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Build Strength First or Bodybuilding Routine?

I’ve been spinning my wheels over the past few years and I want to finally get on the right track. about 2 years ago I started off at 187 pretty weak and got on starting strength and ate a lot. I got up to 228 heres how my lifts improved

  started    ended

bench 155 230
military 95 160
squat 185 325
deadlift 185 365

I got fat in the process so around april 2012 I went on the rapid fat loss diet and got down to 200 in a few short weeks. I played basketball in the summer got sick in the fall and started back up on starting strength in november on a cut so I ended up at 185 with a 6 pack.

I started bulking back up again in december and now I just benched 185, military pressed 120, squated 225, and deadlifted 315. My diet is really good and I’m consistent with what I eat a lot of cottage cheese, eggs, egg whites w cheese, oatmeal, chicken breast, veggies, fruit, protein shakes, sweet potatoes.

So right now I’m 6’4 200 pounds pretty lean. I do enjoy the rippetoes style training because I see gains in strength really fast but I want to really pack on some good size that will turn head.

Should I continue on the strength training route going from rippetoes / texas method/ 531 route in order to get my squat over 400, deadlift over 500 and bench over 300, or should I go on an upper lower split or a chest tri, back bi, legs abs type split ( I believe in hitting body parts 2 times a week so would do this 4 to 5 times a week so I hit everything ever 4 days or so)

I have this thing in my head where I think it’d be good to get super strong first then be able to add reps to that strength to put on the muscle rather than slowly adding strength at a higher rep range.

Why not attack both at the same time. Google WS4SB great program to add serious absolute strength, repititon strength, speed, conditioning and size. I know alot of people insist you can’t train for it all but I don’t see why you can’t and has been working for me pretty damn well the past few months.

[quote]Reed wrote:
Why not attack both at the same time[/quote]
Pretty much this, yeah. It’s not an either/or situation. A “bodybuilding” program that has one strength-based lift anchoring each training day isn’t that hard to find.

And really, based on what you said your strength was before bulking and is now, you kinda screwed up, didn’t build much strength in all that time, and lost a bunch of muscle along the way.

[quote]dapunisher1 wrote:
heres how my lifts improved

  started    ended

bench 155 230
military 95 160
squat 185 325
deadlift 185 365

I started bulking back up again in december and now I just

benched 185
military pressed 120
squated 225
deadlifted 315.[/quote]
So if I’m following this correctly, in a total of two years time, you’ve gained 30 pounds on your bench, 25 on militaries, 40 on squat, and 130 on deads. That’s not the best progress, man. And the worst part is that you asked for advice several times along the way, got tons of it, and it just didn’t seem to take.

In all your other threads, you never minded sharing pics. Any chance of putting up some shots of your current leaner, bigger state?

Do this:


Don’t overthink. Follow it to the letter, eat appropriately, and re-evaluate where you are after 90 days (48 workouts).

Heres a recent pic

another

after the cut

I have this thing in my head where I feel I really need to bench 300 squat 400 and deadlift 500 because I think it’d be impossible to be a skinny guy with those numbers. I’m confident that my deadlift and squat can easily get over 400 and 300 pounds in the next month or so on starting strength, and my bench could get over 225 very soon too since I’m regaining lost strength. I feel like I’ve wasted a lot of time just to end back at square one.

I know 5 3 1 is supposed to be a great program, but should I take linear progression as far as I can first, then get on a good upper lower split so that I can still do core lifts and some isolations on a higher rep range? I’m tired of being skinny but my stomach always gets huge on a big bulk so I dont want to make that mistake again, I’m trying to eat very clean and maybe only 300 -500 over maintenence.

Also I’m adding some curls tricep pushdowns and abs on fridays in a higher rep range to get some more hypertrophy off of starting strength. Any thoughts or suggestions on this. Thanks

I don’t think you’re as lean as you think you are. I’m the same height, weigh 20 lbs less and have 30-50 on all your lifts. And I’m 8-10%

That doesn’t mean keep cutting

[quote]dapunisher1 wrote:
I have this thing in my head where I feel I really need to bench 300 squat 400 and deadlift 500 because I think it’d be impossible to be a skinny guy with those numbers.[/quote]
Yes and no. It’s not uncommon for 150-180 pounds raw powerlifters to beat those numbers, but they’re still good goals to shoot for.

You have. I agree 100%. I took the liberty of throwing together a before/after comparison using a pic from your “11% Bodyfat with a Pot Belly” thread. As I said earlier, when you cut, you lost way too much strength and muscle.

You’d be much better off doing a program specifically designed for muscular size with a strength component, rather than trying to cobble one together yourself.

Ok I’m a little apprehensive about doing 5 3 1 because I really believe in the idea of training every body part 2 times a week at this point. I want to look back at the end of the year and finally feel like yeah I"m pretty big. I bought this program this ebook from a guy who seems really sound in his principles and he said for beginners we should be doing this, basically rippetoes with more reps and rotating squats and deadlifts.

3x 8-10 squats
3x 8-10 bench
3 x 8-10 rows
1 x 10-12 tricep pushdowns
1-2 x 10-12 calf raises

deadlifts 3 x 8 - 10
pull ups 3 x 8 - 10
shoulder press 3 x 8 - 10
barbell curls 1 x 10-12
abs 2 sets 10- 12

Then after a few months we should go on an upper lower split like this

Upper A
bench press 3 x 6-8
rows 3 x 6-8
incline dumbell press 3x 8-10
lat pull down 3 x 8-10
lateral raises 2 x 10-12
tricep pushdowns 2 x 10-12
dumbell curls 2x 10-12

Lower A
Deadlifts 3 x 6-8
leg press 3 x 10-12
seated curls 3 x 8-10
standing calf raises 4 x 6-8
abs 3 x 9 - 15

Upper B
Pull ups 3 x 6-8
Barbell shoulder press 3 x 6-8
seated cable row 3 x 8-10
dumbbell bench press 3 x 8-10
incline flyes 2 x 10-12
barbell curls 2 x 10-12
Skull crushers 2 x 10-12

Lower B

Squats 3 x 6-8
Split Squats 3 x 8-10
Laying leg curls 3 x 10-12
seated calf raises 4 x 10-12
abs 3 x 8-15

His more advanced program is a chest shoulders tri, back bi, legs abs where you rotate them and doing each workout every 4-5 days.

What are your feelings about going on a program like this after I’m done with linear progression? Would this be a good hypertrophy program to get on?

[quote]dapunisher1 wrote:
Ok I’m a little apprehensive about doing 5 3 1 because I really believe in the idea of training every body part 2 times a week at this point.[/quote]
Because that’s worked out so well for you so far?!?

[quote]I bought this program this ebook from a guy who seems really sound in his principles and he said for beginners we should be doing this, basically rippetoes with more reps and rotating squats and deadlifts.

3x 8-10 squats
3x 8-10 bench
3 x 8-10 rows
1 x 10-12 tricep pushdowns
1-2 x 10-12 calf raises

deadlifts 3 x 8 - 10
pull ups 3 x 8 - 10
shoulder press 3 x 8 - 10
barbell curls 1 x 10-12
abs 2 sets 10- 12[/quote]
If that routine is “basically rippetoes with more reps and rotating squats and deadlifts”, then I’m basically a woman with more bodyhair and rotating Testosterone and estrogen.

If anything, I’d go for the upper/lower split as wrote, starting ASAP.

I posted this in another thread recently, but it’s worth repeating.

Here’s my simple, effective, step by step process for picking a new training protocol:

  1. Figure out which one piques my curiosity the most.

  2. Grab my nuts.

  3. Do it.

Don’t overthink this and don’t look back. Be a man of action.

[quote]dapunisher1 wrote:
Ok I’m a little apprehensive about doing 5 3 1 because I really believe in the idea of training every body part 2 times a week at this point. [/quote]

Chris is pretty much on the mark, but if you flip through Wendler’s book you’ll find a 5/3/1 full body training program, plus a 5/3/1 for beginners program that’s also a full body program.

I see that my biggest problem is lack of volume and a low rep range, I still look skinny but my strength is sky rocketing. I’ve been adding 10 pounds to deads and squats every workout so now my deadlift is at 335 and squat is 255. Squat still feels easy so I think I can get back up to over 300 before slowing down to 5 pound increases.

I read the whole 5 3 1 book and it does sound pretty good for later on but adding 5 pounds a month to my lifts seems way too low at this point because I think I will be squatting 350 pretty soon and deadlifting 400. Ive also benched 195 and its easy and 125 military which is pretty easy.

Would it make sense to wait until I’m a little stronger then start adding reps and sets to focus on muscle building. I have to admit I still feel skinny as hell yet I deadlift and squat more than damn near all the big guys I see in the gym.

[quote]dapunisher1 wrote:
I see that my biggest problem is lack of volume and a low rep range, I still look skinny but my strength is sky rocketing. I’ve been adding 10 pounds to deads and squats every workout so now my deadlift is at 335 and squat is 255. Squat still feels easy so I think I can get back up to over 300 before slowing down to 5 pound increases.

I read the whole 5 3 1 book and it does sound pretty good for later on but adding 5 pounds a month to my lifts seems way too low at this point because I think I will be squatting 350 pretty soon and deadlifting 400. Ive also benched 195 and its easy and 125 military which is pretty easy.[/quote]
Dude, your goals are your own thing. If you want to keep building strength, then make that decision, but if you want to make muscle building the priority, do that. Bouncing back and forth or saying one thing and doing another will only slow you down even more. As I said though, it doesn’t have to be an either/or situation. A smart, well-designed program will address both.

No, it would absolutely make no sense to wait even longer to start building size. Again, you lost a lot of ground when you cut.

I trained at a Planet Fitness for a little while. It was pretty cool because the heaviest dumbbells they had were 60s and when I repped them for most exercises, and saw that no one else could, I was the big man on campus. Pretty quickly though, it got old and kinda sad when it sunk in that I was “the best” in a room full of average.

What I’m saying is, the sooner you can get to a gym with better members, the better. The overwhelming majority of well-built people will tell you the same thing. Train around people who are better than you or are where you want to be.

But here’s some food for thought… is it more important that you’re lifting more than those guys in your gym or that they’re still the biggest guys there?