T Nation

Mass vs. Strength

A friend and I have been discussing this since the summer and now I’m turning to the experts, all of you. What yeilds the best overall strength and size gains: a mass building, hypertrophy program to increase muscluar cross-section first or a maximal strength program to increase muscular density first? Thanks in advance for the input.

Nothing is as cut and dry as you are proposing. No 2 workouts will work the same for 2 different individuals. A person who is lacking muscle hypertrophy compared to strength will benefit more from the hypertrophy program and the opposite holds true for the opposite individual. There is no ONE ideal program. I wish people would really start to understand this concept. Perhaps they wouldn’t waste their time searching for the “Holy Grail” and actually start seeing some results in the gym.

thats a good question…but like loopfit said it is so far from a cut and dry cookie cut program…i train for maximal strangth but if you really take a look at my log you will see every kind of training protocal known to man…I USE EVERY THING I CAN IN MY QUEST TO CREATE STRENGTH…for example…when i needed to bring the my upper back mass up to par i used charles poliquin’s 10x10 program doing 10 sets of 10 on various low intensity back movements 3-4x a week for nearly 6 months until my upper back was where it needed to be…where i need mass i look to those who are good at creating mass i look at the programs of ct, poliquin, c. waterbury (whos stuff i like a lot), and i take there stuff and find a place ot mix it in to my powerlifting training…its the same thing for maximal strength if you look at my program you would see it is primary westside with the speed and max effort work…but there are a lot of other stuff mixed in…my bench training is much much more close to a metal militia program than a pure westside program…and i also deadlift a lot more than westside does…because finding results are all about finding what works for you…so if you were to ask me wich is better at creating maximal strength i would say they all are you have to find a way to mix them all togehther…so if you were to ask me what program i use to train for maximal strength in the sport of powerlifting i would say…a little westside mixed with a little poliquin mixed with a little of ct’s work with some waterbury mixed in and a little shot of metal millitia for the bench and add some of coach davies gpp work to the mix and thats my program lol…TRY IT ALL…bm

loopfitt got it right. Thats like comparing a brunette to a redhead. You will never get a definitive answer, no matter what expert you ask.

It’s like Mary Ann or Ginger.

I like to tell people this. You will never see a guy who squats 800 benches 500 and deadlifts 700 be really small.


Normally mass is just a matter of eating. If you train for strength and eat, you gain mass.

Ya, but people that lift that much have crappy physiques. :stuck_out_tongue: (Pretend this is red!)

IMO, you should do both. You should spend some of your time developing strength and some using the more typical “hypertrophy” training. There are many ways to do this. You could strength train for part of the year, and hypertrain (how’s that for a term?) for part of the year. Anohter option is to change the rep ranges much more frequently, such as every other week or every week (like in HST.) Next you could work both types in one week on different days (like in ABBH or UD2). Finally you could work both rep ranges in the same day.

In the end you have to figure out what works best for you!

definately ginger

I wouldn’t touch Mary Anne with a ten foot pole!hahaha