Thursday, November 17, 2011

Bodyweight Isn't Everything


I'm a firm believer in the fact that if you train hard as hell and eat right consistently, you can accomplish fantastic feats of strength, endurance, and power DESPITE being overweight, underweight, or right on your supposedly perfect "BMI."  That video above is partially of Caleb Ward (in the blue shirt), an upcoming 105kg+ class American Weightlifter.  Yes, you heard me right, he's in the 105kg+ class, which means he weighs over 230lbs.  Can most of you flip around like Caleb?  No?  I can't either, and I'm over 70lbs lighter.  Some of you may be absolute gym rats, completely ripped to shreds and strong as a bull.  Can you flip around like that?  I'd be inclined to say no.  A better question might be, could you clean 440lbs?  No?  Well not many can, but Caleb has done it, on multiple occasions.  He is an absolute powerhouse, one of the most consistent, strong, flexible,  and promising weight lifters in this country.  And if he was just walking down the street, I bet you'd just think he was overweight.

The point I'm trying to make with this article is as follows:  Even if you're overweight, you can still be extremely "fit."  And even if you're sitting right on your perfect weight ratio for your age, you can still be extremely unhealthy and out of shape.  What do I mean?  Well, I'll tell you stories of countless people I know who suffer from a condition called "skinny-fat."  This condition involves being very skinny, but eating like absolute crap.  I have a friend who's about 6' tall, weighs a whopping 128lbs, and last night for dinner had a heaping pile of linguine, then an entire cheese quesadilla, followed by two cream puffs and a donut.  He didn't touch a single vegetable, fruit, or protein (other than maybe the beef chunks he loaded into the quesadilla.)  How many calories would his dinner amount to?  I'd guess around 1700 for the dinner, and probably another 600 for the dessert.  And I can't even count the number of unhealthy sugar carbs he just had.  Honestly I was flabbergasted.  How could someone, ANYONE, eat like that, and expect to go about their merry way with no further consequences?

Here's news for all of you.  If you eat horribly like my friend here, no matter what your outward appearance may be, you WILL feel and perform like your body has never exercised a day in its life.  Do you think that someone who has this kind of diet can maximize their lifestyle and gym performance?  The answer is a big, fat, NO.  Your performance will reflect your preparation.  And your preparation (training) hinges on a balanced diet with all of the essential nutrients in carefully balanced ratios.  So it all comes back to food, and even those who are blessed with fast metabolisms will feel the wrath of the quesadillas eventually.

Here's some more food for thought, just because I believe the more evidence that's presented, the  more you'll be inclined to see what I mean about correct diet and training regardless of body weight.  Here's a quote from Menshealth.com regarding another weightlifter named Shane Hammond:

"Even the bulkiest Olympic heavyweights make astonishing leaps.  Shane Hamman, the top American lifter in the history of the sport, weighs in at 350 pounds but boasts a vertical jump of 36 inches.  Most NBA players top out at 34 inches.  Not only can Ham-man dunk (he's 5'9"), he can also drive a golf ball 350 yards."

Can you imagine a 350lb man who's 5'9" tall dunking a basketball over your head?  I find it a little hard to visualize, but not impossible.  Shane is as strong as a bull, and trains hard.  He eats BIG, but he eats right, as to all superheavyweights of the sport.  He is an epitome of human strength and power, and he gets around just fine at a weight that most people would need a wheelchair.

I believe seeing is believing though, so here's a few more feats of remarkable strength by those of remarkable size:


      A man who weighs 350lbs doing 13 pullups.


A 315lb man running what they claim to be a 4.6 forty (even if it was slightly slower, that guy is MOVING FAST).  This goes for a lot of NFL linebackers, I wouldn't doubt that most can run faster than I can.  Excuse the fowl language at the end of the video.


Pat Mendes, a US weightlifter weighing about 280lbs, jumping and touching a 10ft garage door.

Here's my final word.  I'm not going to suggest for a second that any of you should just drop your fears of becoming obese and beginning to eat as big as you want.  That's not the point.  My point is that eating right and training hard can make anyone an absolute monster in the field, on the court, on the platform, or anywhere else really.  Being overweight isn't good, no, but as you've seen it's not by any means the be all end all if it's not all fat and laziness crowding up your arteries.  And don't think for one second that just because you might be able to get away cramming that double cheeseburger without weight gain, that you'll be able to out-power or out-sprint the huge guy walking down the street who's been training for years on end and eating big and clean.  Performance rewards those who work for it, not those who get lucky.

Train hard as hell, eat as best you can, and as always, good luck!


Shane Hamman and his astounding vertical leap.

1 comment:

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