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  1. #1
    Flexor is offline Banned
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    Why do so many sprinters bulk their upper bodies?!?!

    You see ridiculous amounts of muscle on sprinters these days, perhaps it is needed in the legs but NONE is needed in the upper body.

    All that is required in the upper body is strength and agility not huge bloody muscle mass.

    Its simple, a 6' sprinter weighing 185lbs would run slower than a 6' sprinter weighing 165lbs if the only difference was the reduced upper body bulk, but the same power and bulk in the legs.

    Am I wrong about this? I'm pretty sure I'm not because the biceps, triceps and trapezius muscles have no impact on running whatsoever.

  2. #2
    stocky121's Avatar
    stocky121 is offline VET~ Recognized Staff Winner - $100
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    the leg's can only go as fast as the arms can move

  3. #3
    Flexor is offline Banned
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    yes, and the arms are slower if weight trained and bulked up. The arms will move faster through training fast movements not by lifting heavy weights slowly.

    After bulking up I could no longer play tennis because my arms were slow, but after doing some tennis practise they sped up and were much stronger

  4. #4
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    mark956101957 is offline Anabolic Member
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    Well there has to be something to having a muscular upper pyshique or these sprinters would not look the way they do and I am sure their coaches know what they are doing. .....

  5. #5
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    The times will tell. Maybe looking massive is just for the chicks. I don't think a guy with a build like Sex Kitty would attract to many hot chicks.
    This also reminds me of that Gary Larson Far Side catoon where one ostritch looks at another mid stride and says "My God Larry! I hope I don't look half as goofy as you running."

  6. #6
    SprinterOne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flexor
    yes, and the arms are slower if weight trained and bulked up. The arms will move faster through training fast movements not by lifting heavy weights slowly.
    This is true, if all you do is bulk up. But if your arms become more muscular and you are sprint training, you will not lose the speed. I thought the myth that the bigger you are the slower you are was dispelled years ago. Kevin Levrone (I think that is his name) was pretty damn fast as a bodybuilder.

    In any case, to answer your originial question, a lot of upper body strength is needed in sprinting, especially during the start when your body is leaning so far forward at the same time accelerating. Not to mention it takes strength to keep the arms pumping for an entire 100 or 200 meters.

  7. #7
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    While what all you have said is true, for every action, there is an equal, and opposite reaction. So when you drive one arm up, and the other goes down, the more power u can disperse driving your elbow back, and the other arm driven up, making a 90 degree angle, (for perfections sake) the less energy has to be spent in the start and acceleration phase, saving your lower torso and legs some juice to power through the rest of the race. Relaxation and form play key roles in the latter parts of the race, but thats another subject...So, really ur upper body shouldnt be neglected too much.

  8. #8
    Flexor is offline Banned
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    thanks, you lot have explained it pretty well

    you know Michael Johnson told Jeremy Wariner (his 400m prodigy), that he needs to bulk up so I assume that means the upper body as well. He said that the coach would see how his times did by bulking slowly at first and see how it went.

    So I assume they carefully monitor their performance so that quality muscle is built

  9. #9
    Big M's Avatar
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    read an article on Elitetrack.com were they had put weights on the persons arms 0.5kg i think, the running performance was not effected by this, So I think the extra mass on the arms will not matter. And strong arms must be good (Ben J could bench 400 pounds) On the other hand Tim Motgomery does´nt look Big at all.

    I think the weight to strengh ratio is what matters

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flexor
    yes, and the arms are slower if weight trained and bulked up. The arms will move faster through training fast movements not by lifting heavy weights slowly.
    After bulking up I could no longer play tennis because my arms were slow, but after doing some tennis practise they sped up and were much stronger
    WHo said that sprinters lifted heavy weights slowly...also, you have to remember...it takes a hgih percentage of fast twitch muscle fibers in the body to be a world class sprinter....these are also the muscles that will grow larger than the slow twitch muscles. Have you ever saw a person with really great genetics that was naturally big and ripped...well, if you take that same person and train him for sprinting and put him on a good diet he will only get more size and explosiveness.

    By the way, there are 2 ways to stimulate fast twitch fibers....really heavy weights for low reps....or really light weights for low reps( in an explosive manner)...so maybe they do lift heavy weights for low reps, but not bodybuilding workouts like you are suggesting.

  11. #11
    Shaka's Avatar
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    Don't overlook the synergistic effect of building strength and power THROUGHOUT the body. The upperbody bulk is a consequence of heavy weight training to improve OVERALL body strength and power capacity!

  12. #12
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    You may be right about the traps and triceps. BUT strong pecs are essential to sprinting, and biceps are also important.

  13. #13
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    im pro track cyclist, sprint specialitist.
    Look @ world class sprint cyclists. When on the bike you got to be able to pull back on the handlebars as hard as you're pushing down. There's not one guy on our national team that's worth his salt thats under 200lbs

  14. #14
    jdh's Avatar
    jdh
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    why would they want to have huge legs and a disproportionate upper body? also i once read that once your legs start growing the rest of you will grow because they in a sense "prime" the rest of your body for growth. if that makes sense.

  15. #15
    Badgerman's Avatar
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    You need to do auxiliary exercises to stimulate the CNS........for example heavy bench gives a synergestic effect through the whole body from CNS stimulus. Nothing gives more stimulus to the CNS than 100% sprinting but you can't do that all the time. Also increased mass gives increased strength which increases the force curve and F=MA......along as your force generation rate exceeds your mass increase your acceleration will increase.
    Plus you have the whole issue of core stabilization which reguires some mass in the upper body.

    I would say Ben Johnson had a great build.......plus it's hard not to put on mass when you're on the sauce.......which probably is the case in 100% of world class athletes.

    Read Charlie Francis stuff......

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