View Full Version : Why are a lot of top OLers fat?

08-07-2003, 10:07 PM
Just wondering? Seems like a lot of top level olympic lifters, especially in the higher weight catagories, are quite overweight.

08-07-2003, 11:12 PM
Such as?

08-07-2003, 11:26 PM
thats because they focus only on strength, they dont diet, they just eat alot to keep strength

mark henry 6foot 400 pounds (strongest man in american)

shane hammons 5'7" 350 pounds(top elite olympic weiht lifter, one of 7 men to ever clean and jerk over 500 pounds and if predicted to be one of the first to ever snatch 500 pounds)

anthony clark 5'7" 350 pounds(first man to ever bench over 800 pounds)

08-08-2003, 08:27 PM
Look at those stats you posted, and think about how much of that high weight is pure muscle. Granted, they carry a lot more fat than bb'ers, but they are still loaded with muscle mass.

08-09-2003, 05:54 AM
do you mean overweight or fat?

of course heavy weights are over over weight. otherwise they would not be heavy weights.

If you look at most strong men most are not the leanest people out there. however quite a few are leaner than the average person. plus you do get some very lean ones. that polish guy with a long name springs to mind

08-09-2003, 06:35 PM
there is no weight limit in the super heavys.

but in the lighter divisions they are pretty lean and muscular, look at Dimas, you can see his abs through his lifting suit!!

this guy doens't look fat too me - attached...

08-09-2003, 06:35 PM
or him - chinese olylifter

08-10-2003, 04:29 AM
DImas - yeah real fat...:)

08-10-2003, 04:32 AM
chinese guy again

chris mason
08-10-2003, 06:36 AM
It isn't the "top" guys who are fat per se, if you define "top" as the best. The "top" guys in the heaviest weight classes are fat because fat helps strength. In the lighter weight classes the men are not fat because they cannot afford to be, it would put them at a disadvantage (the fat would propel them into a heavier weight class).

The biggest lifters need not worry about heavier weight classes thus they can have liberal amounts of body fat. Increased body fat allows for more muscle than can be carried on a lean physique. It also can aid in lifting by creating a "cushion" effect. For example, if the legs are larger and fatter, then the very bottom position of the clean and snatch is made easier by the fact that the increased leg size reduces the ROM (the back of the lower and upper legs touch sooner). A large gut can also be of advantage in the very deep squat position as it can provide somewhat of a "springboard" effect.

08-10-2003, 08:25 AM
That's what I read about Alexeyev's gut.

chris mason
08-10-2003, 12:04 PM
His gut was also a very nice counterbalance for his presses. If any of you have tried heavy overhead standing presses you will know that a big counterbalance would help the lift tremendously.

08-10-2003, 03:07 PM
yeah but excess bodyweight reduces speed in the snatch, you do have to propel your own bodyweight as well

strap on a 20lb weight vest and see how much your snatch goes down :)

extra fat does help in the slow lifts like squats etc, but olylifts I'm not so sure. The strongest guy does not win.
The extra weight reduces speed, and you can't keep the bar as close to your body - which makes a huge difference. The closer the bar is, the better the mechanical leverage.

So you gain some and lose some, but the main reason is that
superheavyweights have no weight limit, and who likes to watch their diet anyway? :)

Plus not many people can lose fat without losing muscle mass.

08-10-2003, 07:07 PM
Originally posted by Blitzforce
extra fat does help in the slow lifts like squats etc, but olylifts I'm not so sure. The strongest guy does not win.
The extra weight reduces speed, and you can't keep the bar as close to your body - which makes a huge difference. The closer the bar is, the better the mechanical leverage.

Alexeyev and Reding both proved that to be pretty inaccurate.

08-10-2003, 07:30 PM
The question is, if they were leaner, not ripped but 10-12% or so would they have lifted higher totals? We don't know so, it's all speculation.

08-10-2003, 07:57 PM
Possibly, yeah.

Then again, it'd be really hard to imagine either one of those guys posting better numbers than they had.

08-10-2003, 10:09 PM
There not fat, there just big-boned. :D

But in all seriousness, in the heavyweight classes, that extra fat would allow them to keep a higher level of strength, and perhaps more overall muscle mass.

08-11-2003, 08:29 AM
Redding and Alexiev were fat? OK. I guess that a big belly means fat now huh? No they were not pretty boy, bodybuilder lean, but they did not train for looks, they trained for performance.

Superheavies are going to be fatter than others, for sure, cause they can afford to be, but most superheavyweight powerlifters, olympic lifters and strongman competitors are leaner than you might think.

Just cause a guy has a big belly, doesn't mean he is necesarily fat. Belly is made from muscle too. Big belly muscles mean a big belly. Dave Tate has a huge belly, but has visible stomach muscles. That is not fat, but would appear to be, while wearing clothes.

And those big guys might have been better at a lighter bodyweight, who knows? But they were very athletic, and very strong and fast in spite of this extra baggage.

Short answer as to why they are fat, is cause they are able to be world class athletes without being on the "Zone" diet.


chris mason
08-11-2003, 07:54 PM
Well, Alexeyev was definitely fat. His gut was as fat as it gets. Now, he obviously carried a lot of muscle as well, but there is not getting around his being fat.

08-11-2003, 09:48 PM
Alexeyev, 1977 (http://www.geocities.com/Colosseum/Field/7342/Va1-2.jpg)

Serge Redding (http://a4.grp.yahoofs.com/v1/MFg4PxjQhPUqfG-OE-WgPhcR3KpJVAHYzi10SWYh8XKOwK-IfRCjvcLCfWDbKRI30i5z-HPHLu-cyVghEVKeb8VJod8u9h-HX15JwA/rdg69.jpg)

Redding- 502lb Clean & Press (http://www.motorcitybarbell.com/videos/Redding_502pr.rm)

Alexeyev- 507lb Clean & Press (http://www.motorcitybarbell.com/videos/Alexeev_507clpr.rm)

08-12-2003, 01:33 AM
Dimas - not bad for any 85kg dude, I hear he front squats 600lbs explosively, real fast! And you can see why, he powerjerks his jerks :)
any easy 440+lbs, and some people think Olylifters are weak..

right click and save

08-12-2003, 01:32 PM
All worries about physique aside, I just have to say that those lifts were jaw-droppingly amazing.

Both of them made it look virtually effortless (though Alexeyev seemed to struggle a bit with the catch and the initial press).

chris mason
08-12-2003, 07:07 PM
Those videos fire me up! I love that stuff! I don't think you can really appreciate what they are doing unless you have tried the movements.

When I watch the videos I notice (like Powerman) that Serge seemed to have a better handle on the weight. He did his press with almost no movement at the knee where Alexeyev definitely had a bit of a dip to his.

08-15-2003, 11:28 PM
When a man at 3% bodyfat squats 1080lbs, just go ahead and make a thread here.

08-26-2003, 06:03 AM
Another pic of Dimas: