Friday, December 14, 2012

King Leonidas vs. General Maximus

Let it henceforth be resolved,

Which is the better body to build for the true man?

King Leonidas - Ripped, low fat, constant reps, but mayhaps no actual increase in strength


General Maximus - Powerful, brute, low reps, high strength, but no definition and prone to fatness later?

I have done both, but know not which is better.


Myrmecodon said...

Maximus. In real combat and other such engagements, there's far less constant exertion and far more short dashes and slow walks. Plus it makes body armor and backpacks feel like nothing.

Also be aware that the 20th century's most accomplished athlete looks like this.

Joe Bar said...

Depends on what your objective is. I have found, for my needs, high weight, low reps (8-12 failure), combined with some cardio does the job. FWIW, I am 55 and race motorcycles off-road. I outlast kids half my age.

Joe Bar said...

BTW, that does not help my looks. I am still a bulky fireplug.

Anonymous said...

why not both?

M-low rep lower body
T-low rep upper

Th - high rep lower
F - high rep upper

you can apply this concept whatever your split is. I'm running:

Lower Strength
Upper Strength
Upper Volume

rinse and repeat... google westside for skinny bastards for an athlete-specific version of this.

Eoin MacAodh said...

For function, Maximus.

For getting girls, Leonidas. For keeping girls, Maximus. I've built up that thick-through-the-core fireplug shape over the last few years (started out skinnyfat), and it gets a unique reaction when I have occasion to put myself out on display, like at pool parties or when I'm helping someone move. It doesn't draw any girls in, but once you start talking to them and they start paying attention, they have a hard time looking away.

Anonymous said...

I'm pushing 50 now and do a lot of cycling and am a member of a fencing club. I have competed in tournaments but not lately. As a much younger man I was an army officer and worked out and ran for hours every day. We would do what we called a triangle workout. Start with a low weight and lots of reps, build up the weight and lower the reps until we could only do 5 reps, then lower it some more until we were at a low weight lots of reps again. This was on top of exercising the troops in the morning, coaching unit sports teams and a nightly run before dinner.

Of course if you have less time I don't kn ow what the best solution is.

back then we did not train our soldiers with weights, but we did tons of running, in boots with combat gear, running cross country and up and down hills. We also did what we called circuit training. We would run, then drop and do push ups or sit ups or some other exercise in a rotation, fireman's carry each other, stuff like that. You don't need a gym to have a good workout.

Put a chin up bar somewhere (like your door) and do a set every time you go past it. - minuteman

dude. where's my flying car? said...

gladiators were fed a high carb low fat diet. it fattened them up. fat acted to provide some protection from cuts and bled well for entertainment value. fat guys lasted longer than ripped guys before bleeding out and dying.

nb: cool story bro!

Thwomp said...

That reminds me of this:
It isn't an example, but I chuckled.

Although genetics is a bigger factor than exercise (not an excuse!), I say Maximus.

I reckon it's easier/better to build strength then go high rep to tone than vice versa.

beta_plus said...

Try this:

LIFT WEIGHTS!!!! Dumbells, Barbells, OLD SCHOOL!!!
Medium Reps (5 to 10, depending on exercise), short breaks (start at 90s and work your way to 30s - buy a GymBoss timer to get it right - only $25 on Amazon). Do not rotate exercises. Build it around Squats, Dead lifts, and the thing they do in the Olympics. Push yourself as hard as you can without risking injury.

Do endurance training. Yeah, I know you hate the Insanity Workout but it has its uses.

Then, do a no-carb 2 week fast (South Beach & Atkins) followed by intermittent fasting (Eat Stop Eat)

Anonymous said...

If you could approach fitness in the same way you have approached economics, that would make for some very insightful articles.

Anonymous said...

strength. strength training gives you speed and endurance. I'm constantly out performing the crossfit fags in their endurance challenges and working them into the ground when it comes time to unload trucks, build bunkers etc.

when we do ground work their advanced in skill and endurance cannot over come my advantage in strength and shirt term work out put. I normally get them to tap in 90 seconds or less

I do cardio as well but I do anaerobic stuff like sprints and strongman which has more carry over into the real world. I also pass our 1.5 mile run event with out running for it. it's pass/fail so the slowest time keeps me as employed as the fastest

with that said, its better to do what you enjoy because you'll stick with it. we are all built for certain tasks and trying to get your body to do xyz when it's designed for abc is a losing battle

Anonymous said...

I've only been body building for 3 months, but I'm trying a little experiment that I've seen incredible success in such a short order of time. Here is my routine:

-1 hour cardio every day, no ifs, ands or buts.
-followed by 1 hour every day of weights

I do low reps (8-12)/high weight for my shoulders, upper back, chest, biceps, triceps, and last but not least my legs.

I do high reps (15-20)/low weight for my obliques, lower back, butt, and abdominals.

The results? Big bulky shoulders, chest, and legs with a tight waist and butt. I find my look enhances my manliness without looking too big.

The truth of the matter is women can get turned off if you start to look too bulky, I've found out they prefer lean muscles in some areas and bulk in others. . . Suffice to say your arms and shoulders can never get too big.

Chest is the tricky part, it has to be broad but your pecks shouldn't be too bulky else they look like boobs.

Anonymous said...

Do you want to look strong or be strong?

taterearl said...

I wouldn't say one or the other is better. I talked with a trainer and he was telling me doing both is the best route. Building endurance and strength by alternating your routine leads to the best results.

That being said...I'm more of the lower rep-high weight type. I like brute strength.

Double E said...

False dichotomy.

You can certainly be super strong AND ripped.

YouSoWould said...

Unless you are training for a marathon, conditioning is a waste of time.

Go for high weight, big compoound movements, low - medium reps. Deadlift, squat, bench, weighted dips, chins and pullups.

Mutnodjmet said...


My good friend and fellow San Diego Blogger is Barry Jacobson. He is created a group of re-enactors called the "Spartan War Band", and was the Associate Producer and in charge of the battle sequences in a "Man-o-sphere" worthy SPIKE TV show called "Deadliest Warrior".

When I alighted on your "King Leonidas vs General Maximus" post, I sent him the link and asked him to respond. If there is one person who could answer this, it is the man who helped pit two historical warriors together to see who was deadliest!

He tried to post, but could get through your commentary screening system.

So, I am forwarding his comment, and a couple of links to his Spartan-post, for your consideration and enjoyment.

And a snippet from "Deadliest Warrior" that may amuse -

As a former Special Forces operator, life-long Medieval combat master, and some-time stuntman/fight choreographer I can say that it my experience a bit of body fat is both healthier and more utilitarian.

Combat burns LOTS of calories. You need some fat reserves to burn; as well as to insulate the muscles from damage and the core from cold....

Maximus, definitely.

BTW, I agree with the Myrmecodon: Roger Federer has the warrior build. Tennis is indeed a sport that needs the same combination of stamina, speed, and strength that ancient combat required.

Barry Jacobsen (Word Warrior of So. Cal.)


Anonymous said...

10:09 has it. Get strong. Strength and thickness (not far) always wins over looking like a bodybuilder. It is also very dependent on body fat. Someone who trains high rep (bodybuilder style) will not LOOK like it unless they cut down to a low body fat.

Anonymous said...

woman cannot tell the difference between reality and illusion

I'm anonymous from above. a friend of mine is a 1000 pound plus squatter and gym owner. He is one of the world's strongest men, body fat and all. women think the semi pro bodybuilder in HIS club are stronger. they also think the bodybuilder is the club owner....

I also know some wealthy men. the most wealthy has no flash, no debt and all assets. woman pass him up for chumps with high end cars and debt

the point is, the illusion of something is better then the reality of something when it comes to spinning a gashes hamster. I' m fair certain the illusion is easier to pull off as well.I bet all you smart guys could find no end to the examples to prove my point

I'd go on the record saying these things but the id system is messed up

I' m Mike Whyte

Anonymous said...

I'm a retired NHL player and know a thing or two about fitness and nutrition.

The answer you seek is it depends on your end game, period! Make that determination and then workout/eat accordingly.

My profession requires speed, agility, stamina and brute strength. Therefore, in my prime I had a very defined upper body with just a bit of bulk, and my lower unit was bulky for power, but stamina was also there from countless hours of skating. Body fat was 5%-7% and daily caloric intact was approx. 5000, anything less and I would lose weight and strength. I played at 6'3" / 220lbs.

Anonymous said...

General Maximus liked girls. 'Nuff said.

Mike James