Strength Before Size? Why?

strength before size…

i thought the basic idea was that you get posts of the form:

‘i really need to bring up my lagging pecs and biceps’

when basically the dude is skinny skinny skinny and he needs to bring up his lagging EVERYTHING.

the worry is that he will do some dumb ass bodypart split program that focuses on relatively small muscles… e.g., doing 9 kinds of bicep curl and forgetting all about his lats, quads, glutes etc.

at least a movement based program (e.g., starting strength) gives all the muscles a workout. it doesn’t do something dumbass like forget about the ass or the hammies or some bloody major muscle group.

of course a DECENT bodypart split program won’t do that either.

but unfortunately a lot of skinny guys seem to think they should focus on a bodypart split program which ignores a lot of the major muscle groups of the body.

which is of course a really bad idea. and is probably the exception to ‘anything is an adaptive stimulus for a beginner’. at least… one really really really hopes so or their physique really would start to look moronic.

or… they end up putting almost every exercise known to man in there where there is no way one could get through the damned thing in under 4 hours.

[quote]alexus wrote:
strength before size…

i thought the basic idea was that you get posts of the form:

‘i really need to bring up my lagging pecs and biceps’

when basically the dude is skinny skinny skinny and he needs to bring up his lagging EVERYTHING.

the worry is that he will do some dumb ass bodypart split program that focuses on relatively small muscles… e.g., doing 9 kinds of bicep curl and forgetting all about his lats, quads, glutes etc.

at least a movement based program (e.g., starting strength) gives all the muscles a workout. it doesn’t do something dumbass like forget about the ass or the hammies or some bloody major muscle group.

of course a DECENT bodypart split program won’t do that either.

but unfortunately a lot of skinny guys seem to think they should focus on a bodypart split program which ignores a lot of the major muscle groups of the body.

which is of course a really bad idea. and is probably the exception to ‘anything is an adaptive stimulus for a beginner’. at least… one really really really hopes so or their physique really would start to look moronic.

or… they end up putting almost every exercise known to man in there where there is no way one could get through the damned thing in under 4 hours.
[/quote]

Pure wisdom.

This is the problem with most of the little kids training at my gym. Like doing 4 exercises of curls is going to build a lot of muscle mass as opposed to training EVERYTHING.

No brain, no gain.

I’ve said this before and been called a clown on this forum, but when you are beginning, you really need to train your body to increase you’re strength. Riptoes starting strength routine is a good starter, stick to it for a few months or more and than progress into a bodybuilding split. You really got to build a foundation of muscle on your body, and after reading some of the posts in this thread, you sound like your lacking the commitment to strive through.

Don’t get disappointed mate, gains take ages to come around, keep at it and you will gain strength and size and than a split will be of benefit to you. Don’t get caught up in mirror muscle when you’re starting out, just try to become a bigger, stronger overall you. Most importantly, keep at it, good luck to you.

I don’t get it…if your serious about this, your going to get stronger. Simple as that.

Lol, i mean…you could probably tell some alien that came to earth that hasn’t seen weights “Hey, the weights are the resistance…more resistance=more stimulation thus more growth. You need food to produce new muscle tissue.”

Guess what? He would get stronger, and gain size.

I agree with Alexus, and not just because we’re both Olympic lifters. And like her, I’ve put on plenty of size just doing the Olympic lifts in the 1-3 rep range. And I wasn’t even trying to gain size - I just wanted to gain strength. This whole strength vs. size is a bullshit argument unless you’re already advanced. And with the numbers you’re currently putting up, you need to gain some strength. It’s that simple.

Having said that, if you really think that Rippetoe’s program isn’t cutting it for you, perhaps you should try Dan John’s Mass Made Simple. It’s now available as an ebook for only $10. I purchased it simply because I enjoy Dan’s writing and he’s got some great ideas.

I do find it ironic when people say do Rippetoe’s program instead of some stupid split that neglects muscle groups. It’s pretty easy to find, or make up, a decent split that neglects muscles a lot less than Rippetoe’s. Of course it’s going to be better than the kid who has no idea what he’s doing and going in and benching and curling, but, there’s so many programs on this site (such as in the ‘pick this routine…’ thread as alexus stated) that are so much more well rounded, from a bodybuilding standpoint, than Rippetoe’s.

Train everything, hard, and eat enough to grow. C’man.

I’ve said this before, but you “train for strength” really just means that you focus on strength progression as your method of keeping/logging progress. It is easier to keep and measure progress in strength terms than it is size terms, ESPECIALLY for a beginner. It is much easier to follow a program and advance your delt raise strength than to try to progress based on your delt growth.

As a beginner keep track of weights and try and make progress on lifts (get stronger). Size will follow.

[quote]alexus wrote:
well i’m a girl, train for olympic lifting (technique) rather than strength but on the strength lifts…

i’m stronger than you.

and i’m weak for a chick.

and you weigh (just a little bit) more than me.

and i’ve got a beat up body from injuries.

seriously dude… you need to eat and get stronger.

for reals.[/quote]
I know youre trying to help the OP, but if I were him, I just might kill myself after reading it.

[quote]dshroy wrote:

[quote]alexus wrote:
well i’m a girl, train for olympic lifting (technique) rather than strength but on the strength lifts…

i’m stronger than you.

and i’m weak for a chick.

and you weigh (just a little bit) more than me.

and i’ve got a beat up body from injuries.

seriously dude… you need to eat and get stronger.

for reals.[/quote]
I know youre trying to help the OP, but if I were him, I just might kill myself after reading it.[/quote]

lol too funny man

[quote]alexus wrote:
um…

because Ripptoe’s program has been shown (over and over) to be really effective at packing some size on skinny kids.[/quote]

I have heard this before, but never personally seen it…both personal experience at my own gym as well as any of the starting strength forums I’ve seen on this site. Where are all these kids packing on size?

For shits and giggles, google image search “Starting Strength before/after” and that’ll explain why I made my OP.

Here’s the thing about really skinny kids…ANYTHING will put size on them. ANYTHING will put strength on them, and Ripptoe has made bank off of that fact. That’s all there is to it. He now has an army of forumites out on all the bodybuilding websites recommending it in full force because “IT WORKS!”

Idk, I have seen infinitely many more frustrated skinny guys on starting strength than success stories…and yes, that means I’ve seen zero success stories personally.

[quote]alexus wrote:
a whole bunch of stuff
[/quote]

Your mind is glued to dogma.

While you seem smart and like you will figure “it” out eventually, I just don’t have the time right now.

So…

Yes, everyone, irrevelvant of personal situation, goals, and progress thus far should be on SS.

/need for internet

[quote]countingbeans wrote:

[quote]alexus wrote:
a whole bunch of stuff
[/quote]
[/quote]

Which clearly you didn’t bother to read. I stated (quite clearly, I thought) that there are also many effective bodypart split programs that could be found on the ‘do this routine instead of that dumb one’ thread. I agree with you that Ripptoe’s program isn’t the ONLY thing that works.

Once we have narrowed things down to a decent bloody program (instead of, say, a pec, bicep, calf split) then the most important thing is that you have FAITH in the program, you work HARD on your program, and you EAT ENOUGH FOR YOUR MUSCLES TO GROW. Maybe someone just can’t get enthusiastic about a movement program, they want to do a bodypart split. Okay, then, pick something non-stupid and get to work!

Often when people aren’t growing they either aren’t eating as much as they think they are or they need to eat more than they think they do. If you train hard on your non-stupid program and you aren’t growing (as a beginner) then you either need to eat more or you need to get your ass to the doctor because something is not right with you.

I didn’t mean to be demoralizing, I meant to be motivating…
Seriously, I’m one of the weakest chicks over on the PW compound…

What fucks me off about this is that the OP could be more than 2x as strong as me with less than half the work.

Now that’s not fair.

I’ll try not to kill myself…

[quote]alexus wrote:
What fucks me off about this is that the OP could be more than 2x as strong as me with less than half the work.

Now that’s not fair.

[/quote]

Fair or not, it won’t stop you, and that is why you’ll get “it”. You aren’t wrong, I just don’t want to go into an 8 paragraph post to explain wtf I’m talking about, so just forget I posted.

[quote]dshroy wrote:

[quote]alexus wrote:
well i’m a girl, train for olympic lifting (technique) rather than strength but on the strength lifts…

i’m stronger than you.

and i’m weak for a chick.

and you weigh (just a little bit) more than me.

and i’ve got a beat up body from injuries.

seriously dude… you need to eat and get stronger.

for reals.[/quote]
I know youre trying to help the OP, but if I were him, I just might kill myself after reading it.[/quote]

If a strong Olympic-lifting Aussie chick wanted to help me with my strength training, I’m thinking that’s kind of hot! I’ve read some of Alexus’s posts on the Olympic lifting forum and she rocks.

Okay, one last point on this. Rippetoe’s program is a bit low on volume as he only has you doing 3 sets of 5. Bump that up to 5 sets of 5 and see what happens. Or look at Dan John’s stuff. Dan’s stuff is also basic, full body lifts. But at this point, this kid does not need to be focusing on bicep curls.

[quote]MikeTheBear wrote:
But at this point, this kid does not need to be focusing on bicep curls.[/quote]

No one ever said to do that, no one is telling him to do that. Never, not once.

You can still do curls, and do the big lifts, like 100% of the people he wants to look like do.

The alternative to a SS or SL or whatever TBT you want to throw at this kid is not, nor has it ever been a routine that focuses on only curls. It isn’t an either/or situation, and that is what I’ve been trying to say. God fucking forbid, in 2011, on the internet, someone work their arms AFTER they squat, bench and row, holy shit the horror.

But fuck it, the OP has a shit load of work to do, and it won’t fucking matter if he curls or doesn’t if he doesn’t get stronger in all rep ranges & eat right. Because without that he won’t reach HIS goals, and will quit. Shit, he might just quit anyway, most do…

[quote]countingbeans wrote:
You can still do curls, and do the big lifts, like 100% of the people he wants to look like do.
[/quote]

In an ideal world, sure. But there’s only so much time in the gym and so much you can throw at the body without impacting recovery. Instead of waisting time and recovery resources on curls, the kid should do a few extra sets of rows, or pull ups, or some other back movement. That’ll hit the biceps plenty while providing extra work for the back.

[quote]MikeTheBear wrote:

[quote]countingbeans wrote:
You can still do curls, and do the big lifts, like 100% of the people he wants to look like do.
[/quote]

In an ideal world, sure. But there’s only so much time in the gym and so much you can throw at the body without impacting recovery. Instead of waisting time and recovery resources on curls, the kid should do a few extra sets of rows, or pull ups, or some other back movement. That’ll hit the biceps plenty while providing extra work for the back.
[/quote]

Except that a set of rows does not have the same recovery demands as a set of curls, so that’s an irrelevant point. Also, very few newbs train too much to recover from (if anything they just undereat).

I fail to see how adding 3 sets of curls at the end of a back workout could possibly impact OP negatively. They should be done last and not first though.

The only way having an arm day would get in the way of the basics is if you were training total body every day - which you can’t - so what the hell is the difference? Makes more sense to just put your upper body on a separate day, and even do some curls, when you’d just be taking the next 1-2 days completely off otherwise.

[quote]JFG wrote:
To gain size you need poundage.

To get poundage you need strength.

To get strength you need to follow a strength program.
[/quote]

goddamn does this need to be repeated add infinitum

[quote]MikeTheBear wrote:

[quote]countingbeans wrote:
You can still do curls, and do the big lifts, like 100% of the people he wants to look like do.
[/quote]

In an ideal world, sure. But there’s only so much time in the gym and so much you can throw at the body without impacting recovery. Instead of waisting time and recovery resources on curls, the kid should do a few extra sets of rows, or pull ups, or some other back movement. That’ll hit the biceps plenty while providing extra work for the back.
[/quote]

Okay, you have to be fucking kidding me right now. Your whole “don’t do curls” argument is based on them inhibiting recovery, and then you suggest someone do extra ROWS and CHINS instead?

So let me see if I get this. 6 fucking sets of curls a week will reduce recovery abilities, while an extra 6 sets of rows and chins, will, in your mind and your mind alone, stimulate the bi’s just as much as a curl, hit the back too, and impact recovery less?

Am I fucking retarded or is your argument just plain awful right now?

Look if you don’t want to curl, fucking don’t, neither I nor anyone else gives a shit. But don’t give advice to people with appearance goals based on your goals, particularly given you are making up bullshit to support your argument.

If someone can’t recover from 3-6 sets of curls at the end of back day, or 3-6 sets of lateral raises after over head press, they are either a giant pussy and need a new hobby, need to see a doctor because something is wrong with them, or they are 7 years old.