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Bodyweight Calisthenics vs Deadlift

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xagunos

Level 6 Valued Member
How do you think bodyweight plays into this?

From what I've seen, most gymnasts are very lean with little lower body mass. Very different body composition compared to the tyoiybench presser. I'd even argue that the gymnasts are overall smaller in general.
I still stand by this even you had two identical twins same weight and same BF%.
 

Antti

Level 9 Valued Member
If the bodyweight upper body push exercises build such strength with such little fatigue and opportunity cost, why do professional athletes still bench and coaches like Pavel still recommend the bench as the best press?
 

xagunos

Level 6 Valued Member
The strength curve for a lot of advanced compound bodyweight exercises are different than compound weight exercises which may explain the reason for lack of carryover from bench to planche push-up.

Bench has an ascending strength curve where the exercise becomes easier as you push the weight towards the top. Planche push-up on the other hand has a descending strength curve where it gets more difficult as you reach the top.
 

xagunos

Level 6 Valued Member
If the bodyweight upper body push exercises build such strength with such little fatigue and opportunity cost, why do professional athletes still bench and coaches like Pavel still recommend the bench as the best press?
Because for the average person who wants to be stronger, progressing at the bench press is much simpler than planche work for example.

What I have been discussing isn't the most simple method but what training modality bears the most carryover and provides the broadest transfer of strength.

EDIT:
I recall Pavel mentioning that bodyweight training actually requires the MOST coaching. And he's 100% right.
 

Chrisdavisjr

Level 7 Valued Member
Two people:
Person A can perform a quality straddle planche push-up.
Person B can bench double bodyweight.

Person A would likely be able to bench 1.5-1.75xBW his first time.
Person B would likely not be able to even hold a basic tuck planche let alone do any form of a push-up.
That's ridiculous: Anyone who can bench double their bodyweight can do a push up*.

*Except perhaps para powerlifters who have disabilities affecting their lower bodies
 

xagunos

Level 6 Valued Member
That's ridiculous: Anyone who can bench double their bodyweight can do a push up*.

*Except perhaps para powerlifters who have disabilities affecting their lower bodies
Referring to any form of a planche pushup ?‍♂️. I edited for further clarification but it should've already been understood within context.
 

Chrisdavisjr

Level 7 Valued Member
Referring to any form of a planche pushup ?‍♂️. I edited for further clarification but it should've already been understood within context.
Ah! Yes, okay that does make sense. Planche push-ups are really hard.

FYI I do tend to be very literal in my interpretations of things.
 

bluejeff

Level 6 Valued Member
It’s true that many gymnasts tend to be smaller, but there are ample examples of “average sized” (or greater) calisthenics athletes who achieve planches and whatnot. I don’t have numbers or sources on hand but they are often referred to as the strongest “pound for pound” athletes. As @xagunos correctly stated, that type of training requires meticulous planning, consistency and most of all PATIENCE. For those reasons I think it’s actually really hard to compare body weight/calisthenics to barbell/weight training. I don’t view one as better than the other; they’re just different. Most people just want to know they are getting stronger, and weights provide that. Progress in calisthenics can be sloooooowwwww..... which can be disheartening.
 

xagunos

Level 6 Valued Member
It’s true that many gymnasts tend to be smaller, but there are ample examples of “average sized” (or greater) calisthenics athletes who achieve planches and whatnot. I don’t have numbers or sources on hand but they are often referred to as the strongest “pound for pound” athletes. As @xagunos correctly stated, that type of training requires meticulous planning, consistency and most of all PATIENCE. For those reasons I think it’s actually really hard to compare body weight/calisthenics to barbell/weight training. I don’t view one as better than the other; they’re just different. Most people just want to know they are getting stronger, and weights provide that. Progress in calisthenics can be sloooooowwwww..... which can be disheartening.
^^^ Exactly
 

Antti

Level 9 Valued Member
Because for the average person who wants to be stronger, progressing at the bench press is much simpler than planche work for example.

What I have been discussing isn't the most simple method but what training modality bears the most carryover and provides the broadest transfer of strength.

EDIT:
I recall Pavel mentioning that bodyweight training actually requires the MOST coaching. And he's 100% right.

But I specifically mentioned professional aathlete, not the average person.
 

Chrisdavisjr

Level 7 Valued Member
Progress in calisthenics can be sloooooowwwww..... which can be disheartening.
I think this is why I would only recommend calisthenics to people who want to master it for its own sake, rather than putting it out there as the 'premier modality for building strength' as it simply doesn't offer enough in terms of reward for anyone who's not able to engage with the process of learning the movements themselves.

If your goal is to get 'stronger', find out what 'stronger' means to you and train for that: If 'stronger' is a double bodyweight bench, you'd better train your bench; if 'stronger' is a planche push-up, you'd better train that; if 'stronger' actually just means looking good without a shirt on, there are much more efficient routes than either of the aforementioned approaches.
 

xagunos

Level 6 Valued Member
But I specifically mentioned professional aathlete, not the average person.
My apology for not answering your question correctly.

For athletes weights can be far more precise and MUCH faster in terms of general strength gains. For example, it's much easier to bring up an MMA fighter's weak rotator cuff with dumbbells than it is with ring face pulls. Or if you know that general pushing strength is necessary for linemen in the NFL, why teach them a planche when you could raise their bench a hundred pounds within a few weeks.

Also it depends on the sport. A shotputter may be able to continue making gains in the weightroom and see direct transfer into his performance while a BJJ roller upon reaching a certain strength level may feel his time is better spent actually learn the planche which may contribute to stronger elbow integrity and protection for his/her sport.

My competitive background is wrestling and I can tell you without a doubt proficiency in handstand push-ups was a far better investment than overhead press simply because of how often wrestlers' hands are on the mat and being able to bear weight on your hands in positions is paramount.

So again it really depends on the individual sport in determine what exercises are most optimal.
 
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ancientstrength

Level 1 Valued Member
I reckon that 150kg would have moved if you spent some more time setting up and getting tight at the bottom position and were perhaps a little less fatigued from previous attempts. The 140kg was definitely harder than it needed to be but it's a good lift in my book!

It makes sense to me that an individual with significant practice in generating and maintaining rigidity throughout the midsection would have an advantage when it comes to the deadlift, particularly in a hip/back dominant style.

Kind of infuriating to see as someone of a similar bodyweight who trains the Olympic lifts and has only been able to deadlift 140kg once but that's entirely my problem. Nice job!
Thanks, would pull ups have any carryover to the deadlift? I know they are completely different exercises but they both involve pulling.
 

Chrisdavisjr

Level 7 Valued Member
@ancientstrength Not sure if you've heard it already, but Tim Ferriss did an interview with Christopher Sommer on his podcast a while back (you can hear the full episode here).

Lots of insight to be had there and well worth a listen for anyone wanting to learn a bit more about bodyweight/gymnastic strength training.
 

ancientstrength

Level 1 Valued Member
Thanks for sharing and creating a motivation. Calisthenics is fun and from what I have seen, it can transfer to some barbell Movements.

what program / workout you follow?
I first start off my workout learning a new skill. Once I'm done with that I will perform the skills that I can already do to make sure that I don't lose them. Once that is done I start my basic workout which is as follows

Pull ups 4 sets of 6
Ring dips 4 sets of 10
Ring rows 4 sets of 4
Push ups 4 sets of 10
Pike push ups 4 sets of 4
Squats 4 sets of 10

I rest for 1 minute between sets and exercises. My goal is to be able to do all exercises for 4 sets of 20 reps so I gradually increase the reps as they become easier.

I've been doing this everyday but when I'm too sore I will take a day off or more if needed.
 

ali

Level 6 Valued Member
A gymnast's strength in the deadlift is having a primed efficient nervous system.
This, obtained from training from the age of 3 and into 6 days a week in their teens.
Walking up to a bar and knowing exactly what where and when to recruit in a reflexive transmission of force.
If strength is a skill, gymnast's are endowed with it as they've learned and practiced it in very complex movements for a very long time during a time when the developing brain lays the foundations very easily compared to learning skills with increasing age.
It's interesting watching gymnasts sprint. They can't. Despite having huge power outputs and efficient neural connectivity their running mechanics are not tuned. Yeah, not their thing, running is just a means to gain velocity for another skill at the end of it, yet they look disconnected doing it.
Interested to know the deadlift capability of ballet dancers. Seriously strong and skilled athletes too. Training frequently from an early age, they have massive power output and developed nervous systems similar to gymnasts but never really hear about how strong they actually are.
 

ancientstrength

Level 1 Valued Member
A gymnast's strength in the deadlift is having a primed efficient nervous system.
This, obtained from training from the age of 3 and into 6 days a week in their teens.
Walking up to a bar and knowing exactly what where and when to recruit in a reflexive transmission of force.
If strength is a skill, gymnast's are endowed with it as they've learned and practiced it in very complex movements for a very long time during a time when the developing brain lays the foundations very easily compared to learning skills with increasing age.
It's interesting watching gymnasts sprint. They can't. Despite having huge power outputs and efficient neural connectivity their running mechanics are not tuned. Yeah, not their thing, running is just a means to gain velocity for another skill at the end of it, yet they look disconnected doing it.
Interested to know the deadlift capability of ballet dancers. Seriously strong and skilled athletes too. Training frequently from an early age, they have massive power output and developed nervous systems similar to gymnasts but never really hear about how strong they actually are.
Have you seen the gymnasts doing the vault exercise? They use a different technique than track athletes. Gymnasts seem to be more rigid when they are sprinting.
 

xagunos

Level 6 Valued Member
Thanks, would pull ups have any carryover to the deadlift? I know they are completely different exercises but they both involve pulling.
It can. Stronger lats and stronger grip always help but if the weak link in your deadlift is your posterior chain for example, then no amount of pullups will break that plateau.
 

ancientstrength

Level 1 Valued Member
It can. Stronger lats and stronger grip always help but if the weak link in your deadlift is your posterior chain for example, then no amount of pullups will break that plateau.
I think the tuck front lever has helped me develop some strength in my posterior chain
 

Antti

Level 9 Valued Member
A gymnast's strength in the deadlift is having a primed efficient nervous system.
This, obtained from training from the age of 3 and into 6 days a week in their teens.
Walking up to a bar and knowing exactly what where and when to recruit in a reflexive transmission of force.
If strength is a skill, gymnast's are endowed with it as they've learned and practiced it in very complex movements for a very long time during a time when the developing brain lays the foundations very easily compared to learning skills with increasing age.
It's interesting watching gymnasts sprint. They can't. Despite having huge power outputs and efficient neural connectivity their running mechanics are not tuned. Yeah, not their thing, running is just a means to gain velocity for another skill at the end of it, yet they look disconnected doing it.
Interested to know the deadlift capability of ballet dancers. Seriously strong and skilled athletes too. Training frequently from an early age, they have massive power output and developed nervous systems similar to gymnasts but never really hear about how strong they actually are.

I've often read that weightlifters have had surprisingly good sprint times, especially the larger ones, relatively of course. Weightlifting is a sport where you have to be very fast and explosive in its own context. Those qualities trained by the weightlifting often carryover to other sports well.

I don't know much about gymnastics but how fast as a sport is it? I also wonder how upper body specific the gymnastic training is and how it plays into it.
 
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