The fallacy of extrapolating observations from professional atheletes to make observations about populations / individuals in general seems to be very common, including here on the Dope. It’s a subset of the general fallacy of extrapolation, but it’s a subset that seems to catch a lot of people out.
These are some recent examples:
- Weightlifting is not good for building muscle mass because champion weight-lifters look chubby
- A woman is very unlikely to beat a man at tennis; the Venus sisters lost a doubles game to the 245th ranked men’s team!
- A chess player is unlikely to increase in rating after age 30; most of the greatest players peaked in their 20s
- There’s no way you can run further than that guy; he’s from East Africa!
Of the four examples, I think most people would reject (4), partly because it would ping their racist-dar. But many people would agree with the logic in the others.
I think the critical difference that people don’t get is that, at the semi-pro level and below, the degree to which someone has practiced / studied is often the deciding factor.
At the professional level though, you need to “max out” all the factors, certainly the thousands of hours of practice, and then on top of that even something which only gives a 1% advantage suddenly becomes crucial.
For the bodybuilding one specifically, some degree of “padding” seems to give some advantage when lifting ultra heavy weights (seems jury is still out on exactly why). But there’s no doubt that weight training in general will help to build muscle mass while not increasing bodyfat.
NB: 1 and 2 are paraphrased from the Dope, 3 and 4 were seen elsewhere