T Nation

Minimum Strength for Bodybuilding?


Very simply, is there a level below which strength should be targeted over size? I know there are sometimes targets as multiples of bodyweight, but do you feel there are specific absolute levels as a bare minimum you should acheive before looking for size training?

e.g. are all trainees wasting their time training chest if they cant yet bench 225 as an absolute figure?

or, should trainees simply keep training in the 6-10 range, looking to always progress, regardless of their 1RM?

Just interested in opinions...


You're over complicating this.

Lift to get bigger and stronger.

It doesn't matter whether you're performing 3 reps or 10 reps.

If you're posting in this forum, you should probably be following an established program anyway.


Some people start off weaker than others and some others start off strong, if you are progressing on a bodybuilding split whether getting bigger and/or stronger than you are doing it right.


If someone cant bench press 225lbs for whatever amount of reps how would TRAINING THEIR CHEST be a waste of time? Im assuming this was just an awkwardly worded thought.

Size and strength are directly related. No beginner should be training for either exclusively.


yes it was awkwardly worded! didnt notice that... what im trying to get at is if someones doing higher reps for say chest size, if they cant do a minimum weight, would they be better focusing on lower rep strength gains first?


No. You focus on a variety of rep ranges all of the time. 2 months at a time is decent break down as long as your in gym 4-5 times a week. 6-10 reps. If you start out with your final work set at 225 for 5 and then a month later get it up to 225 for 10 solid reps youre on your way to improvements. At that point you add some weight to bar and start over. Thats all people are talking about when they talk about progression.

Pick 1 or two main lifts per muscle group and track the strength gains in that lift closely. Always write it down so you know what youre aiming for. Then do whatever other lifts but be less mindful of getting stronger and more mindful of stimulating the muscle, of course you should push the weight increases here too, its just not the priority.

You arent forced to do every lift in the same rep range either. I rarely change the exercises I do but I changing the rep range for particular exercises pretty often.


You'll get stronger whether you work in a 3 rep range or a 10 rep range. People forget this... It's simply a matter of which rep range is going to work better for you. Can you handle the 3 rep loads? Will your CNS fry after training like that for a little while? Or with 8-10 reps, will your muscular system not recover quickly enough?


Thanks for the replies. Im glad you said this ^^^ as thats pretty much what i do, stick to 2-3 exercises per muscle group and vary form 4-6,6-8 and 8-12 for periods. 5 days a week is paying off well from just 3 before.

Just wanted to check i wasnt spinning my wheels here thats all!


There is no minimum strength requirement.

And don't make things so bloody complicated... Read the "Professor X: a request" thread in the BB forum perhaps... Or some of the other threads referenced in the stickies.

Gain weight and make sure you get stronger on key exercises for every major muscle group at a good pace... If your curls aren't going up or your bent laterals, well, figure out a way to make them go up (train them more often, use different technique i.e. dead stop bent laterals off a bench or box, etc, different rep range etc).


Sorry i'll try and behave... :slight_smile: Sometimes theres TOO much to read and you cant decide whats best

Still sticking with the bricknyce / profx 5 days a week approach. The biggest thing i know i need to do more of is eat consistently and well

thanks again for the replies


Good luck.