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Old 05-27-2011, 02:13 AM   #1
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Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: The Iron Pit
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Default Think There's A Massive Difference Between Mass & Strength? = You're Doing It Wrong

I and several other MAB members have been reading some bullshit lately about there being a vast and tangible difference between training for size (muscle mass) and training for strength.

The senior 'advisor and moderator' of another site has recently made the following statement:

"A body builder is anyone who wants to increase muscle mass, and doesn’t just mean someone who wants to compete as a body builder… strength training increases strength (neural) but yields little muscle growth. Body building with its rep range in the 6-12 reps (metabolic) yields muscle growth with a small increase in strength."
Many of us know who this guy is, and for those who don't; don't bother looking for his pictures or googling the 'Association of Natural Bodybuilders', of which he is a former champion and now judge... neither of these things exist.

Before I continue, I should make it clear that all the established training methods like strength and conditioning, power lifting, strongman, Olympic, WSBB, GVT, etc. are NOT simply different ways of skinning the same cat.

Any training method designed to reach a specific goal (ie building strength or performing Oly movements) will necessarily place the trainer on a direct path to achieving that goal compared with a training method designed chiefly to build mass.

And the reverse is true too; bodybuilders who are only familiar with body part, full body or split hypertrophy routines are not gearing up to clean and press Olympic style or do the Farmer's walk with a half tonne!

With this aside, the above quote is utter bullshit.

The first broscience concept I want to dispel is this dogmatic adherence to rep ranges for specific goals.
As BendtheBar and numerous other veterans have stated (I will paraphrase): you can build strength with any rep range above a few and less than 100 (an exaggeration, but you get the idea).

The second broscience concept eluded to is that a trainer can build large amounts of muscle while experiencing negligible increases in strength. Again, this is bullshit.

To explain why these statements are false, I have picked two prime examples. Both of which are MAB members; one a power lifter, the other a body builder.

Diesel Weasel
Interview With Max Misch, The Diesel Weasel | Muscle & Strength
Max is a power lifter with an elite level dead lift among his accomplishments. Based on my familiarity with his training style (and correct me if I’m wrong, Max), specific muscle targeting exercises - like isolations – are seldom if ever used. Yet at 165 pounds, the guy clearly has a body builder’s mass and dimensions, and if he wanted to cut to 5%, he’d undoubtedly place high in a natural body building comp.
Does he train for mass? No.

Kyle is a champion bodybuilder , which is especially admirable since he’s also still in college. Obviously he has serious mass. But he also squats more than many veteran trainers and has great strength and ability generally.
Does he train for strength? No.

And a final word on rep ranges.

I’m not a professional anything (yet), but my background is bodybuilding; specifically, body part style training using mid to high rep ranges (10-15 p/set).

I was training solidly for 18 months before I began prioritising aesthetics and working towards a bodybuilder’s physique. Yet since day one I had been using a bber template, and had been growing in size and strength steadily… all on a pretty shitty diet mind you. If nutrition had been more important to me no doubt my gains would have been faster, but even so I managed to grow from 70 kgs (154 lbs) to 94 kgs (207 lbs) in approx 2 years. And at my peak, I could decline bench 120 kgs (265 lbs) for 12,10,8. I consider that fairly strong.

I returned to training 14 months ago now, and picked it up where I left off; a 4 day body part routine using 10-15 reps per set. And while I’ve learned a shit tonne from the guys and girls I forum with and my routine has been vetted to perfection, the rep ranges have stayed the same.

With these supposedly non-strength building rep ranges, my strength has gone through the roof! I’m trying to get serious about cutting right now, so only time will tell how much new mass is revealed, but that really is beside the point.

IMO the statement at the top of this page was made by someone who is faceless and largely anonymous for a reason; he is full of shit.




Axle clean-press: 100 kgs (220 lbs)
Bench press: 135 kgs (298 lbs) - 1st PL meet 16th October 2011
Deadlift w/Barbell: 180 kgs (397 lbs)
Deadlift w/Hexbar: 225 kgs (496 lbs)
Farmers walk: 240 kgs (530 lbs), 50 feet
Front squat: 100 kgs (220 lbs)
Log clean-press: 100 kgs (220 lbs)
Strict OHP: 85 kgs (187 lbs) 3 reps
Tyre flip: 260 kgs (573 lbs), 100 feet

Last edited by Abaddon; 05-27-2011 at 09:58 AM.
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