Strength/Size Blocks

My goals are greater size/strength as I sit at 140 at 5’9, 23yo. Training for about 1.5 years now and have come up from 120ish. Weight gain obviously not great and has fluctuated but have been gaining .5-.75 lb/week now for 7 weeks averaging 3200 calories/day. I’m confident I can continue this now I have a figure to shoot for.

Strength wise I have: Squat 245 Bench 185 Dead 275 and Press 110.

Did SS for a good while before doing my own thing with full body routines, mostly altering Waterbury programs and not completing any start to finish. Little progress the last 4-5 months which is no surprise.

I’m considering alternating strength and hypertrophy routines rather than following a long term program like 531 as I think It would help maintain my focus on one goal at a time for a shorter but more intense block. I’ve been doing 531 the last 8 weeks and find it a bit dull and motivation is dropping.

I’d like to know what you guys suggest as a decent time frame to follow each block for.

Is 4-6 weeks of Strength followed by 4-6 of Hypertrophy repeated too short a period to see continual gains and carryover long term? Would strength gains drop too much in the hypertrophy period to be worthwhile when you return to a strength block? I understand there would likely be some dropoff but I don’t have the experience or knowledge to determine for myself how significant it would be. Would a longer period like 8-12 weeks per block be better all individual differences aside?

I feel I would be more successful in this format eg 10x3 for 6 weeks then maybe a template from KingBeefs thread for 6 weeks then a 5x5 or something again and so forth.

Goals are to gain .5 lb/week minimum and hit a 2xBW Squat 1.5xBW Bench 2-2.5xBW Dead at whatever weight I may be at the end of 2014.

I started lifting at almost your exact stats. If I could do it all over again to save time I would have stuck with just getting stronger and not worried about ANYTHING ELSE and would have done 5x5 and Madcow sooner and longer. I wasted so much time messing around with hypertrophy programs, it did nothing for me. Learning the lifts and getting stronger has.

I got exponentially bigger when I was able to squat 430 pounds compared to when I squatted 225 pounds. Just find the most quickest and productive way to get there. In my opinion, that is 5x5 types programs initially, followed by high volume (when you get pretty strong).

[quote]Evolv wrote:
In my opinion, that is 5x5 types programs initially, followed by high volume (when you get pretty strong).[/quote]

What do you mean by high volume, in this case?

Either by increasing the amount you hit a particular lift throughout the week or increasing the sets/reps in a given session.

Both have worked well for me, it just depends on everything else in my personal life and how I would want to train. So increasing to say squatting 5 days per week using smaller sessions or 2 days per week with greater volume (say like 70% x 10 x 6 on day 1 and 85% x 6 x 2 on day 2 for squats.). Of course, there are other ways and obviously over the course of a cycle you would be working up to heavy singles.

Hypertrophy programming has its place of course, I’m not suggesting it is bad. I just feel like a lot of time is wasted if someone doesn’t have a very solid foundation of strength in place. This is just from a lot of frustrating trial and error, for me personally.