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Strength Before Size? Why?


Based on my observation, a lot here recommend training for strength first before size, regardless of the fact that the main goal is to increase size.

Asked for the reason why strength is necessary, some will answer that one needs to be familiar first with the compound movements by doing strength training before training for size. If for example, one already knows how to do the compound exercises (with proper form), would you still recommend strength training?

Wouldn't it be easier to achieve your goal for size faster if from the beginning, you already train for size?

I am currently doing rippetoe's program as recommended by most forumers here (My main goal is size). The reason why I am asking this is that, while I am doing the rippetoe's as best as I can, i think i still need to convince myself why I should continue using it.


To gain size you need poundage.

To get poundage you need strength.

To get strength you need to follow a strength program.


Rippetoes is not recommended by 'most forumers here,' especially if your main goal is size. Follow a program that has you using exercises that work ALL muscle groups, and progress on them, while eating enough to gain.


They are NOT mutually fucking exclusive. I hate the internet.

I'm not saying it is your problem OP, but you are the perfect example of jerks selling fucking books that are twisting up the masses.

Get stronger on every lift you do in all rep ranges* and eat for your goals, and you'll get where you want to go.

  • = I'm not saying to do singles of lateral raises and moronic things like that, but you still need to get stronger on them...


These 3 times a week full body routines are a fine starting point, so don't worry. Milk it for all it's worth and get your squat, bench and deadlift up.

As time goes by and you learn more you will want to add a few things as accessory work, and that's fine, just don't go overboard. You'll want lateral and rear raises for shoulders, barbell curls and dips for arms. Take a look at Madcow 5x5 for guidelines on accessory work.

Training for size means getting strong, you can't have one without the other.


isn't it that hypertrophy programs also include the compound exercises. With hypertrophy programs, you will also gain strength. right? why is there a need to follor a strength program when you can gain both strength and size in a hypertrophy program?


Dude, you seem to "get it". Stop ignoring your instincts and try it.

Part of this whole lifting thing is learning your own body and your own way around things.


It's a circle.

Read the other post. You will understand.


the biggest bodybuilder's are strong as fuck. deduce from that what you will


You asked the same question in April:

As a beginner if you haven't put on 5-10 pounds since April you need to eat way more. If you have put on weight and a lot of it is fat you need to up your intensity in the gym.

Also this line doesn't scream intensity either:

As best I can? What does that mean? No bar? No bench? Physical disability?


Just found another of your posts with your stats:

height: 5' 7.5" (I'm asian dude!)
Weight: 157 lbs

and with 5-6 reps max, here it is.. don't laugh
Squat - 95 lbs
bench - 80 lbs
deadlift - 80 lbs
press - 55 lbs (i think)
and rows - 60 lbs

And you say you've had a month off. Because you think you earned it?

You need to get serious; serious with the eating, serious in the gym and serious with the commitment.


I can't even imagine anyone deadlifting with less than a plate on each side.

anyways, with lifts like that... just go in there and lift heavy. Worry about strength vs. mass later, when it will actually MATTER for you.


well i'm a girl, train for olympic lifting (technique) rather than strength but on the strength lifts...

i'm stronger than you.

and i'm weak for a chick.

and you weigh (just a little bit) more than me.

and i've got a beat up body from injuries.

seriously dude... you need to eat and get stronger.

for reals.


"Size" is built by making a muscle stronger in the presence of enough nutrients for your body to adapt to repeated fight-or-flight, grow or die type stress to that area of the body. It is really that simple.

If you want stronger deltoids, then you keep adding weight and repetitions to the exercises that use them the best so that your body realizes "if we don't fortify this thing, it's going to break." If you want them to grow, you do this over and over again while eating enough protein and calories so that your body can fortify them even more.

Bigger=stronger. To truly only "focus on strength" before "size" would simply mean you train to get stronger while eating to maintain your body's current weight... which is a fucking stupid idea.


<--- still doesn't understand why Ripptoe's program is recommended 2,000x/day on a bodybuilding website.



because Ripptoe's program has been shown (over and over) to be really effective at packing some size on skinny kids.



You are, without question, completely missing the point of his post.


OP, you're overthinking things. If you're asking yourself IF you should stick with Rip's program you have two choices : be patient and see if it works out, or, do something else.

Here's an idea : undulatinq periodization. High intensity for a while (say, 8 weeks), followed by higher volume/lower intensity for another 8 weeks or so.

And listen to everybody here : you HAVE to get stronger to get bigger. And eat accordingly.

Plug : check out Eric Cressey's Maximum Strength and Show and Go programs. Best of both worlds. And eat.


I don't know that I am...

It works. What more reason do you need than that?

It (of course) isn't the ONLY thing that works.

If you would prefer to do a bodypart split program (that also works) then why not head on over to the bodybuilding forum and pick a program out of the 'do this routine instead of that dumb one' thread.


Wouldn't it be easier to achieve your goal for size faster if from the beginning, you already train for size?

I think the idea is: not really, no.

When you are a beginner almost anything represents an adaptive stimulus. As a beginner I've gained muscle mass doing olympic lifts in the 1-3 rep range, for instance. I've also gained muscular endurance doing olympic lifting (e.g., I got better at static yoga holds without specifically training them).

Basically... I sucked real bad at most things (hypertrophy, power, strength, muscular endurance) and doing something (in my case olympic lifting) resulted in gains across all of those (and no doubt more besides).

Would I have gained muscle mass faster if I'd have done a bodybuilding program? I'm not sure that I would have...

After some time the body adapts to the stimulus and then you need to pick more specific goals. You start to notice that making gains on one of those goals sometimes results in regression on other things. E.g., snatching more (doing what is required for that) might well result in loss of strength on the powerlifts. It is at this point that one might choose to focus on hypertrophy at the expense of strength or vice versa.

The OP is really very weak... Weak where it really seems to me that he should pick a decent bloody program and work his ass off and eat properly. I don't think it would make a difference whether he picks a decent bodypart split program or a decent strength program (e.g., starting strength).

That is my take anyway. But I could be wrong.