T Nation

How to get big and strong?

I want to get big and strong, but i still want to have a lil bit of a bodybuilder look. Not necissarily ripped all over. But just some definition. Would the westside power lifting method be the way to go?

Derek, “big” and “strong” are two different goals. They’re synergistic and even complementary, but nonetheless require different approaches.



Hypertrophy, your sets are going to be run in the 8- to 12-rep range.



Strength, your sets are going to run in the less-than-6-rep range.



If you want both, alternate between a good hypertrophy program and a good strength program. I’d recommend that you search the articles and the forum, both.

I recommend the ‘Advanced’ program from Arnold’s Encyclopedia.

So are youing it’s impossible to get strong and big at the same time?

The FAQ is on the main page, Derek. The basic idea is this: To get bigger, you eat like a bear and don’t do cardio. Then you want to get ripped, so you diet and incorporate some cardio. Again, the link to the FAQ is on the main page. Read it before you ask any more questions.

Follow a periodized plan. Whether it by a typical linear/powerlifting periodization, where you start at low volume and high intensity and progressively increase the intensity while decreasing the volume. OR a Poliquin, King Periodized plan. Or a conjugated periodization as advocated by westside. All in my mind will help develop both stength and size. The reason for the first two (linear periodization and poliquin/king type periodization) is that they will include both hypertrophy and strength phases. The conjugated periodization as used by westside I believe will allow you to train for strength and size simultaneously as it uses both higher rep sets and higher intensity sets and high speed sets. How you control each training factor will determine which motor ability is going to improve the most. Its the most fun however to try everything and make the programs up for yourself. You can incoporate bits and pieces from everywhere if you like. With time you will eventually be able to write you own programs that are ATLEAST as good as any cookie cutter program because it will be specific to you.

Hmmmn, most of my focus is on getting strong, not big. I’ve found the getting big to be easy. The trick to being strong is to make a brtually strong core and to making a brutally strong grip. Actually, it’s much smarter (I’m hoping) to get stronger first, because hypertrophy is easier if you’re strong.

The problem with getting strong is that it’s 60% mental energy, 35% education (or you’ll fuck yourself over) and 5% gym work. You gotta want it.

You speak truths, my friend.

Definitely more than 5% gym work, but I catch your drift. My advice, eat clean and eat big to get big. To get strong Westside methods are top notch. But what do you want to be strong in? Squat? Bench? Deadlift? This is what Westside trains for so some more info about you would be helpful.

Pick up ‘Modern Trends in Strength Training’ by Charles Poliquin or ‘Get Buffed’ by Ian king. That will help you a lot.

Diet is a VERY significant factor is hypertrophy too. I would definetly recomend more reading on ALL types of periodization.

eat alot of clean food!!! lift heavy!! dino training!

Well, I COULD say that it’s 65% mental desire, 35% education, and 20% gym work, but then I look like a meathead :stuck_out_tongue:

I agree with the concept of “eating big to get big” but you’ve gotta be careful on that route. If you’re not constantly stressing your body then the weight you put on will not be a useful weight. You also want to be very careful to maintain/improve your cardiovascular ability. I’ll tell you, it’s much easier to put on muscle size by limiting GPP/cardio work but once cardio is gone, you’re useless. I don’t care if you can bench 405, if you can’t carry your girlfriend up the stairs (for lack of wind) you’re wasting your time. So, don’t avoid cardio training. You can still get strong with it in your routine.

Actually, with Westside’s focus on concentric only movements, it might not be the best way to get and look a “good” type of big. No dissing these monsters, but I’ve not seen a photo of any that have a body-type that’s a “good” type. Most of them look like big fatties. Clearly, they could eat my for breakfast, but that’s not the point.

Actually, I’m going to stop rambling and remember that someone else asked “what type of strength do you want?”

All good points. However, I feel their diet is more the cause for how they look than their training. Genetics play a part too of course. I for one will never look like a monster.