Too many people think that being fat means that you can’t be strong. People assume this because they look at a person’s physical attributes and don’t understand how strength is related to body composition. Strength comes from your nervous system, muscles, bones, and connective tissue; it has nothing to do with whether or not you are overweight.
I never understood this myself either until just a few days ago. I was at the gym when I overheard a conversation between two guys.
One of them said sarcastically to the other, “Hey can you help me lift this thing?” Then he pointed to a set of weights that looked to weigh more than 140lbs.
The other guy responded with an obviously incredulous response, “What! You think I’m some fat slob?!” and then laughed hysterically.
He continued about how much weight he could bench press and how skinny people are stronger than fat people because they don’t have more muscle mass, whereas fat people only have fat. But before he finished his sentence, I wrapped my hands around the barbells in question, and I had already lifted them higher than their heads (I’d been practicing).
They looked horrified but also very impressed and asked:
How are you so strong for a fat guy? My answer was straightforward, and there’s no secret to it; I do strength training and lift heavy things daily, plus I was naturally strong, so obviously, my muscles are well developed even though I’m fat.
Overweight people are often unfairly associated with being lazy and weak. In many cases, this is not true. However, the stereotype is still prevalent in today’s society and needs to be dispelled at every turn.
This article will look at various factors that can lead to overweight individuals having a greater strength than their thin counterparts and how you can harness those strengths yourself for better health!
What factors influence how strong a fat person can be?
As mentioned earlier, Five main things contribute to how strong you are naturally. Let’s take a look at each:
You know the best way to get stronger? Put in the work at the gym and stay consistent. However, you might not be aware that it’s always easier for some people to get cut, but it might be because they have strength in their DNA.
Some people are born with genes that grant them higher strength than others. That’s why you will have cases among two persons weighing the same amount with no training, with one just being physically stronger. These also influence how well your muscles develop and how easy it is for you to get stronger.
So it’s not always easy to judge an obese person’s strength based on their looks. Sometimes they might be stronger than you initially assumed.
If you’re familiar with strength training, you probably know that your nervous system is responsible for muscle contraction. In other words, if your nervous system tells a muscle to contract and it doesn’t respond, no matter how hard you try to lift something heavy or perform a pull-up at the gym.
Your brain sends messages down your spinal cord through motor neurons for muscles to move and contract. When this happens, there are tiny electrical charges (action potentials) that travel along these nerve fibers from one end of the neuron to another, causing an action potential at both ends of each neuron.
So depending on how well your nervous system functions, you’ll be able to lift heavier weights.
Muscles are necessary for daily activities like walking, running, throwing balls, and lifting weights. They provide the power in all body movement and can help you live a healthy lifestyle.
Muscle is what makes your body move; without them, you’d be unable to walk or do anything else on your own. Strong muscles could also help give you the energy to get through a long day at work, if not too strenuous.
So if you see a fat person doing activities that seem impossible for their size, it’s because they have strong muscles. You also have to keep in mind that an obese person needs to be able to lift their body weight, so it’s only natural that they’d be stronger than someone that’s the same height and slimmer than they are.
Have you ever wondered how strong your bones are? Most people have never pondered this question before or have no idea whether their bones are stronger than others. However, the fact remains your bones determine how strong you are. Strong bones support your frame, and since obese people have a larger frame, some tend to have stronger bones.
The size of the bones doesn’t increase based on how fat you are. However, they do get stronger in some cases.
Can a fat person be muscular?
Muscular fat people are probably the most frequent topic of discussion in fitness-related forums. Some people believe that an obese person can become muscular, and others don’t believe it can happen. In fact, there have been numerous individuals who have built up impressive amounts of muscle mass while still being considered obese.
One such individual is Eddie Hall, who was a strongman competitor despite weighing over 434 pounds at his heaviest.
You can also see how muscular an obese person can be when you look at sumo wrestlers. Most of them are huge, but they have far more muscle mass than even pro bodybuilders, as shown in this study.
The Bottom Line – Can you be strong and fat?
The larger your body size, the more force you can produce; however, this has to do with how much muscle mass you have. Larger people might be stronger than smaller people because they have more muscle mass that enables them to produce greater forces. So yes, you can be strong and fat, as is the case with most strongmen and sumo wrestlers.
In the case of the average obese person, there’s no definite answer to whether they will be strong since we can’t know their body composition just by looking.