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Brecht Debruyne

How much muscle do I need for optimal strength to weight ratio?

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Brecht Debruyne

Ever since I started getting into powerlifting at age 16, I've been weighing 100kg+ at 192cm. Lately I've burned a ton of fat by playing badminton and my bodyweight is now around 90kg with 7% bodyfat. However I'm trying to get around 80-85kg now since I notice most badminton pros my height weigh between 70-82. Also I'm interested in learning some gymnastics moves. This means I have to cut some muscle mass. Which makes me wonder if anyone has some nice information or articles about how much muscle mass you need relative to your height and body type in order to maximize strength-to-weight ratio? (assuming the athlete already has an optimal bodyfatM so they can't cut fat anymore)

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Jason Dupree

It's not necessarily the size of a muscle, but what that muscle can do. Think puffed up body builder vs Olympic gymnast. You can get pretty big without getting very strong. But many Olympic gymnasts, at least ring specialists, which are pound for pound the strongest in the world, max out on the fat free max index for their size. Meaning, they couldn't get bigger without steroids.

If you are trying to get stronger, don't lose muscle, make what you have stronger.

Your size will affect your acrobatics though, if that's what you mean. I wouldn't know too much about that though.

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Brecht Debruyne

It's not necessarily the size of a muscle, but what that muscle can do. Think puffed up body builder vs Olympic gymnast. You can get pretty big without getting very strong.

Yes I know that muscle mass doesn't equal strength, yet the two are related. The point of my question was more like when two athletes with the same body type but different muscle mass max out the strength they can get with their current muscle mass, which one would have a higher strength to weight ratio? The lighter or the heavier? Personally I think that gains in (functional, maxed out strength) muscle mass beyond a certain amount slow you down more than they gain you in terms of strength-to-weight.

 

Here's a chart I made in excel based on some drugfree powerlifting world records: http://puu.sh/hZNC8/48a8ccfec5.png

You can see that the lighter weight classes get way better scores on strength to weight than the heavier weight classes.

Now there are a couple of problems though, first one is that the heavier powerlifters probably aren't that lean and have maybe around 15-20% fat, second one is that the lighter weight classes are almost always smaller people. What I'm interested in is strength-to-weight ratios of athlete with the same body composition, maxed out neurological strength efficiency, but just different amounts of muscle mass.

Edited by Xcrypt

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Toni Laukkavaara

probably like 62kg and 160cm tall >.< 

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Jason Dupree

Yes, the way physics work, the smaller you are, the more strength to weight ratio you can have. But that applies more to height, because of leverage. You seem to be asking about this for tumbling? Or at least better agility? Someone like coach could give you a better answer there. But, I wouldn't obsess about being the perfect size until you are close to maxing out your potential tumbling ability. Just get started :)

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Alessandro Mainente

weight to ratio it is important as the body proportion X men/woman are better with less hips distance. for amateur person with only conditioning you do not need to pay to much attention on proportion. muscles adaptation is necessary for high level strength , it is the ultimate possibility of the body after neural intra and extra muscles coordination.

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Julian Aldag

Gymnastics doesn't have weight classes like Powerlifting.

 

 With GST, hypertrophy is not the focus but a byproduct of the training. 

Asking the right weight/strength ratio doesn't really translate over to Gymnastics ( To my knowledge). You might have difficulties in the future with more advanced skills if you have built up muscle mass from non-gymnastic training, but I would imagine that's not really something beginners should worry about.  I would just start training, and course correct later on if you cant break the plateau BECAUSE of the extra weight. 

 

Coach is probably the most qualified to answer this question. 

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Coach Sommer

Jules is spot on.  At this point in your training, this is not something that I would concern myself with.

 

Yours in Fitness,

Coach Sommer

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Brecht Debruyne

I am asking the question not because I am concerned it is holding me back a lot at this stage, but because it is something I am interested in at the moment. With 'optimal' strength/weight ratio I didn't mean the 'right' strength/weight ratio, but the maximum strength/weight ratio (which is the optimal ofc). Basically how much mass of high-neuromuscular-efficiency-muscle does a person of height X need to maximize his strength to weight ratio. Some say the more strong muscle mass the better, as long as it's not unefficient muscle mass. Some say the less the better. Some say there's a balance. I personally think there's a balance because you can always see some bulk in gymnasts and sprinters and other athletes who are working mostly with their own bodyweight, yet not bulked as much as a bodybuilder.

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Cole Dano

I think Coach Sommer, being a man who is interested in results rather than theoretical discussion, is saying that it will take care of itself if you have a good diet and train intelligently.

 

IMO nothing wrong with discussing it, but on the practical level he's 100% right.  

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