T Nation

About Mass Gaining

Hey guys… so I have a question about mass gaining through powerlifiting type routines vs bodybuilding. I have recently switched to a 5x5 after doing too many crappy splits. It seems to be generally accepted that the ideal rep range for muscular hypertrophy is 8 - 12. My goals are mainly in strength, but I am very curious about something. Lets say we have two identical people in every way genetically, and they both eat enough above maintenence daily in order to gain about 5 pounds per month. They both do essentially the same routine… except one trains in a powerlifting style with low reps, long rest, and has a goal of moving as mich weight as possible. The other guy does the same exercises execpt he does it more like a bodybuilder… higher reps, short rest, and a lot of flexing and squeezing of muscles during reps, really focusing on muscle pump. Will there be a significant difference in the fat to muscle gained ratio in these two people… or would we expect it to be the same? I hope this isn’t a dumb question… just something I’ve thought about.

I love the 5X5 routines, I did them early on and got good results. But recently, I have made tremendous progress with the CTs routines. So to answer your question though, I would suggest incorporating both. both camps have merit to their philosophy. A good place to start is the “I Bodybuilder” program that CT developed. The muscles react to both the low rep range and the higher rep range to activate muscle growth…but you will also need to have a good diet inb place to take care of the rest.

The biggest difference isn’t necessarily the size (assuming all other things are equal). It’s the way that each type of person is built. Certain muscles end up emphasized over other ones. The most obvious example I can give you is to look at the triceps of any powerlifter compared to his biceps or deltoids. Then look at a bodybuilder’s arms.

This isn’t a stupid question at all.

In my opinion it depends on what kind of lifter it is. A beginner is going to grow best following a strength based routine because they have such low levels of strength to begin with. It doesn’t matter how many supersets or drop sets you do if you can only bench 200 pounds you’re not going to be big. Strength and size are more heavily correlated in the beginning.

However, once you’ve established a significant level of maximum strength than you’ll gain more hypertrophy by doing more bodybuilding oriented training.

If someone more experienced than me wants to blast me down I’m all ears lol.

And don’t forget to eat a bunch of food, especially lots of meat. I like beef and pork since they have higher fat content thus more calories.