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Heavy weight training and TT coexist?

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    Posted: 06/13/2018 at 4:55pm
You don't see high level players with massive upper bodies. Can upper body strength training coexist with TT training? Over 25 years ago, I gave up lifting heavy weights, upper body training in particular, because I didn't want it to ruin my touch. I realized early this year that since the plastic ball already ruined my touch, I should return and enjoy heavy lifting. I'll soon compete in the WVC and Nationals. Next year I hope to compete in both the USATT Nationals and an age class (masters 2) powerlifting meet. Here's some video from my recent training.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote hunkeelin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/13/2018 at 5:32pm
Upper body doesn't do much for TT. Your legs however, that's a different story. Many watch vid of pro plays and they don't realize how robust their legs are. I went to icc butterfly open 2018. I saw eugene wang. In youtube he looks like a chubby guy. In real person tho, his quads are thicker than my waist S=. 



Edited by hunkeelin - 06/13/2018 at 5:32pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SmackDAT Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/13/2018 at 9:05pm
not significantly tbh

I'm very in shape and slender and beat this 130kg 6'2 bodybuilding freak with ease and he's played longer than me. He has a weak stroke due to being too heavy to turn and cannot pivot at all, makes it easy.

In other words, the hypothesised benefits have been nullified and more than physical limits from being more muscular


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote obesechopper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/14/2018 at 12:19am
You'd have to be doing some serious weight lifting for many years before it had any real impact on your ability to play, negatively that is. 

That said, does heavy weight lifting really help in table tennis? Probably not a whole lot. But it certainly won't hurt your game either! 

And to smackdat about the 130kg player, it really depends on how well they utilize their muscle mass. You can be muscular without being athletic. Being OVERLY muscular doesn't help in athletic pursuits, but again... it would take YEARS with extremely dedicated effort to ever reach such a state. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lineup32 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/14/2018 at 12:47am
I lift free weights and work on machines at our local 24 hr fitness club at least 3 days a week.   It also has a wonderful floor to ceiling mirror area with wood flooring providing an excellent platform for doing shadow workouts. At 72 I need the additional workouts to maintain my strength so I am not interested in adding muscle by lifting bigger and bigger weight or keeping up with any of my younger club members. Frankly its a key factor in being in conditioning to compete at the TT club on a regular basis and if for some reason sickness, vacation I miss a week or more it shows up quickly when I return and try to lift at the weight level I was doing before I left.
My next add to the workout will be a gradual build on jumping rope as a warm up.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tinykin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/14/2018 at 2:25am
Originally posted by lineup32 lineup32 wrote:

.........My next add to the workout will be a gradual build on jumping rope as a warm up.


YesThumbs Up. This is one area (plus ladder workouts) I'd love to get good at. I think it's very important, perhaps more than weight trg, when one is >60yo.



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (2) Thanks(2)   Quote Joo Se Kev Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/17/2018 at 7:32am
Absolutely they can! A significant portion of my book is spent busting some of the myths regarding resistance training and athleticism. The idea that lifting weights will make you "musclebound," or "too bulky" is hilariously outdated.

There is a BIG difference between performing a properly designed strength and conditioning program designed to increase your performance for a given sport, and trying to become a top bodybuilder or powerlifter. As obesechopper mentioned, you're not going to accidentally become "too big" or "too strong." It takes a LOT of hard work to build up to high levels of strength and musculature. 

The fact that table tennis doesn't require a high degree of absolute strength (like football does, for example) is beside the point. Resistance training does a lot more than just make you strong! There's a cascade of unique health benefits that comes along with resistance training:

One of the most under-rated ones, in my opinion, is the beneficial effects on injury prevention and longevity. It's not just the muscles that get stronger, your bones and connective tissues also benefit! In strengthening these passive structures (along with the muscles designed to support and protect them), you become a more resilient and injury-resistant table tennis machine Thumbs Up




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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lightzy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/17/2018 at 10:18am
Bulk makes you slower
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Baal Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/17/2018 at 10:49am
Originally posted by Joo Se Kev Joo Se Kev wrote:

Absolutely they can! A significant portion of my book is spent busting some of the myths regarding resistance training and athleticism. The idea that lifting weights will make you "musclebound," or "too bulky" is hilariously outdated.

There is a BIG difference between performing a properly designed strength and conditioning program designed to increase your performance for a given sport, and trying to become a top bodybuilder or powerlifter. As obesechopper mentioned, you're not going to accidentally become "too big" or "too strong." It takes a LOT of hard work to build up to high levels of strength and musculature. 

The fact that table tennis doesn't require a high degree of absolute strength (like football does, for example) is beside the point. Resistance training does a lot more than just make you strong! There's a cascade of unique health benefits that comes along with resistance training:

One of the most under-rated ones, in my opinion, is the beneficial effects on injury prevention and longevity. It's not just the muscles that get stronger, your bones and connective tissues also benefit! In strengthening these passive structures (along with the muscles designed to support and protect them), you become a more resilient and injury-resistant table tennis machine Thumbs Up






In fact weight training is an essential part of training for elite athletes even in sports where being very light is important.

Also the previous comment that bulk makes you slower is (a) not always true since what matters is power:weight ratio and (b) ignores the fact that weight training doesn't necessarily make you bulkier but does make you more explosive.

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Edited by pingpungpeng - 06/17/2018 at 12:54pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Joo Se Kev Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/17/2018 at 3:16pm
Originally posted by Baal Baal wrote:

Originally posted by Joo Se Kev Joo Se Kev wrote:

Absolutely they can! A significant portion of my book is spent busting some of the myths regarding resistance training and athleticism. The idea that lifting weights will make you "musclebound," or "too bulky" is hilariously outdated.

There is a BIG difference between performing a properly designed strength and conditioning program designed to increase your performance for a given sport, and trying to become a top bodybuilder or powerlifter. As obesechopper mentioned, you're not going to accidentally become "too big" or "too strong." It takes a LOT of hard work to build up to high levels of strength and musculature. 

The fact that table tennis doesn't require a high degree of absolute strength (like football does, for example) is beside the point. Resistance training does a lot more than just make you strong! There's a cascade of unique health benefits that comes along with resistance training:

One of the most under-rated ones, in my opinion, is the beneficial effects on injury prevention and longevity. It's not just the muscles that get stronger, your bones and connective tissues also benefit! In strengthening these passive structures (along with the muscles designed to support and protect them), you become a more resilient and injury-resistant table tennis machine Thumbs Up






In fact weight training is an essential part of training for elite athletes even in sports where being very light is important.

Also the previous comment that bulk makes you slower is (a) not always true since what matters is power:weight ratio and (b) ignores the fact that weight training doesn't necessarily make you bulkier but does make you more explosive.


Couldn't have said it better myself!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lightzy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/17/2018 at 4:42pm
Bulk makes you slower, I have no doubt.
Nobody said that you can't train for power, so nobody is ignoring that fact, but if it's to 'bulk up' then yeah, it will make you slower.

I'd say that heavy lifting and TT don't mix if you want to get your max potential at TT.
That doesn't build explosive power, it builds bulk and mostly muscles that aren't very useful in TT, but are rather counter productive because they weigh a lot and you need to move them, whereas if you didn't have them you wouldn't have to carry them and move them around. Mass requires energy to move.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote MCollins Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/17/2018 at 5:13pm
Was that a 315lb raw bench for reps?  Nice work.  

In general, I agree that weight training isn't going to give some super advantage in TT.  Most elite players are rather thin.  The extra muscle mass will provide extra strength and power, but although a quick motion is advantageous in TT, you are only moving 200g-ish when you swing, so you don't need a lot of power really... just some neural activation that needs to be fine-tuned.  Power training could help a little here, but strength training will do very little.  

That said, do I think power training would help you specifically?  Absolutely.  Like myself, you're a big dude.  The extra mass from muscle will only help enable quick motions, especially with movement.  A lot of people think extra muscle mass makes you slower, but this is a myth.  Ever see the legs on sprinters?  Extra muscle mass will affect endurance, but unless you're really thin in the first place, this isn't really an issue.  

I say keep with the weights.  The only advice I'd give is to do more power-style training instead of strength training (it's also way more fun!)... The fact that you plan to compete probably means that's already what you're at.    Heavier weights, less reps, concentrate on the concentric motion and forget the eccentric motion.  Squats, deads and lunges are probably where the magic will happen.  Weights don't just build muscle.  Power motions strengthen the neuro-muscular connection, meaning you can activate the same size muscle to contract harder.  Bodybuilders are often outlifted by powerlifters half their size.  

I think you're doing awesome.  I say keep it up and let us know how it affects your game.  Also, what numbers are you hoping to put up at your next powerlifting meet?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote nachalnik Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/17/2018 at 5:33pm
Tell Jerome Bettis or Marshawn Lynch that mass makes you slower...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote blahness Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/17/2018 at 6:30pm
All the CNT do lifting and gym work regularly. The most powerful players, Wang Liqin and Zhang Jike have posted some impressive numbers on their lifts too...

As far as I know, everyone in the top20 does that.

From training videos, barbell squats (to strengthen the legs) and cable work for the shoulders and core seems to be common.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Baal Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/17/2018 at 6:44pm
In this case Heavyspin is wondering if training for another sport, power lifting, will hurt his TT. Well, if you end up enjoying it so much that it cuts significantly into your TT training your TT will suffer.
Not a bad thing if you have fun either way. There is no obvious physiological reason why added muscle mass would hurt your touch and you are already playing at an unusually large size and doing well. Less time at the table at some point will affect you. I have experienced that with road cycling. I am fitter for sure but some of my TT skills are not as sharp. Only 7 days in a week and recovery is part of training.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ranger-man Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/18/2018 at 8:54pm
I have always lifted, all my life. Started lifting before I started playing table tennis. If I stop, I would become less agile because right now my quads and calves help me move the way I do. I have muscular arms, a strong back and well developed shoulders, all of which make me strong and fit - not bulky. 

Most people start to visualize a physique like Dorian Yates when someone says heavy lifting. And that is not true. Those guys bulk up like through extremely heavy lifting and steroids. A normal person, not on drugs, not consuming protein shakes with every meal would never reach that stage. The best you will get to is like Lebron, and I want someone to tell me he is slow. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote heavyspin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/18/2018 at 10:26pm
Originally posted by MCollins MCollins wrote:

Was that a 315lb raw bench for reps?  Nice work.  

Indeed it was 315. I plan to only do raw events. I don't even have wrist wraps, but I plan to get a pair as I found out they may be used in raw benching. I found a gym where powerlifters train. They also have good coaches and I've started attending a group class. One coach told me I was gripping the bar too loosely on the deadlift, another told me my weight was going forward too much when I came up on the squat. My TT habits influenced my softer grip and weight shift from heel to toe. I'm not used to a coach telling a student to grip tighter and stay on the heels.

I thought I could enter a meet within a couple of months, but I'm learning that there's so much I need to learn. I doubt I'll do a meet before next year and I have no idea how much I can squat or deadlift. I also found out that one doesn't have to compete in all 3 lifts, so that's something to keep in mind. My goal now is a 500 kg total, but I may find out later that's either too light or too heavy.
 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MCollins Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/19/2018 at 11:58am
Having good coaches and training partners is everything for putting up the big numbers.  The lifts look like such simple movements, but there's actually a lot of technique involved.  You've got a nice back arch for bench, and it looks like you're keeping it legal, so you should do very well on this lift in competition.  

Almost everyone is quad-dominant for deads and squats.  This is especially true for people who play sports where you spend a lot of time on your toes.  We come forward so we can get our quads into the lift more, but the muscles with the most potential (hams and gluts) activate when we push with our heels.  One thing that might help is incorporating more lunges/hamstring curls into the routine, or even pre-exhausting the quads with a few leg extensions before squatting.  A lot of powerlifting programs have you do a bunch of squats, then a bunch of bench, then another bunch of squats.  Maybe throwing some leg extensions in before the second set of squats could help.  If your quads are tired, you'll have no choice but to push with your hams/gluts.  

The wrist wraps may or may not help you.  They never did anything for me, but some people find them good.  

Doing 1RMs for squats and deads is always a scary day, and not something to do often haha.  It's always a guess until the competition.  500kg is a very big goal, and you could very well get it, but remember that for your first competition, joining the 1000lb club is a huge step in itself.  You should hit that no problem with that bench.  

You should post progress videos as you train, like the one you posted with TT and powerlifting side by side.  I think it will be cool to see how one influences the other.  Oh, and compete in all three lifts.  You're already there, go for it!  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Joo Se Kev Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/20/2018 at 6:47am
Originally posted by heavyspin heavyspin wrote:

Originally posted by MCollins MCollins wrote:

Was that a 315lb raw bench for reps?  Nice work.  

Indeed it was 315. I plan to only do raw events. I don't even have wrist wraps, but I plan to get a pair as I found out they may be used in raw benching. I found a gym where powerlifters train. They also have good coaches and I've started attending a group class. One coach told me I was gripping the bar too loosely on the deadlift, another told me my weight was going forward too much when I came up on the squat. My TT habits influenced my softer grip and weight shift from heel to toe. I'm not used to a coach telling a student to grip tighter and stay on the heels.

I thought I could enter a meet within a couple of months, but I'm learning that there's so much I need to learn. I doubt I'll do a meet before next year and I have no idea how much I can squat or deadlift. I also found out that one doesn't have to compete in all 3 lifts, so that's something to keep in mind. My goal now is a 500 kg total, but I may find out later that's either too light or too heavy.
 


Just take it easy and ease into things. Don't rush it. You don't need to hit failure to build strength. It's a good idea to have a speed/technique day in there where you get plenty of practice on form with submaximal loads.

Something like super clean and snappy sets of 3 with ~70-75% 1RM are good for this.

One more note...

While utilizing resistance training for general strength and conditioning has a pretty low injury risk, attempting to become a competitive powerlifter changes things...

If that is your goal, you have now entered the realm of needing to accept some risk for the reward.

To put things in perspective a bit, a study came out this year which sampled around 100 Swedish powerlifters. They found that 87% had been injured in the past year alone!

I'd highly suggest getting some good coaching and making sure you're following a properly periodized strength-focused routine. Shoot me a PM if you want me to point you to some free resources on this.





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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MCollins Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/20/2018 at 9:24am
The injuries are real, which is why I mentioned that 1RM days are always a scary day.  When you're doing low reps with heavy weight, the second your form falls apart it's easy to tweak something.  Everyone I lifted with hurt themselves at some point, but it was usually just something that kept you out of the gym for a couple days and nothing that really affected your day-to-day life.  

You're training with coaches and powerlifters, so that will help you a lot.  Back when I was at it, we all followed Sheiko programs.  Kev will probably have more advice here, but if a program has you going to 80% on multiple lifts of the same type (i.e. deads) in the same day, you're probably gunning for an injury.  My first program was the CMS-MS Prep and I liked this one a lot.  The workouts are a bit long, though.  

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1vBdL47glReiNALmFw1_ieRg6nMYaJ5OFlmidJ9nUNNM/edit#gid=779444565

In this spreadsheet, go to the tab called "CMS-MS Prep" to see what each day consists of.  If nothing else, it will give you an idea of how heavy and how many reps.  Training for powerlifting isn't all 1RMs, nor is it all heavy sets of 3.  

Kev is certainly a better resource than me for anything program-related, but if there's anything you want to know about diet or supplements, I can certainly help there.  

When it comes down to it, you're in the gym and putting in the work.  No matter what, you will improve.  You've got a pretty mean bench press right now, so you will get to some impressive numbers there for sure.  


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote heavyspin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/20/2018 at 12:58pm
Thanks for the advice MC and Kev.

Note that I have squatted over 400lbs, but that was 30 years ago. Back then I used to bring a belt and knee wraps to the gym all the time so this isn't a totally new thing for me - I just never did a meet. I was totally sold during my first TT tournament that THIS is what I want to do and the lifting faded (not totally, I've been off and on for approx 30 years)

I also want to mention that even though I'll be a super heavyweight, I feel the need to lose weight. One reason is psychological. The embarrassment of getting on the scale and having my weight displayed next to my lifts could put me in the wrong state of mind for lifting. The other reason is to improve flexibility. My hips are a little tight affecting squat depth. Also, reaching for the bar to deadlift with an oversized belly compresses my diaphragm so that my breathing is challenged right from the start (I think that's what's happening) - an unnecessary disadvantage.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote obesechopper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/20/2018 at 1:03pm
Originally posted by Joo Se Kev Joo Se Kev wrote:

Originally posted by heavyspin heavyspin wrote:

Originally posted by MCollins MCollins wrote:

Was that a 315lb raw bench for reps?  Nice work.  

Indeed it was 315. I plan to only do raw events. I don't even have wrist wraps, but I plan to get a pair as I found out they may be used in raw benching. I found a gym where powerlifters train. They also have good coaches and I've started attending a group class. One coach told me I was gripping the bar too loosely on the deadlift, another told me my weight was going forward too much when I came up on the squat. My TT habits influenced my softer grip and weight shift from heel to toe. I'm not used to a coach telling a student to grip tighter and stay on the heels.

I thought I could enter a meet within a couple of months, but I'm learning that there's so much I need to learn. I doubt I'll do a meet before next year and I have no idea how much I can squat or deadlift. I also found out that one doesn't have to compete in all 3 lifts, so that's something to keep in mind. My goal now is a 500 kg total, but I may find out later that's either too light or too heavy.
 


Just take it easy and ease into things. Don't rush it. You don't need to hit failure to build strength. It's a good idea to have a speed/technique day in there where you get plenty of practice on form with submaximal loads.

Something like super clean and snappy sets of 3 with ~70-75% 1RM are good for this.

One more note...

While utilizing resistance training for general strength and conditioning has a pretty low injury risk, attempting to become a competitive powerlifter changes things...

If that is your goal, you have now entered the realm of needing to accept some risk for the reward.

To put things in perspective a bit, a study came out this year which sampled around 100 Swedish powerlifters. They found that 87% had been injured in the past year alone!

I'd highly suggest getting some good coaching and making sure you're following a properly periodized strength-focused routine. Shoot me a PM if you want me to point you to some free resources on this.







Heavy lifting when you're that old isn't worth it! Some people can do it, and they're either very lucky, have great genetics, or have been lifting for years and built up the proper body adaptions and forms.

Going for all out max weight as a rather inexperienced and older trainee does not sound like a smart idea...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MCollins Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/20/2018 at 1:11pm
I knew you had experience.  That back arch doesn't happen by accident haha.  What kind of program did you run back in the day?  You probably already have diet and supps covered, but if you ever want someone to bounce ideas off, feel free.  Heck, it might motivate me to get my arse off the couch more often as well Smile
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote heavyspin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/20/2018 at 1:38pm
If I get injured, I'll blame it on the plastic ball. 

Powerlifting is more fun than playing with a ball similar in quality to a Halex 1 star.
Playing with any 3 star ball from 10 years ago is more fun than powerlifting.
Playing with a 38mm Nittaku 3 star was the most fun of all.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Fulanodetal Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/20/2018 at 2:12pm
The pros do exercises to strengthen their core and legs. But they do not do weight training to get huge.
Table tennis is based on skill, not brute force.

Opinions from trainers should be taken with a grain of salt here. Their livelihood depends on people thinking the services are indispensable so of course they would think weight training is no problem with TT.

Now, my opinion is that huge upper body muscles are a burden, not because of the weight of the extra muscle, but because of the huge masses that can impair quick mobility. Im talking upperbody, not legs. Brian Pace has huge legs and I don't think this becomes much of a problem at all. 

I do wish I was in better shape though. Lean body type is perhaps the best for TT. The swimmers body type.

anyway, my 2 cents.

FdT
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MCollins Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/20/2018 at 2:56pm
I don't know about anyone else on this thread, but I make about as much as a trainer as I do designing women's fashion.  I'm just a geek who spent too long bumbling around in a lab and reading pubmed.  Anything I did happen to learn is free.

That said, I also think it's wrong to discredit those who do make a living in the fitness industry.  Having bias does not discredit the knowledge they have acquired.  It's like ignoring someone who tells you there's something wrong with your car just because they are a mechanic... who is precisely the dude who should know what's wrong with your car.  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Bardock Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/20/2018 at 4:51pm
In my experience relating to all sports working out does add a bit more strength and explosiveness. But yeah you might come across a guy thats more stronger looking then you and beating him in tt but that doesn't mean being stronger is bad its just that you are better then him. Meaning working out doesn't make you a better tt player but it just gives you more strength and explosiveness. And if your worried about bulking like someone said its kind of hard to get bulky unless your diet is like that. Meaning if your natural and your not trying to get big caloric surpluses it would be pretty hard to get too bulky.  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MTMT Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/24/2018 at 1:34am
I'm no coach in either TT or powerlifting....:)  But I would guess that increasing one's muscle mass to body weight ratio would help one become quicker.  I'm loosing weight for this reason while increasing my strength.  10 more lbs to go....:)
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