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How Are Some PL Lean and Strong?
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michael_xyz
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Join date: Dec 2011
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How do some powerlifters achieve rather low levels of bodyfat yet are also stupidly strong? For example some greats like Ed Coan and Kirk Karwoski or Derek Poundstone and Mariusz Pudzianowski.

I know at times they aren't lean at all but at least at some points they are. Now I'm sure genetics and drugs play a strong role in it, but how much of if it is a conscious effort on their behalf to maintain or achieve being lean? And if it is - why? Although I respect it highly, we are told that you need to gain weight to gain strength. They are strength athletes, why is it the case they would be lean?

Just wondering really whether they take a conscious decision or because of mainly genetics and drugs it leads to that outcome.

Also understandable that some may do it to feel better/perform better but it's like Big Z vs Poundstone for example. Quite a big difference in physiques but you don't see Big Z wanting to lose some weight and vice-versa Poundstone stays FAIRLY lean.

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spar4tee
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Since when did being lean make you weak?

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michael_xyz
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Join date: Dec 2011
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spar4tee wrote:
Since when did being lean make you weak?


Well not being lean per se but I mean cutting weight will 99% of the time mean you will lose some strength.

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spar4tee
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michael_xyz wrote:
spar4tee wrote:
Since when did being lean make you weak?


Well not being lean per se but I mean cutting weight will 99% of the time mean you will lose some strength.

There's a difference between cutting weight and maintaining leanness. Most of the guys you mentioned trained at their contest weight.

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michael_xyz
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spar4tee wrote:
michael_xyz wrote:
spar4tee wrote:
Since when did being lean make you weak?


Well not being lean per se but I mean cutting weight will 99% of the time mean you will lose some strength.

There's a difference between cutting weight and maintaining leanness. Most of the guys you mentioned trained at their contest weight.

Okay so what you're saying is that they maintain those low levels of bodyfat fairly constantly? If so, why though? Surely bulking more helps with strength? I realise they also want to hit certain weight classes though but you have to admit it's rather rare to see a "ripped" powerlifter.

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caveman101
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because fat is dead weight

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StormTheBeach
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Disciplne is the biggest factor. They all cared/care enough about thier strength and performance to not eat like a fat kid. Genetics play a small part in it. Gneteics is where you start, not where you finish. The right 'stack' certrainly helps.

Why is Derrick Poundstone leaner than Zydrynus? Derrick weighs about 100lbs less if I am not mistaken. Strongman is different than other sports. In the heavyweight class, bigger is always better. You don't get bonus points for visable abs.

Kinda off topic but Arnold said he never did cardio because he didn't need too. He ate right all year round. I think that plays a big part in it.

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vjoe
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Join date: Apr 2011
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michael_xyz wrote:
spar4tee wrote:
michael_xyz wrote:
spar4tee wrote:
Since when did being lean make you weak?


Well not being lean per se but I mean cutting weight will 99% of the time mean you will lose some strength.

There's a difference between cutting weight and maintaining leanness. Most of the guys you mentioned trained at their contest weight.

Okay so what you're saying is that they maintain those low levels of bodyfat fairly constantly? If so, why though? Surely bulking more helps with strength? I realise they also want to hit certain weight classes though but you have to admit it's rather rare to see a "ripped" powerlifter.


It is rare because most powerlifters don't care about how they look. On the same level, most bodybuilders don't care about how strong they are.

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LiquidMercury
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Join date: Mar 2007
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In the lighter classes you'll generally see leaner lifters because the excess fat hurts them more then it helps whereas if they had more muscle they'd be more competitive. Once you get to the higher weight classes and it's harder to have that much muscle mass, then more fat tends to be seen as well. If guys have trouble staying at 275 lean, then it's better for them to be right at 275 with more fat, then at a leaner 260 due to leverages.

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Explosions
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Being lean is healthier, and health is important. Most powerlifters aren't super fat, unless you look at the higher weight classes. I would say its mostly just in good planning. After you get past noobgains is there a real reason to be that heavy? Besides the leverage advantage I can't really see a reason.

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want2getlean
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I assume they just didn't gain weight because they thought they wouldn't benefit from it.

At the highest classes pushing the heaviest weights though, you DO need to gain weight. Doubt we'll ever see Joe sixpack setting some world records.


More mass = better leverages and shorter ROM. I can only imagine the constant barrage of calories only helps getting stronger.


Poundstone and Mariusz competed mainly in Strongman, which isn't a pure strength event.

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hanban
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the days of obese cant walk up 5 stairs powerliters are over. most PL's today keep their BF lower and infact will tell you that they are as strong if not stronger than when they carried much more BF.you might get some added leverage to bounce off of with a bigger frame but for most the health aspect dosnt worth it. Dave Tate talks about how he lost his ability to set up on the conventional deadlift when he leaned up because he lost the mechanical advantage his gut and thick waist gave him so he switched to sumo.

Scott Mendelson used to weigh 350+- lbs and he's pressing more now on 290

Mike O'hearn squatted 815 lbs 240lbs , and 800 on 290 lbs

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hungry4more
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Being leaner will let you lift in a lighter weight class...not to mention it is healthier. Believe it or not, most elite level PLers care about longevity. Also, as drugs become more advanced and efficient, the need to get hugely fat to break certain strength barriers isn't always there.

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JoeGood
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LiquidMercury wrote:
In the lighter classes you'll generally see leaner lifters because the excess fat hurts them more then it helps whereas if they had more muscle they'd be more competitive. Once you get to the higher weight classes and it's harder to have that much muscle mass, then more fat tends to be seen as well. If guys have trouble staying at 275 lean, then it's better for them to be right at 275 with more fat, then at a leaner 260 due to leverages.




QFT

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michael_xyz
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Join date: Dec 2011
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So you're saying that more are trading off some strength losses when cutting so that they can compete at lower classes or simply because there are more benefits to being leaner?

I'm just trying to understand whether they do indeed still cut and end up losing some strength OR it's more that they just continuously try stay fairly lean.

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PeteS
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Join date: May 2009
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michael_xyz wrote:
So you're saying that more are trading off some strength losses when cutting so that they can compete at lower classes or simply because there are more benefits to being leaner?

I'm just trying to understand whether they do indeed still cut and end up losing some strength OR it's more that they just continuously try stay fairly lean.



It's about knowing your competition and knowing what the records are. Say a lifter walks around at 193. At 193 he can bench 505. That is also far from the record and far from what the other 198s in his upcoming meet will do. However, at 181 he can hit 485. He knows no one can touch him in this meet, and it is good for the state/national record. Thus he cuts to 181.

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hungry4more
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It's both. Why are you talking about powerlifters as we all do things the same way? There will always be SOME that bulk up beyond what most consider obese to lift super heavy weights, and there will also always be some that lift large weights while relatively/super lean. Obviously, you usually lose strength when you cut weight, especially if you're cutting weight quickly. That's not rocket science. But as a trainee becomes more advanced, they can often outlift their previous PRs while weighing less, for a variety of reasons.

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gorangers0525
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Join date: Nov 2011
Posts: 502

A "ripped" powerlifter is definitely not rare.

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