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Tasty Tuesdays!

Tasty Tuesdays!

JBo and Domino!!

Warm-up: Joint Mobility

Press: 3×3

MetCon – Regionals Event 3:
3 Rounds for time –
10 Dumbbell Snatches (100/70lbs, alternate arms each rep)
200m Run

Before I can ask a question, we have to define some terms…

Absolute strength is raw strength expressed as lifting a weight , whether it be barbell, stone, what have you, without regards for body weight.  The powerlifter is the best example of this.  Forrest posted a video of a powerlifter squatting over 1,000lbs (with a lot of gear) on our Facebook page a few days ago.  This guy has worked to increase his absolute strength as it applies to three barbell lifts: squat, bench press, and deadlift.  I adding weight to his frame helps him move more weight on the bar, so be it.

Relative strength is, as the name implies, relative to something.  That something here happens to be bodyweight.  An apropos example for you movers of barbells would be the Olympic weightlifter, or for the non-Olympic lifting people out there, which we are constantly trying to reduce in number, any other weight class athlete that displaces heavy objects.  Sorry about the double non-restrictive appositions there.  Really, those aren’t even appositions.  I miss Miranda.

So we have absolute strength – moving big weights regardless of how much the person weighs.  And we have relative strength in which we care about the load moved, but we look at it is a percentage of bodyweight.  Taylor Layman, at 235lbs, deadlifts 550lbs.  Impressive.  Buck Ashe weighs in around 150lbs and deadlifts 365lbs.  Also inspiring.  Taylor’s deadlift is 2.34x his bodyweight.  Buck’s is 2.43x his bodyweight.

This is a quick example.  I neither truly know how much either of them weigh, nor do I possess the knowledge of everyone’s deadlift personal best in the gym.  I have Brandon Bergin for that.

I am curious as to what Ktown thinks is more impressive.  Answer in the comments.  You can say, “Relative.”  Or you can say that you think absolute strength is more important and start a big pother in the comments.  Either way, I want to hear from you.

Coach G

By | 2017-04-25T14:38:39+00:00 May 9th, 2012|CrossFit Ktown Knoxville, Uncategorized|13 Comments


  1. L Shizzle May 9, 2012 at 2:26 am

    Relative of course. For instance I probably have a good 40# or more on Jbo. But I bet she can beat me in most o lifts due to her fluid form. I think its must more impressive to master a technical move, like a snatch, than just having tree trunk legs that let you squat ridic weights. This coming from a tree trunk that lacks any technical skill. I dream of the day I learn to stay on my hills, elbows up, hips down, and core tight.

  2. Jake May 9, 2012 at 2:42 am

    Taylor can only deadlift 550 pounds? #weak

  3. Braers May 9, 2012 at 2:53 am

    If there were some mythical being out there that weighed between 170 and 175, but deadlifted 500 lbs, that would probably be the most impressive of all.

  4. Bucknasty May 9, 2012 at 2:58 am

    Absolute…if the absolute athlete can do his thing while still sporting the necessary cardio to not fall behind in high rep environments or, more generally stated, endurance rich workouts then obviously they will be the more valuable athlete. Easy example, a lot of the workouts we do that include DL are usually around 225# with a decent number of reps. Where I can still manage this weight quite well, I will certainly burnout long before someone who can lift somewhere in the 400# range…good reason I have for hating workouts that include DL, not my cup of tea. Moral of the story: any huge dude who can move as fast as I can clearly has the upper hand. *Catch* – as you increase in size typically (unless specifically targeted) your endurance will suffer, which leads to relative strength taking the upper hand…but as stated earlier the paderfamilias of the athlete kingdom will be an “absolute” who has the same cardiovascular ability as a “relative”

  5. Braers May 9, 2012 at 3:04 am

    All kidding aside – relative strength is more impressive. It generally has more carry over to athletic endeavors and sport.

    Consider Taylor Layman the offensive lineman at Dartmouth. If he were to weigh 500 lbs, squat a house, deadlift a car, and bench press my d…. a lot: he would certainly crush everything in his way. But Taylor the 500lb offensive lineman has sacrificed other aspects of fitness (cardiovascular endurance, speed, agility, etc) for that size and strength. He is no longer useful on the football field. D-lineman will run right around him.

    Now pretend Taylor is a lean mean 275. He is still pretty strong. But now he is able to move and USE his strength. He can get in a position to flatten that defensive end trying to turn the corner.

    I realize this is one specific example, but what I’m saying is that: there is a point of diminishing returns where strength gains and body control/gymnastic ability reach a “max.”

    Also I weigh 175, so maybe I am biased.

  6. Patty Cakes May 9, 2012 at 1:12 pm

    I take both into account. I like the example of Taylor vs Buck. I find both PRs impressive for the reasons you listed: absolute vs relative strength.

    My favorite part was the Braers shout-out

  7. Rise Up May 9, 2012 at 1:18 pm

    I’m going with relative, since my strength seems to be relative to bodyweight and age.

  8. Ben May 9, 2012 at 1:54 pm

    If you had asked me that question when I was 18 it would have been absolute. Now that “I’m in my prime” I would have to say relative. For example a 275lb 3×5 back squat only gets more impressive as time goes on.

    Your Huckleberry,

  9. Samantha May 9, 2012 at 10:24 pm

    For me, a woman, the answer is relative. I think most women would agree that the goal for us is not to get bigger. Although it may not be right or unanimous, society has urged us to pursue/maintain a certain physique. This may have even been a (secret or open) motive for many of CFKT’s ladies to join the cult. Honestly, Crossfit and some female sports are the only things that come to mind where women are encouraged to “bulk up.” This something I struggle with regularly as I have a natural (or freakishly unnatural) long and lean body composition. Not ideal for Crossfit, but that’s what it is. I’m sure I could try harder to increase my body mass, but I am not sure that would be worth the higher PRs in the grand scheme of life. Plus, I would need to invest in a whole new, larger wardrobe and I am not sure I want to do that. So instead, I try to work on relative strength because I certainly think it is more impressive for a petite lady to bust out some killer lifts. Maybe one day I can be like JBo…

  10. Christmas May 9, 2012 at 10:35 pm

    Bahahahahaha nice comment Jake!!! Hahaha, but no seriously why can’t we have our cake and eat it too? And by that I mean a 175 lb. person (like myself) squat 1,000+ lbs…. Gentalmen the bar has been set. I’ll see you at the top.

  11. Beth May 9, 2012 at 11:25 pm

    Just lift the damn weight!

  12. Dougie Fresh May 10, 2012 at 1:32 am

    I hope my relatives are strong.

  13. Dougie Fresh May 10, 2012 at 1:33 am


Comments are closed.