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westsidebehavioralcare

Do elite powerlifters have "special" joints?

SAD

SAD

TID Board Of Directors
Feb 3, 2011
3,034
1,188
#1
I would love to be strong as shit. When compared to your average gym goer, I am strong, but not even close to powerlifting strong. And at 6'2" 235lbs, it can be embarrassing to load 315 and only get 3 or 4 reps on bench. Over the last few months, I've worked out with a few local powerlifters, and after observing habits and training routines and talking to them about diet and such, I've realized that we are all doing roughly the same thing, but these guys are on a whole 'nother level of strength than me.

Now I truly believe that genetics play a big role in powerlifting just like they do in bodybuilding, and I believe that for powerlifting, joint size/strength is perhaps the most important thing an elite powerlifter must be BORN with. The guys that I lift with whose working sets are in the 400s on bench, 600s on squats, and 600s on deads, all have big ass joints. I have small wrists and small elbow joints and small knee joints, etc, so I look better as far as the contrasts between my muscle bellies and small joints, but that means absolutely nothing in powerlifting.

The powerlifters I know don't look like bodybuilders for a number of reasons: 1.) They don't train for hypertrophy. 2.) They don't worry about bodyfat. 3.) They don't do many, if any, isolation movements. 4.(and the one I'm now realizing is all about genetics) They have big fucking joints.

To conclude my little observation, I'll bring up the "former fat man". These guys may not have lifted a day in their life, but if they grew up fat and had the genetics to have big joints, then once they do hit the gym, they tend to be stronger right off the bat (I believe due to the muscles it took just to carry their weight around for so many years) and they also tend to eventually have a higher ceiling than most untrained non-athletes on their max lifts in the long run (and THAT I believe is due to the size/strength of their joints, a combo of genetics and being a fat kid.)
 
Rottenrogue

Rottenrogue

Strongwoman
Jan 26, 2011
6,550
1,836
#2
ok so I dont tend to get technical so bear with me.Do you eat everything in sight before you go lift? Do you follow a restricted diet? I think that alone plays into it.We eat a shit ton of food mostly protien.As a strongman you have to have a decent amount of bodyfat .Anytime I drop even ten pounds my overhead press goes to shit.It always comes back though.
I think maybe just lifestyle comes in to play.
Do you do reps often?Anything over 5 is cardio.Then there is learning to use shirts and suits.
 
SAD

SAD

TID Board Of Directors
Feb 3, 2011
3,034
1,188
#3
I'm on a quasi-cut right now, so yeah, strength isn't where it normally is. But even when I'm bulking and my calories are high (and I'm talking 6500+) I still am not anywhere near powerlifter status. I didn't start this thread to examine why I am not as strong as some of my buddies, but rather to make an observation about the really elite powerlifters out there. I rarely do cardio (bad knees, thanks to the military) and I do 5-3-1 schemes, 5x5 schemes, and random custom low-rep schemes, depending on the time of year and goal at the time. But like I said, this isn't about me as much as it is something that I've noticed about the really strong lifters.
 
J

jute

Senior Member
Dec 22, 2010
142
9
#4
BUT.. You havent been training like a powerlifter either..Correct? Alot of us have been training for along time.. It takes years to get to where we can move alot of weight.. If you take a closer look. Alot of powerlifters in this day and age arent fat.. Look at volgepohl (sp).. Standing next to him is like standing next to a freaking tree, and you can see his abs plain as day. Im only 5'3" and 194, but my abs show nicely.. Im probably around 10-12% BF.. My last bench on monday was 518 for a double..
 
W

Wolf

MuscleHead
Dec 25, 2010
274
45
#5
That's a really good question and I wish I had a definite answer but all i can do is speculate since I'm not too sure. I think its a safe assumption that thicker wrists, ankles, knees, elbows, etc could give you an increased area for tendon connection and potentially higher strength.
 
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SAD

TID Board Of Directors
Feb 3, 2011
3,034
1,188
#6
BUT.. You havent been training like a powerlifter either..Correct? Alot of us have been training for along time.. It takes years to get to where we can move alot of weight.. If you take a closer look. Alot of powerlifters in this day and age arent fat.. Look at volgepohl (sp).. Standing next to him is like standing next to a freaking tree, and you can see his abs plain as day. Im only 5'3" and 194, but my abs show nicely.. Im probably around 10-12% BF.. My last bench on monday was 518 for a double..

Because of my backround in athletics, I didn't train heavy for most of my "lifting life", but I did train explosively. In the last 2 years I started training like a powerlifter, not all year long, but about 2/3rds of the year like a pl and the other 1/3 like a bodybuilder. I've put on about 20 pounds of lean body mass, and another 15 pounds of fat that I'm ok with, and strength in all compound lifts has gone up 75-100 pounds. But I repeat, this isn't about me and me not being massively strong. (I can pull 515 off the floor with perfect form, have paused as high as 375 on bench, and squatted 505 just below parallel before I fucked my knee up, so I'm not weak for a tall guy with long arms and legs). This whole thread was just to bounce the idea of big joints allowing a greater max potential than small joints. And I never meant to imply that powerlifters are fat, but clearly they don't cut weight like a bb or a fighter. You have to admit that Janne Virtanen(sp?) and Marius Pudzjanowski(sp?) are not the norm for power-lifters/strongmen.

To help focus this thread a little more, I'll just ask a simple question.

Do you guys and gals think that joint size has anything to do with max power potential?
 
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AllTheWay

AllTheWay

TID Lady Member
Mar 17, 2011
4,240
411
#7
very interesting thoughts to ponder upon. i definately think that there is something to the bigger joint thing. in race horses, the tiny jointed animals tend to have significantly more injuries. so even though there is the potential for speed they dont last long. not saying that they wont win races but they tend to be crippled by the end of their 2nd year of racing. while the big jointed horses seem to be able to train through and race even with the wear and tear on the joints long past.

i think wolf has a valid point as well with increased tendon connection and more dense tissues. would be neat to see a study done on muscle type in large vs small jointed people.
 
TerribleTowel

TerribleTowel

Senior Member
Mar 31, 2011
182
21
#8
Short and sweet. Yes I think larger joints are beneficial for powerlifters. Just as small joints are beneficial for bodybuilders.

I'll come back and speak more about this later.. as I have more thoughts about this.
 
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SAD

SAD

TID Board Of Directors
Feb 3, 2011
3,034
1,188
#9
That's a really good question and I wish I had a definite answer but all i can do is speculate since I'm not too sure. I think its a safe assumption that thicker wrists, ankles, knees, elbows, etc could give you an increased area for tendon connection and potentially higher strength.
There are studies that show that the CNS will actually limit strength in order to protect tendons/ligaments from tearing, so I would think that somehow the brain must have an idea of the strength of our joints. I know that your CNS uses hand strength as a determining factor for deadlift strength in order to protect the shoulder joint. Which is why its not a great idea to train dl with straps. I'll say ahead of time that I have no clue where I read the previous studies at, so if you want me to produce them, it could take a minute to find the proof. I just remember that when I did read them, I had a whole new respect for the brain/CNS aspect of training for strength/power.
 
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SAD

TID Board Of Directors
Feb 3, 2011
3,034
1,188
#10
Short and sweet. Yes I think larger joints are beneficial for powerlifters. Just as small joints are beneficial for bodybuilders.
100% agree. If Ronnie Coleman hadn't had 300 pounds of muscle, he wouldn't have been able to hide his power-lifter joints, but he did, so he did. Haha. For 99% of the bb world, small joints make aesthetics that much better.
 
goldy

goldy

Chutzpah VIP
Jan 17, 2011
1,263
153
#11
I dunno, but if they do have special joints i would sure like one, because i have not been sleeping well lately.....puff puff pass.
 
SAD

SAD

TID Board Of Directors
Feb 3, 2011
3,034
1,188
#12
I dunno, but if they do have special joints i would sure like one, because i have not been sleeping well lately.....puff puff pass.
I was waiting on something along those lines. By the way, it could be the tren, just saying.
 
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