T Nation

Best results: Big weight or proper form?

I’m curious as to what you think is a better way to put on mass.

1.) Lift as much weight as you possibly can, sacrificing some form (ie losing your composure, putting your back into curls, not pulling bar all the way to chest on pull downs etc) or doing less, more managable weight but always getting perfect form.

I’m 200 about right now, eating a ton and I’ve been trying to just lift as much as possible, just hitting it crazy hard, but someimes my form suffers. I’ll do curls, my max is about 50lb dumbells, and I’ll get maybe 1-2 with each arm, but I throw them up a bit. Would it be better to do more controlled curls with say, 35 get 10 and just stop there? Or a combo of both? Lighter weight that I can do more reps with, then move to the real heavy stuff?

Same with my bench. I bench 135 about 10 times. Then I just die out if I go up to 155. I’ll get like 3-4. Then I’ll be lucky to get one at 165, or even 160.

I guess I’m asking two questions really:

My original query, more weight/more reps with better form, and the second part is, what’s the best way to get my weight up, especially bench. My max squat is 225ish, DL is 255ish, but my bench is crap. I want size more than strength, but to get the size I want I feel inreasing my strength is imperative. Ideas?

neglecting form a little and putting on more weight will definitly make you stronger… i think the key is to know how to actually neglect the form, u cant just go crazy, still have to maintain your back on alot of movements/not kill your back on those cheat curls… etc

i do stuff like you are talking about now… i havn’t been gaining as much mass but i definitly have gotten 10x stronger.

as for those cheat curls you mentioned (a good common example), i added 20 lbs to my barbell strict curl in less than 3 weeks… i think its the heavy negative portion of the cheat movements that really strengthen you… i mean if you can curl 50lb dumbbells cheating, and say 40lb dumbbells nice and strict, thats a +10lb negative you are bombing your biceps with… especially if you try to control the negative… (every day after i do cheat barbell curls my biceps feel like they are gonna pop off)

i was introduced to this by the strongman training articles on here… check them out if you havnt’, search ‘strongman’.

it will put on mass slowly i guess, but, strong as hell freakish mass :slight_smile:

just try to be as careful as you can, this kind of lifting style is great, the best ive ever done


obviously there is a line where the cheat is no longer controled and the risk outweigh the possible benefits. I generally keep pretty good form till a max effort or supramaximal effort. if the form is pretty good then i’ll take that as a good thing and be happy with the PR, however if form is shit and i have just muscled it up then i really try to review what went wrong.
Cheating can be a good way to handle heavier loads on the negative if you have no spotter to help.
it basically comes down to the individuals call.
As a side note try to get some video clip of Skip La Cour training (natural bodybuilder). He cheats like mad and moves some reasonable weight for a short ripped guy.

Interesting. So are you saying less than perfect form + heavy weight will increase my strength more than mass? I’m really looking for mass more. Strength is great, but I want to look big, first and foremost. Disagree if you will, but that is my goal.

uuuu tricky question here. i am a firm believer in form. the way i see it, if i use my back to curl the weight, then the biceps arent really get a good quality workout. as an example, i will use my friend and training partner. he and i have been lifting together for some time now, and he sacrifices form sometimes to keep up with me. but he hasnt gotten as big as i have in the same amount of time, even though we do the same routine. so that is my belief. i dont know if this is the reason, or if anything else, but i have added 28 pounds of mass in 3 months and tons of new maxs, but he hasnt. i have the same BF percentage that i had before i started, in fact, i am more cut on some major muscle groups now then i was before. big weights will make you stronger, no question about that. the real answer to your question about adding mass you can find in an issue from a month ago i think, where they described the sets and reps combinations that work for different goals. look for this article in search, i dont know the exact name of it sorry.
hope that helped, if it didnt and i just wasted your time, i appologize.

you referring to the program design article and the structural/functional article by ct, those were good. has the info on set/reps/‘tut’ and all that stuff.

from what i’ve learned on here there are different kinds of mass, so you should figure out what kind of mass you want. i dont know the specifics of it some ‘sacroblahblah/extra cellular space blahblah’ or whatever. slow/alot of tension reps/higher volume etc will give you mass, make you look better etc, but it wont give you SERIOUSLY STRONG/FUNCTIONAL MASS, if anyone wants to clarify this in non-retarded terms be my guest :slight_smile:

“he sacrifices form sometimes to keep up with me. but he hasnt gotten as big as i have in the same amount of time, even though we do the same routine”

this could be due to nutrition/post workout nutrition. in fact, if all else is held constant this is a direct consequence of nutrition. when i’m home i lift with my neighbor and he laughs at the relatively low volume of my workouts, yet my size and strength have taken leaps and bounds compared to his; he only drinks a glass of milk after we’re done lifting

What type of training has worked best for each of you?

All else equal (nutrition, supplement, dietary timing), I’ve found heavy lifting (4-6 reps, 6-9 sets per bodypart, each bodypart once per week) with good form works best for putting on muscle or maintaining muscle while dieting. I suppose it’s all based on the overload principle.

I will admit, it was difficult for me to believe in a system that focuses such a low volume. However, I’m notcomplaining with the results.

Whatever, who knows. I’m just looking for what has worked for everyone else. I’ve tried everything.

i would also like to point out that infin|ty, you need to get strong first. For your height and training age, you are weak as piss. try westside for a while.
you will never be big if you are weak. (unless you are a samoan… hehehe )

I totally agree with Whetu you will never get big if you can’t move heavy weights. Get strong first as this is where you are lacking, then work on size or else it will take you forever to get big.