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billiscool
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12 Sep 2014, 12:34 pm

I meet guys who don't go to gyms,are not big guys,
but are just super strong.How do these non-athletic,
non-gym,skinny to average size guys get so strong.

this one guy at a picnic I was at did 50 push ups
and he didn't even go to the gym or played sports.
I see other average size,non-gym guys lift up
very heavy stuff like nothing.

I knew this one skinny,non-athletic guy that
bench press 300 pounds and that the first time
he ever lifted weight.



Kurgan
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12 Sep 2014, 2:36 pm

A lot of people claim to have lifted 300 lbs the first time. If it were true, I wonder why so many bodybuilders, powerlifters and strongmen started out at anywhere between 150 and 200 lbs.


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Michael82
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13 Sep 2014, 11:40 am

It's very easy once you get the hang of it. You need to adjust your mind to use the right muscles as well as having the right posture. At first having the right posture will make it feel as if it's more difficult. Once you are used to it you will also automatically feel the muscles in the right way. Fitness really is the easiest once you do it right and above all, not worry about it or fear the weight. Take the red pill, free your mind :D



Kurgan
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13 Sep 2014, 11:46 am

Michael82 wrote:
It's very easy once you get the hang of it. You need to adjust your mind to use the right muscles as well as having the right posture. At first having the right posture will make it feel as if it's more difficult. Once you are used to it you will also automatically feel the muscles in the right way. Fitness really is the easiest once you do it right and above all, not worry about it or fear the weight. Take the red pill, free your mind :D


Getting to 300 lbs at the bench press takes roughly one year with good genetics (perhaps 9-10 months if you're not held back by the flu, by exams, and so on).


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Hi_Im_B0B
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13 Sep 2014, 3:14 pm

if you have a physically demanding job it can build muscles without needing "exercise".



Kurgan
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13 Sep 2014, 4:22 pm

Hi_Im_B0B wrote:
if you have a physically demanding job it can build muscles without needing "exercise".


Even if you have a physically demanding job, you'll never get anywhere physique-wise without a good diet (a typical bread and butter diet is not a good diet).


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zer0netgain
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13 Sep 2014, 4:51 pm

There are so many aspects that answer that question.

First, size has little to do with strength. Bodybuilders actually AVOID certain aspects of strength-training because it would make their muscles SMALLER. Your muscles grow larger when stimulated/challenged, but as they become accustomed to that heavier load the tissues shrink into a tighter package. That doesn't win competitions.

SO, a guy could be thin as a rail but crazy strong because of conditioning.

My dad was in the Navy. He worked on aircraft while serving on an aircraft carrier. The group of Marines challenged them to a feat of strength....thinking they were tougher. The Navy mechanics agreed to a race around the flight deck...two laps...carrying charged air tanks. The Marines lost horribly. They had more brute strength, but no stamina. The air bottles were heavy when charges, and the mechanics were used to hauling them around all day. They had less brute strength but much more stamina.



Kurgan
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13 Sep 2014, 5:43 pm

zer0netgain wrote:
There are so many aspects that answer that question.

First, size has little to do with strength. Bodybuilders actually AVOID certain aspects of strength-training because it would make their muscles SMALLER. Your muscles grow larger when stimulated/challenged, but as they become accustomed to that heavier load the tissues shrink into a tighter package. That doesn't win competitions.

SO, a guy could be thin as a rail but crazy strong because of conditioning.

My dad was in the Navy. He worked on aircraft while serving on an aircraft carrier. The group of Marines challenged them to a feat of strength....thinking they were tougher. The Navy mechanics agreed to a race around the flight deck...two laps...carrying charged air tanks. The Marines lost horribly. They had more brute strength, but no stamina. The air bottles were heavy when charges, and the mechanics were used to hauling them around all day. They had less brute strength but much more stamina.


Actually, many old-school bodybuilders lifted exactly like powerlifters. Thanks to growth hormone, bodybuilders these days can devote one day per week to one muscle group instead. (Notice how most people who are good at the bench press are in fact quite big.)

A 180 lb person can look larger than a 200 lb person due to the fact that steroids increases the bloodstream a lot, giving the muscles a pumped up look. Just to put things into perspective:

Georg Hackenschmidt, at 100 kg and 175 cm height (at 10-12% bodyfat):

Image

The Hodge twins, at 92 kg and 188 cm height (at 10% bodyfat):

Image

Even though the former could easily beat the latter in both strength and muscle volume, he lacks the cosmetic "Photoshop" look that they have.


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goldfish21
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14 Sep 2014, 2:33 pm

I never go to gyms.

I can easily do ~70 push ups per set. When I do them as a workout I'll typically do a couple hundred or so, of varying styles.

I'm fairly strong now. Not "big," but fairly strong. Because I do physical work and eat the nutrients required to build muscle. I also attribute it to the digestive clearing/detoxing & healing I've done over the past couple of years that allows me to digest the nutrients required to build muscle. I'm stronger now than I've ever been in my entire life. I've gone from weak and fatigued to being one of the strongest guys on any construction site I work at. I'm now one of the "strong guys," that others go to for lifting really heavy materials.

Basically, even w/o going to the gym, it takes time & effort by lifting things (or your own bodyweight) and then eating right to build muscle and strength. I still don't feel like I'm anywhere near as strong as I'm going to get over the next couple of years, though! 8)


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khaoz
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22 Sep 2014, 10:41 pm

billiscool wrote:
I meet guys who don't go to gyms,are not big guys,
but are just super strong.How do these non-athletic,
non-gym,skinny to average size guys get so strong.

this one guy at a picnic I was at did 50 push ups
and he didn't even go to the gym or played sports.
I see other average size,non-gym guys lift up
very heavy stuff like nothing.

I knew this one skinny,non-athletic guy that
bench press 300 pounds and that the first time
he ever lifted weight.


I see guys all the time who do lots of pushups on demand, but in reality, they cheat. Few people do actual full push ups anymore. I see guys at the gym who do lots of reps but are not doing the movement properly. Michael Jordan was an excellent shooter and contortionist, but his fundamentals sucked. That is our culture. Some guys are just strong, naturally. Slow twitch, fast twitch, there is a lot of science behind strength. A lot has to do with bone density. A person may be super strong looking in one movement type. Endurance is a lot of strength too. Look at football players. Big, 300 plus pound linemen with huge arms and legs, but they have to run off the field after every play because running and pushing for 7 seconds, even with those muscles, exhausts them. Its all relative. Maybe you are too easily impressed by people who you can relate to based on interest.



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25 Sep 2014, 11:30 am

Kurgan wrote:
Hi_Im_B0B wrote:
if you have a physically demanding job it can build muscles without needing "exercise".


Even if you have a physically demanding job, you'll never get anywhere physique-wise without a good diet (a typical bread and butter diet is not a good diet).
i was not ruling out dietary effects. just because something is not mentioned does not mean it is being dismissed. but OP wasn't asking about physique, he was asking about strength; non-gym-induced strength, to be specific. and, a diet of bread & butter is typical? 8O not to anyone i've ever met.



izzeme
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26 Sep 2014, 4:32 pm

the most common answer is the most unfair one: genetics.
sometimes, people just get luck at the draw with their muscles becoming efficiently strong without visible muscle mass or training.

another one is less simple, and less what you might want to hear: pumping iron doesn't make you strong perse. once you hit a certain threshold in muscle mass, they get in each others' way, actually reducing strength if you keep putting on the mass. professional bodybuilders, no matter how impressive they look, aren't all that strong really, their muscles get in each others way and if they try to use them, they'll rip them off of their bones.


finally, there is a 3rd option, but that one is controversial.
the human brain limits your muscle use to a portion of their potential (i think it's about 2/3s, but i'm not sure on that), to prevent the very same effect bodybuilders have.
it is now, it being a mental effect, possible to train to ignore this limit, allowing you to get more strength out of the very same muscle.


i myself have also surprised others with, apperantly, incredible feats of strength for my size: i use mainly trick #3 for that, i can almost double my strength on a moments notice, if i have to (kayo-ken ;))



andyfzr
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27 Sep 2014, 5:05 pm

I have always been extraordinarily strong for my size without the need for exercise and can easily drop and do 70 or 80 push ups. if i exercise or when I do a job involving heavy weights, I get a hell of a lot stronger. I have really strong upper body strength and especially good at arm wrestling which used to win me a few bets when I was younger. Ive always thought that I can just tap into that inner rage that everybody has, like an extra burst of strength that people seem to get when they go psycho. I cant keep it up for long but its there when I need it and it comes in handy for my rock climbing. I'm able to climb really difficult grades without any training which suits me cos I'm too lazy to train or go to a gym plus it makes me extremely self conscious to go in them. Also, I don't follow any special diet, I just eat all sorts including loads of fried food, chocolate and fatty foods. I think a lot of what we are is mainly down to genes and I just dropped lucky that I cant put weight on, I'm strong, slim, fit and can eat what ever I want.



goldfish21
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28 Sep 2014, 1:41 pm

Genetics play a role, sure.

So do diet & exercise.

But I'd say the single biggest thing that's allowed me to put on 20lbs of muscle in the last year or so has been taking care of my digestive health (which in turn has taken care of my neurological health) as it's allowed me to absorb the nutrients I ingest to build muscle. I've been consuming a lot of l-glutamine for the purpose of healing my intestinal lining, and it has the nice side effect of putting on muscle mass. I have more upper body strength than ever in my life. I went from being weak and having chronic fatigue symptoms to being one of the strongest guys around who's called upon to lift the really heavy stuff.

Sure, I've also done a lot of physical work (construction) and workouts (body weight only, pushups, some pull-ups, squats, crunches etc) and that all helps, too. But if I didn't take care of my digestive health the way that I have (see sig) then even if I ate right I still wouldn't be able to absorb and process the nutrients in order to put on muscle mass the way that I have.

A guy I was working with who used to be in the French foreign legion showed me a style of push-up I'd never seen before. I couldn't even do one. At 5'7" 210lbs he did 3. He said he used to be able to do 50 & knew a guy that could do 250. These were pushups with your arms completely outstretched straight ahead of you. My lower back was too weak to lift myself off the ground even once! I'll try to do them eventually, though.. but anyways, he asked if I could do pushups with my hands together centred under my chest (thumb to thumb, index to index) as that's his test to see if someone is Strong regardless of their size. I could do them just fine as I've been doing some for the last year. He paused and said "Yes, you are strong." That was nice to hear from someone who's a bit more of an expert on physical fitness, force & strength than I am. 8)

Annnnyways, my point is that diet & exercise are critical? but not necessarily the constraint to building strength. IMO digestive health is equally, if not more, important as it constrains your ability to digest nutrients and build muscle mass if it's out of balance as mine once was. If you're serious about gaining strength, AND improving your neurological health, read the thread in my sig and you'll learn what I've done & continue to do for the most part. (I stick to my diet about 90-95% now, but lately I feel the need to be stricter again.) Feel free to pm any questions/comments.


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1000Knives
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05 Oct 2014, 1:18 am

Central nervous system efficiency, prior experience, and genetics. Any physical action needs the brain and muscles are only tools to be used by the brain. Yes, everything else being equal, a bigger muscle will give you more power, but everything's not equal, and not everyone can be as efficient with their muscle mass on a pound per pound basis. The same reason one car manufacturer's 1L engine is more powerful than another manufacturer's 1L engine, or how some 2L engines are more powerful than some 5L engines. If the central nervous system learns to activate muscles, it doesn't matter how big the muscle is, only the central nervous system's willingness to activate it. And this is varied by type of training and diet, but also by genetics. Some people's bodies adapt to lift a lot without gaining muscle mass, and some people will gain lots of muscle mass even though they don't lift a lot of weight, and some people due to genetics, have a central nervous system that learns a movement fast and is uninhibited from applying force.

Your body, whenever you do a physical action, adapts to the action you're doing in an attempt at not dying/getting hurt from getting subjected to that action. It adapts to the ACTION, muscle mass is part of the adaptation, but making muscle is costly, it takes a lot of calories and amino acids, and it takes those things to maintain said muscles after they're built. But, if you keep doing an activity everyday, the body still has to adapt. So they adapt to the activity. And activities carry over to eachother. IE, if you carry heavy objects a lot, it'll build the back and leg muscles up, so thus you may be able to deadlift a lot on your first try. If you do pushups or dips, you may be able to bench press a lot without specifically training your bench press. Obviously, actually training the movement you hope to adapt and gain better skill or lift more weight at is ideal, but it's entirely possible to gain strength or proficiency in a movement by doing another movement if the movement you're doing as a substitute is similar enough, or the muscles worked are the same.

But then what about people who can just sit and play video games all day and eat Doritos and somehow are really strong? There's two possible answers. The first one is past experience, and the second one is genetics, caused by past experience via your parents from epigenetic signalling. For the first past experience, it's simple. If you played sports as a kid, you've built a base of movement and neuromuscular efficiency. Gymnasts are especially notable examples of people can generally excel at any sport because it builds a wide base of movement encouraging the brain to know how to control muscles in complex movements, and do it while outputting a lot of force and power from the muscles. So you never ever totally "lose" learned stuff like that, just in the same way you never forget to ride a bicycle or swim. You may be crummy at it after years of not doing it, but if called upon to do said activities many years after doing them a lot, you'll still be able to do them. So that I think is why many people are so strong, just from past experience, whatever it is, playing sports, heavy labor, what have you.

The last part is genetics. A theory I have is any kind of heavy labor or history of athletic or strength training affects your epigenetic coding. Epigenetics is a big thing and I don't understand it fully, but basically, things you eat, activities you do, etc, turn on and turn off certain genes. So someone who sits around and plays video games all day may have genetics that allow him to be really strong somewhere in his genetic code, but because he just sits, there's no genetic activation. But epigenetic coding affects your permanent genetic coding (somehow, I don't know, I'm not an expert on genetics) and thus people in some sense create their own genetic coding throughout lineage of people. One example would be black athletes coming from America and former slave colonies, they're doing very well in almost anything athletic because of the changes in their gnenome adapting from a harsh existence. Same with people from Iceland and strength sports, etc.

And lastly, to counteract Kurgan's point of "well, they're all lying!" or whatever, I don't believe that's true. Lots of people have lots of potential and squander it either out of their own apathy or lack of opportunity. There's lots of people who are very good at drawing, or making music, and have natural talent for it, but don't pursue it. This entire forum is full of people who've likely been told "you should be a scientist!" or something but work at a grocery store or something, because opportunities didn't work correctly or we didn't care enough to work to pursue those goals, and that's the way it is with people and lifting weights and athletics. There's plenty of people with natural talent through the roof, but very few people who wish to devote anything to developing them or don't have the favorable circumstances to develop them.

So anyway, I'll go back to hibernating after making a giant paragraphs long post. Hope this is helpful, though.