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Thread: Need advice - Strength training or mass training?

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  1. #1
    Tap, Rack, Bacon ncsuLuke's Avatar
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    Need advice - Strength training or mass training?

    Before I get to my question, a quick background. I have been lifting for a while and have always had a respectable deadlift and squat while my bench press has been less than stellar. If you looked at me you probably wouldn't think I deadlift or squat as much as I do, not that it is a ton but there are plenty of much bigger guys at the gym I go to that do a lot less. Due to this, I would like to give a hypertrophy routine a go (HTC12) but my dilemma is I don't know if I I need to increase my upper body strength first so it is effective.

    Right now I am only benching 185 for six reps or so which is pretty bad considering I am repping out 315 on squat and getting close to 405 again in deadlifts. I don't really want to focus on a hypertrophy routine if it is only going to help the areas I am already strong in and my chest will continue to lag far behind.

    Basically, I am just looking for advice from some of you more seasoned guys if I should focus on getting my bench numbers up first and then try HCT12 or should I just go ahead and jump into it. If I should just go ahead and jump into it should I add more chest work since that is where I am struggling the most?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Senior Member Invain's Avatar
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    I guess I fail to understand what your bench strength has to do with trying to gain mass. If your bench is lagging and it bothers you, then yes, I would suggest benching more. Why do you believe your bench is so low? Is it chest strength? Triceps strength?
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  3. #3
    Tap, Rack, Bacon ncsuLuke's Avatar
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    I would say it is chest strength, I can do weighted dips without too much trouble (sets of 8-12 with a 45lb plate) so my triceps seem decent. I wasn't sure if my lack of bench strength would hinder my ability to put on mass, so I was more questioning that logic all together. Having a big bench number doesn't really bother me but I figure it helps to build mass if you can move heavier weight.

  4. #4
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    Your goals aren't mutally exclusive (unlike putting 100lbs on my squat while getting my bodyfat under 10%). So why not focus on mass and see what happens to your strength. People can get stronger on mass routines like HCT and if you haven't made the bench gains you want with your current program, a switch might be more than adequate.

    Even if you lost some strength, it probably wouldn't set you so far back and you'd be able to catch up pretty quick. When I rotate assistance work sometimes when I come back to an exercise I'm not as strong when I last did it, but I'm not as weak as when I first picked it up and within a workout or two I'm close to previous records.

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