'push of their bellie' (not sure if this is actually true)

in the bench press (equipped lifting more so than raw lifting) fat can reduce the ROM of the lift thus making it easier

EDIT: steve basically said in one sentence what I said in a paragraph

Last edited by Kleurplaay; 12-08-2013 at 02:48 PM.
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Old 12-08-2013, 03:18 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kleurplaay View Post

being heavier can make a deadlift easier because it reduces the ease at which the weight pulls you forward
Not trying to be a D*** just further good discussion. Deadlift is the one thing that seems to be weight independent for me. Went to 245 and deadlift went up (a attribute that to smolov), then went down to 231 and deadlift went up another 5-10 lbs.

From dropping that 20 lbs my bench stalled though didn't go down and my squat dropped 10 lbs.
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Old 12-08-2013, 03:25 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mrinda87 View Post
What is the exact benefits of weighing more have to being stronger. I always here pound for pound strength..2x bodyweught this and that but what does weight specifically have to do with relating to your lifts. Say someone is a shorter 170 lb guy with a good amount of lean body mass for his frame. And someone is taller at 200 lbs or more with not as much lean body mass on his frame..but he simply weighs more naturally.. what advantage does he have? Or if simply someone is carrying more body fat then someone else the same height and around the same LBM..what advantage does simply being heavier have? I guess I'm looking for a more scientific explanation..
Good question.

One part probably has to do with muscle cross-sectional area.

The force a muscle generates is directionally proportional to its cross sectional area. Other things being equal, muscle A that is twice as thick as muscle B will generate twice the force.

In your tall vs short guy, that extra thirty pounds may be because he has muscles that are not only longer but also bigger in circumference and therefore area.

Now, the bigger muscles not look so impressive on a taller guy, but if they are thicker, they still should be stronger - I say 'should' because the taller guy's long levers complicate the situation somewhat and could mean he can't deliver so much force to the bar.

What use is fat bodymass?

Momentum, maybe? Take a 300lb guy cleaning two DBs up to his shoulders. A backwards movement of his considerable body mass generates a lot of momentum (mass X velocity) that pulls the DBs along with it. That's my thinking anyway.

This would definitely be the case on strongman truck pulls, tug of war etc.
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Old 12-08-2013, 03:25 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MadScientistOfMaB View Post
Not trying to be a D*** just further good discussion. Deadlift is the one thing that seems to be weight independent for me. Went to 245 and deadlift went up (a attribute that to smolov), then went down to 231 and deadlift went up another 5-10 lbs.

From dropping that 20 lbs my bench stalled though didn't go down and my squat dropped 10 lbs.
Maybe I shouldve indeed said that these things can be individual. There's also more to strength than just muscle mass, neural efficiency for example. It's very possible that you lost muscle mass during that cut but basically got so much better at deadlifting that your lift still went up. I do think that if you pick 2 people with comparable muscle masses yet one is considerably fatter that person will usually be the one with the higher deadlift though.

Not that I'm complaining. Gaining strength on a cut = winning.
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