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Gaining strength without bulk?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
I'm really happy with my size/weight/mass right now. Not to mention the fact that all my clothes fit well and I'm not in a position to buy a new wardrobe.

But lately I wish I had a little more lower body strength. Any tips for how to gain strength without a lot of muscle mass coming with it? Is this asking the impossible?
post #2 of 18
How tall are you and how much do you weigh (along with body fat%) Also, what's your routine like at the moment?

If you're a novice at lifting, you'll make strength gains fast (even with a shitty diet). However, at the same time you'll plateau really fast too. So the answer would be... do compound lifts (squats/deadlifts) and look to get at minimum of 1g of protein per lb in body weight.

Ultimately you diet plays the primary role in bulking. Moreover, it takes months (if not years) of training and consistent eating to really bulk up.
post #3 of 18
caloric excess/deficit is what is going to facilitate weight loss or gain. assuming your diet is dialed in properly at maintenance level, you may stay the same weight and get stronger. this is not to say there won't be any changes in body comp/musculature; if youre squatting and deadlifting on the regular you will probably notice a difference in your lower body regardless of what you are eating.

grossly oversimplified, but this is how i see it assuming your macros are correct:

caloric excess = best strength gains, size gains
maintenance = moderate strength gains, recomposition
caloric deficit = worst strength gains/strength maintenance/strength loss, fat/weight loss

thats a huge generalization and depends on how experienced you are, your routine/goals/diet etc. eg. if you are a noob, you can crush strength gains on a deficit, if you are an advanced lifter strength gains may be few and far in between on a deficit. if i were you, i would find my maintenance calorie point, eat at 40/30/30 macro ratio, let the squats and deadlifts rip and see what happens. you can adjust from there based on your progress
post #4 of 18
Also low volume -- no more than 5 reps -- and long rest periods between sets.

Look up Pavel's books, like Power to the People. It's all about developing "wiry strength".
post #5 of 18
If you believe in Rippetoe, which you should, strength without bulk is a misnomer. In order to make significant strength gains especially as a beginner you are going to need to put on muscle mass.
post #6 of 18
Yeah, your not gonna be able to avoid putting on any mass. All my training is in the 1-3 rep range and Im still putting size on fast.
post #7 of 18
you eat enough for three african villages and your overall volume is still very high; thats why you're putting on mass. depends on where this guy is at, but he isn't going to gain significant mass with low volume on a deficit.
post #8 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by jarude View Post

grossly oversimplified, but this is how i see it assuming your macros are correct:
caloric excess = best strength gains, size gains
maintenance = moderate strength gains, recomposition
caloric deficit = worst strength gains/strength maintenance/strength loss, fat/weight loss

OFT
post #9 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by jarude View Post

you eat enough for three african villages and your overall volume is still very high; thats why you're putting on mass. depends on where this guy is at, but he isn't going to gain significant mass with low volume on a deficit.

Yeah fair point, did 15 work sets yesterday so even with singles thats a lot of volume and I do eat tonnes. On a deficit or even maintenance he won't put on nearly as much mass.
post #10 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lagrangian View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by jarude View Post

grossly oversimplified, but this is how i see it assuming your macros are correct:
caloric excess = best strength gains, size gains
maintenance = moderate strength gains, recomposition
caloric deficit = worst strength gains/strength maintenance/strength loss, fat/weight loss

OFT

trh mang you are a total baller but i dont know what half of your acronyms mean. lol. urbandictionary is telling me "oh fuck that"
post #11 of 18
fuck that should've been QFT
post #12 of 18
I'm eating at a caloric deficit right now, losing fat and some weight (186 to 182), gaining strength and endurance.

Doing crossfit workouts 6 days a week.... Many pullups, squats, deadlifts, overhead presses, dips, lunges, snatches, cleans, jerks, overhead squats, burpees, erg rows, etc... I'll throw in a regular bodybuilding day every couple of weeks or so to switch it up a bit.

Staying roughly the same "size" (42" chest remains) but the waist has trimmed a LOT (from 34.5 to 32 and dropping). This is perfect for now as I just want to get lean while gaining strength and stamina but still being able to fit in my clothes (had to taken in my jackets and pants at the waist, but at least I'm not buying a new wardrobe).

For the OP, to build leg strength without a ton of mass, you should try doing long rep sets of body weight squats (20-30 reps per set) thrown in after other exercises, relatively low weight snatch and clean olympic lifts, and box jumps. /bro science

I honestly haven't looked into any of the latest sport science and methodology regarding workouts. I just do the crossfit (at my regular gym, I don't buy into that whole xfit lifestyle) and have been MORE than pleased with the results compared to ANY other workout style and regimen I've tried.
*edit* take this as a "you should probably listen to other more well informed poasters"
post #13 of 18
..
post #14 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by whiteslashasian View Post

I'm eating at a caloric deficit right now, losing fat and some weight (186 to 182), gaining strength and endurance.
Doing crossfit workouts 6 days a week.... Many pullups, squats, deadlifts, overhead presses, dips, lunges, snatches, cleans, jerks, overhead squats, burpees, erg rows, etc... I'll throw in a regular bodybuilding day every couple of weeks or so to switch it up a bit.
Staying roughly the same "size" (42" chest remains) but the waist has trimmed a LOT (from 34.5 to 32 and dropping). This is perfect for now as I just want to get lean while gaining strength and stamina but still being able to fit in my clothes (had to taken in my jackets and pants at the waist, but at least I'm not buying a new wardrobe).
For the OP, to build leg strength without a ton of mass, you should try doing long rep sets of body weight squats (20-30 reps per set) thrown in after other exercises, relatively low weight snatch and clean olympic lifts, and box jumps. /bro science
I honestly haven't looked into any of the latest sport science and methodology regarding workouts. I just do the crossfit (at my regular gym, I don't buy into that whole xfit lifestyle) and have been MORE than pleased with the results compared to ANY other workout style and regimen I've tried.
*edit* take this as a "you should probably listen to other more well informed poasters"

wut?
post #15 of 18
sfatmc.gif

for lower body strength, do squats and deadlifts
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