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Strength or Looks?

Discussion in 'Weight Training/Bulking' started by Bsheller, Apr 21, 2008.

  1. cajunman

    cajunman Well-Known Member

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    Both. It's not impossible to acknowledge the great effort and great progress that someone has made, while at the same time acknowledging the fact that they are still physically weak.
     
  2. Hmac58

    Hmac58 Active Member

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    I want to be in shape for health mostly but I do enjoy getting stronger. Moving things around the house is much eaiser and I don't get winded nearly as easily.

    I also want to be in shape so that I can be more active and enjoy more outdoor activities. I love biking, camping and kayaking and my weight makes all of that harder and less enjoyable.
     
  3. Bsheller

    Bsheller Active Member

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    115 lbs is 5lbs lighter than 2 bags of water softener salt... Wouldnt being able to dead lift that and squat at least that make carrying them to your basement alot easier? Having legs and a back in such a condition to where you can't stand up with your own body weight is pathetic. To grow complacent and not do something about that is even worse. Stepping into the gym with set goals in mind is the first step, but when you achieve those goals you deserve commendation.
     
  4. HevyMetal

    HevyMetal Well-Known Member

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    Average looking guys get laid all the time. Even guys who don't work out at get laid all the time.

    If the criteria for getting laid was "you have to look like Dorian Yates..",
    most of the population would be staying home on the weekends.

    IMO personality and basic genetic looks are what determines whether you're going get some...

    In some studies it has been shown that the Dorian Yates look actually turns many women off.

    You can have all the muscles in the world...but... if you're a dork with no sense of humour who smells badly and doesn't have any social attributes coupled with the mind of an amoeba, your choices will be limited.


    I think that a lot of guys rationalize like this:-
    " Women aren't interested in me...it must be because of my looks...if I work out and look like Arnold, then they'll want me..."

    The reason they don't want you is because you are a boring, mindless, unfunny jerk. Now you will be a boring, mindless, unfunny jerk with muscles. You may gain a percentage point or two...but once they see who you are they'll be gone to greener pastures.

    If you have a face like Brad Pitt,a body like Ronald Coleman, drive a Maserati, all your clothes are made by Gucci and you have a six-figure bank account, the above observations do not apply....you are exempt.

    o.k....that rants out of the way.....

    I don't lift for strength per se...but it has a lot to do with it. I don't lift for looks per se either...although it has a lot to do with it.

    A lot of my lifting goals have to do with the way I feel about myself in terms of "results" in increased abilities.

    Early on I analyzed my genetic potential in terms of muscle belly length, skeletal structure, bone proportion, body type, and my athletic abilty in general. I work within that structural reference. I don't work within the structural reference of champion lifters in magazines. Because I am never going to be one of them.

    At the end of the day if I can look in the mirror and see improvement for me, know that I have much more functional athletic ability than before and achieve some goals I've set for myself then I'm happy.

    So what if I can't deadlift 550lbs. When I started off I couldn't Deadlift 100. Sice then I've improved greatly....in all other lifting areas as well.

    But you have to ask yourself what you're trying to get out of all this.

    I don't want to be a Powerlifter. I like speed and fighting ability. I also like looking good.

    I like it when I can sprint up a long flight of stairs in seconds. How big my Quads are isn't all that important. I'd rather be able to sprint up a flight of stairs than have huge muscles with no athletic ability.

    But I don't want to look like a bean-pole either.

    A lot of people do want to look good...and there's nothing wrong with that at all.

    But the goal of my program isn't just to look like a clipping out of a magazine.

    I'll settle for looking like George St.Pierre, Matt Hughes, Randy Couture, or Rampage. Along with a decent amount of athletic ability.
     
  5. odin1642

    odin1642 Active Member

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    I would say neither on this point. Nobody should feel "embarrassed" about what they can or can't lift in my opinion, that's like saying people should feel embarrassed cos they can't ballroom dance or play chess, we all have different interests, pursuits and hobbies.


    Re "commended", I don't think people should be commended, nor feel the need to be, about taking up weight training so they look better, after all it's a personal thing which only really benefits the person himself/herself. I think folk should more generally be commended for helping others, if you were talking about a lifestyle change like conquering a drug or drink addiction, maybe that's different but taking up training to improve one's appearance I don't think is something which merits "commendation". I'd say it's a personal thing that one should either do or not do, no commendation should be required or sought. Just my 2 cents worth.
     
    #85 odin1642, Apr 22, 2008
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2008
  6. RTE

    RTE Well-Known Member

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    My county and most of the state provides a good lifting program in our high schools, but not for girls. That is a big mistake, on balance. they need it more than guys.

    Now lets don't stretch it too far, a large number of competitive lifters and bodybuilders have back, shoulder, and knee injuries or problems. Our bodies can be subjected to too much of a good thing. Our genes sometimes sets a destination for our bodies from the word go. No amount of exercise can stop that train once it gets started.
     
  7. odin1642

    odin1642 Active Member

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    Great post with a lot of good points. Re Dorian Yates, I think the large majority of women would be turned off by the extreme muscle development of pro bodybuilders, and most guys don't want to look anything like that anyway. All the surveys you read about this that women prefer the, yes you guessed it, "cover model" look.

    I think your goals probably represent those of your average gym going guy - a combination of looks, strength, speed and athleticism. The easiest way to get strong is just to eat, eat and eat and get built like a powerlifter - but that's at the cost of speed and agility which a lot of guys want for sporting activities. A powerlifter look with a high bodyfat will also certainly be at the expense of one's looks - and presumably there's an evolutionary type reason why women find a lower bodyfat in men more attractive - presumably a lower body fat = faster = more proficient hunter (or whatever:blank:).

    And also fighting ability as you mention - being too heavy will slow you down, fighting being as much about speed as strength.
     
  8. Robert2006

    Robert2006 Active Member

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    I doubt it. Being lean is a modern thing. Big used to mean wealthy. You couldn't get big in any sense and not be relatively well off.


    Much of the modern ideal is at odds with the past ideals. Tans used to mean field labourer. Thin meant you couldn't afford enough food.
     
  9. odin1642

    odin1642 Active Member

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    Yeah, I aint claiming to be an anthropogist or anything:blank:

    But at the same time I'm guessing that the ideal physiques promoted today are merely pandering to what people instinctively attractive, rather than the other way about i.e. an ideal physique type being promoted by our media and people then being socialised into finding that attractive, I guess it's a kind of chicken and egg situation, what comes first ?

    Re lean being a modern thing, what about Greek and Roman statues, the guys depicted thereon actually have similar physiques to those on the cover of the dreaded Men's Health magazine:)
     
  10. Azure

    Azure Active Member

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    Hence the part about educating them.
     
  11. Robert2006

    Robert2006 Active Member

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    I don't think many of the greek or roman ideals were that lean.

    One thing that hasn't changed is the idea that wealth is good. Who can afford to sit around the pool and go to the gym today is more likely to look "good" the same way somebody who 300 years ago could stay inside out of the sun and eat whatever they wanted. Looking rich looks good :lol:
     
  12. zenpharaohs

    zenpharaohs Elite Member
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    I don't actually care how it "comes across"; the fact of the matter is that life is full of embarassments, and we all experience many of them. Pretending that they aren't there when they are is a simple mistake.

    I don't know if you should be embarassed for being unable to squat 1.5 times your body weight. It's possible; I would put the borderline a bit lower than that. And of course, there are some legitimate reasons why someone might not be able to squat - spinal chord injury, not having legs, etc. But yeah, there is an amount below which an otherwise healthy man should be embarassed to find his 1RM squat, because even a very modest application of strength exercise would result in better performance.

    It is important to understand that these levels are very far below anything which passes for impressive. For example, it is difficult to have an impressive deadlift - you have to be pulling at least close to three times your body weight if not more, before deadlifts become impressive. Let's be as realistic about that as we are about what is embarassing. According to the exrx standards, for a 165# man to have an "elite" deadlift he has to pull 518#. So make no mistake - there is a long, long distance between "embarassing" and "impressive". So it is hard to see where "ego" gets fed that much simply by avoiding embarassment.

    You can also be commended for recognizing the possibility of change, and, if you stick with SGX, you will almost surely have little (if anything) to be embarrassed about in a very short amount of time. The truth is that anyone with an embarassing level of fitness, but otherwise healthy, will progress beyond the embarassing stage very quickly on almost any reasonable program. That's actually what is embarassing about the embarassing level of lack of fitness - just like an impressive level of fitness is only maintained by constant application of serious effort, the embarassing level of fitness can only be maintained by constant application of serious neglect.
     
  13. MannishBoy

    MannishBoy Senior Member

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    Actually muscular and tanned males meant low class in the last few hundred years as those tanned and muscular men were generally the laborers, not the upper class/nobility.

    "Exercise" for gentlemen generally involved walks through gardens or sport hunting.
     
  14. NCNBilly

    NCNBilly Well-Known Member

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    We had weight training as part of P.E. but it was all machine work, no barbells - basically worthless, and the teacher was an out-of-shape slob.
     
  15. Azure

    Azure Active Member

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    I think we went to the gym 'once' in the 3 years of high school.

    And while we were there the egotistical morons in my class hogged all the machines.

    Idiots.

    P.E. has become more about classroom teaching kids than letting them learn through playing.
     
  16. odin1642

    odin1642 Active Member

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    Nah, Rome is pretty close to me and I've been a few times, the Capitoline museum on the hill behind the Victor Emanuelle monument is worth a visit, it's full of classical statues, a great deal of the sculptures depict men who are "ripped" as it were. So I guess there must have been some muscular ripped guys walking around in togas back then:D
     
  17. Ectomorphic

    Ectomorphic Active Member

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    That exactly describes my weight training part of P.E., including the teacher part.

    Although, after we did the required part of the class each time, we were left to our own devices for the rest of the class period, during which he opened up the free-weights area.
     
  18. anfeyd

    anfeyd Active Member

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    You use the word 'seen' just because someone appears healthy does not mean they are healthy.



    Stunningly average was used in the context of body composition, not personality. My post was referring to those who pick up weight training to improve their physiques for the sole purpose of outward appearance and thinking it gives them a better chance with the ladies.
     
  19. xclutch

    xclutch Active Member

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    amazing post... agree 100%
     
  20. kinewone

    kinewone Active Member

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    Just some food for thought...

    I actually used to work as a mover when I was 19. At that time, I wasn't really fit or unfit (alright, more likely on the unfit side), just kinda the average late teen (drinking, partying etc). Not particulary strong or weak. Well, after a few weeks, I got pretty good at the job. The company I worked for hired some day labourers for a commercial move. One day labourer was huge. Definitely spent time in the gym. Of course, I can't judge how strong the guy was, but he was most definitely stronger then me. I can safely say that he could easy double or triple whatever I could have lifted in a gym (at that point, I never really lifted seriously). Thing is, I could move heavy stuff much much more efficiently then this guy. He was sweating and huffing, and I was taking 2 filing cabinets for every 1 he was. It wasn't a matter of strength. It was a matter of technique. So you can dead and squat a metric ton, but when it comes to doing practical things like moving, technique will make up for a lot.
     

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