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Lifting weights and wearing tailored clothing?

Waldo Jeffers

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Lee Haney (8x Mr Olympia) had a saying: “Stimulate, don’t annihilate.”

If you want to stay healthy and continue lifting for the long term (like the 60 year old in the gym) this is the key

 

Waldo Jeffers

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Especially if you wear unstructured suits/sportcoats, moderate lifting makes you look much better in them

one recurring issue though is most off the rack suits are drop 6

if you end up drop 8+ you will always at least need pants altered, but this is pretty minor
 

FlyingMonkey

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It is very hard for someone with so much muscles to look good in any decent clothes. Just like someone too skinny or someone too fat. You'll just be too out of proportion.
Of course, dont want to preach certain lifestyle choices, but always puzzled why don't people stick with moderately enjoying some kind of traditional sport.
Because many people like to push themselves or they get bored or go mad. That's certainly true with me - and I mean literally mad.

I don't understand strength training, but that's only because it's not my thing. As a cyclist and runner I have to do a bit but nothing like the kind of weights and reps we're talking about here. Similarly I get why most people here probably won't understand why I run some pretty ridiculous distances or do 12-hour non-stop overnight mountain bike races or 36-hour non-stop triathlon challenges.

And after all that, I still want to look good. Now that bit we all understand, right?

There is only one real rule with all of this - don't buy expensive and non-adjustable clothes while your body is still changing. When you get where you want to be and are sure you can maintain that over time, which means waiting a little more to see if that's really going to happen, that's the time to spend your cash on clothes.
 

gs77

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There seems to be some confusion from you and a few others about all the different strength sports. Because, as you may already be able to tell, strength training is quite dear to me, I'll provide a free guide. TL;DR it's not all just big muscles and narcissism.

Strength training is a broad term, but within it are a few distinct sports/hobbies that look similar. You have:

Powerlifting
This is a sport in which athletes perform three lifts, the squat, bench, and deadlift. Each athlete gets three attempts at each lift, so 9 lifts total, and their heaviest successful attempts in each lift are added together for a total score. Athletes are divided by weight classes.

Olympic weightlifting
This is a sport in which athletes perform two lifts, the snatch and the clean&jerk. Similar to powerlifting, we get three attempts at each of the two lifts, so six total, and your highest successful attempt in each exercise is added together to get your total. For snatch and clean&jerk, the rules are identical to the high-jump in track and field, i.e. the bar only gets heavier as the competition goes on and you cannot lift a lighter barbell than what has already been attempted by yourself or another athlete. This is internationally known simply as weightlifting and is an Olympic sport. There are weight classes. Because of highly technique-dependent nature of these lifts, this isn't really great for casual exercisers, and I recommend it mostly only to people interested in competing in Olympic weightlifting.

Strongman
This is the one you see on ESPN sometimes, with giant guys lifting rocks and pushing cars and whatnot. The exact events vary from contest to contest along with victory conditions, and there are no weight classes at the higher levels of this sport, so it's always a bunch of huge guys showing up. Injuries in this thing are pretty freaky.

Bodybuilding
This is, for better or for worse, the most popular form strength competition. I hesitate to call it a sport even, because you don't actually lift in competition. Rather, it's a beauty contest that you prepare for by lifting a lot, and then, as the big day nears, by going on a bizarre regimen of starvation and water cutting, so that when you're on stage, you actually feel pretty bad. There are no weight classes at the higher levels of the sport, and no drug restrictions, so things get pretty crazy. Back in Arnold's day, criterion were based primarily on proportion, (and drugs weren't that good) and everyone looked like a comic book superhero. With today's criteria though, everyone just looks kind of bloated, or like a comic book supervillain after the Faustian drug infusion that gives them their powers.

Casual strength training
This is non-competitive activity where people just go to the weight room and vaguely talk about trying to get bigger and stronger. Unfortunately, because of bodybuilding's popularity, most of these casual exercisers adopt diluted versions of methods that apply only to elite level bodybuilders, which seems to mostly involve futzing around on machines, and get nowhere. More recently though, people like OP have found that methods from powerlifting have been more conducive towards their goals, that is, a bit bigger, a big stronger, and a bit more proportioned a la Michaelangelo's David. You can 't wear suitsupply pants anymore though.

As you can see, bodybuilding is the only one that kind of encourages the frivolous addition of muscle. All the rest are either legitimate sporting contests, or are meant to make person stronger/healthier in general, so that they can live a more exciting life outside the gym. For example, if you can squat 200kg at age 40, you can probably expect to still be living a very active life at 80, and there will never come the day when you cannot get out of a chair, or break an osteoporetic hip. Aesthetically, weightlifting and powerlifting are full-body sports, and I've found that while training for looks isn't the goal, most of us develop reasonably proportioned physiques anyway, kind of what laypeople describe as "more toned."



I might have made my point already, but as long as I'm beating this dead horse, here are a bunch of musclebound meatheads who look rather nice in decent clothes.

Here are Henry Cavill, fresh off the set of Superman, where he put on a huge pile of muscle to play the archetypal Greek god superhero, and Hugh Jackman at the Logan premiere. In Logan, he was probably the biggest he had ever been:


Both of them did a combination of powerlifting and bodybuilding to prepare for the roles, and and were huge at the time these pictures were taken. Looks good to me.

How about some athletes, who didn't focus on bodybuilding, and simply on getting bigger/stronger? That's former NFL tight end Shannon Sharpe on the left, the best dressed guy every Sunday, and the goliath on the right needs no introduction.


I can do this all day but a quick Google search would be easiest for all of us. The point is, I might agree with you that it is certainly possible for a musclehead to buy an ill-fitting suit that he thinks is "comfortable," and there's no question that a modern elite-level bodybuilder like Ronnie Coleman doesn't exactly fit any conventional definition of beauty, suited or not, but judging from pictures like the above, and with eye towards why structured jackets are built the way they are, I would argue that compared to someone with a standard male body (5'10" 180lbs and kinda skinnyfat) it is much easier for a muscular guy to look good in a suit.
The OP said: "I was bulking for the past 10 months and all my clothes are now snug. I also hate waste, and I'm too broke for buying bespoke everything. "
So I got the impression that he is so much into this "weight-lifting leading to increased muscle mass" thing and he worries that he will have to go bespoke everything in no time... which he can't afford or simply doesn't want to go that route.

I mentioned traditional sports, and then said: "Sometimes man needs to get some strength and muscles... maybe I'm just old(fashioned) in that I don't see that as a useful goal in by itself. "

I've been in kind of serious competitive "traditional" sport in my teens to mid twenties - waterpolo (which is pretty popular in country where I grew up, please refrain from comments about tight speedos :) ). Waterpolo is a tactics-meets-endurance-meets-speed-meets-strength type of sport. Gym, including some weight lifting, is standard part of the training, but the whole point of it is to increase strength, while maintaining endurance and speed. There were guys on the team (including myself) who were explicitly banned by the coach from weight lifting. That's because my physique is such that I gain muscle mass quickly and that slows me down. I was only doing own body weight as a strength training.
I am 192cm tall. When I stopped competitive sports at around 25, I was around 85kg. Now at 43 I am fluctuating between 90 - 95kg. I used to wear 44 US suit size, now I wear 46US, but still pretty much everything OTR fits me well (even SuitSupply, including their trousers). I maintain a moderate exercise schedule that includes swimming, own body weight exercise (push-ups, pull-ups, abs... that kind of stuff), plus tennis once a week.
I am happy with how my body looks like, everyone that knows me would pretty much describe me as "muscular", I do not have issues with back pain or anything like that. I will likely out-run, out-swim whatever 90% of guys half my age. All while fitting (with minor alterations) into RTW tailored clothing.

While I agree that clothes will look better on muscular body, our notion of "muscular" obviously differ. I just think that notion that you have to lift weights and develop bulk to be considered "muscular" is dubious.
I don't know how Hugh Jackman looked like in latest installment of whatever his super hero character is called, but on this picture he looks like a handsome dude who would easily fit into RTW clothes. "The Rock", on the other hand, really doesn't fit my idea of handsome guy and is exactly what I would call "out of proportion" due to developing too much muscle mass.

@stuffedsuperdud

I talked to the 60 year old dude I always see at the gym and he said he's been doing strength training for 40 years.

I can tell by the heavy ass weights he's lifting that he's likely healthier than the average 30 year old.

His posture is great too.

I feel the same way. I can stand without my back killing me, I can shovel snow without my back killing me, my anterior pelvic tilt is much more diminished.
You do understand that it wouldn't be hard to find another few 60 year olds that ended up in wheelchair due to lifting weight?
I don't get your point.
My father is 72. He shovels snow without issues. He walks 5 - 10km daily without issues. He swims 1500m three times a week. He wears the same clothes he used to wear in his mid thirties. He wouldn't step into the gym even if you pay him. Oh, and he still smokes...
 

bdavro23

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I don't know if I totally agree with this Ryan Flaherty guy.
Well, he's the director of performance for Nike, and before that was coaching Serena, Jameis Winston, Kobe and others. He also took nearly half a second off of Johnny Manziel's 40 time and got him to be the #1 draft pick. No offense, but I'm gonna go with him over you. The whole point is getting stronger without getting bigger makes you faster.


Worth a listen if you're interested in performance.
 

stuffedsuperdud

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Well, he's the director of performance for Nike, and before that was coaching Serena, Jameis Winston, Kobe and others. He also took nearly half a second off of Johnny Manziel's 40 time and got him to be the #1 draft pick. No offense, but I'm gonna go with him over you. The whole point is getting stronger without getting bigger makes you faster.


Worth a listen if you're interested in performance.
Thanks for the link. I don't doubt his credentials, and no, of course I agree with most of this: stronger means more force generated, and if your mass isn't changed, then all that translates into more acceleration. My point of contention though is that the negative is precisely the way to do this, so if he's saying the opposite, I'd have to know why. I could be misunderstanding what he's saying...or I could be flat wrong. That's unfortunately happened before.
 

FlyingHorker

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The OP said: "I was bulking for the past 10 months and all my clothes are now snug. I also hate waste, and I'm too broke for buying bespoke everything. "
So I got the impression that he is so much into this "weight-lifting leading to increased muscle mass" thing and he worries that he will have to go bespoke everything in no time... which he can't afford or simply doesn't want to go that route.

I mentioned traditional sports, and then said: "Sometimes man needs to get some strength and muscles... maybe I'm just old(fashioned) in that I don't see that as a useful goal in by itself. "

I've been in kind of serious competitive "traditional" sport in my teens to mid twenties - waterpolo (which is pretty popular in country where I grew up, please refrain from comments about tight speedos :) ). Waterpolo is a tactics-meets-endurance-meets-speed-meets-strength type of sport. Gym, including some weight lifting, is standard part of the training, but the whole point of it is to increase strength, while maintaining endurance and speed. There were guys on the team (including myself) who were explicitly banned by the coach from weight lifting. That's because my physique is such that I gain muscle mass quickly and that slows me down. I was only doing own body weight as a strength training.
I am 192cm tall. When I stopped competitive sports at around 25, I was around 85kg. Now at 43 I am fluctuating between 90 - 95kg. I used to wear 44 US suit size, now I wear 46US, but still pretty much everything OTR fits me well (even SuitSupply, including their trousers). I maintain a moderate exercise schedule that includes swimming, own body weight exercise (push-ups, pull-ups, abs... that kind of stuff), plus tennis once a week.
I am happy with how my body looks like, everyone that knows me would pretty much describe me as "muscular", I do not have issues with back pain or anything like that. I will likely out-run, out-swim whatever 90% of guys half my age. All while fitting (with minor alterations) into RTW tailored clothing.

While I agree that clothes will look better on muscular body, our notion of "muscular" obviously differ. I just think that notion that you have to lift weights and develop bulk to be considered "muscular" is dubious.
I don't know how Hugh Jackman looked like in latest installment of whatever his super hero character is called, but on this picture he looks like a handsome dude who would easily fit into RTW clothes. "The Rock", on the other hand, really doesn't fit my idea of handsome guy and is exactly what I would call "out of proportion" due to developing too much muscle mass.



You do understand that it wouldn't be hard to find another few 60 year olds that ended up in wheelchair due to lifting weight?
I don't get your point.
My father is 72. He shovels snow without issues. He walks 5 - 10km daily without issues. He swims 1500m three times a week. He wears the same clothes he used to wear in his mid thirties. He wouldn't step into the gym even if you pay him. Oh, and he still smokes...
The point is to get into a lifelong fitness lifestyle. Whether it's your method, mine, or grandpa's.
 

Clifff

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I was bulking for the past 10 months and all my clothes are now snug. I also hate waste, and I'm too broke for buying bespoke everything.

Is it possible to maintain calories, continue lifting and increasing strength, yet maintain size?

I asked a couple people and they said no, muscle density will continue to increase, as will muscle nuclei and water retention in those muscles. Clothes will consequently get tighter

If true, I'm not really sure what to do.

@Alan Bee
@RickyTakhar
Why not decrease the calories? To answer you Q, strength depends on size to an extent. A lot depends on your genes and your lifting style and your devotion to lifting as a way of living as opposed to something you just do.

I have been in the game since I was 15 or 16. Now at 39 I have learnt very painfully that you will have to waste a lot of money if you wanna look good and lift weight seriously. Your clothes will either get snug or loose based on your priorities in the gym. You just have to learn to accept the hard fact. As for me, I rather spend the extra money and not be out of shape my entire life.
 
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Clifff

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It's incredibly disappointing to see these outdated views rearing their heads, especially from tailoring enthusiasts. A structured garment specifically exaggerates a man's shoulders while nipping down his waist. Why is that so celebrated, but pursuing a body that looks that way naturally held in such contempt? I mean, no one's talking about looking like the reigning Mr. Olympia or squatting 1000lb+, though those are perfectly honorable goals in their own right; there's plenty of middle ground between that and whatever the heck y'all mean by "core and traditional sport."



And even if we were to talk extremes, above is the greatest bodybuilder of all time in his prime and dressed in the traddiest, most SF-approved outfit possible. 70's lapels aside, which actually kinda work for his chest, I would dare say he looks better than 99% of the guys on this site....
I agree. It seems that religious lifting is often considered counterproductive to the goal of being well dressed. As you mentioned we get dressed up in order to exaggerate our physical advantages and hide our negative ones. So what's the problem if we actually make sure our shoulders are broad, our pecs bulging and our waist small?

p.s. Awesome Arnie photo...
 

FlyingHorker

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Why not decrease the calories? To answer you Q, strength depends on size to an extent. A lot depends on your genes and your lifting style and your devotion to lifting as a way of living as opposed to something you just do.

I have been in the game since I was 15 or 16. Now at 39 I have learnt very painfully that you will have to waste a lot of money if you wanna look good and lift weight seriously. Your clothes will either get snug or loose based on your priorities in the gym. You just have to learn to accept the hard fact.
That was the goal, yes. To decrease calories and maintain weight, continue strength training, somehow maintain size.
 

Phileas Fogg

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The above comments about physique and wanting to enhance are fine. But when one’s clothes don’t fit, then one must consider how much enhancement is ideal.

we want to be fit for both aesthetic and health reasons. But we can also shape our bodies in such ways as they are not functional.

I’m sorry, but I’ve always considered the professional body builders freakishly proportioned. While it may serve them well in their sport, getting dressed would be a challenge.
 

Clifff

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The above comments about physique and wanting to enhance are fine. But when one’s clothes don’t fit, then one must consider how much enhancement is ideal.

we want to be fit for both aesthetic and health reasons. But we can also shape our bodies in such ways as they are not functional.

I’m sorry, but I’ve always considered the professional body builders freakishly proportioned. While it may serve them well in their sport, getting dressed would be a challenge.
The golden age of bodybuilding began in 1940 and died when the likes of Arnold retired. With some exceptions, all Mr. Olympias since Dorian Yates who appeared on stage look deformed and un-aesthetical IMO. Seems like sheer mass and freakishness have become the norms today. Not to mention the roid gut that most professional bodybuilders carry around these days.
 

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stuffedsuperdud

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I’m sorry, but I’ve always considered the professional body builders freakishly proportioned. While it may serve them well in their sport, getting dressed would be a challenge.
Modern bodybuilding is a freak show that exists primarily to sell supplements to unsuspecting casual exercisers looking for shortcuts. It wasn't always like that though. In Arnold's time, it was more like this:


Still kind of a freak show, of course, but the judging criteria was much more heavily slanted towards proportion rather than sheer size. You can still have a debate about how aesthetic or not these guys were, but there's no denying that all comic book superheroes are drawn with these exact specifications for some reason.

The above comments about physique and wanting to enhance are fine. But when one’s clothes don’t fit, then one must consider how much enhancement is ideal.
OP's clothes don't fit because the jackets are a 36 and he's recently bumped himself up to a 38. He weighs about 150lb at 5'11", with very RTW-friendly proportions. I don't think he's at risk of turning into Flex Wheeler any time soon. He just.....needs to backburner the idea of bespoke, log onto Spier&Mackay and get a size 38 suit for $350 and then rinse and repeat with 40, 42, etc. Problem solved. In hindsight, this whole thread did not need to exist.
 

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