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Posted: 3/13/2006 1:27:37 PM EDT
I was wondering why so many posts I read on this forum express desires to not "bulk", to rather "tone" or other such sentiments. It seems to me this is in conflict with everything else these posters are after... more speed, more strength, more performance, more endurance, reduced bodyfat, etc.

Is this an excuse to forgo the grueling heavy workouts? To say that they do not want to increase muscle mass because they fear they cannot accomplish that goal? Some misguided belief that smaller muscles are better at performing muscular tasks than larger ones? Or possibly some financial concern with having to buy new clothes?

I can understand people not wanting to look like Mr Olympia... I also understand that takes a massive overdosing of steroids for many years and a totally dedicated lifestyle to be that huge. I just dont see how people think they will go to the gym and one day its like OOPS!! I accidentaly put on 50 lbs of muscle and did not even notice.

In my eyes, whether you are looking to reduce bodyfat, gain strength, run faster, be better at hand to hand, or have better endurance the FIRST thing you have to do is get slightly larger muscularity than you would have at an ideal weight. This is necessary because building muscle mass is HARD and you will inevitably lose some if you attempt to reduce fat, add in lots of endurance work, or pretty much anything that is not strictly part of a massbuilding life style. This muscle also increases your BMR so it aids in fat loss, will increase strength and thus muscular endurance and gives a foundation to allow more performance once you learn to control that greater muscle mass.

I would also be willing to bet that most of the peole not wanting more mass are actually underdeveloped to begin with which is even more disconcerting. I see this in women who begin training all the time. They say they WILL NOT do mass work yet point to a picture of someone like Carmen Electra and say that is what they want to look like... and she has about 50% more muscle mass than they do at a minimum.

I would like to know some of your thoughts on the subject.
Link Posted: 3/13/2006 2:43:11 PM EDT
Well you know me and what kind of sports I enjoy(which is mainly Flag football and tactical shooting). Also knowing that your in pretty damned good physical condition and understands what it takes to maintain it, does not mean other members on this board will take the time and effort to get in to peak shape and conditioning.

I completely understand where your coming from in theory, and I have tried alot of the ideas you seem to embrace by your posts on this forum. So here is some of the reasons why I veered away from the muscle mass theory and changed to a training to suit my own needs.

A few years ago, I started bulking up some mass because it seemed like the right thing todo for playing sports and health. More muscle mass means more explosive speeds, more fast twich fibers to help with reflex, and more support muscle groups to prevent injury to joints under stress. As I approached 180lbs and benched around 275 at the last set, I also lost alot of speed in manuvering and flexability. As much as I tried to stretch and go through the full motions on exercises, my speed and agility continued to deteriorate.

Fast forward to 2 years later. Now my approach to training is totally purpose oriented rather than a generic Arnold/Goldberg all out gain cycles. Through alot of experimenting with different exercises and weight changes, it appears that 155-160 lbs works for me best athleticly. With my workouts now, I am still retaining a strong upper body core and isolate lower body to workouts that enhances my speed and agility while not bulking up to slow my self down with uneeded weight.

I dont really consider my self under developed or cut. But this is where I seem to be the most effective at the things I enjoy physicaly. Everyone seems to have different priorities when it comes to fitness, and at this current time, endurence and agility is more important to me than pure strength and looks.
Link Posted: 3/14/2006 10:04:25 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/14/2006 10:35:36 AM EDT by DevL]
I can understand the loss of agility and flexibility when they gain size but I have found more often than not people have not learned how to use the new larger body they have built nor streched those muscles adequately. It takes months of reconditioning to "relearn" how to use a larger body and regain flexibility. If endurance times suffered because of excess weight I could understand. More weight requires more energy to move around. I dont think spped and agility need to suffer. I know this is a bad example "because of his steroid use" but Ben Johnson still is the fastest human to ever run the 100m and he could bench over 400lbs. His record was only broken because he eneded his race looking over his shoulder at Carl Lewis and raising his finger in the air before the race was over. Had he not done this noone has run as fast. His time in Seoul was only bested by .02 seconds. Look at someone like Bo Jackson. Phenonminal athlete with balzing speed and strength. He was 6'1" and weighed betwwen 225 and 230 throughout his carreer.

I know that I will have to stop working on mass myself pretty soon. I just cant hold much more weight on my frame and expect to run back to back 6 minute miles. I cant fight for 15 minutes straight at a weight of 240 lbs or probably even 230 lbs for that matter. I have recently suffered injuries due to violating my own rules when it comes to heavy weights and heavy bag work. This means I have to give up the weight gain for at least a month or more. Still I think I will be a better athlete in the end if the propper amount of time is spent building a propper base of strength and size and then shrinking that platform to suit my needs rather than trying to build a smaller body that is conditioned into a larger version at a later date.
Link Posted: 3/14/2006 5:30:51 PM EDT
You know you just listed 2 of the best anaerobolic sports athlets ever right? I have serious doubt that either are geared for long distance running and stamina. Which is something that I'd like to have since I do alot of hiking and camping with loads of gear.

Nice try.

Next?



Link Posted: 3/15/2006 10:54:58 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/15/2006 10:59:25 AM EDT by DevL]
You can look at the professional MMA fighters in the 205 and under class. These guys regularly walka around at 220 lbs and cut mostly water to make weight. 5, 5 minute rounds for professionals or a minimum of 3, 5 minute rounds is NOT strickly explosive strength. Look at heavy weight boxers who fight for 10 or up to 12, 3 minute rounds. Do you really think a Tyson or Holyfield would have been better at a lighter weight class? I never saw those guys get tired inside of 6 rounds at a minimum. I have never talked to a professional MMA fighter that did less than 5 miles a day and I have talked to professional boxers who do 8-12 miles a day for cardio training. Dont tell me those guys dont have endurance.

My point is that you don not have to gve up speed to have strength or mass, you dont have to give up agility and you dont have to give up endurance. If your sole consideration is a 6 mile run in 30 odd minutes then no you cant have any strength but you give up EVERYTHING else for that ability. Ultra endurance, or triathlete type of cardio ability is probably the least usefull of athletic abilities IMO. I think the average vertical jump for elite level marathon runners is something ridiculous like 12" That is as bad as the guys who are 100% mass monster bodybuilders who's only ability is to lift a heavy weight or flex on stage before keeling over after they walk off stage.
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