What does your training routine currently look like?[/quote]
I go to the gym three times a week and cycle through these four workouts:
Front Squat 5x5
Single Arm DB Row 5x5
Single Arm Incline DB Bench 5x5
Lateral Raise 3x10
EZ Bar Curl 3x10
Military Press 5x5
T-bar Row 5x5
Single Leg RDL 5x5
Single Leg Leg Curl 3x10
Wrist Propinator/Supinator 3x10
Bench Press 5x5
Weight Pull Up 5x5
Pistol Squat 5x5
Single Leg Leg Extension 3x10
Rear Delt Raise 3x10
Sumo Deadlift 5x5
Bentover Row 5x5
Single Arm DB Shoulder Press 5x5
Tricep Rope Pulldown 3x10
Seated Calve Raise 3x10
Also, why are you training for “relative” strength? Do you compete in a sport/activity where weight is a factor (gymnastics, wrestling, etc…)? Are you also training with low reps and high intensity (% of 1RM)? Are you eating enough? Do you perform any exercises for your rotator cuff?[/quote]
I don’t participate in any sports that require relative strength. It’s just something I’ve always been more interested in. I would rather be the 175 lb guy that can deadlift 500 than the 230 lb guy that deadlifts the same. Those are just arbitrary numbers by the way.
You may need to except the fact that you will have to build muscle if you wish to continue getting stronger. Really very few (if any) people get tremendously strong (even relatively) while limiting themselves in terms of building muscle.
Even of the athletes that I mentioned above (gymnasts for example), the ones that get extremely strong relatively have the genetic potential to get that strong. They are also usually quite small individuals, and have optimum lever lengths, muscle belly lengths, hormonal levels, etc…, which allow them to reach those levels of strength. These are the genetic elite, not the average.
My advice to you is to really think about why you want to avoid building muscle mass. If it’s for aesthetic reasons, then fine. But realize that you may have to sacrifice being really strong due to your aesthetic preferences.
Some might disagree. But that’s been my experience.
I’m not afraid of gaining muscle (I need to badly actually), and I have no problem with getting big. I just want to be strong for my size. Yeah I know I don’t really have the genetics for this, but I’d prefer to try.
Are you doing flat bench barbell?
My personal preference would be to do weighted dips over decline bench.
I would post your routine like another asked for. It appaers you may not be doing an optimal routine. Just a suggestion. [/quote]
Okay I’ll take your advice and do weighted dips.