T Nation

Transition to Strength Training

Hello,

I’m 6’1 198 been training very intensely for 2 months, 5 months on and off before that with much less vigor, I was never athletic other than swimming before lifting. In this 2 months I have lost 19 pounds all fat, doubled to tripled most lifts and had noticeable muscle growth despite the fat covering it. I still have a lot of fat to lose, probably like 25 more pounds although 10 would put me in the healthy weight range with my height and body type (wide shoulders/back/chest).

I have read all of the articles and posts of the experienced athletes on tnation and also months ago Arnold’s classic New Encyclopedia for Bodybuilding, and all of my weight training practices and results have been the result of applying what I have learned from these sources.

For my workout, I have also alternated between long weight training days of 60+ minutes and normal ones of 45-60 minutes with some short days mixed in, but I have lifted 5-6 days a week and done 30-90 minutes of cardio (mostly biking) a day consistently in that time frame.

For supplementation all I have used is fish oil and HOT-ROX ( as well as a multivitamin, HOT-ROX, and tons and tons of protein powders). I recently ordered BCAAs, Beta-7, some other stuff from T-Nation that will arrive in the mail today although I don’t know if I will need all of these.

By the end of Febuary I am confident without any doubt that I will be lean and have little excess fat.

So, at that point I want to switch from bodybuilding to pure strength training. I dont want to be huge. I want to be as small as possible with extremely strong, dense muscles. I’ve already decided martial arts is one thing I will start doing to facilitate this process.

I have extreme discipline, good genetics (v strong father), and my occupation allots me a lot of time. What should I be doing to acheive my goals and find out what my genetic maximum is and reach it? Anything I should be changing up now in my weight loss/slight muscle gain period? New books I should read? Change in supplements?

If the answer is a read a book and hire an extremely good trainer, then I am willing to do that. money is no an issue, commitment is not an issue, the issue is with my body and what it is capable of and what I need to do to stimulate it to its maximum potential.

I know that many of these answers are in this forum, but I haven’t been able to read every post and was hoping people would be willing to comment on my specific situation, sorry if I am asking too much here, just point me in the right direction please.

Thanks for all who took the time to read this, I really appreciate you experienced athletes taking the time to help a beginner with big aspirations.

-Jeff

I don’t really know what you’re asking? Do you want to become strong? Strong at what? What is it you want to excel at?

I want to be strong at the olympic lifts, but also I want to develop the strongest, most dense level of muscle tissue around my body as possible

I want to train my body in this way as hard as I possibly can and see if I have the potential to compete in competitions

as ridiculous as it sounds, I want to know how close I could come to being an olympic lifter one day if I trained hard. I don’t think I could, but I want to know my genetic limit, and I want to be as overall strong as I can be for my size. I want to be made of stone.

-Jeff

If you want to get into Olympic weightlifting, you should find an Olympic weightlifting gym or coach in your area.

[quote]actionjeff wrote:
So, at that point I want to switch from bodybuilding to pure strength training.
[/quote]

First, let me congratulate you on the decision to break with the pussy-ish endeavor of beauty building, in favor of Strength Training…in your case, Olympic Lifting.

I agree with the former poster that you should seek out an Olympic lifting coach. To that end, I advise you go to the website goheavy.org

There you will find an Olympic Weightlifting forum. A lot of top Olympic lifting coaches and lifters post there. If you ask for references for coaches in your area, someone should be able to point you in the right direction.

[quote]actionjeff wrote:
Ias ridiculous as it sounds, I want to know how close I could come to being an olympic lifter one day if I trained hard.
[/quote]

It’s not at all ridiculous. You musn’t think that you have to be OLYMPIC material to compete in Oly style lifting events.

[quote]entheogens wrote:

First, let me congratulate you on the decision to break with the pussy-ish endeavor of beauty building, in favor of Strength Training…in your case, Olympic Lifting.

[/quote]

Its ironic that there a great number of people involved in that “pussy-ish” endeavor you speak of who are much stronger than you. A big muscle is a strong muscle (in most cases). It is a weak-minded person’s game to go around insulting the pursuits of others simply because they are different. THAT is a pussy-ish pursuit.

[quote]autodiadect wrote:
Its ironic that there a great number of people involved in that “pussy-ish” endeavor you speak of who are much stronger than you. A big muscle is a strong muscle (in most cases). It is a weak-minded person’s game to go around insulting the pursuits of others simply because they are different. THAT is a pussy-ish pursuit.[/quote]

Hold on there Narcissus…this is the Strength Forum. Shouldn’t you be over in the Beauty Building Forum or posing in your speedo in front of a mirror somewhere?

[quote]entheogens wrote:
autodiadect wrote:
Its ironic that there a great number of people involved in that “pussy-ish” endeavor you speak of who are much stronger than you. A big muscle is a strong muscle (in most cases). It is a weak-minded person’s game to go around insulting the pursuits of others simply because they are different. THAT is a pussy-ish pursuit.

Hold on there Narcissus…this is the Strength Forum. Shouldn’t you be over in the Beauty Building Forum or posing in your speedo in front of a mirror somewhere?

[/quote]

Whoa whoa whoa. Where did I say I was interested in bodybuilding? Where did I make any sort of indication that I am narcissistic or am interested in posing or the like? Point that out to me please.

My point was that calling someone else’s pursuit “pussy-ish” simply because it is not the same as yours is a weak minded thing to do. Perhaps if their were more unity amongst lifters and less arrogant, childish behavior and chest thumping about “who is better”, things would go a little more smoothly around here.

I think you jumped to the conclusion that I was a bodybuilder simply because it hurt you too bad to accept the reality that a lot of those “pussy” “beauty builders” are a hell of a lot stronger than you and you needed to find some way to retort. Im not going to hijack this thread any further responding to you since you obviously lack the communication skills or maturity to take this in any sort of positive direction.

OP, transitioning from bodybuilding training to strength training should not be a difficult thing for you to do. Contrary to popular belief, most successful bodybuilders are very strong people and didnt just wake up that way one day.

What I am trying to say is that, in essence, bodybuilding training and strength training are one in the same. However, if you are going to pursue an interest in olympic lifting, I would seek out a qualified coach in your area as the others have stated. Check out www.msbn.tv/usavision/ if you are in the US.

at 6’1" you should probably be bigger than 198 to maximize your potential in olympic lifting, possibly over 275.
Try WS4SB.

[quote]rander wrote:
at 6’1" you should probably be bigger than 198 to maximize your potential in olympic lifting, possibly over 275.
Try WS4SB.[/quote]

I am actually about a quarter of an inch under 6"1, and like I said the 198 is with noticeable excess body fat, at least 20 pounds of flab-and really? 275 sounds incredibly heavy when my lean body mass would be well under 180

This is from the 2004 Olympics, the 187 pound category . Andrei Rybakou is the first lifter in this video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xAyQ7-Mp1j0

187 pounds, 5"9. I am 3.75 inches taller. Many of the

Pyros Dimas is the next lifter and is 5"7 187

George Asanidze is 5"8 179

all of these individuals are 3-5 inches shorter than me, but all have the look I would like to have- compact, extremely well defined and small, dense muscles with amazing strength

obviously I would have to be in a higher weight class, but does my extra size inevitably mean that I would have to get much much bigger to be competitive and sacrifice having a physique this incredibly refined? And could some of the athletes like the above examples from the 2004 Olympics actually be stronger (perhaps significantly so) at both their respective lifts and overall muscular strength if they did not force themselves to make the exact weigh in? Of the above three lifters, only George Asanidze was below the maximum weight for the 187 class.

and thank you for responses so far (other than the bodybuilding vs. strength training flame war), informative and helpful. I’m glad I found this site.

[quote]actionjeff wrote:
rander wrote:
at 6’1" you should probably be bigger than 198 to maximize your potential in olympic lifting, possibly over 275.
Try WS4SB.

I am actually about a quarter of an inch under 6"1, and like I said the 198 is with noticeable excess body fat, at least 20 pounds of flab-and really? 275 sounds incredibly heavy when my lean body mass would be well under 180

This is from the 2004 Olympics, the 187 pound category . Andrei Rybakou is the first lifter in this video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xAyQ7-Mp1j0

187 pounds, 5"9. I am 3.75 inches taller. Many of the

Pyros Dimas is the next lifter and is 5"7 187

George Asanidze is 5"8 179

all of these individuals are 3-5 inches shorter than me, but all have the look I would like to have- compact, extremely well defined and small, dense muscles with amazing strength

obviously I would have to be in a higher weight class, but does my extra size inevitably mean that I would have to get much much bigger to be competitive and sacrifice having a physique this incredibly refined? And could some of the athletes like the above examples from the 2004 Olympics actually be stronger (perhaps significantly so) at both their respective lifts and overall muscular strength if they did not force themselves to make the exact weigh in? Of the above three lifters, only George Asanidze was below the maximum weight for the division.

and thank you for responses so far (other than the bodybuilding vs. strength training flame war), informative and helpful. I’m glad I found this site.

[/quote]

I think it is safe to say that those athletes would have been stronger at heavier weights, although whether or not they would have been strong enough to be competitive in higher weight classes is really up for debate. These lifters, however, are the elite as far as training, talent, genetics, and circumstances. While it is good to aim high, it is also important to establish reasonable goals. As I understand it, the first year or so of olift training is based entirely around learning technique and it will take several years to build up to the point where you are moving impressive poundages. This is part of the reason why Olympic level athletes begin training in the sport before the age of 10. If you decide to pursue olympic lifting in a competitive sense and work under a certified coach, you will likely have a long (albeit not unrewarding) road ahead of you. I guess its true what they say though, anything worth having is worth working for.

I think that what rander was saying would be that if you got to 275, then you would have a great deal more muscle mass than 180 lbs…try more in the area of 240 lbs lean body mass.

Check out danjohn.org. Dan has a lot of good advice when it comes to strength training and the olympic lifts and he gives it out as a free service. He also has a thread in the locker room section that may be beneficial for you to check out along with some of his articles on this site.

Please don’t tell this young man things like this. A bodybuilding program and a sport-specific strength training program will be very dissimilar.

[quote]autodiadect wrote:
actionjeff wrote:
rander wrote:
at 6’1" you should probably be bigger than 198 to maximize your potential in olympic lifting, possibly over 275.
Try WS4SB.

I am actually about a quarter of an inch under 6"1, and like I said the 198 is with noticeable excess body fat, at least 20 pounds of flab-and really? 275 sounds incredibly heavy when my lean body mass would be well under 180

This is from the 2004 Olympics, the 187 pound category . Andrei Rybakou is the first lifter in this video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xAyQ7-Mp1j0

187 pounds, 5"9. I am 3.75 inches taller. Many of the

Pyros Dimas is the next lifter and is 5"7 187

George Asanidze is 5"8 179

all of these individuals are 3-5 inches shorter than me, but all have the look I would like to have- compact, extremely well defined and small, dense muscles with amazing strength

obviously I would have to be in a higher weight class, but does my extra size inevitably mean that I would have to get much much bigger to be competitive and sacrifice having a physique this incredibly refined? And could some of the athletes like the above examples from the 2004 Olympics actually be stronger (perhaps significantly so) at both their respective lifts and overall muscular strength if they did not force themselves to make the exact weigh in? Of the above three lifters, only George Asanidze was below the maximum weight for the division.

and thank you for responses so far (other than the bodybuilding vs. strength training flame war), informative and helpful. I’m glad I found this site.

I think it is safe to say that those athletes would have been stronger at heavier weights, although whether or not they would have been strong enough to be competitive in higher weight classes is really up for debate. These lifters, however, are the elite as far as training, talent, genetics, and circumstances. While it is good to aim high, it is also important to establish reasonable goals. As I understand it, the first year or so of olift training is based entirely around learning technique and it will take several years to build up to the point where you are moving impressive poundages. This is part of the reason why Olympic level athletes begin training in the sport before the age of 10. If you decide to pursue olympic lifting in a competitive sense and work under a certified coach, you will likely have a long (albeit not unrewarding) road ahead of you. I guess its true what they say though, anything worth having is worth working for.

I think that what rander was saying would be that if you got to 275, then you would have a great deal more muscle mass than 180 lbs…try more in the area of 240 lbs lean body mass.

Check out danjohn.org. Dan has a lot of good advice when it comes to strength training and the olympic lifts and he gives it out as a free service. He also has a thread in the locker room section that may be beneficial for you to check out along with some of his articles on this site.[/quote]

When I said under 180, I misused lean mass, I meant after the current diet/workout regimen is complete and I am done losing the fat I will lose and having a small amount of fat left + my current muscle mass my weight would be under 180, I haven’t set a specific goal yet and when I near that weight in the next couple months I will see a nutritionist. But obviously as far as building lean muscle mass weighing >200 pounds will certainly be necessary for maximum strength pound for pound.

I was using the olympic lifters as a comparison, but yeah, I dream big. I also probably should have looked at the 94kg weight class instead in the comparison I did for more relevant stats as far as height, weight, and body type. I just turned 20 years old and I have no idea what my potential is, but I’ve had what will be 2 years off of school and have an independent source of revenue, and have done a lot of thinking about what I want to do. I’m going to go to college and I’m going to try to find something rewarding to me but right now training my body and studying these amazing athletes has captured my imagination and at least for a little while now, taken over my life, and I realize how lucky I am that I can pursue something that I enjoy like this without making tremendous sacrifices in other avenues. I don’t expect to lift in the olympics, but I do want to give this thing my best shot possible and see what I’m capable of. Maybe it doesn’t work out, I become interested in some other physical activity like martial arts or something else entirely unrelated. Worst case scenario I can pick up girls pretty easy =)

I have to sleep now but I will definitely check out the sites linked and the information in this thread has been invaluable

thanks a lot all

-Jeff

[quote]rander wrote:
at 6’1" you should probably be bigger than 198 to maximize your potential in olympic lifting, possibly over 275.
Try WS4SB.[/quote]

Yup. WS4SB is great. It combines elements of strength training and size training via conjugate method. I’m trying it because I’m 5’7" 150 lbs 8% BF and I know I don’t have enough muscle to be strong. You mentioned you have high BF, and considering your height and weight, it’s best if you pack more muscle. a 5’7" 187 lb Dimas with low BF is a lot different from a 6’1" 198 lb you with higher BF.

[quote]rmccart1 wrote:
autodiadect wrote:What I am trying to say is that, in essence, bodybuilding training and strength training are one in the same.

Please don’t tell this young man things like this. A bodybuilding program and a sport-specific strength training program will be very dissimilar.

[/quote]

What I meant is that bodybuilders should be interested in getting as strong as possible while maintaining their mobility and general fitness levels as well. The ends are different, but the means should be very similar.

[quote]undeadlift wrote:
rander wrote:
at 6’1" you should probably be bigger than 198 to maximize your potential in olympic lifting, possibly over 275.
Try WS4SB.

Yup. WS4SB is great. It combines elements of strength training and size training via conjugate method. I’m trying it because I’m 5’7" 150 lbs 8% BF and I know I don’t have enough muscle to be strong. You mentioned you have high BF, and considering your height and weight, it’s best if you pack more muscle. a 5’7" 187 lb Dimas with low BF is a lot different from a 6’1" 198 lb you with higher BF.[/quote]

WS4SB is not an Olympic lifting program. If he wants to train or compete in Olympic lifting, he should follow workouts to meet those goals. Find a coach or others who train in Olympic lifting and begin training with them. Dan John would be a good person to contact on T-Nation as well as CT (as he once competed in O-lifting).

The guys you emulate built that type of physique through MANY years (some began as young as five years old) of HARD work. They also have good genetics for building a substantial amount of muscle while rarely ever training with high reps or following a hypertrophy-specific routine.

To say you will look like them will depend on your diet, training, genetics, effort and how your body responds to many years of heavy squats, deads, cleans, clean pulls, snatches, snatch pulls, overhead pressing, push presses, jerks and other similar movements.

Get on a basic Olympic lifting plan, dial in your diet/nutrition and put in the consistency, desire, dedication and hard work necessary to progress.

all of the references, v nice thx

Remember though that I am planning this in advance and learning what materials/steps I will have to take, I do not plan on switching from my current diet and lifting plan for at least another month and a half. I was a chubby guy with above average strength and almost no athletic training 6 months ago, I am aware that this is going to take a lot of time and effort. That’s why I started this thread, to get input from more experienced lifters on what I have to face, what materials/books I should read, the dietary changes I will make, and just get a better feel of what this type of commitment will require.

I will post an update a couple months down the line when I make the transition and start the process, and I am completely resolved to follow through with this and excited about the future.

great advice on the wholel, T-Nation owns.

-Jeff

pyros dimas is 5’7? like me!?

shit i wanna do oly lifting
now

[quote]entheogens wrote:
actionjeff wrote:
So, at that point I want to switch from bodybuilding to pure strength training.

First, let me congratulate you on the decision to break with the pussy-ish endeavor of beauty building, in favor of Strength Training…in your case, Olympic Lifting.

I agree with the former poster that you should seek out an Olympic lifting coach. To that end, I advise you go to the website goheavy.org

There you will find an Olympic Weightlifting forum. A lot of top Olympic lifting coaches and lifters post there. If you ask for references for coaches in your area, someone should be able to point you in the right direction.

[/quote]

ronnie coleman

deadlifting 800 lbs for 2 reps when he was 3 weeks out from the olympia

…yeah

hes a pussy

a pussy that will eat you alive

…and then do your taxes