T Nation

Getting strong w/o getting big


#1

I've heard you can get much stronger without getting alot bigger. What's the best way to do this? I think i've concentrated too much on the vice versa of this.


#2

Basically, you're going to lift heavy weights (upward of 70% of your one rep max). Pavel Tsat-something (see interview in last friday's issue) specializes in adding strength with very little muscle gain. If that's what you're looking for I suggest you check out his Power to the People book.


#3

Lower the reps and raise the weights. Your "working sets" need to consist of no more than three-four reps. Weights need to be 80-90% of 1RM. You will get strong following this protocol.


#4

Time under tension- 20 sec. or LESS per set.No less than 3 min. rest between sets.Lift the HEAVY pig iron. For endurance strength- 300 push-ups,300 bodyweight squats--more than 2 min. tut. Combat training article will help. Good Luck


#5

to get stronger with out getting bigger you are aiming to increase your neural efficiency in recruiting motor units and decreasing protective mechanisms of the muscle.
There are two methods i know of which aim to accomplish this. One is lifting heavy (80 % of your 1 rep max or greater) for sets of 4-5 if you are a begining lifter or 2-3 if you are a bit more advanced. The key here is to take long rest intervals between sets, along the lines of 5 minutes. You can pair antagonists together like poliquin was so fond of to make you workouts more productive.
The second protocol i know of to do this is louie simmons idea of taking a relatively light weight (60% of your 1 rep max) and maximally accelating the weight throughout the entire reptition, for a low number of reps, say 6-8 (not failure). He used short rest periods here, along the lines of 1 minute if i recall, but i think resting longer periods would assist in strength development without significant muscle mass development.


#6

comments on what nothingx said. Actually WSB uses 2 reps on squats, 3 on bench, for dynamic (ballistic training). Also maximal effort method (especially for "regular excercises" read non- olympic lifts, in practice OLs get complicated because of other factors) is above 90% not 80%, 80% is used on the submaximal/ repititive method. WSB methods sure as hell work, they got a lady at what 123 lbs benching over 300lbs, and several women squating/deadlifting over 500.


#7

Bri,
Check out Dave Tates articles here and at elite fitness dot- to learn about getting stronger without getting too much bigger.


#8

You should train to get stronger whether you are focusing on strength or size. For the natural trainer, the two go hand in hand. If you want to keep your size down simply restrict your calories enough.


#9

Big weights and low reps would be the standard answer. Add some plyometric (dynamic) training in there as well. Don't be afraid to train your core dynamically using medicine balls, heavy bag drills, and jumping drills of all kinds. Olympic movements like the snatch also work well, as do straight hang cleans.