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Old 08-17-2012, 11:53 AM   #1
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Default Strength & Bodyweight Lifting Comparisons

OK I don't compete in P/Ling so I have to ask.

I was talking with a P/L on Face Book that just started to compete and keeps lean (retired bodybuilder) and he brought up how he thinks its a shame that in the sport a Example: 180 lbs guy can press per say 360 equaling 2x's his body weight but yet a 350lb guy presses 600 equaling 100lbs. less than 2x's his body weight but yet the guy pressing the 600 gets so much more attention?

All I could tell him was its ALL about the total numbers and nothing to do with body weight.

Is that about right? or am I way off base in my response?
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Old 08-17-2012, 11:55 AM   #2
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Its because its heavier. Simplistic answer, but lots of people can press 360. Almost no one on the planet can press 600 raw.
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Old 08-17-2012, 11:58 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by bruteforce View Post
Its because its heavier. Simplistic answer, but lots of people can press 360. Almost no one on the planet can press 600 raw.
OK so its has nothing to do with bodyweight.
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Old 08-17-2012, 11:59 AM   #4
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From what I've read, and I'm not a powerlifter either, the lighter a person is the easier it is to reach 2 or 3 times bodyweight loads;...and to do multiple reps of BW pull-ups etc. Still takes work but is easier. It still comes down to the fact that 2 x 50kg BW is less than 2 x 75kg BW (low BW there but just an example).
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Old 08-17-2012, 12:09 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by 5kgLifter View Post
the lighter a person is the easier it is to reach 2 or 3 times bodyweight loads;..
Correct. It's not a strict linear equation. Beyond that, each lift has a slightly different curve.

For deadlifts, Lamar Gant is the world record holder at 123 and 132 pounds:

Quote:
123 633 Lamar Gant USA 1980 AAU*
132 628 Lamar Gant USA 1981 IPF
His 123 multiplier is 5.14.

You will never find a 308 class lifter hitting a 5.14 multiplier and a 1583 pound raw deadlift. Well at least until we get DNA enhancing drugs...

The 308 pound raw deadlift record is a 3.048 multiplier.

Weight adds strength, but it is not linear.

Quote:
yet the guy pressing the 600 gets so much more attention?
Same reason Ronnie Coleman gets more attention than Doug Miller. People tend to see absolutes easier than relative comparisons. Why do midget basketball players get "little" attention? Even though they are good for their height, the shock and awe isn't there.

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Old 08-17-2012, 12:16 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Rich Knapp View Post
OK so its has nothing to do with bodyweight.
Bodyweight plays a part in it, but not as big a part (for me at least). If two lifters take 600 pounds on the deadlift, but one man weights 50 pounds less, the lighter one is much more impressive to me. But the pound for pound thing stops there. An ant can lift 50x its bodyweight. No one cares because they're fractions of grams.
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Old 08-17-2012, 12:18 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by 5kgLifter View Post
loads;...and to do multiple reps of BW pull-ups etc. Still takes work but is easier. It still comes down to the fact that 2 x 50kg BW is less than 2 x 75kg BW (low BW there but just an example).
Absolutely. Somewhere upstairs I have a 1971 Guinness Book of Records. I seem to remember that in that book, the world record for the greatest number of push-ups was held by a 13 year old.
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Old 08-17-2012, 12:25 PM   #8
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Apart from the absolute value of the weight lifted, beyond a point of time there's also a diminishing strength return with increasing bodyweight (although strength DOES increase) - this makes it easier for lighter guys to lift x times their bodyweight than bigger guys. Therefore for "best lifter" comparisons, Wilks coefficients are widely used in a powerlifting meet.

Mathematically, Wilks coefficient (comparing relative strength of PL) is given by the following formula:

coeff = Wt lifted / (a + b*x + c*x^2 + d*x^3 + e*x^4 + f*x^5)

Here x is the bodyweight and a-f are constant values (different for men and women). As you can see, the variation is non-linear. The normalized weight is this factor multiplied by the weight lifted.

Here's a graph I plotted out (lol, I have nothing better to do at lunch time), which shows the variation of normalized weight with bodyweight if the lifters lift 2x bodyweight.

Lifting 2x stronger at a higher bodyweight would have you much stronger compared to a lower bodyweight using the normalized scale.



In your example, normalized weight lifted by the 180 lb lifter lifting 360 lbs would be 242.712. The same value for the 350 lb guy lifting 600 would be 327.9
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Old 08-17-2012, 12:28 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by bruteforce View Post
Its because its heavier. Simplistic answer, but lots of people can press 360. Almost no one on the planet can press 600 raw.
I have to agree. And - without wishing to ruffle anyone's feathers on MAB - being 'strong for your size' is a kind of consolation prize compared to just 'being strong'.

I think a lot of people admire the 150 lb guy deadlifting 500, but given the choice,they'd rather be the guy deadlifting 800, even if that's not so good for his size.

Maybe it's like the difference between 'looking good for your age' and just 'looking good.'

Edit to say: just read BTB's post properly, and realised I've said almost exactly the same thing
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Old 08-17-2012, 12:30 PM   #10
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OK so straight and to the point. No one cares about your body weight just what you move. That's all I needed to know so if it comes up again I answer correctly.

I don't need to wright a dictionary to them on why.
Point blank "No one care's about what you weight." The End. lol

Thats what I figured but just wanted to make sure I had my ducks in a row on it.

Thanks all.
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