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What is your definition of "strong"?

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  • What is your definition of "strong"?

    Just curious. I'd like to think I'm strong, but I definitely don't feel like it sometimes. What measures do most of you go off of?
    My chocolatey Primal journey

    Unusual food recipes (plus chocolate) blog

  • #2
    this is a tough question...mostly because it can largely be based on comparison. i used to think entirely in numbers, but gave no real thought to relative strength (benching over 200 meant you were strong, regardless of your weight). now my definition has really broadened and i look to fitness standard tests to tell me what i need to know. this is the post mark did on fitness tests:
    Physical Fitness Standards | Mark's Daily Apple
    granted, these are all-around fitness, but i think you have to be pretty strong to complete them. i'm sure there are plenty of hugely muscled, strong as an ox people who couldn't do well in these because of the calisthenic and cardio nature of them...but, my thing is, what's the point in being that strong if you can't effectively move your own body?
    http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread60178.html

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    • #3
      ^ Those tests are good. I also would consider performing the PB "standards" for 2 rounds and hitting all the goal reps to be "strong" I think thats like 2x50 pushups 2x12 pull ups 2x50 squats 2x12 handstand pushups and like 3 minutes of planks or something without rest.

      I also think the definitions of for percentage of bodyweight to perform are an OK approximation 1.5xBW Bench for example or 2x BW Squat. In the end if you have the strength to perform all of your daily activities and play without pain your probably on the right track.

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      • #4
        Being able to bodily move myself or Geek out of harm's way by whatever means necessary. I still can't bodily haul myself back up over a cliff ledge (ala pull ups, chin ups), so I'm still working on that and getting an approximately Geek sized weight to a fireman's carry.
        Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, steak in one hand, chocolate in the other, yelling "Holy F***, What a Ride!"
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        • #5
          To me 'strong' is a goal that is always just beyond reach and that I work toward. There is always someone who can lift more, sprint faster, whatever. So I work today to improve but I don't think there's any single point where I'll be strong enough. There's always room for improvement.

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          • #6
            For me as a woman, it is more about being able to handle what live gives me and less about the numbers.

            Strength is being able to flip a king sized mattress and move all the furniture (even the sofa with two recliners in it) all by myself.
            Strength is being able to stand for 15 hours strait with arms up at shoulder level. (for work)
            It is being able to carry my autistic daughter to a safe location when she is in full meltdown even though she outweighs me by 20lbs.
            It is being able to do a one armed pull up in the pear tree just so I can reach those last 5 pears.

            I'm sure every person measures strength differently and it is constantly evolving for everyone.
            ~Blog~

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            • #7
              Strong for me is...

              405 back squat
              300 front squat
              295 bench
              485 deadlift....

              Weighted dead hang pull-ups @ body + 50lbs off a weight belt, same for dips for 5-7 reps.


              @ 5'10 195lbs bodyweight, 34 years old.

              Strength is subject to your own interpretation.....I base mine on my own sucesses and where I have come from and where im going.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by naiadknight View Post
                Being able to bodily move myself or Geek out of harm's way by whatever means necessary. I still can't bodily haul myself back up over a cliff ledge (ala pull ups, chin ups), so I'm still working on that and getting an approximately Geek sized weight to a fireman's carry.
                QFMFT

                lift your own body in any position at any time repeatedly.

                it is good for inventive sex

                it is great for survival

                when i can perform a one arm pullup then i will think myself strong.
                when i can pistol squat then i will think myself strong

                till then it doesnt matter to me that i can bench 385 or squat 700 the lion is still going to eat me and i will still fall to my death off the cliff.
                Optimum Health powered by Actualized Self-Knowledge.

                Predator not Prey
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                • #9
                  Art of manliness has an interesting article about what you should be able to do, at a minimum, to save your own life in times of physical distress:

                  5 Fitness Benchmarks Every Man Must Master | The Art of Manliness

                  For me personally, strong is:

                  having respectable big lifts: bodyweight bench max, at least. 2x bodyweight deadlift max, at least. 1.54 bodyweight squat max, at least. And, being able to do pull ups into the teens to failure.

                  Also, it is:

                  not getting winded walking up stairs, being able to exert myself at max effort in intense cardiovascular situations for up to 30 minutes

                  And: Being coordinated enough to pick up new movements and skills with good efficiency.

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                  • #10
                    I like Eat Move Improve's skill standards.

                    Skill Guidelines for Building Strong, Useful, Adaptable Athletes | Eat. Move. Improve.
                    Josh Vernier, CPT

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                    "The question isn't who is going to let me; it's who is going to stop me."

                    -Ayn Rand

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Zophie View Post
                      For me as a woman, it is more about being able to handle what live gives me and less about the numbers.

                      Strength is being able to flip a king sized mattress and move all the furniture (even the sofa with two recliners in it) all by myself.
                      Strength is being able to stand for 15 hours strait with arms up at shoulder level. (for work)
                      It is being able to carry my autistic daughter to a safe location when she is in full meltdown even though she outweighs me by 20lbs.
                      It is being able to do a one armed pull up in the pear tree just so I can reach those last 5 pears.

                      I'm sure every person measures strength differently and it is constantly evolving for everyone.
                      Love this, Zophie. Being strong is being more than equal to your tasks.
                      Annie Ups the Ante
                      http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread117711.html

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                      • #12
                        I'm 'strong' in that I can change/lift/handle tires as well as the guys... But not all that fit. I have the biceps of a linebacker, but the legs of a couch potato? At age 13 and 215lbs, I could lift my 220lb father off the ground. I was NOT in the LEAST bit in shape though. Weird.

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                        • #13
                          Simple. If I was thrown onto an island with someone else and fought them to the death then the survivor is the strong one.
                          In all of the universe there is only one person with your exact charateristics. Just like there is only one person with everybody else's characteristics. Effectively, your uniqueness makes you pretty average.

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                          • #14
                            For me strong means that I don't blink an eye whenever I need to lift anything I want in RL. Move the couch, no pro; toss a bag of gravel, no pro; lift and carry my growing daughter. I remember the first time I felt that I was strong. We were moving the office, and all ladies were unloading binders out of the boxes and putting them on the shelves. I was loading the boxes on the carts and pushing them around. With the two guys.

                            Another realization that I am strong came when I was lamenting not being able to bench 95 lbs (again), but then I thought about how easy handling the Olympic bar has become, I don't even notice the weight of the unloaded bar. When I started I could barely lift it, and had to use 30-35 lbs mini-bars for my upper body. I am glad that at least I can handle the OB.

                            In the gym, while I know I cannot be as strong as most men, I want to be as strong as some. Well, maybe as strong as some skinny teenage male hard-gainers. Well, maybe the skinniest of the teenage male hardgainers who came to the gym to just hang out for the first and last time.

                            For 'official' measure I use the X-Fit Strength chart from Crossfit I found on the net somewhere. It's called Standard of Strength for Women. It has Good, Very Good and Excellent categories in % from BW, and my ambition to hit the VG.
                            Last edited by Leida; 09-14-2012, 06:29 AM.
                            My Journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread57916.html
                            When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.

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                            • #15
                              Thanks for the objective and subjective measurements! Good to know that I am no longer out of shape.
                              My chocolatey Primal journey

                              Unusual food recipes (plus chocolate) blog

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