Emphasis on Strength as Proxy for Health vs. Muscle? Emphasis on Strength as Proxy for Health vs. Muscle? - Page 2

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Thread: Emphasis on Strength as Proxy for Health vs. Muscle?

  1. #11
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    • starting strength seminar april 2021
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    Quote Originally Posted by James Rodgers View Post
    I argue that they should be called Low Bar Booty Blasters. It would increase the mass appeal of Starting Strength.
    Very marketable.

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by zft View Post
    My understanding of "strength is the most important thing in life," boils down to exactly that: strength is the medium through which you exert influence in the world. That is, strength is the singular primitive in your language of influence (i.e., actions which can change the state of the physical world); it's the most important thing because all other things are expressed through it.

    I'm sure skeletal muscle tissue might save your life in a car crash or something, but the point is the thing that really matters in the end is how expressive your entity can be rather than the specific composition of your entity.
    This is a fine conceptual interpretation, but there is also a more humble empirical one. Strength has closer association with positive outcomes than muscle mass or body composition. So, even if strength is just another proxy measure for your effectiveness as a living organism, it may be the best one available.

    Strength, but not muscle mass, is associated with mortality in the health, aging and body composition study cohort - PubMed

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jxhalt View Post
    Isn't keeping 150/152 lbs lean mass good enough (in percentage terms, even if you think it is not enough for someone 5-10)? Why should I care about deadlifting another 70 lbs? Isn't the muscle more important than the strength, when the strength is realistically already in the top 10% of US population for that bodyweight?) It is easier to play basketball with the kids, run when needed, and just generally not feel so heavy. Resting heart rate and other cardiovascular markers also improved.
    Every 50lb I have added to my squat and deadlift, I've noticed an improvement in my life. When I was squatting 315, I didn't think 365 would make my life different. I felt the same about 405 at 365, and I felt the same about 455 at 405, but I've been wrong every time.

    You may like being lighter and leaner. There's nothing wrong with that, but being stronger will always be better than weaker. You'll have to weigh the costs and benefits of each.

  4. #14
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    The ancient pentathlon was a 200 yard sprint, javelin throw, discus throw, long jump, and ended with a wrestling competition. In ancient warfare, the people who competed well in the pentathlon were fairly useful individuals to have on your side, and not the other guy's side. In fact, that was the idea behind the whole thing.

    Just looking at the list of activities, the ancient pentathlon was a more strength (and power) dominant competition than any modern variant. People today just can't help themselves when it comes to adding long runs and endurance contests to things. The Greeks were more concerned about something else: whether their military forces were sufficiently prepared to keep the other side from storming their city, killing all of the men, and enslaving the women and children. So they had a different idea about what made a useful athletic contest. Nor did the ancient Greeks know what a "weight class" was.

    But winning wasn't just about strength specialization. The sprint and the long jump punished sheer bulk, though they are still strength specialization activities. I would submit that this sort of thing required something like the balance and useful power that the original poster was getting at. If I had to choose between the winner of a Crossfit game, a Strongman contest, or a Pentathlon for a position on a modern special forces team, I expect that the last would be the one to go with.

    And if anyone wants to turn that into training, it's not hard to put sprints and jumps and throwing things into a routine. When your strength gains start coming at the expense of some of that, you have some decisions to make.

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    Quote Originally Posted by thras View Post
    When your strength gains start coming at the expense of some of that, you have some decisions to make.
    This is true, but I don't see where a guy who's 5'10" and 190 is at that point. Speaking as a guy who's the same age, 5'9", and 225, and who weighed 194 at the end of my NLP. Frankly I'm faster and more nimble now than I was then, at least when it comes to playing tennis and doing soccer drills with my 15 y/o son, who's considerably more athletically gifted than I ever was.

  6. #16
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    So this is like asking what is more important: the left ventricular diastolic pressure, the cardiac output, or the ability of the patient to engage in activities of daily living without getting winded? Or what's more important: the serum alanine aminotransferase level, or the actual liver function and its impact on quality of life? Physiological parameters and values are helpful, but they don't actually constitute or define "health" or "fitness." "Fitness" is the ability of the organism to adapt to and meet the demands of its life and environment. "Health" is a complex, manifold, n-dimensional space of proper physical, mental, and social functioning. What's more important to "fitness" and "health?" The absolute amount of alanine aminotransferase, the precise cardiac output, the exact mass of muscle--or the actual functioning of the tissues and organs represented by these non-patient-oriented parameters?

    Muscle is the tissue, and yes, you need a minimum amount to be minimally healthy, and stronger people have more than weak people. But strength is the patient-oriented functional manifest of that tissue. The one parameter is clearly more important than the other.

    Bonus feature: You can actually measure that patient-oriented parameter easily and precisely as you work to improve it.

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathon Sullivan View Post
    What's more important to "fitness" and "health?" The absolute amount of alanine aminotransferase, the precise cardiac output, the exact mass of muscle--or the actual functioning of the tissues and organs represented by these non-patient-oriented parameters?
    These observations about internal parameters vs. external outcomes are true, but the question may be more interesting. OP submits that strength is a bad objective to optimize in isolation, since then you will be fat and dead at 55. Instead, you should optimize some combination of strength and body composition. Seems obvious.

    However, there's at least one study which observed the opposite. The fat-but-strongs had better health outcomes. This could be for a variety of physiological reasons which you could describe better than me. From the standpoint of abstract optimization, this phenomenon is not surprising. It is very often the case that optimizing a straightforward (albeit incomplete) objective yields better results than optimizing a complex, descriptive one. Perhaps the fat-but-strongs never attain superb health, but do make solid progress, whereas the holistic folk remain paralyzed by the concept of body fat.

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewLewis View Post
    Every 50lb I have added to my squat and deadlift, I've noticed an improvement in my life.
    What were the improvements that you noticed?

  9. #19
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    Jiujitsu is easier. I can throw people around easier. A guy (180lb) tried to finish an armbar on me from a shitty position, so I thought it would be funny to pick him up and put him over my head to show him that you don't hold onto a submission if it means you can be picked up. The implication being that I could slam him if it were a fight.

    I don't get hurt as often. My injury rate is inversely proportional to my squat. Same with being sick, but that could be more related to how I live my life.

    Lifting objects is easier. I got frustrated the other day that we (my wife and I) were having trouble getting a sofa chair up the stairs to our bedroom, so I picked it up like at atlas stone and walked up the stairs. Stuff like that.

    I could include more examples, but some of them could just be perceived and not actually caused by being stronger.
    Last edited by AndrewLewis; 03-18-2021 at 05:38 AM. Reason: typo

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewLewis View Post
    Jiujitsu is easier. I can throw people around easier. A guy (180lb) tried to finish an armbar on me from a shitty position, so I thought it would be funny to pick him up and put him over my head to show him that you don't hold onto a submission if it means you can be picked up. The implication being that I could slam him if it were a fight.

    I don't get hurt as often. My injury rate is inversely proportional to my squat. Same with being sick, but that could be more related to how I live my life.

    Lifting objects is easier. I got frustrated the other day that we (my wife and I) were having trouble getting a soft chair up the stairs to our bedroom, so I picked it up like at atlas stone and walked up the stairs. Stuff like that.

    I could include more examples, but some of them could just be perceived and not actually caused by being stronger.
    My experience has been similar.

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