T Nation

Switching From Bodybuilding To Strength Training


I'm 22 years old and have been bodybuilding now since I was 15. I've reached 258lbs in the past, but due to my bodyfat at that weight (18-19%) I wasn't particularly happy so I cut down to 210lbs and lost around 4-5% bodyfat. I'm quite content with my weight & bodyfat at the moment, so for the time being I don't have any particular reason to get bigger. What I WOULD like though, is to get as strong as I possibly can without losing any weight. If I put on muscle whilst strength training then that's absolutely fine, I just don't want to LOSE any size.

Therefore, I was wondering where to go from here. Having been following bodybuilding type routines for 7 years now I've no idea how to get into strength training. The only type of strength training routine I've ever done was "Bill Starr's Madcow 5x5" and that was only for a month or so. Having read a few threads today it seems that people wanting to start strength training are being advised to try out "Mark Rippetoe's Starting Strength" but I'm not sure if this would be the best route for me to go down considering I already have 7 years of bodybuilding experience under my belt. Granted, it's not as much as some people and it has been mostly bodybuilding and not strength training, but I'm still unsure about it.

What would you guys suggest? I'm no stranger to high intensity, high volume & high frequency routines etc so I'm fairly certain I could cope with any advanced type strength training routine, but then again having hardly done any strength training in the past I'm again unsure what to do. The other thing is, I train at home therefore I have limited equipment. I have the following:

  • Power Rack, Olympic Barbell, Olympic Dumbbells, Olympic Weights, Olympic EZ Curl Bar, Bench and a Preacher Curl attachment.

To be honest aswell, I highly enjoy training 5x per week, so if there's any strength training routines out there that are 5x per week that would be an added bonus.

I'll leave it there for now, and hopefully you guys can help me out. I'd greatly appreciate any help/advice.


You could look at Wendler's 531, you could continue on a bodybuilder split but focus on a main exercise each workout and ramp to a triple. you could look at WS4SB. Any of those would be good choices.

If I were to set something up for you it would probably be a three day rotation (push, pull, legs OR ch/bk,sh/arms,legs) split on five days. Starting each workout with a compound movement using low reps and then finish workout with hypertrophy based training.

Is there a particular reason you want to switch?


Why do you have this posted multiple times since November? weird.


I stated why in the first post :slight_smile:

I've not posted this thread before, today was the first time I ever did. I've no idea how to check my previous posts, and as I'm a member of many different bodybuilding forums I tend to post on different places at different times, so I'm unsure what I've posted before. Apologies if this type of question has been posted in the past.


Definitely look at Wendler's 5/3/1 program.


Ian King is a former powerlifting champion with some great routines on this site and elsewhere. I highly recommend his Limping and Super Strength series, which you can combine into an overall strength program given that you're wanting to lift 4-5 days/week.


What types of numbers are you putting up now, out of curiosity? Sounds like you have a pretty impressive physique.


You stated that you want to get stronger. There are lots of ways to get stronger, but why are you wanting to get stronger. If you are just looking for general strength development then focus on lower reps while doing a bodypart split.

If you want to do powerlifting or strongman you would set up a split differently.

And you posted a similar "want to switch to strength" back in November. So why didnt you switch to strength training.


Surely after 7 years of lifting, you know how to get stronger? I assume you didn't get to 260lbs bodyweight by benching 135lbs for all those years?


Read some Dan John articles


I would highly recommend 5/3/1. It is a great strength routine that you can tailor to your goals.


This is what I'm confused about as well...

What are you lifting now?


Go to elitefts.com. You will find your answers there my friend.