Applicable Strength: Cross section increase or ?

Hey guys,

Been a long time since I posted here, good to see some familiar faces still abound :)

What's the consensus on strength increases applicable to ones sport (lets say a weight class specific sport like bjj)

Skill training aside, is it essentially that unless strength training results in cross sectional increase (bigger muscles), it doesn't carry over to sport very much?

I believe Doug (vermonter) has states that before and from reading it seems thats pretty agreed upon here.

If thats the case.. Why is that? Arent there other adaptations taking place? It cant be that all strength increases without muscle increases simply mean you are more efficient at the movement, could it?

Interested to hear your thoughts on this. Phone Post 3.0

Chad fucking Hamzeh sighting?? Jesus Christ... Last time I talked to chad I didn't have to stop my phone from autocorrecting Hamzeh because smart phones didn't even exist yet.

How the hell are you?

Ps non-hypertrophic strength is specific.

vermonter - Chad fucking Hamzeh sighting?? Jesus Christ... Last time I talked to chad I didn't have to stop my phone from autocorrecting Hamzeh because smart phones didn't even exist yet.

How the hell are you?

Ps non-hypertrophic strength is specific.
Hahah... Man it's funny cuz its true. Smartphones didn't exist.

Thx for the reply... Riddle me this then. Why does a bigger muscle translate over? Is it with bigger muscles comes higher force output or contractile strength?

Just fyi, anecdotally ive noticed that when im bigger im stronger and its a great thing assuming cardio doesnt suffer. Luckily im smarter there now :) Phone Post 3.0

Oh and to answer your question, im fuking great thanks... What about you? Phone Post 3.0

Ya i suppose tendon strength. Neural would be specific to the movement id think?

I found an article by kelly baggett that kinda answered my questions actually. The elephant and mouse is a good one. Phone Post 3.0

Leigh answered it. More contractile protein means larger muscle fibers. It also means more potential force any time that muscle fiber is called on.

I have brought this very subject up many times. I mostly agree with the agreed upon theory here, but I still think there is more going on and being ignored.

Serotonin plays a huge part in how hard a muscle contracts, this gets ignored. I am sure there are many other elements involved in how hard a muscle contracts like Calcium and Potassium.

I always throw out the challenge of an Atlas Stone lift to Doug or anyone with similar amounts of lean muscle mass or cross sectional area to me. I have never practiced the Atlas Stone or anything like it, but I would bet I beat anyone here with similar proportions to myself.

But why would I? I mostly only practice the bench press. Am I just efficient at it? Should everyone with similar amounts of muscle pretty much be equal in events they have never practiced? They aren't, but why?

I might be a little off but I think you will see where I am coming from. It just can't be so simple as a bigger muscle being stronger 100% of the time.

Thanks for the input guys. I have found that the bigger i am i feel stronger on the mat. I have also found that when my power clean increases even without a bw increase my doubles are stronger. Anecdotes are tough to rely on.

Leigh whats CAT? Phone Post 3.0

C-Hamzeh - Thanks for the input guys. I have found that the bigger i am i feel stronger on the mat. I have also found that when my power clean increases even without a bw increase my doubles are stronger. Anecdotes are tough to rely on.

Leigh whats CAT? Phone Post 3.0

Anecdotal evidence comes first, then science backs it up. That seems to be how it goes in the strength and conditioning world. I could only imagine how a Powerlifting peaking plan would look if it was written by a scientist that had never lifted before.

I am not Leigh but CAT is Compensatory Acceleration Training. Taking a moderate weight and accelerating the barbell through the whole lift.

"Chad fucking Hamzeh sighting" <---LOL@ this...My first thoughts exactly.

Howz-it Chad? Nice to see you're alive and well.

There are too many factors outside of muscle-mass that come into play. I think JH is on to some things about calcium, etc. Also recruitment ability, leverage, origin insertion stuff, just because two people both have 75lbs of LBM (just making the number up for discussion sake) doesnt mean there are not a ton of other facotrs to cause variance. 

TAKU

 

"Thirdly - and most importantly - you have extremely developed neural pathways. You are a world class strength athlete. Just because you don't specifically practise picking up atlas stones, doesn't mean you don't have a huge advantage over the average 230 lean guy."

I agree with you. But why? There are probably a million reasons. It just seems that sometimes this gets ignored in the discussion and the theory of the bigger muscles always being stronger just gets accepted.

I think there is just way more to it than that and I am sure it's over my head.

Leigh - I don't really think there is much more to it. The short, muscly guy who is better at lifting heavy things than everyone else is better at lifting other heavy things. That seems pretty straightforward.

If you (specifically you, Jeremy) wanted to get better at lifting Atlas stones, you would need to build more muscle or practise lifting Atlas stones. At this point, improving your bench without gaining mass would not make you better at lifting Atlas stones. Phone Post 3.0

Understand what you are saying Leigh. I agree that lifting Atlas Stones would be way better than just benching to get better at Atlas Stones, but I still think getting better at benching through non-hypertrophic means could still have an impact on AS performance even without practicing AS.

This does not mean that I completely disagree with you or Doug, I am just not 100% on board and would like to read more on how and why people get stronger before I decide.

"non-hypertrophic strength is specific". This never sits right with me, it implies there is no carry over to ANYTHING, when I think there is. Why? I don't know.



I think especially for beginners there is a lot of carry over in strength between different movements, but at some point it levels off and becomes more of a skill instead.

http://breakingmuscle.com/strength-conditioning/unilateral-exercise-improves-endurance-on-both-sides

This is a great article that kind of shows what I am trying to say. If endurance training can show endurance increases in non trained muscles, maybe there is a possibility that can happen for strength.

I am not posting the article of proof to my claim, just my thinking of the possibility.

I would bet that if we took a bench press only competitor who has never done a squat before (Believe me there are a lot of them) and had him perform a squat against a non lifter of equal size, the BP Competitor would squat more in almost every case.

First, the article probably won't contradict the things I say, because I wrote the article

Second, if Jeremy had a twin who somehow (and that's a big somehow) managed to have the exact physical dimensions without being as strong on the powerlifts, I do not think there would be a substantial difference between performance on an exercise they both never perform. As Leigh points out, there might be differences neurotransmitter levels, ability to optimize the twitches and so forth, but I'm guessing the difference between the two would be much less than you think Jeremy.

Third, the more technical the endeavor, and the less bodyweight fluctuates the more strength is a specific acclimation beyond the novice level. This is why, if Jeremy rolled with Kenny F. one would feel weak and the other would feel immensely strong despite the fact that Jeremy has a much greater potential for strength because of his much larger size.in that situation we would have to redefine our personal intuitions about what it means to be strong.

Leigh - There is definitely some carryover, agreed, but it tapers off before reaching advanced levels and way before elite levels. I really believe at your level, adding 50lbs to your bench without adding LBM would have zero effect on your AS ability.

I don't see how the point your making with the article contradicts what Doug is saying. Bench press could make your non-bench press muscles stronger - ok. They may grow bigger or the neural pathways may improve somewhat before the cut off point for carryover. I won't dispute that. So a bench presser will be stronger at squat than a non squatter with the same lean body mass- agreed. But not loads stronger. They will know how to focus and how to breathe and how to lift heavy weights and their neural pathways will probably be more developed but I doubt you'd see a crazy difference Phone Post 3.0

We are on the same page, which is different to what you and Doug normally say about non hypertrophic strength having no transfer.

I was not posting to be right or to prove anyone wrong, just that I think there could be more to things than what is thought.

I actually think there would be a crazy difference in this made up squat contest with non squatters.

vermonter - First, the article probably won't contradict the things I say, because I wrote the article

Second, if Jeremy had a twin who somehow (and that's a big somehow) managed to have the exact physical dimensions without being as strong on the powerlifts, I do not think there would be a substantial difference between performance on an exercise they both never perform. As Leigh points out, there might be differences neurotransmitter levels, ability to optimize the twitches and so forth, but I'm guessing the difference between the two would be much less than you think Jeremy.

Third, the more technical the endeavor, and the less bodyweight fluctuates the more strength is a specific acclimation beyond the novice level. This is why, if Jeremy rolled with Kenny F. one would feel weak and the other would feel immensely strong despite the fact that Jeremy has a much greater potential for strength because of his much larger size.in that situation we would have to redefine our personal intuitions about what it means to be strong.

I disagree that I would feel weak to KF on the mat. When I was involved in the sport I was always told by people better than me that I was strong, despite the fact that I wasn't even strong back then. I am probably 2xs stronger now with approx 60-70 more lbs of muscle.

KF would destroy me in a fight but it would probably be because he would punch my face in and I would gas trying to take him down.

I also don't think we need to redefine what it means to be strong. Strength is force, not a grappling match.

I thought the same thing before I rolled with him. People much stronger than me on gym lifts and even those larger than me frequently feel weak to me. And I am often told the same thing. That I am strong, even by world class athletes. I honestly thought I could over power Kenny and hold position on him due to my size, strength and enough experience. Boy was I woefully mistaken. He ragdolled me like I was a tiny child. I've never felt weaker.

Jeff monson said that Kenny was stronger than most heavyweight fighters.

And I suspect we do. What we call "strength" is not force in the human body, per se, strength is the ability to accomplish a task that requires a coordinated effort of force from many force producing units. Some person could have muscle fibers that can theoretically exert twice the force of any living person but if they are not coordinated by the nervous system, that person would not be strong in the sense that we usually mean. In other words, strength is an expression of force, or at least that's the only means we have of measuring strength.

Further, people often define strength by some test that supposedly isolates strength, like a bench press. That test does not make a person strong, per se (although usually it does).

Let me put the above in a different way to see where your intuitions lie.

We could take some person with arms twice as long as yours and let's say that we had some means of measuring the force produced by each individual fiber and we added them all up and discovered that you and he produce the same amount of force per fiber and have an identical number of fibers. We might say that you each have the same strength by this metric.

However, if we put you both on the bench press, you would outperform him, even if he also had the same level of experience on that lift. You would out-bench him by a huge amount actually.

If you had each of you hit a heavy bag with a force sensor in it, however, he would hit much harder than you with a cross.

So, in our example, which of you is "stronger?" One of you exerted more force in one test, you both exerted the same force on a different test, and he exerted more on a third.

vermonter - Let me put the above in a different way to see where your intuitions lie.

We could take some person with arms twice as long as yours and let's say that we had some means of measuring the force produced by each individual fiber and we added them all up and discovered that you and he produce the same amount of force per fiber and have an identical number of fibers. We might say that you each have the same strength by this metric.

However, if we put you both on the bench press, you would outperform him, even if he also had the same level of experience on that lift. You would out-bench him by a huge amount actually.

If you had each of you hit a heavy bag with a force sensor in it, however, he would hit much harder than you with a cross.

So, in our example, which of you is "stronger?" One of you exerted more force in one test, you both exerted the same force on a different test, and he exerted more on a third.

I would have to go by the special made up test of measuring each fiber and call it a tie.

Both of the other tests require certain amounts of technique and skill and leverage, which leads back to you being right about your explanation of Kenny being strong.

Good way to put it.