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Fitness Theory and Practice. CrossFit's rationale & foundations. Who is fit? What is fitness?

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Old 08-06-2008, 06:05 PM   #1
Zeeshan Parvez
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Lean muscle vs muscle mass...

I have noticed that some people like fitness models have a lean look to their muscular bodies whereas bodybuilders have a very bulky look. Since, I am sort of new to lean muscle building, I would appreciate it if someone could tell me why the difference between the two?

Is it because fitness models have a higher strength to weight ratio? Gymnasts also have lean muscle and have a very high strength to weight ratio. I know bodybuilders have a very low strength to weight ratio. Could this be the reason?
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Old 08-06-2008, 06:12 PM   #2
George Mounce
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Re: Lean muscle vs muscle mass...

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Originally Posted by Zeeshan Parvez View Post
I have noticed that some people like fitness models have a lean look to their muscular bodies whereas bodybuilders have a very bulky look. Since, I am sort of new to lean muscle building, I would appreciate it if someone could tell me why the difference between the two?

Is it because fitness models have a higher strength to weight ratio? Gymnasts also have lean muscle and have a very high strength to weight ratio. I know bodybuilders have a very low strength to weight ratio. Could this be the reason?
Its because bodybuilders are working towards hypertrophy - they only look that way during competition and eat an absolutely massive amount to support their growth. Jay Cutler (2006/2007 Mr. Olympia) weighs 310 during the off season, and 274ish during competition. Actually - most body builders have a strength ratio comparative to their weight as they have to lift a ton to keep growth and development going. What they don't have is the ability to run fast anymore.

Fitness "models" workout to look good in a fitness shoot - has nothing to do with anything other than looking good. Whether they are fit or not is completely debatable.
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Old 08-06-2008, 07:23 PM   #3
Camille Lore
 
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Re: Lean muscle vs muscle mass...

If you check around for info on "sarcoplasmic hypertrophy" you should find some good explanations. Basically, the size you see in bodybuilders is actually the fluid in the muscle cells, not the muscle fibers (which do the work).
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Old 08-07-2008, 02:22 AM   #4
Zeeshan Parvez
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Re: Lean muscle vs muscle mass...

Yes, I am aware of the two types of hypertrophies. And now that you mention it, that probably is the reason.
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Old 08-07-2008, 04:43 AM   #5
Scott Borre
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Re: Lean muscle vs muscle mass...

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Originally Posted by Camille Lore View Post
If you check around for info on "sarcoplasmic hypertrophy" you should find some good explanations. Basically, the size you see in bodybuilders is actually the fluid in the muscle cells, not the muscle fibers (which do the work).
Further, they tend to have more fat within their muscle tissue (I might be stating this incorrectly). For example, from their use of creatine.
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Old 08-07-2008, 07:01 AM   #6
Andrew James
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Re: Lean muscle vs muscle mass...

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Originally Posted by Scott Borre View Post
Further, they tend to have more fat within their muscle tissue (I might be stating this incorrectly). For example, from their use of creatine.
I'm not trying to be glib, but this is incorrect.
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Old 08-07-2008, 08:06 AM   #7
Bryan Gates
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Re: Lean muscle vs muscle mass...

Actually any increase in size of a muscle (ie strict sarcoplasmic hypertrophy) will also create a corresponding increase in strength because of the better leverage.

Bodybuilders have a very bulky look because they have extreme amounts of lean body mass/extremely low bodyfat and that is what they train for. Performance athletes (gymnasts) typically look for power/weight or strength/weight ratio and are sometimes constrained by weight class. Carrying a bunch of extra LBM is not going to help them so they dont eat for it.

Calling bodybuilders (relatively even) weak is silly, all one has to do is watch a few videos of bodybuilders training (if you can get past all the curls). Ronnie Coleman can deadlift over 800lbs for a triple. Compare them to power lifters and you will see similarities. There have been several fat powerlifters that cut down their bodyfat and looked exactly like bodybuilders. There is no special hypertrophy for bodybuilders. You gotta lift big and eat big to get big... bottom line.
Hypertrophy is hypertrophy. How you look will depend on your LBM and BF%. Fitness models have less LBM and a higher BF% which takes them out of the range of freakish and into the aesthetically pleasing range. They are most likely much weaker too.

Last edited by Bryan Gates : 08-07-2008 at 08:10 AM.
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Old 08-07-2008, 12:15 PM   #8
Shane Rapp
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Re: Lean muscle vs muscle mass...

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Originally Posted by Scott Borre View Post
Further, they tend to have more fat within their muscle tissue (I might be stating this incorrectly). For example, from their use of creatine.
Sorry, but unless you have some serious proof of this I'm going to have to say confidently that this isn't true. Besides, LOTS of athletes besides bodybuilders use creatine.

Zeeshan, the only real difference between the two "types" of muscles you are describing is size. Someone who has some muscle but low bodyfat might look like they have "lean muscle" whereas bodybuilders who are typically trying to get muscles as large as possible will look bulky simply because their muscles are bigger (obviously being a walking pharmacy is often part of this). Ya, more of a bodybuilder's muscles might be from sarcoplasmic than most athletes but a person is kidding themselves if they deny a considerable portion of a bodybuilders hypertrophy is the contractile protein just like most strength athletes.

I can't agree with the comments that bodybuilders are all show. Look at Dorian Yates, Ronnie Coleman, Lou Ferrigno, Franco Columbu, Arnold...all of these guys were very strong. Lou and Franco did well in the World's Strongest Man competition. Look at the physique of Mariusz Pudzianowski. It's on the level of a pretty high level bodybuilder. I'd love to see someone to suggest to him that he's not very strong or that his size is just for show. Kevin Levrone raced Dwain Chambers, a world class sprinter who was banned for taking steroids, in a 60m race (w/f s): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AYX2EWK4QWo
Chambers obviously won but Levrone was far from slow.

There really isn't anything such as "bulky" muscle or "lean" muscle or shaping, short of pulling it off it's insertion point and reinserting it somewhere else along the bone. The shape of our muscles is genetic. We can make them larger or smaller. That's about it.
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Old 08-07-2008, 12:25 PM   #9
Anthony Bainbridge
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Re: Lean muscle vs muscle mass...

Bryan and Shane are right - the only difference is size.

Also check out Kevin Levrone's 60m sprint challenge - he's not world class - but the guy can move for being 280 pounds.
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Old 08-07-2008, 11:02 PM   #10
Shane Rapp
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Re: Lean muscle vs muscle mass...

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Originally Posted by Anthony Bainbridge View Post
Bryan and Shane are right - the only difference is size.

Also check out Kevin Levrone's 60m sprint challenge - he's not world class - but the guy can move for being 280 pounds.
Hey, didn't you used to post on Wannabebig?
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