Being big vs being strong

I notice an emphasis on being ‘big’ on various fitness blogs.

I understand that us men have fragile egos and what better way to make a statement than becoming a big badass motherfucker like you see on the front of Flex magazine.

For the weight training beginner the logic is:

big = lift heavier

And if you ever watched World’s strongest man, that is generally the case.

However men in their quest to become big in the gym sometimes forget the reason they are weight training – to be strong and look good.

I speak as someone who went big for a while.  I got to 100kg and realised although I could make some huge lifts this was at the expense of being a fatass.

My skill was  limited to an audience in the gym, who didn’t care anyway.  When I went to bars at night I just looked like a fat guy.

My choice of clothing was limited due to the muscle gut I had developed.  My physqiue was built for powers lifts and that was it.

At first when I thought about dropping size I was concerned that I would be weak.

Now I am down to a lean 80kg and to be honest I have the benefit of having an excellent rate of cardio where I am able to do things like climbing, cycling and running.

And although with some exercises I cannot lift as heavy – such as my bench press and bicep curl, I have produced personal bests for other exercises.

I feel part of what retained my strength was my instance to more or less stay with the same heavy weights while focusing on leaning up.

My way of becoming big was not the most practical way.  By big I mean by having big, strong, firm, cut muscles.  I see a number of blogs that seem to recommend to readers become big by “eating a lot” (yeah like what?).

Being big is overrated – apart from the girls who have a thing for big muscley guys, what is the purpose?  Cardio fitness is poor and when big guys slack of training but continue the eating regime they end up fat.

I enjoy the balance I have achieved – a good all rounder, I have enough strength to meet the needs of my life, good cardio endurance and a diet to ensure my weight does not ballon if my training happens to cut down.

I also would not have been able to do things like the Spartan race.

There is nothing wrong with being big, but remember the difference between being big and being fat.

In closing the simplest way of assessing a man’s potential body size is through the following:

eat what you like + train often = fat and strong
eat carefully + large quanties + train often = big and strong
eat carefully + train often = lean and strong
eat carefully + don't train often = skinny
eat what you like + don't train much = fat
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