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Re: Pounds Question

 NyRanger4 wrote:
 > I was thumbing through a Muscle and Fitness magazine, and question came to
 > me.  There was a man dumbell pressing 100 lbs.  I realize it takes years
 > of hard work to get to this point, but he had to start somewhere.  What
 > weight did he start at when he first started lifting?  Also, what about
 > the people who bench 400 lbs.?  At what weight did they start at?  I have
 > been lifting for 6 months now and I can only bench 100 lbs.  It seems VERY
 > unrealistic that I could ever make it to 400.  What is the deal?  How can
 > some lift such a tremendous amount?  If I worked out as much as he did, is
 > it realistic to think I could ever bench that much?  Thanks. [...]
 Dear Art,
    lifting heavy weights (in good form) requires not only training, but also 
 genetics. The point is that genetics determinate where you start from, where 
 you can go, and how fast/slow. No matter how smart and how long I train, for 
 instance, I'm unlikely to ever bench press 300 lbs for 10 repetitions, to run 
 the marathon in a bit more than 2 hours, or to run 100 m in 10 seconds. 
 Genetics is what you have got from your mum and dad, and you cannot do 
 anything about that. Say that you have a relatively long muscle belly, with 
 short tendons, a large cross section in your muscles, and an insertion point 
 of the tendons more far away from the joints. Then you have a good leverage, 
 you are stronger even befor thinking about training, you start with a better 
 initial muscular mass, and your potential to improve is very good. 
    Only a very few people are genetically blessed, and the oiled big guys you 
 can see at body building competitions are usually genetical freaks who 
 trained for years. Even more, they are drug assisted, therefore belonging to 
 a universe apart from the one of the drug free people.
    What your potential is, you can know it only by training, and giving it a 
 fair try. Never compare yourself to other people: it doesn't make any sense. 
 Even if he is your brother, he's likely to have a quite different genetics, 
 therefore responding to the same training in a different way. Racing against 
 a training parter is motivating: it helps in pushing you both as much as 
 possible; racing against Arnold, for a drug free genetical avarage, is plain 
    So, the 300 lbs bench press and 500 lbs squat can be at reach of a 
 genetical average person who trains smart for years... the point is that 50% 
 of us is bellow the average. Set some realistic goal, related to your body 
 weight and frame: say, squatting 12 reps to failure in perfect form with your 
 bodyweight, then 1.5 times your bodyweight, then the double. If you persist, 
 you'll see impressive results, relatively to your starting point. People who 
 have been around you since you started training will notice it, as you will. 
    Think in long term and, if you really want to compare you to other people 
 at the gym, compare your form to their one, your guts to their one. Good form 
 and guts are not matter of genetics, they are mainly matter of intelligence 
 and character.
    Good luck. 
    Francesco G. F.
 Francesco G. Fantauzzi             !  '... But the Dwarf answered:
 Research Student                   !  No; something human is dearer to me
 Brunel Univ. - Math. & Stat. Dept. !  than the wealth of all the world.'               !     --Grimm's Tales