(Myth) Why Having “Beach Muscles” Will Not Help You Win Fights

This guy will maul me into pieces...! Or will he?

You pissed off somebody who looks like Colossus from X-Men, or some juiced-up gym rat douche just decided to pick a fight with you. You’re screwed and you don’t stand a chance, right?

To the average person, they are easily intimidated / falsely believe that having an imposing muscular physique with crazy bodybuilder Terminator-type muscles automatically mean they can kick a lot of ass. While having “beach muscles” will certainly help an individual in a physical encounter in the brute strength department, it often has very little to do with their actual fighting ability (and in some cases, their muscles actually work against them). Here are the most common facts to consider:

1. The best fighters in the world all consistently pack on lean, functional muscle and are not bulky “bodybuilder” types.
Heavyweight fighters aside; Manny Pacquiao, Floyd Mayweather Jr., Georges St. Pierre, Anderson Silva, BJ Penn, Buakaw Por Pramuk and many other great fighters are all fairly lean and don’t possess gigantic comic book type muscles. Their muscles are conditioned for strength, endurance, and functionality. Having beach muscles do not help their fighting abilities in any way and in the next fact, it actually hinders their performance.

Lyoto Machida (left) dispatches Sokoudjou, a bulky muscular fighter who despite his world class skills, loses fights because of his often sub-par conditioning.

2. Incredibly bulky fighters lack cardio, endurance, coordination, and tire easily.
They may be able to explode in the early minutes of a fight, but after that they are basically sitting ducks. This is because the more muscle mass they have, the more oxygen is needed to supply these muscles. This means they take a bigger toll on their gas tank and tire more easily. Examples include fighters such as Sokoudjou, Mariusz Pudzianowski, and Bobby Lashley.

Royce Gracie took on opponents of all sizes and destroyed them all

3. Skill and technique overcome size and strength.
Bigger fighters usually(*) rely on their strength and are less technically skilled than smaller fighters. The lighter the weight class you go, the more technically sound and superior the fighters’ skills are. This is because smaller fighters have always traditionally needed to work harder in the gym to make up for their lack of size and strength. While in contrast, a bigger man can “get away” with having sloppy technique or less fighting knowledge because more often than not, he has relied on his size and strength alone to win fights. In the early days of the Ultimate Fighting Championships, a skinny man by the name of Royce Gracie used the then-unknown martial art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu to dispatch all his foes, many of whom were much bigger and stronger than him. This is where a smaller and technically superior fighter usually finds a way to beat the bigger, slower, sloppier, and less skilled fighter.

(*) In the event that a heavier fighter is just as technically skilled as a lighter fighter however, then the heavier fighter has an advantage and will most likely win if both fighters squared off. In our next post we will dive deeper into when a smaller man shouldn’t fight a bigger man.

-Dan Kai Wah from DynastyClothingStore.com

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3 thoughts on “(Myth) Why Having “Beach Muscles” Will Not Help You Win Fights”

  1. sup DTM, this is Kevin. Just want to use my Physiology background to correct your fact/myth #2

    It is true that our muscle can take up oxygen to fuel our system. However our body has 3 energy system.

    Aerobic, anareobic, ATP-PC

    1.Aerobic/cardio – your enzyme (mitochondria) in your body takes up oxygen and break down fat and carbs to meet your energy demand. However, this system doesn’t kick in fully until after 2-3 mins. It takes time to kick in but it last for a long time for low- moderate activity (jogging)
    2. your muscle will never run out of oxygen to use under most circumstances. Unless, you have some type of disease/ circulation to the muscle is block/anemia. Your hemoglobin is almost always saturated with oxygen. So there is always plenty of oxygen for the muscle to use. HOWEVER, the problem is if your muscle is not endurance trained, those muscle are not capable to take up and use those oxygen and put convert it to energy. it is like slow worker working at a fast conveyor belt.
    3. This lead to relying more on the other system anareobic/glycolysis. This system is quicker and use heavily when you are doing higher demand work like sprinting or continuously throwing kicks and punches for like 30sec-90 sec. This system does not use oxygen at all, but lactic acid is formed as a byproduct. The lactic acid which might lead to muscle fatigue, and you will be gasping for air to get rid of your acid in your body and blow them off as carbon dioxide (Co2)
    4. ATP/Pc system is like immediate. like lift heavy heavy, explosive kicks/ punch.

    Myth buster:
    Finally you can be macho man and have cardio/endurance if you have done proper training that work on both aerobic exercise and resistance training.

    Coordination is not really correlated with how big you are. It is true that bigger muscle mass is harder to do fine motor control things compare to smaller muscle mass (hand vs thigh). But if proper training is done, your brain can connect those neuro pathways better and be able to have better and faster coordination.

    SO pretty much it all comes down How hard you train, What kind of training.
    FITT
    Frequency
    Intensity
    Type/ mode
    Time (how long)

  2. And have better technique means you are more efficient in doing those task (kicks, punch) So able to generate great power without actually putting in a lot of work

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