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  1. #1
    Registered User Zeke5's Avatar
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    A Story- How Do They Get So Big?

    I was taking pictures at my gym of various people working out for poster collages that I make to go up on the wall. I asked this huge competitive bodybuilder if I could get some shots of him working out and he was very cool about it and even posed with another bodybuilder- most of the big guys in my gym are really nice.

    He was using the hi row lat machine, like I do, and my own competitiveness came out and I had to check out how much weight he was lifting. I was shocked to see that he was using the same weight that I did. I was mystified by this because this guy was gigantic- way bigger than me.

    So I paid a little more attention and noticed he did the movement perfectly- chest pushed against the padded support, no leaning back or jerking the weight like I do. His torso stayed motionless and his lats did all the work.

    So when I was on the same machine the next day I tried to copy his style, at 90 lbs. less weight, and my back was so sore the next day I was forced to admit to myself that I was being sloppy in my workouts. So now I’ve really focused on improving my form and after doing chest, back, and arms in this way I’m using less weight but my muscles are fried. My shoulders and elbows aren't hurting like before.

    I’m really excited now about getting back to the gym each day.

    So when I hear disparaging remarks about the big guys, lessening their achievements by laying the cause on drugs, freaky genetics, and other growth inducers that the average Joe doesn’t have, I have to smile. While those factors may have big effects on why the big guys are big, this beast showed that focus and form are part of the total equation as well.

    And those ARE available to us average Joes.

    Zeke
    (The newly inspired guy at the hi row machine)
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  2. #2
    Potestas Mod Iceman1800's Avatar
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    Do you train at Strength Beyond?
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    I don't train to beat my competition, I train so they don't beat me.
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  3. #3
    Registered User paolo59's Avatar
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    You know, in my limited experience and knowledge, I have found that working your lats requires more focus, attention, and deliberate control than practically any other body part. You are right. If you do a lat excercise properly, ensuring that it is indeed the lats that are doing the work, you don't have to lift a whole lot to feel it, and quick!
    paolo59

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  4. #4
    Master Roshi IronCharles's Avatar
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    You've stumbled upon one of the "secrets" of bodybuilding. More isn't always better..... better is better.
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  5. #5
    Canis Belli Whiskeyjack's Avatar
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    Nice post.
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  6. #6
    Going strong! TheIronMaster's Avatar
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    Good post i wish others would learn form is the most important part of working out. The big numbers will come later. A-lot forget to leave the ego at the door.
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  7. #7
    Da1UnV bodyhard's Avatar
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    Quality over quantity.
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  8. #8
    Registered User ZazenZone's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Zeke5 View Post
    I was taking pictures at my gym of various people working out for poster collages that I make to go up on the wall. I asked this huge competitive bodybuilder if I could get some shots of him working out and he was very cool about it and even posed with another bodybuilder- most of the big guys in my gym are really nice.

    He was using the hi row lat machine, like I do, and my own competitiveness came out and I had to check out how much weight he was lifting. I was shocked to see that he was using the same weight that I did. I was mystified by this because this guy was gigantic- way bigger than me.

    So I paid a little more attention and noticed he did the movement perfectly- chest pushed against the padded support, no leaning back or jerking the weight like I do. His torso stayed motionless and his lats did all the work.

    So when I was on the same machine the next day I tried to copy his style, at 90 lbs. less weight, and my back was so sore the next day I was forced to admit to myself that I was being sloppy in my workouts. So now I’ve really focused on improving my form and after doing chest, back, and arms in this way I’m using less weight but my muscles are fried. My shoulders and elbows aren't hurting like before.

    I’m really excited now about getting back to the gym each day.

    So when I hear disparaging remarks about the big guys, lessening their achievements by laying the cause on drugs, freaky genetics, and other growth inducers that the average Joe doesn’t have, I have to smile. While those factors may have big effects on why the big guys are big, this beast showed that focus and form are part of the total equation as well.

    And those ARE available to us average Joes.

    Zeke
    (The newly inspired guy at the hi row machine)
    Cool post. I have heard years back that Lee Haney usually did one arm rows with 75 lbs. That would be akin to me using about 25 llbs... maybe I should try that....

    There is something to be said for doing explosive reps where the form isn't spot on, (because the fast fast twitch fibers get built that way) but also a ton to be said for the ole "mind in the muscle" thing and not caring didlysquat about the weight (more intermediate fast twitch with some slow).
    Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are.


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    "The bench press took a permanent leave of absence when I grew up 20
    years ago. I do not miss the overrated lopsided painster one bit.
    Dumbbells are where it's at."

    -Dave Draper
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  9. #9
    Registered User debandmikeb's Avatar
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    My gym is a "Health and Fitness Center" but is loaded with nice equipment. I see more people doing exercises with poor form, even under the tutelage of a trainer (!) than I can count. Granted, there are plenty of people who use correct form with an appropriate amount of weight but to see some of the moves going on that even I know are way wrong is kind of sad.
    So, I take my weights, plates and stacks, meager as they may seem, and do my exercises the way they look in the book. I might not be curling a 75lb dumbell but the one that I am curling, I'm doing correctly.

    Mike

    ps...I like this--->More isn't always better..... better is better.
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  10. #10
    Registered User JerseyRay's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by TheIronMaster View Post
    Good post i wish others would learn form is the most important part of working out. The big numbers will come later. A-lot forget to leave the ego at the door.
    Totally agree.... There will always be bigger guys than me, stronger guys than me, so I'm way past trying to impress people with what I'm using. I find if I'm using too much weight, I'm not really focused on the exersize, but just trying to complete the set. If I could use 5 lb weights I would.
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  11. #11
    Master Roshi IronCharles's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by debandmikeb View Post
    ps...I like this--->More isn't always better..... better is better.
    I first heard that from Ironwill2008. He's pretty darn good at "better".
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  12. #12
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    awesome post... yess quality >> quaNTITY
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  13. #13
    Older But Getting Better Old Bob's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Zeke5 View Post
    So when I was on the same machine the next day I tried to copy his style, at 90 lbs. less weight, and my back was so sore the next day I was forced to admit to myself that I was being sloppy in my workouts. So now I’ve really focused on improving my form and after doing chest, back, and arms in this way I’m using less weight but my muscles are fried. My shoulders and elbows aren't hurting like before.
    You have "discovered" the most important part of bodybuilding (other than a super clean diet) Grasshoppah.... Go forth and preach the gospel....

    Old Bob.... Perfecting his form for over 40 years and almost at the novice stage now....
    Getting Old Ain't For Sissys... ;)

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  14. #14
    Registered User John Prophet's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Zeke5 View Post
    So when I hear disparaging remarks about the big guys, lessening their achievements by laying the cause on drugs, freaky genetics, and other growth inducers that the average Joe doesn’t have, I have to smile. While those factors may have big effects on why the big guys are big, this beast showed that focus and form are part of the total equation as well.
    That sort of cuts both ways....the drugs and the form are two totally seperate things.

    From my observation Id have to say that mediocre form with drugs will quite often beat perfect form without drugs. A glance at any IFBB pro training vid will tell you that. For every 1 you can find that have decent form, you will quickly find 5 that just throw weights around any ol' kind of way

    The poster child would be Bertil Fox. Dude had absolutely horrendous form yet was one of the biggest guys of his day.

    -------

    On another note, a lot of times you can feel stimulation/soreness just from giving the body a DIFFERENT stimulation than what it is used to.


    example:
    ------
    The guy who always does heavy cheat curls decides to do very strict curls with half the weight and the next day his arms are sore to the bone

    The guy who always does superstrict curls with a manageable weight decides to do heavy cheat curls one day and the next day his arms are sore to the bone



    So I dont think the "secret" is either strict form or sloppy form. If there is any secret there it may be learning how to "tack into the wind" by going back and forth between different types of stimuli
    "Humility comes before honor"
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  15. #15
    Registered User Rdez's Avatar
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    This is a great point OP.

    I've noticed this in particular as I've started doing different exercises than I've done in the past.

    The tendency is to use too much weight and use the 'wrong' muscles to do the work.

    Like Dumbbell rows. I'm using 30 lbs. now (just started this exercise for first time), but I could probably easily use double that. But then, it would be my arms moving the weight and not my lats!

    Sometimes, more isn't better !
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  16. #16
    NAS Strongman bigtallox's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Zeke5 View Post
    I was taking pictures at my gym of various people working out for poster collages that I make to go up on the wall. I asked this huge competitive bodybuilder if I could get some shots of him working out and he was very cool about it and even posed with another bodybuilder- most of the big guys in my gym are really nice.

    He was using the hi row lat machine, like I do, and my own competitiveness came out and I had to check out how much weight he was lifting. I was shocked to see that he was using the same weight that I did. I was mystified by this because this guy was gigantic- way bigger than me.

    So I paid a little more attention and noticed he did the movement perfectly- chest pushed against the padded support, no leaning back or jerking the weight like I do. His torso stayed motionless and his lats did all the work.

    So when I was on the same machine the next day I tried to copy his style, at 90 lbs. less weight, and my back was so sore the next day I was forced to admit to myself that I was being sloppy in my workouts. So now I’ve really focused on improving my form and after doing chest, back, and arms in this way I’m using less weight but my muscles are fried. My shoulders and elbows aren't hurting like before.

    Cool story, but Im not sure how much it proves. The biggest strongest person I know is the pro strongman that I train with. He's about 6'3" weighs around 340 and can deadlift 800+ pounds. He won "America's Strongest Man". But he also hitches his dead lifts, which pureists would say is wrong, bad form, dangerous, risky, and shouldn't be done ( eventhough it's allowed in strongman ). The first time I hitched my deadlift I was also very sore but THE ONLY reason is because it was something I hadn't done before. Is that *the reason* that my buddy is so big and strong? NO, OF COURSE NOT! You can't make any conclusions by looking at one tinny portion of the whole thing.


    Originally Posted by Zeke5 View Post
    this beast showed that focus and form are part of the total equation as well.
    Unless there's A LOT of information you left out on your post, you drew that conclusion too quickly. The only way to show that is to observe all of his training, diet, rest,...

    I guess I just see too many people bicep curling little 40 pound dumbbells while they try to *feel* the weight. But 40 pound dumbbells just isn't enough weight to stimulate growth, no matter how much it's felt, burns or the pump doing reps of 20 produces. Moving big weights is what stimulates growth, and doing so with correct form just limits risk of injury.
    6'8" 306 pounds

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  17. #17
    I haz Curlz ManWithCurls's Avatar
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    While I agree that there are some big guys doing perfect form on their exercises, there are also a lot of big guys using rubbish form and letting their egos go wild. You only need to see some videos on Youtube (from professional bbers) to see how many of these guys do not pay attention to form nor to, in some cases, manners and gym etiquette.

    I have also seen plenty of scrawny guys doing perfect form with big weights as well as small weights. N=1 is just that, observation.

    At the end of the day, genetics is key in determining how big one will be. Add in drugs, good exercise selection and good nutrition, and you get huge guys. Personally, I lift weights because it is fun and I enjoy it, the physical changes are secondary to my pastime and they come only if I keep my motivation to keep training. How do I keep the motivation? By actually enjoying it and not seeing it as a sole path to get somewhere.

    Sorry for slightly going in a tangent.
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  18. #18
    Registered User John Prophet's Avatar
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    yeah, most of us over 35 guys (im 44 in 2 days, lol) have seen PLENTY of broomstik skinny guys using absolutely textbook form.

    u can get huge with perfect form, u can get huge with sloppy form.

    u can be scrawny with bad form, u can be scrawny with good form


    I dont think the form in itself is a determinant factor. I think that different types of forms are different tools to go into the toolbox to be used in the proper time and place
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  19. #19
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    Thumbs up Yay, there's a spot for me!

    Originally Posted by john prophet View Post
    i have seen plenty of broomstik skinny guys using absolutely textbook form... Scrawny with good form,
    i <3 +1
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  20. #20
    Teacher and Bodybuilder BergMuscle's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by IronCharles View Post
    You've stumbled upon one of the "secrets" of bodybuilding. More isn't always better..... better is better.
    Heck yeah!! ^^^
    A bodybuilder uses the weight to work the muscle.

    There are no accidents. Everything happens for a reason and usually at exactly the right time.

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  21. #21
    Day 20 NoShave Nov. tmonkey's Avatar
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    lets see some of the pics op

    Thanks,
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  22. #22
    Registered User Zeke5's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by tmonkey View Post
    lets see some of the pics op
    No pics from me. The photos I mentioned in my post were taken for my gym only and the people there were good enough to let me take them as long as they were only for the gym and not going to be posted on the Internet.

    We have a nice supportive community there and I will honor the member's wishes.

    Sorry,

    Zeke.
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  23. #23
    Registered User vannesb's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Zeke5 View Post
    I was taking pictures at my gym of various people working out for poster collages that I make to go up on the wall. I asked this huge competitive bodybuilder if I could get some shots of him working out and he was very cool about it and even posed with another bodybuilder- most of the big guys in my gym are really nice.

    He was using the hi row lat machine, like I do, and my own competitiveness came out and I had to check out how much weight he was lifting. I was shocked to see that he was using the same weight that I did. I was mystified by this because this guy was gigantic- way bigger than me.

    So I paid a little more attention and noticed he did the movement perfectly- chest pushed against the padded support, no leaning back or jerking the weight like I do. His torso stayed motionless and his lats did all the work.

    So when I was on the same machine the next day I tried to copy his style, at 90 lbs. less weight, and my back was so sore the next day I was forced to admit to myself that I was being sloppy in my workouts. So now I’ve really focused on improving my form and after doing chest, back, and arms in this way I’m using less weight but my muscles are fried. My shoulders and elbows aren't hurting like before.

    I’m really excited now about getting back to the gym each day.

    So when I hear disparaging remarks about the big guys, lessening their achievements by laying the cause on drugs, freaky genetics, and other growth inducers that the average Joe doesn’t have, I have to smile. While those factors may have big effects on why the big guys are big, this beast showed that focus and form are part of the total equation as well.

    And those ARE available to us average Joes.

    Zeke
    (The newly inspired guy at the hi row machine)
    Dude its called AAS!
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  24. #24
    .. Brackneyc's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by vannesb View Post
    Dude its called AAS!
    OP knows this. He is trying to talk about "it," without talking about it.
    Fact, bears eat beets. Bears, beets, "Battlestar Galactica."
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  25. #25
    Registered User vannesb's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Brackneyc View Post
    OP knows this. He is trying to talk about "it," without talking about it.
    I must be getting old and SLOW! LOL
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  26. #26
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    Originally Posted by vannesb View Post
    I must be getting old and SLOW! LOL
    Not at all^^. But, I will call it like I see it. Now, if OP "really" thinks he is going to move to the next level of "huge" by simply dropping his bar weight and perfecting his form, then this thread is even funnier than I thought.
    Fact, bears eat beets. Bears, beets, "Battlestar Galactica."
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  27. #27
    Registered User vannesb's Avatar
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    Talking

    Originally Posted by Brackneyc View Post
    Not at all^^. But, I will call it like I see it. Now, if OP "really" thinks he is going to move to the next level of "huge" by simply dropping his bar weight and perfecting his form, then this thread is even funnier than I thought.
    Thats for sure, it is always a combination of everything to get huge for sure!
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  28. #28
    .. Brackneyc's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by vannesb View Post
    Thats for sure, it is always a combination of everything to get huge for sure!

    Just so the purists amongst will know I know...I know form is HUGE, even more important than what is on the bar, to a point. However, if someone is even "close" on their form, and the weight being used is correct for "them," then the discussion usually takes a very familiar, and inappropriate turn for the worst. JMO.
    Fact, bears eat beets. Bears, beets, "Battlestar Galactica."
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  29. #29
    Registered User John Prophet's Avatar
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    shhhh, dont tell. The really big guys take saw palmetto, yohimbe, and russian deer antler. The really crazy ones take bee pollen! dont tell it though or everyone will be huge
    "Humility comes before honor"
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  30. #30
    Registered User KeithTheSnake's Avatar
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    Zeke:

    One thing about handling a little less weight but with perfect form is that you tend to less frequently invite injury, which leads to longer potential periods of progression. Makes sense to me that this contributes to excellent results.

    Oh, and I'm from Lansing. Daughter and son-in-law are in the home of Gibson and Shakespeare.

    Best regards,

    Keith
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