Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Does Strength Equal Muscle ? Stronglifts 5x5 Bullshit?

I just watched a video of the infmaous Mehdi, the "creator" of StrongLifts 5x5. According to him strength equals muscle mass. Is it true however?

Yes and No. Retarted answer I know.

How, so?

Muscle size is certainly dependant on strength. Obviously strong guys seem to have big muscles but not always. There are plenty examples of people who look weak/average and still lift heavy weights. I myself was able to deadlift a lot (430lbs at BW 175, BF 19%) and still I looked like shit. My father who does not train at all had bigger muscles than me. He would probably struggle with 250lbs deadlift. Yet, he bigger.

The problem with the deadlift

The deadlift may be an indication of strength or how long your arms...etc but it certainly isn't an indication how big you are. The main reason for this is the fact that the range of motion is shorter and some people are just built for the lift. Just go to youtube and you will see plenty of people who deadlift 600lbs + and look worse than Mark Rippetoe.

The problem with the squat

The squat is a little different. Most people who squat big weights are usually big or at least very thick. However exceptions are always welcome:

This guys squats 600 lbs and looks like? guess what? Of course he uses equipement, has wide stance and does not go ATG but still 600lbs is super fucking heavy. Yet, he small.

However its hard to find guys who squat a lot and are not big/fat...overall heavy dudes.

All of this leads to the question - Why?

It's simple. The goal of weightlifting is to lift as much weight as possible while the goal of  "muscle building" is to load muscle group(s) through a large range of motion so that more fibers are "hurt" and later repair themselves. That's why you see so many powerlifters having big guts and what not. They would do anything to shorter the range of motion in order to lift more weight. That's why you may see some guys lifting impressive poundages and still having smaller muscles than people who bodybuild or whatever you want to call it. Bodybuilding = harder on the muscle. Powerlifting = lift heavy.

In the end of the day my asnwer would be yes...strength does equal size but only when the range of motion is as big as your body allows without getting hurt and the overall volume is high. 

In a nutshell the recipe for being small and strong is:

Don't eat much.
Perform low reps.
Rest a lot between sets.
Lift heavy.

The recipe for building size is:

Eat sufficiently.
Perform moderate number of reps and do multiple rep ranges.
Don't rest too much between sets.
Lift moderate weight.

I don't see why a bodybuilder would max out on any lift. It makes no sense except for ego purposes.


Take a multi.

Thank you for reading this post I hope you enjoyed it.