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Thread: size vs strength

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  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    Feb 2006

    size vs strength

    Heres a good article i found.

    This is about strength Vs. pure size type routines, where they fit in, and what realistic goals are to be considered an advanced trainee by genetically typical, and usually drug free standards.

    Most guys just donít have great genetics relative to adding size and strength to their frame. Knowing that, the key is to make the best of what you have. And for most guys that consists of being extremely focused, and extremely realistic. And the reality is, most guys can build a fair strength/size base if they train and diet correctly. I will use Stuart McRoberts goals/guidelines to define that strength level:

    For Joe average of 5'9 190-205 in a fairly lean state, Joe has a 300 lb bench give or take a few lbs, and can do rep work with 250 +. We want to see Joe Squatting at least 400-450 for a single, or doing rep work with 350 +. Joe should also be able to do deads with about the same weights as his squat, or maybe a little higher. Stuart simply stated 300/400/500 for bench, squat, and deadlift.

    Most guys can get there (at least within 50 lbs over or under dependant on body mechanics for each lift) if they TRULY dedicate themselves to bread and butter training and heavy eating. MOST guys never come close, but could if they didn't overtrain and under-eat.

    The reason most (some fail purely because of diet) never get this so very important strength base is they always train doing too many lifts, using many techniques that are more specific to size instead of strength. Pure hypertrophy training is well and good IF it works for you, but it's time and place is AFTER you have dedicated yourself to building the foundation. I recently had a couple of personal training clients that were disappointed that the routine I wrote was not geared for towards "size" gains. They wanted less rest between lifts and more sets so they could focus on getting bigger. The problem was both these guys were beginner level weak (after training for years). In fact, 5 out of the 8 girls I currently train have a bigger squat and dead than these guys do. I don't care how many fast "pump" sets you do with girl weights. The truth is, you will still look like a girl if that is all the weight you use.

    It doesnít take long for most people to realize that they will never total Elite in powerlifting, nor do any serious damage on the posing dais. Genetics is the first and last word about how far you can go. You may never be freaky strong, or freaky huge. But with the correct focus, here is what will happen. After you have paid your dues with the big lifts for heavy weights and heavy eating, you will be stronger than about 90-95% of the guys in the gym. And a good percentage of you will have the size to go along with it. But.......some of you will not be as big as you "should beĒ for your strength. Guess what??? Now its time to start trying some of the protocols that tend to build size at the expense of strength. But also guess how much more effective that type of training is what you are not lifting girl weights!!!

    The right way to get there for most people is to COMMIT to spending a couple of years (or more) worried about little more than the little more than adding weight on the bar from workout to workout. For many people, this is all they need to do to get huge. But SOME guys get a lot stronger without a linear increase in size. Often much of what occurs from a strength standpoint occurs primarily through innervation gains. This does little for size. But with patience, when the bar is a lot heavier, you will be too. Unless you are doing VERY LOW reps it is pretty difficult to add 75-125 lbs to your bench or dips, and 150-250 lbs to your squat and deadlift, and big numbers to all your other lifts without getting quite a bit bigger.

    Now let me insert three VERY critical ideas here.

    The first is MANY people think they are hardgainers, or naturally weak because they train and eat like ****. Train somewhat like many powerlifters (but with slightly higher reps) do for a few months and eat like a horse and you may find this is all irrelevant because you may find you build strength and size rapidly when not doing some of the crazy **** many bodybuilders do.

    The second thing is that you realize it doesn't happen overnight, and if you are not progressing at a rate you think acceptable you need to do something few do in these days and times. You keep at your task and apply lots of thought, deductive reasoning, and learn everything you can about what you are attempting to do. And that doesn't mean from glossy coated muscle mags that are really supplement catalogs in disguise. Try Hardgainer magazine, Powerlifting USA (and yes, there is a lot in PL USA geared towards guys with great genetics, but itís better than almost all the BB mags), and online sources that specifically STATE THE INFO IS GEARED TOWARD THE AVERAGE TRAINEE, NOT GENETIC WONDERS. And then FAITHFULLY apply what you know day in day out. This isn't stamp collecting weíre doing here. Its tough, and it takes balls to train and eat right consistently.

    The Third thing is to accept the best of what you have and are capable of. Some people will never hit 300/400/500, and some will plow through them FAST once training right. If you are one of the extreme, extreme ecto's, or an endo that just isn't wired for strength, and you have truly paid your dues, and just don't have it. Do everything you can to get as strong as you can, then, a little stronger. THEN, and only then consider yourself "advanced" and change your focus to a hypertrophy routine SUITABLE FOR PEOPLE WITH AVERAGE GENETICS! This, for many people is simply a routine using higher reps, a few more lifts, with more sets than HIT/Hardgainer style training, but much less than volume training. Using an intensity level higher than volume, lower than hit.

    Once you are MOST of the way there it is fine to experiment a little with some hypertrophy specific techniques, but continually trying these types of training too soon will usually just be a counterproductive waste of time. Some people find doing a small cycles of mid-level volume work interspersed with power style techniques provides additional growth without overtraining them. This is an option for those with slightly better than average recovery ability. I will go into more detail about the format in another article, but most people reading this should be focused about getting stronger for a while longer.

  2. #2
    Senior Member TechMetalMan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Good article!

    This just made me reavaluate myself and my routine/diet more. It refocuses my goals.

    Thank you!
    18 Years of Age

    5'7'' 140 lbs---Now 148

    As of Feb. 2006------As of April 2006------As of July 2006

    Bench- 155 x 2------170 x 1--------------Not Tested
    Squat- 200 x 1 (parallel)------Untested-------205 x 1 (Ass to Grass)
    Dead- Untested------235 x 2-----------250lbs x1 (3 sets of this)

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Quote Originally Posted by TechMetalMan
    Good article!

    This just made me reavaluate myself and my routine/diet more. It refocuses my goals.

    Thank you!
    Same here when i first read it. Im focusing on getting stronger and reaching the goals of 300/400/500 for bench squat and dead. Then ill focus more on size.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Same here guys!

    Nice job dude!

  5. #5
    Senior Member Anthony's Avatar
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    Dec 2000
    Imagine that. Build a base and then expand. Who the **** woulda thought??
    Facebook - BW166 SQ585 BP405 DL660 CL310

  6. #6
    Risk10k Clifford Gillmore's Avatar
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    Sep 2005
    Perth, Western Australia
    Quote Originally Posted by Anthony
    Imagine that. Build a base and then expand. Who the **** woulda thought??

  7. #7
    Banned IHaveToCrushYou's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Edmonton, AB
    Quote Originally Posted by Risk10k

    ok so how would I turn Baby Got Back into a power training thing if my split looks like this:

    Day 1
    Rack Pulls 5x5
    Bent over Rows 3x8
    Hammer Rows 3x10

    Flat Bench 5x5
    Incline Dumbell Press 3x8
    Incline Cable Flys 3x10

    Seated Calf Raise 3x12


    Day 2
    Squats 5x5
    Leg Press 3x8

    Leg Curls 3x12

    Seated Alternating Biceps Curls 5x5
    Hammer Curls 3x10

    Day 3
    Chin-Ups 5x5
    Hammer High Rows

    Bent-Over Side Laterals 3x10
    Arnold Press 5x5
    Standing Side Lateral Raises 3x8

    Standing Calf Raises 3x10


    Day 4
    Romanian Deadlifts 5x5
    High Foot Placement Leg Press 3x8
    Leg Extensions 3x12

    Skullcrushers 5x5
    Cable Pressdowns 3x10

    What could turn this into a strength routine? I mean obviously I will increase my strength gain on a weekly basis as it is but how can I speed up my gains? Oh and Im cutting (see my fitday for how Im eating) which actually isnt bad despite what some people would say

  8. #8
    Senior Member Meat_Head's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    That is a power/strength routine. There isn't a whole lot you could do to make it more productive for that goal.

    Great article, I agree with pretty much everything in there. The best way to gain size involves gaining lots of strength!

  9. #9
    Senior Member Canadian Crippler's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    The Pavilion
    I agree, although the line between "hypertrophy" training and "strength" training is less existant than most people think. If you look at most of the routines I've done there's lots of isolation work, lots of high rep work, and lots of high frequency training in there. Yet I gained lots of strength like that.

    But I guess the article is referring to new trainees who have "arms" days and do "Jumping DB squats off a medicine ball" as there main leg exercise.
    "I added some db curls with the pink weights for a bit of a burn." - Rookiebldr

    "im assuming the holy (big) 3 are: curls, bench, legs?" - Saggas

    "had a huge ass burn on my triceps while I was doing those kickbacks, so they'll likely be staying with my exercise program." - Zearoth

    "most of my burned calories coming from something called Basal. Wtf does a leaf have to do with any of it?" - Votorx

    "We have a lot of people like that on our campus, all hippies and things, that go around preaching against corporations, jocks, preps, accountants, and anyone else that feels the need to shower more than occasionally." - Shankerr

    "Damn man why are some women just so demonic and evil.. its like you wanna get a stake and mallet and an erection at the same time." - WBBIRL


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