Eli5: Why body builders can’t carry their bodies like gymnastics or calisthenics do ?


Eli5: Why body builders can’t carry their bodies like gymnastics or calisthenics do ?

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You’re body is good at whatever it practices. Body builders practice moving weights, gymnasts practice moving their bodies.

A body builder will usually focus only on the “show off” muscles, to look big or strong. But there are many smaller muscles they lack strength in in order to carry themselves. They also lack significant balance and coordination between their muscles.

Also more muscle means more weight therefore more difficult.

Ex-level 10 male gymnast here. There are really big differences in how we trained vs how a body builder trains. The primary objective is to keep body weight down, keep muscle tone high, and flexibility high. The shorter and lighter you are the easier it is to learn the skills (most of the time). We spent most of our time learning how to throw around our body weight and only spent a short amount of time with weights. Most of the guys on my team didn’t spend time bulking up because it wasn’t helpful. The only guys that did this ended up specializing in pummel horse or rings, because it’s heavy upper body. For me, I was an all around gymnast, so I only weighed 120 pounds, with basically zero fat. I could easily lift my body around, flip easily on any surface, and run up walls as if you turned the gravity off, because of the way we trained. We would work out 5 days a week for 4 hours everyday. Half of that time was learning skills and the other half was doing mostly body weight only exercises and some isometric conditioning training. I was always a pretty toned muscular guy, but you’d never say I was big or jacked.

Male bodybuilding/gymnastics answer only – Gymnastics requires moving the body well, often through a long lever. As in the body (usually legs) is extended far away from the muscle doing the moving (usually arms/shoulders/core). To do this well, the lighter the legs are and the stronger the movement muscles are, the better. Gymnasts’ leg muscles are super strong too, but they only need it to be as strong as required to complete the movement and stick the landing – they benefit from having the legs be as light as possible.

Bodybuilders are firstly more concerned about shape and size than with pure strength. Secondly, few problems if bodybuilders tried gymnastics:
1. They emphasize large legs, which means heavier legs, which amplifies the difficulty in longer lever movements.
2. They emphasize tight/small midsection, which means (relatively) weaker core, which is required for any of these movements
3. Muscle size necessarily interferes with flexibility. You will see large flexible body builders, but only very rarely. The size physically gets in the way of certain movements.
4. The control in certain movements comes from the smaller muscles. These muscles are harder to train from weights and don’t scale up as much as the bigger muscles.

Finally – there’s nothing magically different about the two disciplines. At the end of the day bodies are made out of bones/muscles/connectives/nerves. If you take a young bodybuilder who isn’t at an extreme end of the spectrum, you can train him to be fairly competent at gymnastics and he wouldn’t need to lose much of his looks to do so. There’s just a shift in muscle distribution, and increased focus on flexibility/agility.

So many myths and guesses in this thread.

Just gonna read all these comments about how [bodybuilders are typically unbalanced, lack muscle control, lack flexibility, etc](https://makeagif.com/i/JV8f7Y)