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

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Old 03-29-2011, 10:12 PM   #1
Daniel Frankel
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Muscle Mass at the expense of Bodyweight movements?

So recently, ive put on some muscle mass, and just a couple pounds of weight in general. Ive always been a bodyweight exercise person (specializing in, i mean), but ive noticed in a couple workouts that are gymnastics movements only, that my times have gone down. Now, all of my lifts have gone up, but my bodyweight movements (specifically pushups, but not just them. A little bit of endurance in squats also has gone down) have gone down. I have been doing heavy lifting 1-2 times a week for the past couple of months.


Is it normal for my bodyweight movements (endurance in them specifically, i guess) to go down, even though im still becoming more fit? People have told me that strength is my weak point, so ive been trying to improve that, but i still want to be always to just go up to any pullup bar, and b sure that I could just knock out 40 reps on the spot. Or drop and do 50-60 pushups.


Im not exacyly sure were im going with this, but any help would be appreciated. thanks
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Old 03-29-2011, 10:33 PM   #2
Katherine Derbyshire
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Re: Muscle Mass at the expense of Bodyweight movements?

Yes, bodyweight movements become more difficult as you get heavier. That's why most gymnasts are pretty small. But everything else gets easier.

On one hand, you could look at a guy like Chris Spealler and realize that 50 pullups *and* a 300 pound squat are completely compatible goals for a guy your size: http://www.roguefitness.com/chris-spealler (WFS) (Yes, everyone, I know Spealler has even better numbers than that, but he's a genetic freak and I don't want to scare the kid.)

On the other hand, you could figure that you've still got quite a bit of growing to do anyway. You're going to get bigger and heavier whether you like it or not, so you might as well work at getting stronger, too.

Katherine
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Old 03-29-2011, 10:37 PM   #3
Daniel Frankel
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Re: Muscle Mass at the expense of Bodyweight movements?

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Originally Posted by Katherine Derbyshire View Post
Yes, bodyweight movements become more difficult as you get heavier. That's why most gymnasts are pretty small. But everything else gets easier.

On one hand, you could look at a guy like Chris Spealler and realize that 50 pullups *and* a 300 pound squat are completely compatible goals for a guy your size: http://www.roguefitness.com/chris-spealler (WFS) (Yes, everyone, I know Spealler has even better numbers than that, but he's a genetic freak and I don't want to scare the kid.)

On the other hand, you could figure that you've still got quite a bit of growing to do anyway. You're going to get bigger and heavier whether you like it or not, so you might as well work at getting stronger, too.

Katherine
Yea, that makes sense. Although, I much as I aspire to have the same stats as Spealler, he IS a freak

Im only an inch taller than him, maybe one day I'll manage to beat one of his records? Maybe I'll make it a goal for my next three lives
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Old 03-29-2011, 10:50 PM   #4
Tim Nakashima
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Re: Muscle Mass at the expense of Bodyweight movements?

Pick your goals and knock them out one at a time. If you get strong and put on a little weight first, you can always switch it up and maintain strength while building on bodyweight stuff later. If you try to do everything all at once, you'll progress very slowly in all areas.
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Old 03-29-2011, 11:28 PM   #5
Aidan Macdonald
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Re: Muscle Mass at the expense of Bodyweight movements?

I purposely put on bodyweight so that it makes the bodyweight stuff harder. I feel it gives me a greater capacity for increase. Like automatically weighted pullups.

But I did it because I will be leaving for 2 years with the probable possibility of not having any weights. So I want body weight to work with.

Basically, look at the increased difficulty as a challenge, not a curse.
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Old 03-30-2011, 11:45 AM   #6
Jordan Derksen
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Re: Muscle Mass at the expense of Bodyweight movements?

Ya I'm realizing this just happened to me. It wasn't even too long ago (maybe 5 or 6 months) that I weighed 170 soaking wet. I've put on some good mass and strength since then, so far none of it fat. I'm currently weight gaining again because with how tall I am (6'2) I know I should be tipping 200. Pullups, HSPU, and muscle ups used to be really easy for me, now they're a point of contention in workouts. DL's and Squats though? Greasy. No worry though, I just start spending time in my warmup or afterward working on them and it's coming back quick (switching my pullup style to a Carl Paoli style gymnastics kip has also affected my pullups. I was gettin ****ed off ripping my hands all the time doing butterfly). With added bodyweight or not, we all started somewhere and at one point couldn't even do a single HSPU even when we were lighter. We practiced them and built endurance. I'm not worried about it, it's just a little annoying it started happening now during the open. I'm starting to look at this as prep for next year though, I may make regionals but I know I won't make games this year. In the end added mass will almost always help you out (unless if you get FAT). Many have wondered if Speals gained ~5-10lb's what would that look like? I personally think he should.
One of my most recent strange realizations is that even though I've always been a good runner I couldn't run under a 7 min mile to save my life when I was 170lbs (unless if sharks with laser beams attached to their heads were involved). Now at 185 I can sprint way faster and can pretty easily run ~6min miles in a WOD. Also, even more interestingly I can now hold freestanding handstand and hand walk with relative ease which was something I could never do when I was lighter. Looking forward to putting on another 10-15lb's and getting to my goal weight... I'm getting tired of stuffing myself till I almost puke every time. It really takes the joy out of eating...
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Old 03-30-2011, 02:34 PM   #7
George Marrtinez
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Re: Muscle Mass at the expense of Bodyweight movements?

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Originally Posted by Daniel Frankel View Post
So recently, ive put on some muscle mass, and just a couple pounds of weight in general. Ive always been a bodyweight exercise person (specializing in, i mean), but ive noticed in a couple workouts that are gymnastics movements only, that my times have gone down. Now, all of my lifts have gone up, but my bodyweight movements (specifically pushups, but not just them. A little bit of endurance in squats also has gone down) have gone down. I have been doing heavy lifting 1-2 times a week for the past couple of months.


Is it normal for my bodyweight movements (endurance in them specifically, i guess) to go down, even though im still becoming more fit? People have told me that strength is my weak point, so ive been trying to improve that, but i still want to be always to just go up to any pullup bar, and b sure that I could just knock out 40 reps on the spot. Or drop and do 50-60 pushups.


Im not exacyly sure were im going with this, but any help would be appreciated. thanks

You could get some gymnastic rings, and a 1 pood kettlebell, and do weighted pull-ups. Concentrate on form, and put your chin on the bar. It's not the number of pull-ups you do, but the resistance that increases your strength. If you do that for 5 sets of 5 or 3, or 2 depending on your ability, you will see an increase in the number of non-weighted pull-ups you can do.
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Old 03-31-2011, 11:13 AM   #8
Joshua Ryan Smith
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Re: Muscle Mass at the expense of Bodyweight movements?

Ideally the system works like this.

More muscle = more weight = more strength. Therefore if you are gaining the "right kind" of weight, then your performance at bodyweight exercises should remain pretty constant.

Again, this is an "ideal" situation. And of course there is some point of no return - like weighting 300 pounds of sheer muscle, everything gets hard (including the force on your joints)

There should be a happy medium for everyone where your strength is lifting (non-bodyweight) and bodyweight exercises are in pretty good equilibrium. Its all about finding that balance.
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Old 03-31-2011, 12:21 PM   #9
Michael Dowling
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Re: Muscle Mass at the expense of Bodyweight movements?

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Originally Posted by Joshua Ryan Smith View Post
More muscle = more weight = more strength. Therefore if you are gaining the "right kind" of weight, then your performance at bodyweight exercises should remain pretty constant.
there's a difference between gaining muscle mass, and making the muscle you already have denser, more visible, and able to do more work. to actually gain muscle mass you need to eat A LOT of calories over your maintenance diet, about double. unfortunately you will add quite a bit of fat too and i think that's where the body-weight stuff suffers while adding mass.
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Old 03-31-2011, 02:57 PM   #10
Joshua Ryan Smith
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Re: Muscle Mass at the expense of Bodyweight movements?

I think I should have been more clear with my post.

As muscle gets more dense or larger, weight is going to increase. This is simply a fact.

What you are referring to in the density of the myofibrils (unit of skeletal muscle) associated with a particular muscle. Increasing the density of your muscle is going to increase your weight, increase you strength, and require more caloric intake to maintain and "make"

However, I believe what we may be referring to on this thread is more generally "bulkiness" that is associated more with myofibril elongation (and sadly sometimes fat gain). While this can make you stronger faster, it certainly has coordination/balance/stability ramifications in which bodyweight exercises can suffer.

So yes, you are right that you can make the muscle "dense," but it still requires upping your caloric intake, as does any system in body.

And being bulky is awkward.
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