Observe this video of Antonio Krastev snatching 216kg (an unbroken overall world record). Pulling and catching 475 pounds overhead is extremely powerful, very impressive indeed. Nobody has snatched more than Krastev in competition.

Now observe the following picture of Russia’s Dmitry Klokov (left) and Evgeny Chigishev (right).

Who are you more impressed with? A fat, out of shape looking man who is really strong, or muscular, athletic guys who are still pretty strong, but not as strong as the fat-mullet guy? You are free to have your own opinion, but I don’t like disgusting, fat lifters.

Some people might say, “Yeah, well strength is all that matters, therefore the strongest guy is the best.” That’s like saying your favorite lawyer is the guy who makes the most money despite the fact that he charges you for the effort it takes to zip up his pants after getting a ZJ on his way to your court case. Personally, I’m more impressed with a guy that is muscular over a strong, fat guy.

That’s always been the case. I grew up watching wrestling and started lifting a dumbbell because I wanted to look like Sting, Lex Luger, or Scott Hall (who expertly refused to shave his chest). While bodybuilding may take it over the top, I — like most guys — admire someone with a good physique (male or female). Arnold Schwarzenegger and Franco Columbo are demigods and I’m more impressed by muscular football players than fat, out of shape players (although most are muscular nowadays). Anybody who fervently says they don’t care about their physique is probably fat, out of shape, and unwilling to have any effort to do anything about it.

This shouldn’t appear as a shock. 70’s Big co-captains Doug Young and Anatoly Pisarenko had masculine, muscular physiques. Ricky Bruch was a viking-like manimal. My favorite weightlifter is Klokov (and I dislike Aramnau despite his crushing 13kg victory for the gold medal over Klokov in 2008 because he’s chubby and ugly). Basically I respect someone more when they have a decent, muscular physique over someone who is god awful strong, yet dumpy and fat.

Realistically speaking, you are too. Johnny Pain posed this rhetorical question in our first podcast, “Would you want to be really, really strong, but just be a tub of shit? Or would you want to be really, really strong and look fucking great?” The choice is obvious — why would you want to be be fat? Why would you want to be strong and not look strong? Furthermore, why would I want a bunch of my readers to be fat, tubs of shit?

I’ve never, ever wanted anyone to be fat, yet I also don’t want them to be skinny. Most guys will never “look like they are strong” unless they weigh 200 pounds. No woman will ever “look strong” unless she fucking squats twice a week and eats more protein. Skinny guys need a dirty bulking diet for a little bit since they won’t/can’t eat enough of a cleaner diet, and the fat guy isn’t going to look strong unless he stops eating a bunch of bullshit and adds in the appropriate activity to get un-fat.

I’ve never pretended to completely disregard aesthetics or ability to be strong, and I’m sick of hearing pussy-ass weak guys who fear gaining fat or getting slower (and I’m not even talking about CrossFitters, so don’t begin that boring-ass troll session). If you’re skinny, then you’ll gain a little body fat as you gain weight, but you can keep it in check by eating properly. If you’re fat, there’s no reason you can’t drop body fat relatively quickly, and if you’re mega fat it would serve you better in the long run to primarily drop bodyfat while maintaining muscle and progress you’re lingering strength back up afterwards.

I don’t care what you do since it’s your decision. I’d rather you not be skinny or fat, and I’ll only be impressed if you’re strong and muscular.

58 thoughts on “Impressed?

  1. Klokov is a man to be admired, respected and in some circumstances feared.

    Also looking jacked in a tux makes you a bigger bad man and pulling some hectic dance moves at the same time.
    Exhibit A

  2. adamfromjapan-
    Zuzana is obviously stronger than your average chick. She is not the strongest, nor are either said Russians. She is about appearance. The post is about appearance. The female post prioritized strength foremost for women. Yesterday’s post was about appearance taking a front seat to strength. Period. The problem here is that the men on this site seem to care more about the appearance of men than women. That’s pretty gay. This is how men began exfoliating and using an eliptical machine.

  3. John1- you hit the nail right on the fucking head there. I am leaning some to basically show I am in shape and strong at the same time. That you can be 240 and do a sub 5 min Fran if called out by some new crossfitter telling me I am out shape since I am not following a 19 block zone diet.

  4. If I was a professional athlete, I would totally give up an aesthetically pleasing look to perform on Krastev’s level, Chigishev and Klokov just aren’t as good at the sport as Krastev was. As an average joe, a little pursuit of teh gunz and a lean frame along with the quest for strength seems preferable.

    Indeed. Everyone here is not a professional athlete, therefore has long-term health concerns as well. Good to keep in mind.


  5. Justin, being fat isn’t necessarily a permanent state for a strength athlete of Krastev’s caliber. I think it was you who posted this video back in 2009. Look how lean Krastev was in 1982 relative to 87:

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