T Nation

Mass inhibiting strength gain

How strong can a person get before they have to gain more mass? I would love to gain more mass, but right now i dont have enough time or money to eat enough food to gain mass. I do good to make it to the gym 3 days a week. I mean i dont really think i’m that strong but i seem to be stronger than alot of guys in my university gym. I maxed out at 145 for 5 reps on incline bench today and there is ALOT of guys that probably have 20 to 30 lbs on me that can barely do that much. I weighed in today at 137 lbs by the way. I haven’t gotten back to deadlifting and squatting heavy yet cause of a lower back injury in june that i still worry about. But i did 4 set of 6 on romanian deadlift at 135 which isn’t that much, but i’ve maxed out on the deadlift at 265, confident that i can do much more when i get back into the groove. But the reason i dont have the time is because of class, and i’m pledging a fraternity which takes up TONS of time, you wouldn’t even believe. But i know i have to get my priorities straight if i want to get bigger and stronger, but right now my priorities are 1. school, 2. Frat, 3. training. So how strong can someone really get without having to gain more muscle mass to get stronger.


I don’t want to appear “preachy”, as I believe that everyone should live their life as they see fit. However, If I were you I would never put a Fraternity over gaining strength and size.

You are at a great age right now where you are able to pack on the muscle. and you have no family or job commitments, like some do on this board.

Take the long view and ask yourself this: Five years from now will I be better off if I committed my time to this Fraternity or to improving my body?

Serious question: what benefits do you get from joining a fraternity?
I’m not even sure if we have any in Que, Canada and was wondering what you get out of putting soo much time into one.

Sorry, it depends on the individual.
If I read that you were 137, I’d bet you’re way below the optimum weight for strength at your height. I may be wrong, if you’re very short.

You can get big & strong with those 3 items as your priorities…

Depending on the line of work you’re going to go in, school actually frees up more time than a convential career.

I am in a fraternity. There are many benefits to being in one. The leadership skills, experience running an organization, contacts you get are all involved in being in a fraternity. At the same time, I didnt let anything get in the way of lifting when i rushed. Another thing about fraternities. Many people think that all fraternities do is the stuff you hear about on tv. They think its all drinking, partying, and girls. Its not really like that. You do philanthropy, fundraisers, community service. You also learn to be a leader and how to run an organization. The last but definitely not least is the contacts you make. It can open up many doors for you once you get out of school.


I wasn’t in a fraternity and I had just as much leadership and contacts as many of my fraternity friends did. Plus, it was free. I’m not knocking fraternities, but I’m just saying you can do all of that stuff without paying.

Now I know.

My freshman year in college I joined a fraternity, partied, kept my grades up, was involved in various campus organizations, and although I may not have put in the amount of effort that I do now, I still trained hard in the gym and ate well. Suck it up.

I agree, joining a Fraternity can be a real positive experience, and the friendships made can last a life time.

My first post was to simply point out that if you are going to prioritize your life then you ought to place strength building higher on the list. In my opinion. All of binfords goals are very worthy!

If you notice, in Goldbergs post, while he joined a Fraternity, and enjoyed all of the benefits. He also states, “I did’nt let anything get in the way of lifting”.

Now that I can respect!

I’m with Goldberg that being in a fraternity is much more about partying, girls and all that. I’m only half way through my first semester but i’ve already learned alot. Training may be some peoples lives, and i respect that opinion. But my main priority is about improving my future other than improving my numbers in the weight room or on the scale. And i think being in a fraternity will help me do that, just my opinion.
Bangs: I’m only 5’8 and 137 to 140 lbs usually. So i dunno if incline benching 145 for 5 reps is good, personally i dont think its that great, but i’d say i’m definately below optimum or average weight for my height. Even when i do have time, i just can’t seem to eat enough food to gain weight. I know i may be a pussy, but if i eat 3000 cal a day i wont gain weight, and i gradually got up to 4,000 and started gaining, but i just felt like shit all the time because i had to eat so much and i couldn’t keep it up. And right now i have a dining hall plan, but from the time i get up till the time i go to bed i have to fit in school, tons of frat stuff, and every spare moment i have i have to study, other than the hour i spend in the weight room. I usually fit in 4 meals a day, not sure how many calories i eat a day at this moment but i eat as much as i can at each meal. But right now i’d just like to know if i can keep getting stronger at my height and weight without gaining mass, because i dont have the time or money to eat that much right now. Thanks guys. Didn’t mean to spark controversy on the fraternity thing.

And by the way i still definately train hard and i eat well, but pretty much eat whatever i want since i wont gain an ounce. But here was my workout from today. Its kinda a mix of Westside and superbeast.

Incline bench- worked up to 5RM of 145
bench press- 5x2, 115lbs, 10-0-X accentuated eccentrics
seated row- 2/1 technique- 3x10-80lbs
tricep pushdown- 80lbs, 2/1 - 3x10
hammer lat pulls- 2x25, 70 lbs
lat raise- 2x25, 10 lbs

I wouldn’t go to much by the poundages on the machines or cable exercises as the machines are all different. But my next upper body workout will probably look like this.

Isometric bench- 3 pos, 2x6sec each pos
dynamic bench- 8x3, 45%1RM
pullup- 5x2, BW, 10-0-X
cg bench/lying ext- 3x5,(haven’t tried this one yet, not sure of the weight)
seated row- 2x25
lat raise- 2x25

I always throw in some rotator cuff work and this workout will probably be done on friday. I have 4 workout days, 2 upper 2 lower, and i rotate them on mon, wed, and fri. Because time restraints. So i do still train hard, and getting stronger is still one of my main priorities. So i’m not neglecting it at all. But i figure if i can keep getting stronger for now, mass will come easier when u can move heavy weights.

I think you can most definitely get stronger without putting on weight. I’ve been in your shoes before and it’s a bit tricky for an ectomorph with a fast metabolism to gain strength as well…or I should say…ectomorphs not only have trouble gaining size but I also believe special considerations should be given in their pursuit of strength. One thing probbly responsible for the fast metabolism to begin with is overactivity of the sympathetic nervous system. For that reason, training load and intensity really has to be managed otherwise you burn out really quickly. I wouldn’t ever train to failure. I think an ideal way to get stronger for an ecotomorph is to utilize isometric or partial range training for strength, just to get the body used to the feel of dealing with heavier weights, followed by heavy full range reps/sets in which bar speed is fairly high and the set is terminated well short of failure.

fraternities increase your chances of getting tang. if i were you i would make tang my first priority. once your out of college those opportunites arent going to be nearly as abundant.

Man now I know what I want to do with my life, spend my time getting as much pussy as possible from as many sources as possible while I still can.

I have freinds who are in frats and yes they are all diffirent there are some frats who I love I was never in one because I was a athlete in college, but my problem ith frats is that they threaten easy, when I was in colege me and teamates would go to frat parties and we would be being nice hanging out trying to get some pussy and bang next thing I would know some one want to fight and it would never just be one frat guy it was the whole frat vs 4 guys and it was all because we were athletes and they had to porve they ere a good as athletes, it always happend always thats why I am very care full when my freinds say wre going to a frat party tonight im always like meet you at the bar dudes…Big Martin

Kelly: I will be utilizing partial range movements like pin presses and floor presses and i will also be utilizing isometrics and speed work. So i think i’ve got the training down to gain strength as long as i hit the gym and get plenty of rest. And your right about burning out quick, i’ve been there. I’m ectomorph all the way. But what do u think of my routine that i put up there Kelly? As i value your opinion very much.

Your routine sounds good. Keep the forum filled in on how it works for you.

I think this program is going to do wonders for my strength and i will keep everybody filled in.