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Old 08-20-2020, 04:19 PM   #11
mr beer
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Default Re: GURPS ST vs real wold records

First thing is there is no canon answer to this.

But I have considered this question myself and my personal approach would be to work this out in terms of how much stronger than an average man the character is for purposes of lifting weights. This makes the whole thing extremely easy.

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Let's say we think our untrained man can bench 60 kilos. For example purposes, we want our character to be able to bench 150 kilos and his other lifts are in proportion to this - this is key to simplifying this process.

So he is 2.5x stronger than the normal man.

In GURPS, a normal man has Basic Lift 20. Our guy needs to have Basic Lift 50, because he is 2.5x as strong. Which means he has ST 16 (Basic Lift 51).

Now that's not all pure ST, he should have Lifting ST as well. The usual guide is you can have a couple of levels of Lifting ST, so let's give him Lifting ST+2.

Now our character has ST 14 and Lifting ST +2 and he can lift 2.5x as much as a normal man for all our standard lifts. You can decide what these values are. If you write down what you think a normal man can lift, you can simply multiply by 2.5.

This works well enough for game purposes, unless the campaign is all about competitive weight-lifting or bodybuilding contests.

===

You can fine-tune this by reducing HP or Striking ST by a point or two if you like.

I would skip Arm ST because then that means you need to consider which lifts are Arms and which are not - simple when we consider military press and squats, but not so much with say the deadlift.

I wouldn't use the Lifting skill at all, because it's a terrible way to model real world weightlifting. Alternatively you could re-work the skill to say add +5% to the amount you can lift per point of skill above 10 or something. I'd just skip it altogether though.

I think that this approach passes a sanity test as well. In GURPS, normal ST is 10 and maximum ST is 20, which implies that real world strongest possible men are 4x as strong as normal people. Which is ballpark correct.

Last edited by mr beer; 08-20-2020 at 04:38 PM.
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Old 08-20-2020, 05:22 PM   #12
seycyrus
 
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Default Re: GURPS ST vs real wold records

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Originally Posted by GWJ View Post
...
The second, not as important issue, is about muscle mass vs real strength. We all know the bodybuilders are just weak relatively to their mass -...
No, no one knows this because it is not true.
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Old 08-20-2020, 05:37 PM   #13
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Default Re: GURPS ST vs real wold records

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Originally Posted by mr beer View Post
I wouldn't use the Lifting skill at all, because it's a terrible way to model real world weightlifting. Alternatively you could re-work the skill to say add +5% to the amount you can lift per point of skill above 10 or something. I'd just skip it altogether though.
I've never liked the +5%/MoS system because it doesn't make any sort of sense to me. Instead I make it work like similar skills and give a flat +20% (like Hiking) which makes calculating possible lifts with the skill easier to know. In your situation that means it could be a BL of 40 (ST14 is close enough) to reach that.
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While I do not think that GURPS is perfect I do think that it is more balanced than what I am likely to create by GM fiat.
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Old 08-20-2020, 07:14 PM   #14
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Default Re: GURPS ST vs real wold records

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No, no one knows this because it is not true.
Of course it's true. Their "sport" (it's more like some "beauty" contest than actual sport) is concerned totally about how they look, not about what they can accomplish with their bodies. Strength training is just a way to build more muscle mass, and their strength (which is actually at least in 80% nervous system, max 20% of it comes from actual muscle mass) is just side effect. In comparison with real sportsmen from "strength sports" with comparable weight, their strength records are just pathetic. And I think it's true even when you compare them at their contest form, when they have riddiculously low body fat levels - but this is just a little piece of their lives, usually they are much bigger and fatter, when they build more muscle mass to the next contest. The fathers of the bodybuilding, like Sandow or Saxon, were much smaller, lighter, and stronger. Of course, strong bodybuilder exists - but they have backgrounds in power lifting etc. Bodybuilding per se is all about look, this is what decides about winning - not being strong. And people who train to being strong, will always be stronger than people who train to just look like strong. And their muscle mass is just a parasite, from the viewpoint of their organisms. Big, excessive muscles, which are very costly to just maintaining. That's why they must eat muuuuch food, and that's why they have to change their training so often - they have to constantly shock their organisms, because when the organism accomodate, it'll start optimisation proccess, and it means BURNING their beloved excessive musculature. So big muscles are just needless, and their organisms would keep just the mass they actually need. And people whose sports is about LIFTING weights, not just looking, usually don't have these problems, because they have as much muscles as they really need. So yes, relatively to their mass, bodybuilders are weak ;) And I'm not just a random guy who don't like bodybuilding - I was an amateur bodybuilder myself for about a year (then I learned that big muscles =/= big strength, so I went to actual sports), then I was a personal trainer for amateurs, and I was training with a lot of them, I know personally a few dozens of them (even a few professionals), so I think I know a thing or two about this ;) But I'm talking about actual bodybuilders - not about ordinary Joe who trains at the gym, they are very hard to classify and trains in so much variety of ways and targets, that it's impossible to tell something specific about them as a group.

TL;DR - if person A can lift 150 kg and person B can lift 150 kg, but person A weighs 90 kg and person B weighs 130 kg - person A is just stronger, relatively for her weight. And even often absolutely - because person A can do things (for example pull-ups and other feats with bodyweight as the resistance) which person B just can't, or can do much lesser repetitions of it. Bobybuilders have just much more muscle mass than they actually need for their strength levels :) They could be lighter and still have their strength - but it's not what their "sport" is about. And that's it. Oh, and they are often do many very isolated exercises, which have much lesser correspondence to "everyday strength" than complex moves emphasizing all muscles from particular chain - which are much more emphasized in the real sports.

Last edited by GWJ; 08-20-2020 at 07:47 PM.
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Old 08-20-2020, 07:40 PM   #15
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Default Re: GURPS ST vs real wold records

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Of course it's true. ...
Simply saying it is true does not make it so, even if you say it repeatedly.

Working out and pushing/pulling weight makes you big, it also makes you strong.

A powerlifter that weighs 200 pounds more than a non-powerlifter will be stronger.

Do you have any data?

I'm thinking about Arnold, Franco and Lou.
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Old 08-20-2020, 07:53 PM   #16
AlexanderHowl
 
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Default Re: GURPS ST vs real wold records

There is a difference between a bodybuilder and a powerlifter though. A bodybuilder is sculpting their flesh through diet and exercise, sacrificing endurance and strength for extreme muscle tone. Conversely, a powerlifter is a more balanced approach, though it does focus more on strength than endurance or tone.
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Old 08-20-2020, 08:29 PM   #17
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Default Re: GURPS ST vs real wold records

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Simply saying it is true does not make it so, even if you say it repeatedly..
You completely ignored the rest of his post which explained in detail why. Not only that but he has already stated he is a personal trainer and has done bodybuilding.
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Old 08-20-2020, 08:39 PM   #18
Fred Brackin
 
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Default Re: GURPS ST vs real wold records

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Originally Posted by mr beer View Post
Now that's not all pure ST, he should have Lifting ST as well. The usual guide is you can have a couple of levels of Lifting ST, so let's give him Lifting ST+2.
Lifting ST is clearly marked as a Exotic Trait. It cannot be normally purchased by humans. An Unusual background or a Special Exercises Perk is required.

I know many people ignore this but they are in disagreeemnt with the RAW.

The only lifts that would not be affected by Arm ST (also Exotic but probably a lot more common in the Real World) would be things like Leg Presses or others where the weight is not held in the hands. I know about the importance of leg strength in lifting weights overhead but this is another cases where Gurps fits reality rather broadly.
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Old 08-20-2020, 09:33 PM   #19
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Default Re: GURPS ST vs real wold records

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Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
Lifting ST is clearly marked as a Exotic Trait. It cannot be normally purchased by humans. An Unusual background or a Special Exercises Perk is required.

I know many people ignore this but they are in disagreeemnt with the RAW.

The only lifts that would not be affected by Arm ST (also Exotic but probably a lot more common in the Real World) would be things like Leg Presses or others where the weight is not held in the hands. I know about the importance of leg strength in lifting weights overhead but this is another cases where Gurps fits reality rather broadly.
Sort of. It may be exotic in GURPS Basic but if you look at GURPS Action, GURPS Dungeon Fantasy, GURPS Martial Arts, etc the rules vary depending on the genre. Personally I don't think Lifting ST is particularly exotic - it's a good way of representing someone who does a lot of heavy lifting and toting but doesn't have improved striking power.
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Old 08-20-2020, 09:58 PM   #20
Fred Brackin
 
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Default Re: GURPS ST vs real wold records

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Originally Posted by Infornific View Post
Sort of. It may be exotic in GURPS Basic but if you look at GURPS Action, GURPS Dungeon Fantasy, GURPS Martial Arts, etc the rules vary depending on the genre.
In Martial Arts the only people who can buy Lifting ST are the ones whose Styles permit them to buy the required Special Exercises Perk. I think the Styles in question are all forms of Wrestling.

Action and Dungeon Fantasy are deliberately Cinematic genres and waive dismissively at Realim as they whoosh past. :)

In the real world I believe that Lifting ST doesn't exist in Humans though it could be found in machines written up as Characters. IMHO what Gurps is modelling as Lifting ST is probably instead highly developed (and possibly optionally Specialized) Lifting Skill.

By comparison Arm ST is all over the place among handicapped people and specialized athletes. Martina Navratilova's right forearm was twice as bing around as her left so that would be the Arm ST (One Arm Only) form.

Arm ST might be found among bodybuilders as well. Those big arms the activity wants end up being overdeveloped for whole body tasks. In the earliest days of the World's Strongest Man competition Lou Ferigno competed and while he was never a threat to be overall winner he did win some events that focussed on arm strength (like bending iron bars).
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