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Thread: Is there a difference between mass and strength training?

  1. #1
    Wannabebig New Member t-bone92's Avatar
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    Apr 2010

    Is there a difference between mass and strength training?

    Is there a difference between mass training and strength training. What i mean is if i work out a certain way, will i gain more mass than strength and vice versa? If so, how do i do these. Please explain. Thanks a head of time.

  2. #2
    Wannabebig Member
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    Dec 2009
    I'm assuming you mean to ask: is training for strength different from training for muscle hypertrophy?

    The answer is yes. These two are correlated, but the correlation is not exactly 1.

    There are many articles and threads that discuss this. I suggest you do a search. Here are two that I can remember just off the top of my head:
    There is no such thing as “firming and toning.” There is only stronger and weaker.
    -- Mark Rippetoe

  3. #3
    squat rack curler platypus's Avatar
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    Jan 2009
    Training for mass will generate strength gain. Training for strength will generate mass gain. Picture mass on one end of a spectrum and strength on the other. You cannot isolate yourself on either end of the spectrum, but you can focus on one end or the other. It all comes down to what your goals are. I think it's pretty clear-cut on this forum as to what routines are beneficial for what types of goals.
    Last edited by platypus; 04-21-2010 at 02:54 AM.
    ain't nuttin but a peanut.

    You will have gotten stronger when the weight that feels heavy is actually heavier than the weight that feels heavy now. Then the weight that feels heavy now will be a warmup for the weight that feels heavy then. But the weight will always feel heavy or you're not lifting enough weight. Clear? -Rippetoe

  4. #4
    Senior Member brihead301's Avatar
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    Sep 2007
    Philadelphia, PA
    When the goal is to gain mass, it would be wise to make strength the main focus.
    How to Find Your Dream Job
    My personal blog/website dedicated to giving answers on the age old question - how to escape the "rat race". I now play guitar for a living!

  5. #5
    Wannabebig Member
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    Jul 2009
    The main difference is in the number of repetitions performed in a workout. As the weight increases you are able to do less and less repetitions in a session. When you hear 'low reps for strength' it is a moot point, because you cannot choose to do high reps, the weight itself defines this parameter. If you train for strength you have to do low reps.

    At lower intensity it makes sense that you would not perform a workout using a scheme such as 5x3 or 10x1. There is more leeway in terms of the number of repetitions per set and the overall work you manage. That is not to say low reps are not for hypertrophy. One advantage of doing lower reps is to keep the weight high. Another is to ensure proper form. If you are using machines and isolations repetition does have to be high. There is no such thing as a 1 rep max bicep curl. The nature of the exercise means you are able to achieve high levels of microtrauma to the muscle without too much nervous activation that you would get from a compound movement.

    In a nutshell use heavy weight low volume for strength, and medium weight with high volume for hypertrophy, either in the same workout, the same week, or as part of a cycle.
    Last edited by hairyback40k; 04-21-2010 at 01:18 PM.

  6. #6
    Moderator Off Road's Avatar
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    Jun 2009
    Strength training is mass training, especially in the beginning.

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  7. #7
    Senior Member skinny99's Avatar
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    Sep 2009
    Quote Originally Posted by Off Road View Post
    Strength training is mass training, especially in the beginning.
    This the answer for 90% of lifters! Get strong and size almost has to follow.
    "The deadlift is more functional in that it’s very hard to imagine a more useful application of strength than picking heavy *h*t up off the ground" Rip

    Max 3x5 Goal 3x5 by 12/31/11 *1X5
    Bench (245) (275) 285x1x1 335
    Dead (385)* (445) 435x1x1 505
    Squat (320) (355) 355X1X1 405
    Squat (195) (275) 20 Reppers!
    (950) (1075) 1075 1245 Goals (Not including 20 reps)
    5'10" 288Lbs 02/01/2011 Goal Weight 230 On my way back from a Break!

  8. #8
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    I didnt start putting on noticeable size until I switched to 5/3/1 and added volume after my direct strength training. I added something like 30 pounds to my squats on madcow 5x5 and hardly put on any leg mass.

  9. #9
    The Flyfisher rbtrout's Avatar
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    Oct 2005
    So. Cal.
    Training strictly for mass you will get big, but not necessarily strong.
    Training strictly for strength, you will get big.

    It's like I always say about building a motor - (horsepower = mass, torque = strength)
    If you build a motor for horsepower, you'll get some torque.
    If you build a motor for torque, you will get horsepower.
    Give chalk a chance.

    49 years old

    665 squat
    700 deadlift
    325 bench

  10. #10
    Senior Member Allen Cress's Avatar
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    Dec 2009
    It all depends on where you are at and your level of training. It needs to be more specific when your an intermidiate to advanced level lifter. As a beginner you need more structural training as opposed to pure hypertrophy training, but as you advance things need to be tailored and training needs to be geared more towards hypertrophy if size is your main goal, but at the same time you still need to surf the strength curve from one protocol to the next.

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