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Thread: Robert Novitsky: Why do you lift weights?

  1. #21
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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.
    I don't think there are parallels, because the weight cutter is in control of their cut, whereas an elderly, beat-up trainee is merely subject to the vicissitudes of age. You program in one setting, and you react in the other. That is how I interpret the distinction between training and maintenance.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rippetoe View Post
    No, you're just doing Strength Training incorrectly.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rippetoe View Post
    If aesthetics is the purpose, you're not strength training.
    So what is a lifter to do if he is to continue to properly strength train but also wants to maintain his bodyweight in the 15 - 20% range? I say that range specifically because it's not about visible abs but keeping enough fat for healthy recovery but also at a manageable level (which may also happen to be aesthetically pleasing).

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rippetoe View Post
    If aesthetics is the purpose, you're not strength training.
    Ah, makes sense. Thanks.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shiva Kaul View Post
    I don't think there are parallels, because the weight cutter is in control of their cut, whereas an elderly, beat-up trainee is merely subject to the vicissitudes of age. You program in one setting, and you react in the other. That is how I interpret the distinction between training and maintenance.
    It's probably a semantic disagreement - I'd say what you aptly point out is why I'd call them parallel, and not essentially the same. The nature of the factor preventing strength gains is different, but the effects and the approach to manage those effects are similar. Likewise with, say, someone whose athletic or occupational demands interfere with recovery.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Schexnayder View Post
    So what is a lifter to do if he is to continue to properly strength train but also wants to maintain his bodyweight in the 15 - 20% range? I say that range specifically because it's not about visible abs but keeping enough fat for healthy recovery but also at a manageable level (which may also happen to be aesthetically pleasing).
    Traditionally, he takes steroids.

  5. #25
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    What is this obsession with aesthetics and women? Itís really gay. When I was chubby (before lifting) I got pussy. When I was skinny I got pussy. Women have decided if theyíre gonna play your skin flute way before youíve got naked and shown off your body.

    Only men care about other menís bodies. Itís an appreciation of sacrifice and effort, not just the chiselled abs and rippling pectorals. Anyone whoís tried to get massive and lean understands the amount of effort and borderline psychopathy which has been utilised to attain such a physique.

    Women are a continuing mystery which can only be solved by money. The more money you have, the less mysterious they become.

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Schexnayder View Post
    So what is a lifter to do if he is to continue to properly strength train but also wants to maintain his bodyweight in the 15 - 20% range? I say that range specifically because it's not about visible abs but keeping enough fat for healthy recovery but also at a manageable level (which may also happen to be aesthetically pleasing).
    If you keep your strength gain on pace with your weight gain, you will have no problem maintaining your body fat percentage. If your body fat percentage increases wildly, then you probably aren't strength training correctly.

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shiva Kaul View Post
    I don't think there are parallels, because the weight cutter is in control of their cut, whereas an elderly, beat-up trainee is merely subject to the vicissitudes of age. You program in one setting, and you react in the other. That is how I interpret the distinction between training and maintenance.
    I mean, in both cases, you are dealing with something that may cause you to lose strength. You maintain by trying to get stronger, and allowing the thing making you weaker to force you to maintain. Whether during weight loss or aging, if you aren't trying to get stronger, you are getting weaker. In the same way you don't put your income on "maintenance" when faced with a bunch of medical bills: you try to make as much money as possible and let the expenses force you into "maintenance"

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan DCNT View Post
    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.
    That's pretty cool. I'm guessing you didn't LP your whole way there (or maybe you did). What did you eat macro-wise to keep training heavy without gaining weight / fat?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jovan Dragisic View Post
    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.
    The point of this article is that strength should be the only focus and that one shouldn't care about "aesthetics". I disagree, and quite frankly I find the whole "just focus on strength" argument just transitive and semantic. It's like asking why someone goes to work, and they reply "to make money". At some point, working harder for a promotion, working overtime, or working more at all for things beyond basic needs just to have more money is not necessary and is arguably toxic to other goals. What are you making money for? (To be clear, I'm taking a utilitarian approach here. If you just like working or lifting, that's fine too). Like money, strength is the foundation for greater pursuits.

    To your point about NLP, what defines when it is "over"? The NLP stops when you can't add weight to the bar every session. This depends on the individual's ability to recover, whether physiological or volitional. For some reason, athletes are given a pass when the needs of practicing their sport supersede the need to get stronger. Pursuing a sport is just as volitional as pursuing a specific body composition. I don't understand why they are perceived so differently.

    And yes, ideally the physiological wall is what gets hit first. But we live in the real world, and ideal is not always achievable or frankly even optimal.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Donaldson View Post
    I'd say what you aptly point out is why I'd call them parallel, and not essentially the same. The nature of the factor preventing strength gains is different, but the effects and the approach to manage those effects are similar. Likewise with, say, someone whose athletic or occupational demands interfere with recovery.
    This is exactly what I'm talking about. When furthering strength training gets harder, more recovery is needed. When that recovery is not available because of other goals, programming is adjusted. I don't understand how this isn't still "strength training" or how it's "incorrect".

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Schexnayder View Post
    To your point about NLP, what defines when it is "over"? The NLP stops when you can't add weight to the bar every session. This depends on the individual's ability to recover, whether physiological or volitional. For some reason, athletes are given a pass when the needs of practicing their sport supersede the need to get stronger. Pursuing a sport is just as volitional as pursuing a specific body composition. I don't understand why they are perceived so differently.

    And yes, ideally the physiological wall is what gets hit first. But we live in the real world, and ideal is not always achievable or frankly even optimal.
    As you say, the NLP is over when you stop adding weight to the bar. There can be various reasons for why you can no longer add to the bar, and the individual perception of body composition is perfectly valid for it is perfectly valid as far as I am concerned. I also think that focusing on strength exclusively while the process lasts (so, not caring about the belly) is much more productive than not. This has been hammered home in quite a few podcasts. Maybe the author of the article was not that great at explaining it. I donít know, I havenít read the article!

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Schexnayder View Post
    This is exactly what I'm talking about. When furthering strength training gets harder, more recovery is needed. When that recovery is not available because of other goals, programming is adjusted. I don't understand how this isn't still "strength training" or how it's "incorrect".
    One thing I see would be the trainee's definition of success. A strength trainer's success is defined by relative strength increase. An aesthetics trainer's success is appearance based.

    I currently have about a 44 inch abdomen. My current goal is to add strength, ascertained by getting certain PR goals on certain lifts. I don't succeed unless I add weight to the bar. In fact, that's why I've gone from 39" to 44" since my last cut, because I've (willingly) erred on the side of fueling the strength training over aesthetics (and other concerns that go with that much visceral fat).

    Suppose that once I hit those PR goals, I decide I want to get my abdominal measurement down to 38" while retaining as much strength as I can. I don't succeed at my primary goal unless I get that measurement down to 38". I have a secondary strength training goal of retaining as much strength as I can while hitting the primary goal, which is not itself a strength training one. If I'm serious about the primary, then in case of a push, the primary wins - I err on the side of losing visceral fat over retaining pounds on the bar, the opposite of before. I may be able to do both - I may even add to some lifts while cutting - but the primary has still changed.

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