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References for this Statement

Posted: Mon Sep 25, 2006 11:35 pm
by Tatyana
I found this statement in one of your on-line info sheets:

Most people do not have to be worried about getting too big when training with weights. Evidence suggests that less than 20 percent of men and very few women can develop large muscles even if they wanted to, regardless what program they follow.

I would like to know what papers this information was derived from.




Posted: Tue Sep 26, 2006 6:12 am
It's been many years, but I believe it was from:

Peterson, P.A., Bryant, C.X. (1995) The StairMaster Fitness Handbook.

Posted: Tue Sep 26, 2006 7:48 am
by Tatyana

I am going to have to hit Ovid/Athens/Medline for confirmation of any papers.

It isn't really that great news for all the lads that train so hard to get big


Posted: Tue Sep 26, 2006 8:53 am
by Matt Z
I don't see how anyone, even easy-gainers, should be worried about getting "too big". It doesn't happen overnight, and you'll only continue to make gains as long as you continue increasing variables like the amount of weight you use or the number of sets and reps you perform. Therefore, if and when you reach your desired level of development, all you need to do is stop adding weight to the bar. Just keep doing the same number of sets and reps with the same weights and you'll rapidly go from building muscle to mearly maintaining. Likewise, if you were to become "too big", all you'd need to do is cut back slightly on the weight/reps/sets your doing and you'll revert back to a less muscular you.

Posted: Tue Sep 26, 2006 10:59 am
by Drew
"Big" and "large" are highly subjective terms. There is most definitely a finite size that a given person's muscles can achieve. But I have a feeling that most men and women can achieve enough hypertrophy that they would consider themselves to be big. Perhaps not Ronnie Coleman big because even with steroids, ideal nutrition, and dedicated training, attaining Colemanesque size is simply not possible for most of the world. But that's not to say people cannot get big.

Dropping body fat below 8% can actually increase a person's perceived size because it accentuates the V-taper drawn by the lats and the waist. The increased definition creates the perception of size because the muscles are simply more visible. Think Ryan Reynolds in Blade 3. He was very defined but not that big in terms of genetic potential. But honestly, I think most men would rather look like him than Jay Cutler or even Frank Zane.

While many of us could train like a professional athlete, very few of us could actually compete at that level. Likewise, the potential to be a competition level bodybuilder simply does not exist in most people. But that doesn't mean you can't get big enough to suit yourself.