T Nation

Switching to Strength Training

I have been training for size for 3 years now and have made considerable gains. I am looking to change how I train to focus on strength which has never been particularly important to me. All my lifts are pretty pathetic and I mainly want to improve my squat and deadlift. I understand the basics: lift heavy, big compound movements, fewer reps and longer rest periods, but what are the key things I need to do to my diet and training split?

Also what sort of changes am I going to see in the makeup of my body as I get stronger? Cardio is important to me and I was wondering how often I can run/swim without restricting my gym work too much? I am really new to this area of training and any help would be greatly appreciated. Let me know what information you need in order to help me. Thankyou

Are you trying to say you want to train for powerlifting specifically (specifically up your squat, bench, and deadlift)? Because, if you’ve been ‘training for size’ for 3 years, you should already be pretty strong. What are your 1 RM’s in bench/squat/deadlift? Are you particularly strong in movements that aren’t the big 3 (like a huge DB press, or a giant hack squat?) I ask because the best advice to give you entirely depends on just how far you’ve actually progressed.

To be honest not very far. I have posted this in the beginner section because im a real newb.

1RM bench = 100kg
1RM Squat = 120kg
1RM Deadlift (rough estimate as I havnt attempted this recently) = 120-150kg

Sorry I don’t work in pounds, those are how the weights are labelled in my gym. I think my strengths are bodyweight movements. I know this sounds real pussy and newbish but I can do 25 pullups, 50-60 pressups, 25 dips with good form, and I seem to be able to do dips and pull-ups with relatively heavy weights strapped to me. When I said I have been training for three years, I have only really understood what I am doing recently, as I have started using this site. Before it was bodyweight movements and exercises shown to me by guys in the gym. I want to up the big three, but also want to improve my other lifts (BB row, Military press, Dips, BB bicep curls etc.)

Well, I’m going to give you some tough love: you’ve made terrible progress. Your lifts are so low, I don’t even need to see pictures to know you lack any appreciable muscle mass. You’ve been training poorly for 3 years. Please don’t take personal offense to this.

A big guy is a strong guy. Whether you want to be big, or strong, or a combination of both, you must focus on adding weight to the bar. If you’re not adding weight to the bar frequently (it looks like, given your lifts, you stalled after a few months), you won’t get bigger or stronger. Diet is also a huge part of the equation.

I would ditch whatever program you’re following now, as it’s not working, and try a program from a professional coach. I can only recommend what I’ve done and have seen work for others: madcow’s 5x5 (search the web for it), 5/3/1, WS4SB.

[quote]McLaren wrote:
I have been training for size for 3 years now and have made considerable gains.

Oh, and I don’t want to be rude, but you may want to seriously reevaluate how far you think you’ve come. Part of the problem with people who need ‘help’, I think, is they don’t realize they can be making much much faster progress, so they waste years spinning their wheels.

Height? Weight?

2nd on 5/3/1.

5/3/1 is marketed as a program for raw strength (as in, powerlifting strength without the assistance of gear). This is what you said you want to improve upon. Boom, perfect match.

It’s simple and that’s why it works. Less thinking results in better gains, and it keeps you from seeing your 1RM as the be all end all.

Thanks a lot guys I’ll check out 5/3/1

Height - 5 ft 10 in
Weight - 12 stone

seriously, stop using made up numbers.

Whats wong with my numbers?

He’s teasing you about KGs and stone

Oh I see! I did post this in the begginners section as I am a beginner. Thanks again guys

12 stone = 168 lbs.

To me your lifts sound reasonable for your size, especially if you are still young.