The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness
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The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness

It’s no secret that when people contradict themselves, it has the effect of making the flaws in their actions or statements seem glaringly obvious. But what about when WE ourselves get caught contradicting ourselves by someone else?

By: Nick Tumminello Added: January 6th, 2014
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  1. #1
    Squat Heavy, Squat Often Cards's Avatar
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    Just a thought on Height vs Appearance

    This has been in the back of my head for some time now so I figured I would put this out there. I've been around here for a few months now and I trust what most people say, at least the guys/woman that know what they are talking about. Here it goes.
    Over the past 9 months, my buddy and I have been working out. He is roughly 6' -6'1" while I'm 5'6" maybe shorter. Basically, I'm a midget next to him and most other people, but when we both started working out we were roughly the same size - in proportion obviously. But I've noticed that over these past months our strength has shot up in almost equal levels. He has me on everything by a good 10 but that's not much in my opinion. Also, our weights have gone from 150's to 180's and I’ve gone from 130 to almost 160 but I've noticed a difference in mass. So here it goes.
    I FEEL like a height difference tends to make a difference in the mass you pack on, I’m not referring to strength but the general appearance. Being shorter and putting on weight, you will look more filled out then someone who is taller putting in the same time and effort. In my opinion, I feel that this is because there is less surface area that needs to be ripped/broken and rebuilt. Before everyone shoots down this theory or argument here's an example.
    Let’s compare two people. One who is 6"4 and the other who is 5’6”, and let’s say there is a height difference in the legs of a good 5-6 inches. The 6 inches in the legs is mainly muscle, bones, ect. Could be fat, but for this let's assume they're athletic. So, when weight lifting, those extra 6 inches of surface area needs to be ripped/broken down while the other person has 6 inches less. In turn, you both gain equal strength gains assuming both are eating correctly, getting enough sleep, but in time, because they person who is short has less area to work with his muscles will appear to be "larger" then that of someone of 6"4. Basically take someone who is 6'4 200 lbs and move their mass to someone who is 5'6, they would look ALOT larger than the person who's 6'4. Now I’m not sure if this argument or idea has any relation to anything but I’m curious if this makes sense. Or maybe this is all just common sense and I'm just stupid but I’m trying here
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  3. #2
    Pizza anyone? NormalDude's Avatar
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    It seems to me that the shorter a person is the easier it is to look more muscular. Example midgets. Have you ever noticed how alot of them look like they work out? It is the height thing.
    I want to be a gladiator on Spartacus. Or at least be on the same cycle as them.

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  4. #3
    cakin Cirino83's Avatar
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    smaller people look more 'compact' if that makes any sense...

  5. #4
    Magically Delicious redFury's Avatar
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    Just in terms of mass... less muscle growth is needed for smaller people. This is exactly why people can never guess my weight.
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  6. #5
    Skinny is an Insult Brad263's Avatar
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    Taller people have longer muscles, shorter people have fuller muscles. Taller people have it easier to get defined while have a hard time looking big. and 10 lbs on a 6 foot frame is a lot different then 10 lbs on a 4 foot frame. Look at all the strong in shape looking guys in hollywood. Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise are both barely over 5 feet.

  7. #6
    Squat Heavy, Squat Often Cards's Avatar
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    so then what I was saying is more or less correct in more or less a common sense way?!
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  8. #7
    cakin Cirino83's Avatar
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    Tom Cruise is strong looking?

  9. #8
    Skinny is an Insult Brad263's Avatar
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    I don't think so but most women do. I consider the guys from 300 strong looking. But that would shoot his theory down because all those guys were over 6 foot I believe.

  10. #9
    Banned Tofer's Avatar
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    I don't think any one is going to argue with you there (except for maybe the bitter short people who aren't even muscular). If someone at 6'5" gains 20 lbs and someone who's 5'3" gains 20 lbs, it's going to be more noticeable on the midget because it's a greater percent of their overall body weight. And if they were both relatively the same size to begin with (let's say our midget is 120 lbs and our tall guy is 170 lbs) we're going to see a more noticeable increase in size for the little guy by comparison, and it's also probably going to be easier for him to gain the weight since on average he'll need to take less calories in than the other guy who is already at a higher weight.

  11. #10
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    I'm no expert, but most will probably agree with me here. Shorter people have a much bigger(no pun intended) advantage in bodybuilding and strength training. They will look more muscular, and I think shorter people have more strength potential. I read that this is due to the fact that they have shorter limbs and they have to go through less motion to complete an exercise. Its also an angular advantage too. That's why it seems that all of the big benchers are short and have short arms. But they have huge 40 foot wide ****ing chests. So being short has a lot of advantages in weight lifting(both bodybuilding and strength). But it seems that a lot of the "strongest man" competitors(like that MetRX contest) seem to be somewhat taller than average. So I don't know...maybe they are doing different types of exercises?
    A lot of that seems endurance focused too. They are DEFINITELY strong as ****, but it seems the competition is more endurance focused. But height doesn't give any endurance advantage to my knowledge. If anything, I would think it would be a disadadvantage. Long legs probably help for like distance running or something...but that's different I think.
    Last edited by Sumorai; 09-18-2007 at 10:39 AM.

  12. #11
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    seem to be somewhat taller than average. So I don't know...maybe they are doing different types of exercises?
    so different exercises make you tall or skinny? cool!
    I believe that when the body is strong, the mind thinks strong thoughts. Time spent away from the Iron makes my mind degenerate. I wallow in a thick depression. My body shuts down my mind.

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  13. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brad263 View Post
    Taller people have longer muscles, shorter people have fuller muscles. Taller people have it easier to get defined while have a hard time looking big. and 10 lbs on a 6 foot frame is a lot different then 10 lbs on a 4 foot frame. Look at all the strong in shape looking guys in hollywood. Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise are both barely over 5 feet.
    What? Your example was good until the hollywood height thing...Brad Pitt is 5'11'' and Tom Cruise is 5'7''
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  14. #13
    Squat Heavy, Squat Often Cards's Avatar
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    lame i'm shorter then Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise? my life is over as I know it...
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  15. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by samj View Post
    so different exercises make you tall or skinny? cool!
    Isn't it?

    But seriously, that wasn't what I was saying. I was suggesting the possibility that perhaps their height does not impare them so much because of the type of activities they are doing in the contests. But I don't know, it was just speculation. I am curious as to what the truth is about the matter. Why is it that short people have an advantage on stuff like BP, DL, and SKWAAAWWT, and seem to be stronger, but you see taller people in contests like MetRX's strongest man.

  16. #15
    Skinny is an Insult Brad263's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TJ2389 View Post
    What? Your example was good until the hollywood height thing...Brad Pitt is 5'11'' and Tom Cruise is 5'7''
    My bad your totally correct. I could have sworn they were both really short. Well Tom cruise still isn't that tall but I could have swore Brad Pitt was short. I should have looked up the stats before I posted.
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  17. #16
    Skinny is an Insult Brad263's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sumorai View Post
    Why is it that short people have an advantage on stuff like BP, DL, and SKWAAAWWT, and seem to be stronger, but you see taller people in contests like MetRX's strongest man.
    I think a lot of that has to do with just overall size. Because those strongest men are just plain huge. I mean how much muscle can you build onto a 5'5" frame. I think when you get to the extremely strong huge guys, you need a huge building block. And men over 6 feet have a lot of room to grow huge muscle. Just my theory though.
    Last edited by Brad263; 09-18-2007 at 11:58 AM.
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  18. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brad263 View Post
    I think a lot of that has to do with just overall size. Because those strongest men are just plain huge. I mean how much muscle can you build onto a 5'5" frame. I think when you get to the extremely strong huge guys, you need a huge building block. And men over 6 feet have a lot of room to grow huge muscle. Just my theory though.
    I have heard that theory before, about larger frames being able to accomodate more total muscle mass. But shorter people can take the weights on at more powerful angles though. If that makes any sense...
    I was reading through this book about strength training for wrestling, because I was curious, and the author really stressed the importance of "lever lengths" and how shorter people have a huge advantage for strength potential. I'm not bitching though and trying to make excuses for myself just because I'm 6'4. I'm just interested in finding out the truth about it.

  19. #18
    The Man of Steel -Superman-'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cards View Post
    This has been in the back of my head for some time now so I figured I would put this out there. I've been around here for a few months now and I trust what most people say, at least the guys/woman that know what they are talking about. Here it goes.
    Over the past 9 months, my buddy and I have been working out. He is roughly 6' -6'1" while I'm 5'6" maybe shorter. Basically, I'm a midget next to him and most other people, but when we both started working out we were roughly the same size - in proportion obviously. But I've noticed that over these past months our strength has shot up in almost equal levels. He has me on everything by a good 10 but that's not much in my opinion. Also, our weights have gone from 150's to 180's and I’ve gone from 130 to almost 160 but I've noticed a difference in mass. So here it goes.
    I FEEL like a height difference tends to make a difference in the mass you pack on, I’m not referring to strength but the general appearance. Being shorter and putting on weight, you will look more filled out then someone who is taller putting in the same time and effort. In my opinion, I feel that this is because there is less surface area that needs to be ripped/broken and rebuilt. Before everyone shoots down this theory or argument here's an example.
    Let’s compare two people. One who is 6"4 and the other who is 5’6”, and let’s say there is a height difference in the legs of a good 5-6 inches. The 6 inches in the legs is mainly muscle, bones, ect. Could be fat, but for this let's assume they're athletic. So, when weight lifting, those extra 6 inches of surface area needs to be ripped/broken down while the other person has 6 inches less. In turn, you both gain equal strength gains assuming both are eating correctly, getting enough sleep, but in time, because they person who is short has less area to work with his muscles will appear to be "larger" then that of someone of 6"4. Basically take someone who is 6'4 200 lbs and move their mass to someone who is 5'6, they would look ALOT larger than the person who's 6'4. Now I’m not sure if this argument or idea has any relation to anything but I’m curious if this makes sense. Or maybe this is all just common sense and I'm just stupid but I’m trying here
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  20. #19
    Squat Heavy, Squat Often Cards's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by -Superman- View Post
    Yeah yeah you would be surprised how many stupid people are in this world lol, I"m just piecing things together!
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  21. #20
    Work in Progress Lumiel's Avatar
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    The other thing is that while you both put on the same amount of weight, you had a greater percentage increase in weight than your tall buddy. Keep that in mind. He added another 20% of his original weight onto his body. You added 23% of your original weight to your body. The height thing also makes it so his gains are distributed over longer muscles where yours are shorter and will bulk up faster than his. It's the curse of tall guys.

    Which makes me very happy to be my height. Then again, starting out kind of fat put me at an advantage. :-)
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