T Nation

Early Training Age Gains


Hey guys. I'm kind of in a predicament between whether I should concentrate on building up strength purely, and later use my strength to get bigger, or if I should just continue getting bigger and stronger, but not particularly concentrating on one or the other. I've been stuck in a rut for a while, and my rationale is that if I get significantly stronger, I can harness that towards bigger lifting for hypertrophy later down the road, but I'm worried I might sacrifice some gains...

I'm by no means a beginner, but nor am I advanced. Overall, I've added around 80 pounds to my frame since I started the iron game, but I would like at least another 40-50 (eventually).

Any input?


Ever try cycling between the two?

It's kinda hard to separate and categorize, IMO. Sometimes I gain 5-10 lbs in a few weeks without much increase in strength, then after sitting at that weight for 2 months my lifts jump up 10-20+ lbs in a week or two.

It also depends on what you're trying to accomplish? Any particular goals in mind down the road?

FWIW, if I had to choose I'd do a BB show before a PL meet but currently I'm doing more of a PL type routine to get stronger/denser and after a few 'cycles' I'll lower the intensity a little bit and do more BB style training. But again that is age/size/progress/goal specific.


strength ALWAYS leads to bigger muscles....I think anyways.


You're actually struggling to decide whether you should get bigger and stronger (which are your goals), or just struggle to get stronger because you aren't eating enough or doing enough to gain a significant amount of muscle...?

Hm tough decision dude.


I think if you've gained 80 pounds on your frame, you should have a pretty good idea of what to do...
This is like Shannon Sharpe complaining he carries "TOO much muscle"


Aim for a 4/5/6 bench/squat/deadlift. That's pretty strong and I think you'll like the mass accompanying the power.


I think that you need to understand that 80lbs is very much and that your records are impressive too. Don't change anything in your training 'philosophy' because IT'S WORKING, it's working STILL, I think that you don't need more proofs for that. Just do the same things and that's all.

Maybe U need rest, or smth. Or maybe U should try a big-winter-bulk;) it's always working when you don't know what to do... Your records will grow, mass too...


What he's saying is train for strength, eat for size. They shouldn't be separated (esp. if one is a natty)

BTW, that's 300andabove's avitar. You got me confused for a sec.


Why the hell have people separated strength and size like this? Unless large amounts of drugs are involved, not too many people are going to get significantly bigger without getting significantly stronger.

They go hand in hand. Anyone who doesn't understand or believe this will eventually hit a ceiling as far as "strength" if they never add any more muscle mass. You can only "learn" to do an exercise better to a point before more mass is needed to move more weight.

There is a reason the biggest people on this site are also some of the strongest in what they train for.



IMO its a lot harder to TRY to train for just one or the other. Eating big and training big compliment eachother pretty well. What I did that made it very simple was to just set a bodyweight goal and a deadline, and eat to reach that goal. Do this AND keep training to lift more and more weight.


The only action of posting here implies interest in both, so why even ask it? Focus on getting stronger, you'll get eventually bigger. Eat like a bodybuilder if you want to look like one.

You can add some fat, but not to the degree that your lying a bottle of tequila on your gut(obviously joking, cause alcohol is a no no). Do curls, tricep extensions and side raises, don't be bulshitted otherwise.

Come on man, we have X repping 5 plates a side and C_C pinwheel curling more than David Henry, and both are some beasts to talk about (no offense but compliment, the beast thing).


I'm not a little newbie its not like mass just stacks on me. The whole point of my post was that I feel that my plateau at my current development if probably partially due to not being strong enough. So, I asked if I should keep grinding on, struggling to make size gains, or stop and take a break on size so that down the road I can make better size gains with more strength. I'm not just in lifting for 12 weeks, I'm looking at the long haul.


Good point. I wasn't really aiming at separating the two, it's just, like I said, I'm hitting a rough patch lately. I know that it happens, but I figured that if I took a break to work on strength I could come back and take advantage of that by working a hypertrophy style training regimen. I'm not dropping calories or anything. I'm not saying that I'm going to STOP trying to gain mass while I work on strength, simply change my training approach.


True true, I'm definitely going to keep the food coming.

And by the way, I've had this avatar since a few months after I joined, so I'd say it's actually MY avatar :slightly_smiling:




If your regular bodybuilding training isn't getting you stronger then you aren't hitting a "plateau", you're just training incorrectly.