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Thread: Robert Novitsky: Why do you lift weights?

  1. #11
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    The idea that strength is diametrically opposed to aesthetics really pisses me off. They are precisely the same thing. Form IS Function.
    I don't think most people that use the word 'aesthetic' actually know what it means. In discussion, the conversation always turns to Arnold or Zyzz, O'Hearn, Insert Actor Of The Day (nevermind that Arnold benched 500+). Soon the topic turns to arbitrary bizarre Weider era ratios between muscle sizes, soon after the Statue of David is mentioned...

    But aesthetics in human biology is anything that is healthy, capable and symetric. A guy with a 350 bench will always look good at any reasonable body fat% regardless of his genetics.
    And anyone that spends 2 hours a day working on their 'tris' will always look like an idiot, inside and outside the gym.

    And as far as 'looking good naked' goes, woman don't care about huge abs, tris and calves, only insecure boys do. It's only revered in the homosexual fetish community/social media.

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frankie View Post
    And as far as 'looking good naked' goes, woman don't care about huge abs, tris and calves, only insecure boys do. It's only revered in the homosexual fetish community/social media.
    It is just good marketing. Since it is pretty hard for people of average genetics to be big and have visible abs, it keeps the customer unsatisfied, thus always compensating by buying more stuff.

    It is a great bit of marketing though. The media has brainwashed men very successfully. For instance, I think most guys find visible abs on a women unattractive, so why would guys think that women think differently towards men? The only possible answer is the complete saturation of all communication channels.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan DCNT View Post
    Also, women don't care if a guy looks good naked. They do, however, notice guys who fill out the shoulders of their shirts and jackets, and who have visible traps and big thighs. By the time a woman sees you naked, she had already found you attractive enough to get you naked in the first place.
    Definitely agree with this, with some caveats. I do think if a woman initially finds you attractive and then you grow a big beer gut - whether training or not - that attraction might understandably fade somewhat. It'd be like having a really well-paying job and then deciding to quit.

    By "big beer gut", I mean hip/waist width matching or exceeding shoulder width. I think at that point, the "male" look starts to diminish.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maybach View Post
    A lot of the questioning of the idea that strength and aesthetics are orthogonal, or even *different,* goals, seems to rely heavily on hypothetical individuals. The theoretical guy who is really strong, but somehow doesn't look very muscular. These people don't exist. Most people who are strong, look strong. It's hard to surprise people with the fact that you can squat 400 pounds. Most of the people who are "dissatisfied with their physiques" when they train specifically for strength have not gotten particularly strong. They may THINK they have, but if you ask them, they haven't. It's no coincidence that the sources who claim that you have to cut body fat for a time to look good also think that 315 is a heavy deadlift.
    I think you make a fair point, but I think this argument ignores the fact that for a person who is already fat, eating more to get that deadlift from 315 to 405 won't make a big difference from a waistline standpoint. Even with an optimal macronutrient intake that skews the training effect almost entirely in favor of muscle growth, that person will still have a belly, and will probably at no point in his training career be advised to enter a caloric deficit to get rid of said belly because of the loss of strength that ensues. But maybe that's where I'm wrong?

    Santana is one of the few coaches I've seen address this with his idea of the "mini-cut" for skinny fat lifers going through LP. Other than that, I don't ever really hear any support for the idea that postponing or slowing down strength progression is a good idea when body fat is out of control.

  4. #14
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    A person who is already heavy will not have to gain weight to get stronger. The person who is not already heavy will. This is irrespective of how "fat" either person is. There is no such thing as a "skinny fat" person who has somehow accumulated enough fat to register as "fat" but avoided muscle gain so thoroughly that they need to gain weight to get any stronger. And if there WERE, such a person would have to have been almost completely sedentary, such that the commencement of strength training would transform them so thoroughly that the weight gain would be damn near imperceptible.

    "Skinny fat" guys are not carrying enough fat that they will still look fat when they are no longer skinny. Guys who are *fat* fat are, but as I said, those guys can lose weight and still gain strength. For them, the diet that the skinny guy needs to eat to gain weight is sufficiently low calorie that they lose weight, because they are bigger.

    I don't presume to speak for the man, but reading his writing on these forums and elsewhere, Rob Santana does not recommend a "mini cut" for "skinny fat" lifters. He has stated pretty clearly that cutting is for people who are either a) morbidly obese and need to lose weight for health reasons, or b) guys who are *already very strong.* Neither of those apply to "skinny fat" lifters.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Schexnayder View Post
    I think you make a fair point, but I think this argument ignores the fact that for a person who is already fat, eating more to get that deadlift from 315 to 405 won't make a big difference from a waistline standpoint. Even with an optimal macronutrient intake that skews the training effect almost entirely in favor of muscle growth, that person will still have a belly, and will probably at no point in his training career be advised to enter a caloric deficit to get rid of said belly because of the loss of strength that ensues. But maybe that's where I'm wrong?

    Santana is one of the few coaches I've seen address this with his idea of the "mini-cut" for skinny fat lifers going through LP. Other than that, I don't ever really hear any support for the idea that postponing or slowing down strength progression is a good idea when body fat is out of control.
    There is even a podcast with Rip and Santana in which they talk about a situation like you mention, and in which Rip says that the guy who got too fat needs to go on a cut. He uses the exact phrase. The point that all of these articles and podcasts try to make is that worrying about body fat is counterproductive until the NLP is over. But thatís super clear to anyone who approaches the topic honestly, you seem to just be trolling.

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rippetoe View Post
    To the hundreds of thousands of people who have actually done it, it is perfectly compatible.
    Maybe I'm overthinking this or am just dense. Does "doing a cut" while still trying to train for strength count as "strength training"? Or am I now training for "aesthetics" even though I'm not training like a bodybuilder?

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Schexnayder View Post
    Does "doing a cut" while still trying to train for strength count as "strength training"? Or am I now training for "aesthetics" even though I'm not training like a bodybuilder?
    No, you're just doing Strength Training incorrectly.

  8. #18
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    Rip, it seems to me that there's something of a parallel between someone lifting to retain as much strength as possible during a cut and someone lifting to slow the loss of strength in advanced years (staving off death).

    In both cases, the trainee cannot increase strength, but is seeking to slow loss of it. Do either of those use cases count as strength training? I'm trying to clarify definitions and principles here.

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maybach View Post
    A person who is already heavy will not have to gain weight to get stronger.
    Can confirm. I was 240lbs of sloppy fat when I started strength training, and by the time I got my squat and deads into the 500's and my bench into the 300's, I was still 240lbs, but I looked much different.

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Donaldson View Post
    Rip, it seems to me that there's something of a parallel between someone lifting to retain as much strength as possible during a cut and someone lifting to slow the loss of strength in advanced years (staving off death).

    In both cases, the trainee cannot increase strength, but is seeking to slow loss of it. Do either of those use cases count as strength training? I'm trying to clarify definitions and principles here.
    If aesthetics is the purpose, you're not strength training.

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