Gained muscle mass although not benefical

Discussion in 'Health & Fitness' started by Archjug, Oct 31, 2013.

  1. Archjug

    Archjug New User

    Joined:
    May 12, 2012
    Messages:
    13
    Hey guys, I've got a strange problem. From about July to now i've gained about 20 pounds of muscle and recently i've just picked up my tennis game from once a week to about 4-5 times a week. I've found ever since i've been getting bigger, I can't hit as hard as I did when I was 20 pounds lighter, any suggestions on what is happening?
     
    #1
  2. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2008
    Messages:
    19,552
    Location:
    Central Florida
    You probably are muscling the ball and not staying loose.
     
    #2
  3. ollinger

    ollinger Legend

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2004
    Messages:
    5,917
    You gained 2 pounds of muscle and 18 pounds of fat, and don't prepare as well as you used to.
     
    #3
  4. v-verb

    v-verb Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2012
    Messages:
    2,023
    Location:
    Toronto
    Try these principles out http://lockandrolltennis.com/

    I've been working out (not super hard) and gained perhaps 5 lbs of upper body muscle since spring. I can hit a lot harder than before. Serves especially.
     
    #4
  5. Archjug

    Archjug New User

    Joined:
    May 12, 2012
    Messages:
    13
    Love the arrogant comment, i've never seen fat so defined then.
     
    #5
  6. Archjug

    Archjug New User

    Joined:
    May 12, 2012
    Messages:
    13
    I feel as if my technique is still the same, I'm still playing in my 4.0 league and winning matches but i'm playing a lot more defensively than before.
     
    #6
  7. ollinger

    ollinger Legend

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2004
    Messages:
    5,917
    ^^ yes, you seem very defensive. I'm just wondering how it was determined to be all muscle. Were you submerged in a densitometry tub before and after?
     
    #7
  8. Archjug

    Archjug New User

    Joined:
    May 12, 2012
    Messages:
    13
    Why did you comment on this thread just to be an childish annoyance, I still have the same body fat percentage before I started gaining. Please stop commenting if you have nothing constructive to say.
     
    #8
  9. colowhisper

    colowhisper Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2012
    Messages:
    531
    Adding muscle mass without extensive flexibility training to compliment can affect your strokes for sure. Start a serious stretching regimen or better yet find a heated yoga studio and do a bunch of guided sessions to get your flexibility back.
     
    #9
  10. WildVolley

    WildVolley Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2007
    Messages:
    5,698
    Who knows.

    I'd advise just using video to see if your form is where you want it to be. Not clear to me how more muscle mass would change things.

    I don't necessarily believe it affects flexibility, as I've definitely seen people become more flexible as they've added mass.

    I've also seen a friend put on 20lbs of muscle mass in a short period of time, so I know it is possible. However, these were guys who had been bigger before, then gotten away from lifting and dropped down to regular size. It is sort of shocking to see a guy put over 10lbs of muscle mass on in a month, but it can happen. My friend said the hardest part was force feeding himself.
     
    #10
  11. Venetian

    Venetian Professional

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2004
    Messages:
    1,397
    I don't know Wild. I've lifted alongside amatuer body builders for years, and I've seen a lot of people claim to gain 20lbs (why is it always 20lbs?) of pure muscle mass. Then you look at them, and they look chubby. Or, you look at them, and they don't look like they've gained an ounce of anything.

    And OP, ollinger is probably more correct than you'd like to admit. According to http://www.livestrong.com/article/412572-how-much-muscle-weight-can-you-gain-in-a-month/ , which references a few notable medical journals; and according to any research I've ever read on the subject, a human being can naturally gain a maximum of around 2.5lbs of muscle per month. You claim to have gained twice that amount at 20lbs in four months. That's getting into tall tale territory. You should probably listen to ollinger, since you've most likely gained a couple lbs of muscle, while the majority has been fat, which is perfectly normal when bulking up. That's why body builders go through cutting phases.

    As to why that extra mass would cause you to not be able to hit as hard, I'm not sure. Maybe it's not. It could be unrelated...maybe mental, or something else physical.
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2013
    #11
  12. WildVolley

    WildVolley Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2007
    Messages:
    5,698
    I'd be willing to bet that bodybuilder types who have quit lifting can regain muscle at much more than 2.5lbs per month. I don't believe my friend was on steroids but he gained considerable size and muscularity (along with some bodyfat) in a short period of time (he put on more than 25lbs of bodyweight in 2 months, most of it looked to be muscle).

    I don't know the reality of "muscle memory" in terms of size, but from my observations there seems to be something to it.

    As to the original issue, regardless of actual muscle gain, I think the OP has probably changed form. I don't know if bodybuilding (which tends to favor slow-twitch muscle) is sufficient to slow down a swing much without a change in form.
     
    #12
  13. dman72

    dman72 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2006
    Messages:
    1,995
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    Regardless of the accuracy of the ops claims of putting on 20Lbs of lean mass, the simple fact is bulking up does not make you hit a tennis ball better. I've added 40 pounds to my bench press in the last 6 months and I'm playing worse than I did 6 months ago. ....because bench pressing does nothing to help tennis strokes and in fact any loss of flexibility hurts your tennis game.

    I love tennis but it's not my entire life, so the benefits of lifting are worth it to me..I'll just have to hit more and work on flexibility to get my form back.
     
    #13
  14. Sumo

    Sumo Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2010
    Messages:
    613
    Location:
    Chapel Hill
    If the % is the same, you haven't gained only muscle....that's just the way the math works.

    There could be any number of things affecting your power....

    The added size may be affecting your swing path, how far your arms are from your body, etc.
    You may also be relying on your new upper body strength and getting lazy using your legs.
    Playing 4-5 times a week may have left you more fatigued than only the once per week.
    Change in weather.
    etc, etc, etc.

    If you're still winning, enjoy it and keep playing.
     
    #14
  15. Brian11785

    Brian11785 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2010
    Messages:
    1,505
    Location:
    TX
    I have added a little muscle (nowhere near 20 lbs) recently. I'm pretty puny, so a little bit of difference is really noticeable to me. I've also been spending less time on court than I had before I began weight training. I've noticed that my body was stiff in a new way the first couple of times on court during this period. I presumed it had something to do with bigger muscles upping the need for proper stretching. It was conjecture on my part, but it jives with what you are saying.
     
    #15
  16. GuyClinch

    GuyClinch Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2004
    Messages:
    4,684
    It's a tennis ball and racquet - not a shot put. Thus most tennis players are thin and agile - and not particularly strong.

    This seems hard for alot of guys on this forum to swallow but its true. I love Federer - he is a good athlete and fit - but not particularly strong even compared to a recreational lifter.

    The real way to gain power on your strokes is to move your limbs faster (obviously your hand) - this is because the mass you are "throwing' or "pushing' is not great.

    A tennis raquet weighs 12 ounces and ball 2 ounces - that's 14 ounces of weight you have to essentially throw as fast as possible.

    Much like a pitcher - its mostly about timing and technique. So gaining muscle beyond a relatively low baseline is not helpful. So yes if you are an actual weakling and can't do say 5 pullups or 10 pushups or 20 bodyweight squats - then sure getting stronger helps. But beyond a certain point its just not much benefit.

    To 'fix' this problem - try to play loose and relaxed while focusing on your timing - and play ALOT MORE TENNIS. Then your power will come back.
     
    #16
  17. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2011
    Messages:
    4,220
    Location:
    Baltimore, MD
    Could it be this?

    When you lift weights or do isometric contractions you use the 'active' actin - myosin chains of the muscle cell.

    Here is an animation of how the actin and myosin 'cross link chains' work together.
    http://highered.mcgraw-hill.com/sit...ter10/animation__myofilament_contraction.html

    To me these movements look inherently slow.

    For highest speed muscle shortening the muscle cells use a second 'passive' force supplied by a giant molecule called Titin (also in each muscle cell).

    I believe that if you train the Actin and Myosin with slow weight lifting it may not train the faster muscle shortening that has to be supplied for tennis strokes by Titin in pre-stretched muscles.


    I also agree with other posters, based on what I have read, that 20 lbs in 4 months is a questionably high rate of gaining muscle. ?
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2013
    #17
  18. maggmaster

    maggmaster Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2010
    Messages:
    1,750
    Its an almost impossible clean rate of gain. Barring certain genetic mutations, no clean athlete puts on muscle that fast. That being said, strength may be valuable to a tennis player after it has been in place for awhile. Think of it like changing rackets, you do not immediately see the benefits, you need to groove everything with the new racket. Strength is not a huge factor in tennis but anything that increases racket head speed will eventually result in better spin and power. I lift primarily to prevent injury but I hope that it also helps me hit harder, I have seen no science to say that it does.
     
    #18
  19. r2473

    r2473 Legend

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2006
    Messages:
    6,962
    This rate of gain could happen when a guy "fills out". I remember gaining 20 lbs of "non-fat" over a few months just sitting on the couch when I filled out. But otherwise, I think Ollinger has it right.

    When I first started lifting weights I had myself tested (bodpod). I was 178 lbs. and ~9.5% bodyfat. Over several months I got much stronger. I shot up to 210 lbs. Got another bodpod test assuming AT LEAST half of my weight gain was muscle. In actual fact, all but 1.5 lbs. was fat.
     
    #19
  20. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    35,707
    Maybe you gotta adapt to your newfound weight, and until you do, you will not serve nearly as fast.
     
    #20
  21. Archjug

    Archjug New User

    Joined:
    May 12, 2012
    Messages:
    13
    I appreciate the helpful comments thank you. And dear god, why would I lie about weight if i'm trying to solve this problem. I moved from 155 to 175, is it a 100% muscle probably not, but I still have the same 29 waist and much more definition so that's fine with me.
     
    #21

Share This Page