(originally answered by author/writer Dennis B. Weis and edited by Strength Coach Chris Wilson)
BENCH POWER = PUNCHING POWER?
Q: I have a bodybuilder friend that wants to get into Mixed Martial Arts Competitions. He’s 6’1″ And about 230-240lbs. He’s a pretty strong dude and thinks that he should be able to hang with any of the heavyweights out there. He can Bench Press 400 plus. I and the boys think that he should be a real hard puncher due to his benching strength. From a weight lifting point of view what should he do to get ready? Thanks!
A: Well, let me tell ya there is a lot more to Fighting than being able to bench press a lot of weight. In fact, you tell your friend that Bench pressing has virtually nothing to do with Punching!
And on top of that, you tell your friend that punching is a very small part of mixed martial arts. Maybe you and your friend should go check out a good Jujitsu school and quit bothering me with these asinine questions! Or better yet, just keep lifting weights and stay out of the ring. Guys like Ken Shamrock and Mirco Filipovic mangle guys like your friend for fun! I sure hope this helps ya!
Perfect Training Program?
Q: I have read much of muscle pumping techniques you write about in your books and reports. I have been bodybuilding for 15 years now and before that I did six years of powerlifting. I’ll cut to the chase and say that after 21 years of training I still do not know the best system to use. I remember reading where you said that you have had over 40 years of experience in bodybuilding. What is the perfect routine you have found?
A: After 40 years of pumping the dog crap out of my muscles I have learned that my body does not respond to the same workout every training session. It is understood that changing different exercises, tempo’s, combinations of exercises and the seemingly illogical use (or lack thereof) of sets and reps serve to stimulate muscle growth.
Realize that even the contest entering and winning pro bodybuilders don’t even know what the “perfect training program” is. These individuals, regardless of what they eat or how they train, will develop outstanding physiques and win the top bodybuilding contests. Suffice it to say that the training and eating methods of these champions cannot possibly be followed by the average bodybuilder with the same results.
Bodybuilding is a very individual discipline and one should not be misled by the methods of these chemically assisted “genetic superiors.” The fact is the body evolves through many physiological changes during a lifetime. As a result you will discover that with any training program, “They all work, some better than others, but not all the time.”
Muscle Mass & 80% Nutrition?
Q: A lot of the top bodybuilders over the years have said in their seminars and articles that putting on muscle mass is at least 80% nutrition. That would only put a 20 percent value on all the hard training. How can this be?
A: Larry Scott, the first Mr. Olympia, was probably the first pro bodybuilder quoted as saying that. Think about it this way. If nutrition was really 80% of the equation for putting on muscle mass, then why not just forget about training altogether and just chug down a ton of creatine drinks every day?
I have no doubt that there are some naive rookie bodybuilders out there who are actually going to take my advice and do it.
Actually, when Larry said 80%, he just picked that figure out of thin air to emphasize upon the mindset of bodybuilders just how important the nutrition factor is when combined with training. He and others are in no way devaluing the importance of hard training.