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mattdaly

bodybuilders v gymnasts

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mattdaly

I have been looking at what ppl say in regards to body builders and gymnasts, from training body building type workouts for a long time and switching to gymnastic workouts I think the two are very different but ppl keep wanting to put the two in the same group (as both atheletes look muscley I suppose). It seems that those who are purely bb are very negative to gymnasts and will claim that gymnasts "look" muscley cause they are short and have low body fat%. However looking at reaserch all over the net i find that the average size of pro bb's is in the range of 5.6 to 5.9 and gymnasts are ranging from 5.4 to 5.9. The %of body fat is very similar too. Are bb's jealous that gymnasts have better functional muscular strength? And that by advanced body weight exercise get similar (and at many times better) muscular hyptophy (sp?)I know that since i swapped from weight lifting to gymnastics i get a few comments from my weight lifting mates, esp as i am getting better results in fitness and strength. But they still haven't "seen the light".

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Rik de Kort

Bodybuilders train for looks; gymnasts train for strength.

Problem is, looks can be easily attained without much strength. Strength is hard to obtain without looks.

So people just go in denial about the fact that there is a better way to train. It's human nature.

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Aaron Griffin
Problem is, looks can be easily attained without much strength.

This is a silly statement. Ronnie Coleman can squat 800lbs (geared), benches over 400, and deadlifts over 800. You don't get big without also being strong, but bigger does not always mean stronger (KK, for instance, is about 80lbs under Ronnie Coleman's competition weight, but deadlifts quite a bit more - over 1000lbs)

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Rik de Kort

Ronnie Coleman is a freak. Not to mention probably on huge amounts of steroids for size. That's not what I mean by 'looks'.

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John Cook
Bodybuilders train for looks; gymnasts train for strength.

Guys generally speaking I would agree- having been down that "training for looks" road for year and years... but I believe there is more to it than this. What I've found is that it boils down to... very simply... it is just extremely easy for any average guy to pick up a bodybuilding/fitness magazine, get some ideas about nutrition and putting together a workout, buy a gym membership at X-gym, show up, start lifting and call himself a bodybuilder.... the progressions are just as simple- use less weight if you can't lift it and pick a different exercise or machine if it hurts! We have all seen the same guys in the gym doing bench press, bicep curls, tricep press downs, and lat pulldowns year after year and their bodies never change and they may not even be in great shape or look good (to others)... but they persist- driven by ego and the need to feel like being there is doing themselves good.

As the fitness rage intensifies and the gym membership numbers climb and climb there are bound to be genetic freaks that rise from the common pool of gym rats and become professionals... but there is a very short learning curve with bodybuilding and once you've done it for a bit and have amassed a decent lot of exercises and programs... you can roll with it indefinitely.

Gymnastics is not like this as we all know. The exposure factor is extremely limited for the general population as not EVERYONE can just roll down the street and join the local gymnastics gym and start tearin it up.... And if you could do this- people would be destroying themselves without the proper guidance.

We know the value of gymnastics conditioning- but no testosterone laden meathead ever wants to be told that what he has been doing for years and years is not the 'best' way... he must 'see' the light himself... but this is just not gonna happen unless he is looking for something different.

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Aaron Griffin
That's not what I mean by 'looks'.

But you said bodybuilder. Ronnie Coleman, Jay Cutler, etc are professional bodybuilders. Did you happen to mean just some normal guy who works out for looks? How about Zyzz then? (I cannot seem to find any of his 1RMs, but if you look at some of his videos, he's certainly strong - maybe not in the upper echelons, but he's strong)

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Ian Legrow

Being a former body builder (or an attepmt at being one) myself, i always followed Ronnie coleman and Jay Culter. I did my research, and they both do huge amounts of steroids. Aside from that, the MR olypmia competition, i have lost repect fro as well, becasue if you don't take steroids, there is now way you ill even be able to enter. On top of that, they dehydrate themselves and such before the cometitions. Veyr unhealthy. I lost all respect for it. Steroids does two things Builds muscle and strength, but will do one more then the other depending on what you want to do. brian shaw is 460lbs and won the strongest man in the world cometition. in 2010 he was 415lbs. In 2011 worlds strongest man Comp. he eighed in at 460lbs. i believe that is streoid abuse. Howver, i can pretty much promise Brian shaw has more over all strength (functional and dynamic) then ROnniw coleman. Why? Ronnie coleman does higher reps so his muscles get bigger. Obviously Ronnie will get stronger, byut Muscles is what he really wants. Brian shaw looks fat. We all know he isn't, nad everything we see on him is musle, but compared to ronnie coleman and the untrained eye he looks overweight.

Body builders and gymnasts wqill always be compared becasue people are never happy with answers. Just like people will always argue how steroids are not harmful, something i disagree with. I personally have just learned to sit back and anjoy what people have to say on the matter. But personally i enjoy Gymnast and Worlds Strongest Man function strength weather or not they use steroids more then i enjoy the alienh look of ronnie coleman or Jay Cutler

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John Cook
But personally i enjoy Gymnast and Worlds Strongest Man function strength weather or not they use steroids more then i enjoy the alienh look of ronnie coleman or Jay Cutler

Ian I know what you mean! I think the difference is that Gymnasts and Strongmen actually DO something with all the muscle, strength, and skill they have worked so hard for.... that functional thing that defines their sport (gymnastics skills or lifting heavy awkward things) is easier for most people to have a perspective on and so they can relate better. Have you ever attended a bodybuilding show? I have had the pleasure of going to many, not as a competitor, but in support of lifting partners and friends within my 'network' who were competing. I've seen Jay Cutler and Branch Warren pose in person, and had the opportunity to meet them afterwards... make no mistake... when you see a 300lb man with that much muscle and vein pumped up in front of you it is quite amazing... but 'alien' as well like you said... I've never wished that for myself... but to each his own! I'm much happier at my lean and mean 5'10" and 160lbs!! 8)

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Ian Legrow
but to each his own! I'm much happier at my lean and mean 5'10" and 160lbs!

i am 5'11 and 135 and totally understand where you are coming from

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Philip Chubb
That's not what I mean by 'looks'.

But you said bodybuilder. Ronnie Coleman, Jay Cutler, etc are professional bodybuilders. Did you happen to mean just some normal guy who works out for looks? How about Zyzz then? (I cannot seem to find any of his 1RMs, but if you look at some of his videos, he's certainly strong - maybe not in the upper echelons, but he's strong)

These guys aren't really good examples. They are people who actually workout with methods that make them as strong as they look. The majority of bodybuilders don't follow this trend.

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timg

I've seen very muscular, low body fat 85kg+ people unable to do a single full ROM dip or pullup. Or even a proper pushup for that matter. Whenever bodybuilder types come to the adult class i go to they invariably get embarrassed by how weak they are compared to the "skinny" guys and never come back.

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mattdaly

well does anyone think that a person could become too muscle bound and not have the ability to effectively move their body like a gymnast? As muscle is quiet heavy. I'm thinking of a pic i once saw of a huge body builder sitting on a chair, can't seem to find it though, if anyone finds it can you post it then people will see what i mean? I too am a big fan of strong man and have followed it since the 80's. Sure i got strong doing body building type work outs but i believe im much stronger now doing gymnastic based workouts especially core strength. I know people will say muscle is muscle, but i think its the way you train the muscle that counts.

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Edward Smith

I'm sorry to sound like an asshole, but what a ridiculous topic. What are you trying to accomplish or even discuss? (an honest question to the OP)

Completely different things, completely different goals, completely different paths. Yes, bodybuilders take drugs. Who over the age of 12 didn't know that? Are they strong? Yes and no, weightlifters/powerlifters are much stronger than them in relative terms but most of them can still lift some decent poundages, anyway who cares it's not even what they're training for, they're training to be the biggest/most ripped they can be (it's like getting saying contortionists are inferior to gymnasts because they aren't strong).

Even if they do use steroids, bodybuilders are some of the most dedicated, hard-working, neurotic athletes out there. People like Arnold are an inspiration to many , not just because of they're size but because of their intensity, their drive and their dedication to their passion.

I knew a guy at school who wanted to be a pro bodybuilder. His schedule looked something like this: wake up in the morning and train, ride to school, school (where he would ALWAYS eat healthy), ride home, do some more training, eat, study, go to bed.

He was around 90kg when I last saw him (always lean), could deadlift over 200kg and he was a workhorse when he played rugby (and also pretty flexible).

As to aesthetics....if you prefer the look of a gymnast (I know I do) cool, that's your prerogative. But please realise your not going to get the physique of Yuri Van Gelder doing gymnastic training and your NOT going to become as big as Ronnie Coleman doing bodybuilding style training.....your not that special, sorry!

Ed

Let me again apologise if I sound like an asshole, I'm just sick of these sorts of topics.

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Philip Chubb

That message had a slight hint of excess cortisol. Does it really bother you that the OP asked a question? How much is it going to affect your day regardless of if it's stupid or not?

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Edward Smith

Alex,

It's not that I'm angry or anything and of course the OP can ask whatever he likes, however it does kind of annoy me....just being honest, and trying to be play devil's advocate here to counter some of the hate for BB'ing. From what I understood the questions were:

Are bb's jealous that gymnasts have better functional muscular strength? And that by advanced body weight exercise get similar (and at many times better) muscular hyptophy (sp?)I know that since i swapped from weight lifting to gymnastics i get a few comments from my weight lifting mates, esp as i am getting better results in fitness and strength. But they still haven't "seen the light".

"Seen the light"? I just don't understand why there has to be a pissing match with everything like this (not just Gymnastics/Bodyweight V Bodybuilding/Weightlifiting, but almost everything). I've had plenty of people give me shit about things I like because they like something else or come from a different background (people who play Soccer calling me "Gay" because I play Rugby).

That message had a slight hint of excess cortisol.

More like Adrenal Fatigue, I'm just tired of all these sorts of discussions (they exist in almost everything). Like I said, It's comparing completely different things, apples and oranges. To me, it's the same thing as if I were to ask a question like "are gymnasts jealous that weightlifters have bigger legs than them?" or "that weightlifters can jump higher than them?"

Ed

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Quick Start Test Smith

I think a lot of people overestimate what they want or what they'd be happy with and, in my opinion, set their expectations too high. People think, "I want to look like Yuri!!!" and as they train and get stronger and leaner they find themselves not that close to Yuri but still insanely happy with how they look, feel, and perform. What we "want" and what we want are sometimes two different things. ;)

I may want to look impressive (second to athleticism tho) but I much prefer the rugged physique of a gymnast over the "planned" physique of a body builder. I see someone who looks strong and I can almost automatically tell whether they do olympic lifting, gymnastic stuff, or regular bbing. It's just how their body is built. Compared to a olympic lifter or a gymnast, body builders tend to look, IMHO, vain. They're muscular in all the right places to look good, but somehow they just don't look right.

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Rik de Kort
That message had a slight hint of excess cortisol.

More like Adrenal Fatigue, I'm just tired of all these sorts of discussions (they exist in almost everything). Like I said, It's comparing completely different things, apples and oranges. To me, it's the same thing as if I were to ask a question like "are gymnasts jealous that weightlifters have bigger legs than them?" or "that weightlifters can jump higher than them?"

Ed

In the end it's just about what you find important and it just happens to be so that quite a few people here don't consider size which is not a byproduct of strength a good thing.

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Aaron Griffin
That's not what I mean by 'looks'.

But you said bodybuilder. Ronnie Coleman, Jay Cutler, etc are professional bodybuilders. Did you happen to mean just some normal guy who works out for looks? How about Zyzz then? (I cannot seem to find any of his 1RMs, but if you look at some of his videos, he's certainly strong - maybe not in the upper echelons, but he's strong)

These guys aren't really good examples. They are people who actually workout with methods that make them as strong as they look. The majority of bodybuilders don't follow this trend.

Citation needed. You sound like you're projecting, man.

You simply **cannot** get bit without also being strong. You cannot get big curling 10lb dumbbells. It doesn't work that way. You have to be strong as well. There's no such thing as weak muscle. It's all adaptation to stress

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Philip Chubb

If you want a citation, do your research. Im just explaining for the general readers here that people like Ronnie Coleman aren't the norm in bodybuilding. It has shifted from being a sport where you were building something useful to a sport where it's just who has the best symetry ect. Just like gymnastics has gone from creativity to who can do the highest value skill. It's actually somewhat sad.

Actually, a bit further into this, it is possible to gain mass while being weak. Just use workout machines all the time. There are definitely such things as a weak muscle.

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Edward Smith
In the end it's just about what you find important and it just happens to be so that quite a few people here don't consider size which is not a byproduct of strength a good thing.

Exactly my point. I'm in the same boat as most of you guys, in wanting strength before size and even preferring the physique of a gymnast to a bodybuilder. But it goes both ways, and it just happens that bodybuilders find looks important, so why hate on them?

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FREDERIC DUPONT
(...) people who play Soccer calling me "Gay" because I play Rugby (...)

You don't mean that seriously, Ed, do you? :shock: :lol::lol:

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Philip Chubb

"Seen the light"? I just don't understand why there has to be a pissing match with everything like this (not just Gymnastics/Bodyweight V Bodybuilding/Weightlifiting, but almost everything). I've had plenty of people give me shit about things I like because they like something else or come from a different background (people who play Soccer calling me "Gay" because I play Rugby).

Haha! I kind of get what you mean now. Especially with that last sentence. I wrestled in high school and do Brazilian jiujitsu. I got a lot of that from the basketball team. It is warming to know I was capable of throwing them on their heads while they could simply throw a basketball...

Besides the point, I don't think it should be cause to get annoyed. These questions are going to come up all the time. Along with "Front squats vs back squats" and weight lifting vs body building". People just enjoy talking.

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Ian Legrow
Compared to a olympic lifter or a gymnast, body builders tend to look, IMHO, vain. They're muscular in all the right places to look good, but somehow they just don't look right.

I think what i enjoy about discussions like this is the fact that they are two different areas. You know what i have actually heard? I have heard from a bunch of people that Gymnasts do steroids as well. There are a lot of things people say, but i think it all comes down to your own research and belief. Do research, but understand a lot of stuff out there are people hearing things and botching them when they right them down, or offering bullshit advice when they actually have as littel information as possible on the subject.

I was actually telling my wife the other day, that this was the only web site i have ever been on where a lot of the answers given are researched and based on fact, not opinion like a lot of the bbing web sites i have been too.

But i think as long as nobody is actaully getting offended, this is a fun topic!

-Ian

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Joshua Naterman
If you want a citation, do your research. Im just explaining for the general readers here that people like Ronnie Coleman aren't the norm in bodybuilding. It has shifted from being a sport where you were building something useful to a sport where it's just who has the best symetry ect. Just like gymnastics has gone from creativity to who can do the highest value skill. It's actually somewhat sad.

Actually, a bit further into this, it is possible to gain mass while being weak. Just use workout machines all the time. There are definitely such things as a weak muscle.

You do, I hope, realize how ridiculous this post is... right?

Ronnie Coleman is most definitely "the norm" in elite pro bodybuilding. All of those guys are ridiculously strong, all of them use outrageous amounts of designer drugs, and in my personal opinion they all look ridiculous... just like Ronnie. Ronnie just happened to have genetics that made his body respond better to the drugs and perhaps also the name and reputation that made it politically unwise to have him lose.

If you look at Ronnie when he first won his pro card, before the absolutely excessive steroid use, you can tell that from the beginning he had physical gifts for bodybuilding.

Part of that, particularly how I feel about it, is all opinion. As for facts, it is a fact that as people get bigger from using machines they start using heavier weight on that machine. That's called getting stronger.

It's true that machines don't train the recruitment patterns that allow you to control free-moving objects, and often that they also don't even train all of the individual muscles, but every muscle that you train with a machine gets strong... just like every muscle you train with XR PPP and every muscle that you train with a front squat.

Hinged machines simply don't prepare you for controlling an object that is free to move in three dimensional space, or to move your body through space, and so much of the work done on machines simply doesn't translate over to "real world" movements immediately. However, the muscles that ARE trained do in fact get stronger and as the rest of the body catches up you will see rapid gains in "real world strength" as the untrained patterns and muscles are trained.

Just because you train biceps on the Nautilus Biceps Curl machine doesn't mean your biceps aren't strong... they are, but if you haven't trained any reverse MU, for example, that strength isn't going to translate into you being able to do the move until you train it.

You may not have trained your body to use them along with front delts and pecs during PPP with fingers pointed back (or reverse MU) so you won't immediately see that strength from the machine work allowing you to do anything crazy with your bodyweight, but as the rest of your body catches up (which happens faster when your body doesn't have as much tissue needing modification) in size/strength and as your CNS learns to use all the muscles together you will see enormous gains in ability.

I had all kinds of strength from weighted pull ups, Hammer Strength leverage machines with thick handles (that I made myself back in 2006) and bicep curl machines, pec decks, bench press, blah blah and so on. First time I tried to do a planche lean I fell on my face... forget tuck planche! 4 months later I could hold a short straddle planche. Same happened with front lever, and I had a proper palms down back lever within 2 months. I was doing full lay tick tocks reasonably slowly within 5 months. Don't tell me, or anyone else, that building strength with machines doesn't work. It does, you just have to A) learn how to use it and B) shore up any weak areas in the kinetic chain for any given movement.

As an aside, the planche work ended up causing all kinds of elbow issues because the connective tissue wasn't ready for the stress, which was the beginning of me learning a lot of new things regarding larger people and gymnastic training. Simply didn't realize how long I needed to take to build up the elbow ligaments and attachments of the forearm muscles. However, I don't think anyone will try to claim that I was weak.

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Philip Chubb

If you consider machine work strong then sure. We have two different ideas of what actual strength is then.

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