T Nation

Strength not Size

First off, just let me say that this site and the poster on it have really helped me achieve my goals over the past couple of years. Heres my latest question. After a knee surgery (injured it wrestling) I spent the entire summer eating anything i could get my hands on and lifting heavy, as you can imagine i put on alot of weight, some of it good, some not so good! I got up to about 230, then spent 8 weeks doing GPP and meltdown and got into the best shape of my life complete with washboard abs. Im just about to complete a 6 weeks cycle of big eating and heavy lifting and i plan on doing another cycle of meltdown. My question to you guys is what type of program would be best to increase my strengh but not to put any more weight on? I’m dropping down a weight class and the last thing i want to do is put more weight on. Also , im going to be practing (read as live wrestling) twice a day and doing all my weight-training in the morning before classes, so needless to say im going to be buring alot of calories, will this hinder my strength gains at all?

I would think a 5x5 protocol would work great for adding strength without size… but that also depends on how easily you put on muscle. As for lifting in the a.m., you should make sure you eat something beforehand or your strength will suffer.

This is a good question. I just have two more for you.

How long do you have before you need to be down a weight-class?

Can you get down to your desired weight-class without losing (theoretically) lbm? Do you have enough extra fat that you could just lose it?

Gaining or keeping the strength (and those are different goals!) would depend on how much weight you have to diet off.

Thanks for the response fellas, and to answer you question, I’m red-shirting this season which means that I’m just going to practice, no competions outside of smaller tournament where i would wrestle without representing my school, but those arent for another 3 or 4 months. As far as bodyfat goes, right now i weight about 215, but when im in wrestling shape im at about 205. My goal is to get my weight down to about 195 pounds (i can drop the rest of the weight before weighins) hopefully lower. And in case you were curious, im dropping down to 184 pounds after spending all last season getting schooled by guys that were just bigger then me at 197.

Hey, Charlie. My understanding is that any of the 5x5 programs will help you build strength. Do a search on Ripped, Rugged and Dense by Joel Marion for starters, but there are plenty of other strength programs as well. As far as increasing strength without putting on weight, you may just have to break down and start keeping a food log. It’s the only way to control your food intake (and weight) and make sure you’re getting enough protein and carbs. And please don’t forget your good fats. High-dose fish oil does help with endurance, soreness, cardiovascular health, etc. Do a search for “The Missing Ingredient.” That’s the article on how to keep a food log. Good luck to ya!

Pavel T’s Power to the People workout. You’ll put on crazy strength (a lot quicker than you would with a bodybuilding type strength program, etc.), but you wont put on any size; at all. The workouts are short and only few are difficult. I recommend picking up the book at Dragondoor.com, but I’m willing to share more info if you are interested.

I can help with this (it’s kinda what I had to do), I’m sure. But, I’ve got to go out now. Basically, you have to eat for a lower weight (but not your target weight). Then you have to physically over-train (but not mentally over-train). Then you have to build your static strength. And practice, practice, practice.