[quote]andy bumphren wrote:
I hate to say it, but if you’re planning on losing 10-15 lbs, chances are you’re going to lose strength. Strength is ultimately limited by muscle size. I think that if you stay in the same class, and try to improve body-composition slowly, while gaining strength, that might be a better plan.
You have two full seasons to (summer, fall) to train. This is more than enough time to put on a couple pounds of muscle and lose a bit of fat. This will also lead to much greater strength gains than if you were to lose weight.
At 6-8 reps you’re training in what is considered a “functional hypertrophy” range. Traditionally 3-5 reps (and lower) are used for training strength. This is just a general guideline, and doesn’t really apply for cleans and snatches. To get a good idea of rep ranges for those lifts try using Prilepin’s chart: http://www.angelfire.com/pe/txpls/prilephin.html
As far as exercise selection goes, you’re doing pretty well. I would probably drop leg press, as squatting is a lot more effective for strength gain. You might also want to add in pull-ups, or some kind of row, and perhaps some different pressing motions once in a while.
Try reading Dan John’s article about 5x5, this is a good rep scheme for strength.
Also, make sure your diet is good. Try reading John Berardi’s stuff. Assuming that you’re lifting and also running, jump roping, whatever, to keep in shape, you’ll need to be eating a lot. As far as body composition goes, diet will make or break you; if you didn’t need to make weight a “see food” diet would work best for strength.[/quote]
You’re certainly right about absolute strength being limited by lean mass, but since Rookie specifically asked about how to gain relative strength (absolute strength in relation to weight) I don’t really think that bringing up that point has much relevance.
Everyone has their ideal weight where they are strongest relative to their weight. Many many wrestlers and Mixed Martial Artists will try to enter as light a weight class as possible, as the general theory is that this will allow them to be as strong pound for pound as possible.
Also, we can’t necessarily say that losing 10-15 lbs is automatically going to cause him to lose strength. If he lost 10-15 lbs of muscle, then yes, his absolute strength would surely go down. But, if he lost 10-15 lbs of fat, then he may not experience any strength loss at all.
Realistically of course he would probably lose both fat and muscle, although if he did it slowly he should be able to lose more fat than muscle.
Definetely pay attention to what has been said concerning rep schemes. 6-8 reps is not ideal for developing maximal strength, which is what you should be focusing on.
I’d suggest you check out Poloquin’s articles, as many of them deal with maximal strength building routines. I’ve used his “1-6 principle” with good success myself.
Good luck and good training,