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Advantages of Fat?

Discussion in 'Strength & Conditioning Discussion' started by dfoster, Jun 18, 2008.

  1. dfoster Banned Banned

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    I think it's fun to periodically challenge some of the so called common wisdom in sports so we can get better insights on things. Let's say you see a HW MMA fighter showing up for his fight ripped, you can hear Joe Rogan screaming: "he's in great condition!" Now imagine putting a thin layer of fat around him so he'll be a little chubby. Did he just become a worse fighter? Is gaining a little fat disadvantageous? (bear in mind that this is HW so fighters generally don't have to cut to make weight) or can it be advantageous?

    This link was provided by a sherdogger about an interview with Nog and Rizzo talking about Fedor:

    Brazilians united to stop Fedor

     
  2. Revok Brown Belt

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    Haha! That never occurred to me before but it makes a lot of sense - in fact I've noticed my top game has deteriorated quite a bit since getting lean. Previously I just had to lay there, now I have to like, actively do stuff to stay in control, and it's more of a difference than a simple 25lbs of weight should make. I want to go back to being the unstoppable greased pig I was before.
     
  3. Standard Too dumb to learn, too stubborn to quit

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    I tend to think apperance has very little to do with performance, while they are often times related they are not mutually exclusive with each other. So by saying someone has trained hard or is well conditioned can be true by looking at them, it may be more accurate to say that guys kept his diet in check. A good example would be to look at a competition ready body builder, obviously the guys going to look jacked out of his mind, is his conditioning good? probably not in fact it probably is the worst it can be.

    The diet stuff is interesting but doesn't really align with the entire point of discussing BF%, eating fat doesn't make you fat and in alot of cases not eating enough fat actually hinders people from losing those extra pounds.

    As far as advantages and disadvantages i do agree with grappling, a soft opponent is usually a little more tricky to get a hold of but once sweat becomes a factor just about anyone is hard to hold on to. Is fat going to make much difference when punching full force into the head and face? i don't think so but a typical rule is a larger opponent is going to be harder to hurt then a smaller one, so yeah size helps but i'm not sure if fat would benefit more than muscle when taking punches because even getting hit is a skill you need to learn. The main disadvantage though is having to carry extra mass that isn't really going to benefit you, take 10 - 20lbs off anyone and they are going to be faster and should be able to keep up that pace for longer, rules still apply to a HW. Sure your size can help you tire out your opponent but it is a double edged sword.
     
  4. takeahnase watching the swarm

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    I don't think purposely adding fat in weight class sports has much of a benefit. In high weight classes, the benefit of losing a couple of pounds of fat may not be worth the effort. How "ripped" you looked has a lot to do with genetics. This guy won the olympic gold medal in weightlifting in the 77kg class:

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Standard Too dumb to learn, too stubborn to quit

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    Good point take

    If you're training for perfomance, train to perform at your best without question, how good you look really doesn't mean shit.
     
  6. krellik Gimli son of Cisco

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    The obvious advantage for a heavyweight fighter is that the more you way the harder you punch if you know how to put your weight into your punch (as in knowing how to actually punch and not use armpunches)...
    This combined with the fact that you dont need to suport fat with oxygen as muscle is things speaking in favour for a few extra kgs of fat for some fighters that could be beneficial...

    Its propably highly related to fighting style to I am guessing...
     
  7. BayAreaGuy Good Day

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    Trying to justify yourself being fat? lol


    just kidding, i'm chubby in some areas myself


    When I saw the thread title the first thing I thought of was that Nog quote posted above about Fedor being hard to grab.

    Fedor was asked if he wished he was thinner before and Oleg was sitting next to him answered that Fedor has the perfect physique for fighting.
     
  8. maoo White Belt

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    Hey just look at Chuck Lidells belly and say being chubby affects speed or ability...

    TBH extra fat is an advantage, once your musles are gassed your body can break the fat down to Glucose and keep them going longer than if you were pure lean and just end up fainting due to a lack of energy available, afterall our liver can only hold so much reservs, but fat can be stored in unlimited amounts (but you don't want to be a 500lb american do you lol).
     
  9. QingTian Brown Belt

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    yea but look at his legs. tree trunk thighs, thick calves, and big glutes. that's power right there.
     
  10. Todd Gack Dutch

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    LOL. That's pretty much my build right there, minus the sexy haircut.
     
  11. CandyCandy White Belt

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    Having a little fat has to be good for a fighters stamina. The extra glucose energy to burn. Not a lot but a little.
     
  12. N-do Purple Belt

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  13. gomiplata** Banned Banned

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    flexibility
     
  14. The Roman gladiators were supposedly fat, possibly in part "...to protect their vital organs from the cutting blows of their opponents."
     
  15. Standard Too dumb to learn, too stubborn to quit

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    Yeah i remember seeing something that they would actually do the opposite of a cut and try to pack on as much weight as they could pre fight, the execution shot was pretty cool too, insert sword between throat and collar bone straight down
     
  16. MongoMudd Banned Banned

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    You make some good points but I would like to counter some of it, just for discussion purposes, starting from the top and working down.....

    First, Joe Rogan is an idiot. Judging anyone's conditioning by looks is ridiculous, especially heavyweights. The thing about your example is that at Heavyweight, most of the time you don't want to be a small heavyweight. If that means putting on some chub, so be it. That extra chub won't do much for your technique or conditioning but if you get in a dominant position it's weight will help you hold your opponent down. Arguably, it can help you hit a little harder to have more weight behind your blows. On the other hand, the problem with using heavyweights as an example is that often times the fact that they don't have to make weight causes their conditioning to be poor, not because of how much fat they have but because of how much time they haven't spent on the treadmill.

    The problem with the study is that they used runners, who already had low bodyfat. Eating more fat for a short period of time was benefitial but if eating more fat was part of their lifestyle they never would have become runners, let alone MMA fighters. Too much fat in a diet is bad, everybody knows this. Even if it wasn't bad for athletic performance, it is bad for your heart.

    1. Good point but if he is rock solid all you can grab is his wrist while you can grab onto a handful of the chubby guy's flab.

    2. Well I guess Butterbean kind of proves your point, but the problem with male genetics is where fat accumulates. Even a really fat guy's ribs are not that far below the skin. His fat accumulates on his belly. So if you hit him in the stomach he would probably be hurt less, but he would be more winded just from moving around.

    Yes lots of good HWs aren't cut. That doesn't necessarily prove that fat is good however since MOST good fighters at all other weights are somewhat cut.

    Excellent read TS.
     
  17. NougatMcCrunch Purple Belt

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    im sorry, but wouldnt that affect cardio? just curious.
     
  18. NougatMcCrunch Purple Belt

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    oh, and I have almost no fat on me, I'm built almost exactly like Urijah Faber, tiny, but very muscular (GENETICS!). in the day before a fight, grappling tourney, etc. I'll consume 70/30 Carbs/Protein for energy. enough protein to keep my muscles, and not break them down, and MANY carbs for tons of energy and stamina.
     
  19. dfoster Banned Banned

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    Great responses. Looks like all the bases have been covered. I want to emphasize the point of having extra fat as storage energy echoed by other posters. I've heard it a few times before the quoted study. I remember reading a diary entry of an ultra marathoner - those crazy guys that run all night across deserts by themselves - he wrote that was worried during a run that he didn't bring enough food because his 5%BF wasn't much of a reserve for energy. I wondered... from a running economy standing point, would it be better to carry along 30 extra ounces of food or 30 extra ounces of body fat? some thing to ponder...
     
  20. Machete Juarez Blue Belt Professional Fighter

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    fat men can endure calorie deficit longer. i think fat storage is a survival instinct.
     

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