T Nation

Strength or Muscle Gain? Or Combined?


Hey. I like your training theories a lot, and i'm thinking of trying the HP mass program. There is one thing that I don't get though. The program is based on 3-5 reps, but isn't that primarily for strenght gain and secondary for muscle volume? Maybe i've missed something important, or maybe it is my lacking english, but i will be very happy for any response.


Have you read "Really"? Read it in the live spill.

And no disrespect intended at all, but just give it a shot, and take advice from a world class coach. Would you have more faith in the program if it had to be paid for?

Additionally low reps/forceful contractions work the high threshold muscle fibres - those with the greatest potential for growth.

In regards to volume it can be used to help muscle growth but its not the basis of the program. So I wouldn't worry about the lack of high rep sets. Focus on doing the program as written (mostly 3-5 for pressing and fatigue for lats/bis), The program is geared towards maximum muscle and strength (which I bet is your goal).


Off topic but whos the chick in your avatar and whats she saying?


lady gaga i think, looks like shes just kissing her lips


It is Stefani Germanotta A.K.A. Lady Gaga, and I'm pretty sure she's just blowing a kiss...


I heard for a long time, about how doing reps explosively will help with size. so i started doing that last year. i even started doing the powerbands. i used the bands on benches, shoulder presses etc. heres what i found to be the case with me. it helped with my power, it helped me explode more weight up. But, it didn't improve my size at all. in fact, though i got stronger, i actually got a little smaller.

What works best in my opinion are slower more controlled reps. in the 8-12 range. now i don't mean slow motion training. not at all. just a constant no stopping but not trying to explode anything. concentrate more on the muscle, not on the weight. while i consider strength important, i consider size above all the most important. what good is being a buck 80 and being super strong. who cares how strong you are. lol. But for me, explosive training is great if you want a bigger bench and to develop more power, but if size is your goal, its not the best option.


I see your argument, my favourite advocate of higher reps and constant tension technique is Jim Cordova who talks about not locking out, constant tension etc. I like to try different techniques and methods and have experienced results with that protocol.

However the point I was making was to just give the program a shot. For some this is gold, I.e me. As a former swimmer/long distance runner higher reps/constant tension do very little for "performance" muscles. The changed stimulus in HP mass allows me to work on muscle fibres with greater potential to grow. Singles and reps of 5 and less keep me progressing.

Arnold S once said gaining 10lbs of muscle in a year is a great achievement. Muscle gain is hard and with little focus on raw strength it can be hard to measure progress. I've tried HP mass for 12 weeks gained around 5lbs of upper body muscle (a relatively accurate guess). My legs growing at uncontrollable rate, had to stop training them consistently, but I digress lol.

Anyways my argument for some this is the most productive way to train.


I agree, you need to just try it for six weeks then re-test your 3RM and see how you feel about your results. Just make sure your diet is in order so you can't blame any failure on the program. If you don't like it move on to something else.

I personally love it and it is gold for me to be honest. If it weren't for a couple non-related injuries my strength gain in just 3 phases (18 weeks) would've been extremely solid. My 15-year old is lifting with me now and getting ready for football season. I wasn't sure how he would respond to it as a young and new lifter. He had lifted before in gym and with friends but it was very high-rep stuff and not greatly structured. After his second phase he cleared 200lbs on the deadlift. Not a ton of weight but he's only 15 and out DL'ing many men in the gym and if my back doesn't heal soon that will include me too! LOL!!!


^ Many men in your gym can't deadlift 200 pounds???


Yeah but I bet they can cheat curl the 50's!

On a serious note 200lbs at 15 is pretty solid. I was on that at around 15. Recently hit just under (what ever 180kg is) at 19. Your kid could be hitting some pretty good numbers in a few years with access to a program like this.


well, if u do many sets of 3 to 5 reps, its also high volume and and u are doing high volume at a higher intensity (% of 1 rm) than if u were to do higher rep sets. To me thats a win win situation.


Not really following the entire HP mass program,I have been doing sets of 3 explosive reps ( on pressing movements only) but with little rest between sets. I really have to admit that I can't go by how I "feel I am ready" to start the next set so I am going by the clock. I workout at home so I don't have anyone watching me.
The fast paced sets of 3 still give me the same pump and feel that higher rep sets do while using heavier weight.