Strength vs Mass

This girl at the gym was following me around (unintentionally I think) doing several of the exercises I was doing. Close to the end of the workout she mentioned that she was shocked I had good control using so much weight because I didn’t “look” like I’d be able to. I don’t know if she said this to be mean because she was doing half what I do or if she was really suprised, but now I’m feeling “skinny” in a bad way. I’m still on the fat fast (so my weights were lower than usual - ha ha)and I’m not done yet, but pretty soon I wanna focus on adding muscle SIZE. So, help me out. I’m still a newby - only trained for a year and a half and most of that time has been focused on fat loss. I’ve never trained for mass. Gimme some suggestions or some training articles to read. I want to start planning my new “attack”. This chick made me mad but renewed my motivation.

I suggest you get to a body fat % your happy with 1st, than start upping your cals 10-20% per week with careful attention to your stats/etc during this phase. There’s alot of programs out there but in general I was able to manage this along with my “vicious” workout schedule and have upped body weight with no noticeable fat gain. Admittedly, some of was “assisted” with Fina but I still believe it is mostly the intense training & incremental cal increases, week by week. Make your additional cals high protein stuff, like drinks and/or chicken,etc. If you start picking up a little extra flab, level off the cal increase (don’t lower it) and up the cardio for a week or two then get back to it!

Ironbabe: I think you pretty much answered your own question when you pointed out that you’ve been focused on fat loss. From reading your various posts in other threads, it sounds like you have a firm grasp of the basic weight training techniques, and if you want to begin gaining muscle mass then it’s time for you to complete the equation: eat. There’s nothing other than the basics that you need to use at this stage of your training (beginner-intermediate), you simply need to focus on raising your calories and gaining some quality weight (you can diet some more later). I know that sounds difficult after you’ve done such an excellent job with your diet – and it may very well be exactly what you don’t want to hear – but it’s the truth nonetheless. Eat.

Ironbabe, (what a great handle)
Maybe this chick wasn’t trying to imply that you were small, but she was just honestly surprised to see a woman using real weights instead of the pink fuzzies.

You are gonna get all kinds of different comments and compliments as you get into this. And just like the guys here, you’ll go through different mental phases-too skinny or fat, too small or big. The thing is, you are going to have to visualize how YOU want to look and feel.Ignore everyone else’s comments (especially being female) to you or you will go nuts!

Check out TC’s Oscillating Wave Program, The Dawg School-shoot girlfriend you know how to search the archives! By the way, my best time to put on muscle is coming off a low carb diet. GO FOR IT!

I think Warrior Spirit said it well. That lady probably hasn’t seen anyone else using real weight. The thing is she didn’t say you were “skinny.” You read it that way. I’ve only been training for a year, and people in the gym are always asking me how I lift so much for my size(My weights are fairly light). Does that mean I’m skinny? No. Its just that at my gym most people are just starting out and to them I appear strong. You probably appear to be this supper strong person, for a woman to be lifting anything that isn’t coated in plastic… she’s probably just impressed.

ironbabe, I could be wrong, but I think she meant it as a sincere compliment. Of course, I don’t know what you look like, but as you mentioned, you’ve got 1.5 years of consistent lifting under your belt. This girl who said this may not have that experience; therefore, she is lacking the STRENGTH that you gained while learning. So…she was impressed! She may think you look similar to her and thinking “Gosh, I can’t lift that much. I thought I would have to be xx lbs. heavier or get ‘bulky’ to lift that much. But THIS girl looks good.” I don’t know if that made sense, but I really think it was a compliment in her mind.

Thanks everyone for the information. She might have meant it as a compliment, I never could figure it out. The undertone ws a bit questionable - but I’ll let it go. I ranted and I feel better :). As for eating, I look forward to the prospect of eating for size - I’m not afraid to eat, nor am I afraid I’ll get fat again. I have discipline I never had when I ate like crazy. I was kind of looking for more suggestions in the weight training dept. Sure my results are going to change when I actually eat enough to build muscle, but I want to form a weight program that caters to that too. I am really tall, slender, with long extremeties and I think I’ll need to put on a good bit of muscle to “show” my strength. Any favorite mass building training programs? I have pretty much always trained with 4-5 sets and 8 - 12 reps ending with failure or close to failure. I change things up a bit, but that’s basically how I lift.

BTW - yesterday we took our girls to a playground and since no one was around, I decided to try to do a pullup. I’ve been afraid to try it a the gym for fear I’d just hang there (grin). Well guess what, I made it through almost three. Now I can’t wait to try it with carbs in my system. I’ve heard that long extremities make it difficult so I’m pretty happy. :slight_smile:

I think you should increase your daily calories to at least 12000, including lots of peanut-butter, MCT’S, whole milk, butter, bacon, dogsmeat(no joke, it seriously increASES YOUR TESTOSTERONE LEVELS,HGH), cats-food (make sure you have enough for the cat), Big Mac’s, French fries, saussages, pies, estrogen in protein shakes, and practice by sticking your gut out aS FAR as possible, go on really stick that gut out, while wearing a pair of shades’

Good luck

Fred the Masster Blasster

Hey man I train for strenght/power. Not for size so I get comments like that all the time. It was a compliment and she was trying to pick you up. Shit man was she a hottie. If so you blew it. Even if it was a slam be proud if people are slaming on you that means they are jealous that also means that you have something they want. So do not take it personel. That being said. I would stick to whatever was your origional plan. Ie. You planned on getting to a certain weight/bodyfat % then bulk. Do you have a long term training/diet plan if not get one. If you do not have a plan you may not like where the direction takes you. Set a goal then take the necessary steps to that goal. Good luck keep the faith.

OOPS my bad didn’t remember that the post was from a woman. First day back on fat fast or as I call it the fat bastard diet so my brain is messed up big time.

LOL!!! I hope like hell she wasn’t trying to pick me up!!! You gave me a huge laugh, but I did read the other stuff you wrote - thanks for the advice.

Fred - sound like my previous diet plan (minus the pet food). Sounds like a great way to gain back all the fat I’ve lost. I’ll remember it when I miss shopping for huge clothes.

Ironbabe, make sure you read John Berardi’s Appetite for Construction article in issue 150 about coming off a low carb diet properly. If you go directly into a mass building diet you may end up adding back a good portion of the fat that you lost.

You can’t beat a good go at GVT, I like the original from the ABCDE diet article, but alot of people prefer TC’s modified version, follow that with any of Ian king’s programs his lower volume work will do wonders and help with any muscle imbalances.

Hey, try the massive eating plan that JMB has talked about. I used it but kept my calories normal, and have put on a little extra muscle and lost some fat, so I would definatley give it a try if your gonna be eating a ton of food. Hell, you might even stay fairly lean, durring your mass phase. Just go easy on the carbs for a few weeks, and add them back slowly. I tried Ian Kings 12 week strength and size program in the FAQ and it didn’t add any strength but I got allot of hypertrophy(bad for me), although this might just be my genetic disposition, you might want to give it a whirl.

Ironbabe - you seem to have come up against one of the more challenging aspects of the iron game, mental stress. It comes in many forms, sometimes from others, sometimes from within. Obviously you’re fairly strong in that regard if you’re getting success on the Fat Fast diet (I cringe even writing that… god I’m so sick of flax oil!), just keep in mind that everyone here’s backing you, draw strength from that to help boost you to the next level.