SuperiorMuscle.com - Bodybuilding Forums
Register Members Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Go Back   SuperiorMuscle.com - Bodybuilding Forums > Superior Fitness Section > Training
Reload this Page Strength Training vs Size Training?

Training Training Styles & Techniques Discussion


Like Tree3Likes
  • 2 Post By Bouncer
  • 1 Post By Bouncer

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 11-08-16, 11:34 AM
Strength Training vs Size Training?
  #1
 
Bouncer's Avatar
 
Administrator
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: California
Likes: 7834


The first thing you need to do is get really clear on your goal. Is your one and only desire to move the heaviest weights possible? Or are you concerned exclusively with aesthetics—when people ask how much you bench you respond with a blank stare? Perhaps you’re somewhere in between—you want a great looking body, but you also want to be able to pick up heavy things.

Either way, you need to be totally clear on the end goal. We need to know exactly where we want to end up in order to develop a plan to get there. In other words, make sure you’re steering the car in the the right direction before you step on the gas!

Step 2: Pick The Appropriate Plan
Once you know exactly where you want to go, then we can pick the appropriate route—your training plan. While selecting the appropriate programming seems rather straightforward—if you want to get strong, train for strength (typically on the lower end of the rep spectrum, about 1-5); if you want to build muscle, train for hypertrophy (typically moderate reps, about 6-12)—it’s not uncommon to hear differing opinions.

While I doubt anyone has ever said, “The best way to get strong is to train for size,” I hear the opposite all the time — ”If you want to get big, focus on getting strong.”

Some people will go so far as to say that, if you’re looking to build an impressive physique, you only need to train for strength. They’ll say to avoid all isolation exercises and machines completely. Train only with low reps. Stick with just the major compound lifts. Basically, don’t waste any time training with anything over 5 reps—just pick a good strength-oriented routine, lift heavy and get strong.

I don’t blame people for thinking this…

I don’t blame people for thinking this because the strongest person in the gym is also usually the person with the most muscle. In fact, training for strength is a great way to activate your fast twitch fibers, the largest muscle fibers and the ones with the greatest potential for growth. However, just because strength training can be an effective way to add muscle doesn’t mean that it will allow you to reach your full muscle-building potential.

The “Train For Strength Only” Fallacy Denies The Science
The problem with the “lift heavy or go home” mentality is that it ignores the most important muscle-building science we know—hypertrophy is a result of three distinct mechanisms: mechanical tension, muscle damage, and metabolic stress1. Mechanical tension is basically a fancy way of saying lifting heavy stuff, so strength training obviously hits that mechanism, but is not optimal with respect to the remaining two.

While heavy weights can produce muscle damage, optimal damage and stress require traditional hypertrophy methods, including isolating muscles, using machines, and working muscles through their full ranges of motion (maximizing tension in shortened and stretched positions)—methods that a strength training protocol simply does not include.

Although strength training does produce hypertrophy directly, it has a larger indirect impact.. In other words, strength training for hypertrophy is largely a means to an end—when you get stronger you are able to lift heavier weights in the hypertrophy rep ranges which leads to increased potential for muscle damage and metabolic stress. So, if your goal is maximum size, there is no getting around the fact that you must spend the majority of your time and effort training for size.

So why is strength training so powerful for hypertrophy?

Strength training’s direct contribution to hypertrophy is a result of fast-twitch fiber development. However, while training for strength stimulates the fast-twitch muscle fibers, it leaves your slow-twitch fibers untouched. Further, fiber growth is not the only phenomenon that results in increased muscle size. Hypertrophy training has the unique benefit of increasing the size of non-contractile components of your muscle cells, including collagen and glycogen.

Your Take Home Lesson If Your #1 Goal is SIZE
If you want to achieve maximum mass, make sure you spend the majority of your training focusing specifically on hypertrophy mechanisms, but also incorporate some phases specifically dedicated to training for strength. Even if you just want to be huge and couldn’t care less about strength, you can’t neglect heavy lifting. Unless you’re getting stronger you’ll eventually hit a bottleneck in your mass-building efforts, because strength work potentiates hypertrophy—the stronger you are, the more potential you have to build muscle.

Your Take Home Lesson If Your #1 Goal is STRENGTH
On the other side of the coin, if you just want to lift cars and couldn’t care less about how you look, you still need to dedicate some of your training to building muscle (with a particular focus on achieving hypertrophy of your fast-twitch fibers, as they have both the greatest potential for growth and force output). Given that thicker muscle fibers will generate more force2, there is a clear need for some hypertrophy in the pursuit of maximal strength.

But what if you truly want to be big and strong?
If you fall somewhere in between—you want to be big and strong—decide which of these goals is your priority and dedicate the majority of your training to that goal. For example, if you’re a bit more interested in muscle you will probably train for hypertrophy in a 2:1 or 3:1 ratio to strength. If they’re equally important, split your training time equally between the two goals. Don’t be afraid to experiment to find the ratio that provides the best results. This self-experimentation process is where the real magic is, and is a far cry from copying and pasting training routines from rehashed bodybuilding websites or magazines. Just because something works really well for someone else (particularly someone at an elite level that likely possesses superior genetics and possibly taking drugs), don’t assume that it will work for you.

It’s Really Quite Simple

The take home message is that these goals do overlap, but are definitely distinct. You need to get clear on exactly what you want—muscle, strength, or both—and periodize your training in appropriate blocks. You’re going to rotate between strength training and hypertrophy training, but the specific outcome you desire will dictate frequency of these rotations and the length of time you spend in each phase.

Looking at one practical example, guys that want to get as big and as strong as possible will likely experience the best results by alternating between dedicated strength and hypertrophy phases in an equal ratio.Focusing on one goal at a time gives us unparalleled clarity on exactly what we want to accomplish when we step into the gym each day, not to mention the fact that your body typically makes the best adaptations when you train for one goal at a time.

The Definition of Multitasking? Doing Two Things Poorly At The Same Time!

Multitasking, in theory, looks great—who doesn’t want to achieve multiple things simultaneously? All too often though, multitasking results in not achieving those things to a desirable degree (if at all). Get clear on your goal, develop your plan, and execute it to the best of your ability.
rado and piratex like this.
is Online   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-16, 12:13 PM
  #2
 
rado's Avatar
 
Founding Member
Join Date: Jun 2012
Likes: 1844
Quote:
I don’t blame people for thinking this because the strongest person in the gym is also usually the person with the most muscle.
this is very untrue these days. the guy with the most muscular build is normally far from the strongest, period.

many guys who are smaller(like myself-not pushing over 200lbs)are stronger than guys with most muscles. size does not necessarily equate strength.

coming from a person like myself who's had the size, strength and now the aesthetic look(but still with strength)I gotta admit....I honestly caused more harm than good lifting THAT heavy.

Although my bench, squat and deads are relatively still strong, i don't focus myself on getting stronger. i've learned the hard way how it's affected me now and always being hurt or not fully recovered; ie...my fucking elbows, forearms, rotator cuff
is Online   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-16, 12:35 PM
  #3
 
Bouncer's Avatar
 
Administrator
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: California
Likes: 7834
Quote:
Originally Posted by rado View Post
this is very untrue these days. the guy with the most muscular build is normally far from the strongest, period.

many guys who are smaller(like myself-not pushing over 200lbs)are stronger than guys with most muscles. size does not necessarily equate strength.

coming from a person like myself who's had the size, strength and now the aesthetic look(but still with strength)I gotta admit....I honestly caused more harm than good lifting THAT heavy.

Although my bench, squat and deads are relatively still strong, i don't focus myself on getting stronger. i've learned the hard way how it's affected me now and always being hurt or not fully recovered; ie...my fucking elbows, forearms, rotator cuff
Name a WSM competitor that is small.
is Online   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-16, 12:43 PM
  #4
 
rado's Avatar
 
Founding Member
Join Date: Jun 2012
Likes: 1844
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bouncer View Post
Name a WSM competitor that is small.
im talking about gym members...come on man, geez.

walk into most gyms and you'll always find some big ass dude who can't lift anywhere near his massive size, when you'd think he should.

let's look at xfit athletes and compared those to some who are bodybuilder types in the gym.

you picking a wsm competitor, well that's pro level shit....your analogy is stupid, my reference is more so geared towards reg gym people. again i will say and stand by it, size doesn't mean a fucking thing.

size isn't shit when you have zero clue on how to use it. and MOST who have size, have zero clue on using it properly.
is Online   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-16, 12:46 PM
  #5
 
rado's Avatar
 
Founding Member
Join Date: Jun 2012
Likes: 1844
let's take you and me shall we? post up a video on your maxes on bench, deads and squats.



i can guarantee you and will prove it, how much more weight i will push or pull, true story. don't believe it? post a video and i will beat you, not even a hesitation. i get it, you're just now getting back into it, but when you were good and not hurt, even then i'd beat you.

yet you're bigger than me all around, yet you can't push the weight i can? that's my point.
is Online   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-16, 12:48 PM
  #6
 
rado's Avatar
 
Founding Member
Join Date: Jun 2012
Likes: 1844
Quote:
I don’t blame people for thinking this because the strongest person in the gym is also usually the person with the most muscle.
/\ THIS here is total bs...this is far from the truth. bigger guys are not necessarily stronger, and we all know that...well some of the "big" guys here know that, other than mr. i...that brit is a fucking ham and a half of strength.
is Online   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-16, 01:26 PM
  #7
 
Bouncer's Avatar
 
Administrator
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: California
Likes: 7834
Point remains. The more muscle you have in general the stronger you usually are.

Take bodybuilding. They don't come much bigger then Coleman and he also happened to be one of the strongest bodybuilders ever.

Of course there are exceptions. Of course technique and knowing how to use the muscle is important, of course little guys like Franco columbo can have freakish strength. He was stronger than Arnold in most lifts. But that's more a matter of body structure.
is Online   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-16, 01:41 PM
  #8
 
rado's Avatar
 
Founding Member
Join Date: Jun 2012
Likes: 1844
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bouncer View Post
Point remains. The more muscle you have in general the stronger you CAN BE.

Take bodybuilding. They don't come much bigger then Coleman and he also happened to be one of the strongest bodybuilders ever.

Of course there are exceptions. Of course technique and knowing how to use the muscle is important, of course little guys like Franco columbo can have freakish strength. He was stronger than Arnold in most lifts. But that's more a matter of body structure.
fixed:thumb:

more muscles does not equate to more strength, come on man. you can weigh 170lbs and have stronger lifts than those who weigh easily over 220lbs...look at some of the powerlifting comps.

again, you're picking out pro's and im speaking about reg gym people, get on the same train already. im NOT arguing nor wanting to dispute some of what has been said. HOW FUCKING EVER THOUGH, my dispute is for those who say bigger muscles equals to more strength is just pure bs.


anyway, i see it your way, i do. what i don't see is the bigger muscles=more strength.
is Online   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-16, 02:05 PM
  #9
 
Bouncer's Avatar
 
Administrator
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: California
Likes: 7834
Talking about the pro level makes it even more clear IMO. The bigger bodybuilders like Ronnie are stronger than bodybuilders like Shawn Ray. Comparing the best of the best shows a clear picture.

In powerlifting or WSM the record lifts are all done by giant mother fuckers.

Smaller guys can be strong absolutely. But at the end if the day, all things being equal the bigger guy is usually the stronger guy.

But yes, I also see your point. A 200lb powerlifter can very easily be stronger then a 250lb bodybuilder. Has to do with structure, technique and training for a specific specialty.
is Online   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-16, 02:12 PM
  #10
 
rado's Avatar
 
Founding Member
Join Date: Jun 2012
Likes: 1844
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bouncer View Post
Talking about the pro level makes it even more clear IMO. The bigger bodybuilders like Ronnie are stronger than bodybuilders like Shawn Ray. Comparing the best of the best shows a clear picture.

In powerlifting or WSM the record lifts are all done by giant mother fuckers.

Smaller guys can be strong absolutely. But at the end if the day, all things being equal the bigger guy is usually the stronger guy.

But yes, I also see your point. A 200lb powerlifter can very easily be stronger then a 250lb bodybuilder. Has to do with structure, technique and training for a specific specialty.
you definitely won't see little fuckers at WSM, those guys are just massive in every way possible.

but yea, good chat bro.
is Online   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-16, 02:14 PM
  #11
 
Bouncer's Avatar
 
Administrator
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: California
Likes: 7834
Yea we aren't disagreeing with each other here. Just different perspective.
rado likes this.
is Online   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-16, 03:03 PM
  #12
 
rado's Avatar
 
Founding Member
Join Date: Jun 2012
Likes: 1844
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bouncer View Post
Yea we aren't disagreeing with each other here. Just different perspective.
:thumb:

all good man.

as you had said, different training, different techniques, etc...will yield different results.

it all comes down to what you're training for, as the article states. strength vs size. i prefer strength and always have, i just got the size back then from not having a good eating regimen.
is Online   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-16, 03:38 PM
  #13
 
piratex's Avatar
 
Superior Amateur
Join Date: Oct 2016
Likes: 102
I understand both perspectives and agree with rado on the average gym & person. I weigh 205 and can bench 265lbs like twice by myself but there's a guy in my gym who weighs like 185 and can press 315lbs by his self and it pisses me off. lol He's not even cut or showing muscle. Some people are just genetically cock strong as it is.
is Online   Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-16, 04:56 PM
  #14
 
M00chie69's Avatar
 
Superior Amateur
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Where Truth Resides
Likes: 135
Bouncer didn't you say in another thread you now believed going low rep and heavy isn't the best way to build muscle? I think one of the other studies we were looking at said higher rep lighter weight built the same amount of muscle at the end of the day as long as you fatigued your muscles and of course ate right.
is Online   Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-16, 07:06 PM
  #15
 
Bouncer's Avatar
 
Administrator
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: California
Likes: 7834
Quote:
Originally Posted by M00chie69 View Post
Bouncer didn't you say in another thread you now believed going low rep and heavy isn't the best way to build muscle? I think one of the other studies we were looking at said higher rep lighter weight built the same amount of muscle at the end of the day as long as you fatigued your muscles and of course ate right.
I was more talking about long term preservation. Levrone vs Coleman for example.

I don't think a 100 reps with 2 pound dumbbells will make your arms grow like 10-12 reps of 50lb dumbbells will.

I think there is a limit though. I don't think 1 rep of 1200lb leg press will make your legs grow anymore then 10 reps of 400lbs for example.

In other words you have to lift heavy enough to stimulate muscle but not heavy enough to destroy joints, tendons, and ligaments.
is Online   Reply With Quote

SEO by vBSEO 3.6.0