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BendtheBar 04-30-2012 09:36 AM

How to Build Muscle
T NATION | Big Without Strong is Nothing


I'm a strength coach. I spend much of my day making people bigger, faster, and stronger with a heavy emphasis on the latter.

I love the effect something as simple as getting stronger has on the human body. Performance improves while imbalances fade, and with time a slow, brittle physique is replaced by something stronger, faster, more athletic, and seemingly forged from titanium alloy.

Not to mention, more muscular which is why a small piece of my soul dies every time I hear something like, "Getting strong isn't really important to me, I'd rather just look strong."

I understand the aesthetic bias we have as a society, and that having a six-pack is higher on many trainee's priority list than how much weight they can deadlift.

But one of the things I take pride in as a coach is my ability to keep things simple, so for all you lifters with iPhones filled with shirtless bathroom pictures, let me state this as simply as I can:

It's imperative to build a solid base of strength in order to build mass. And if you train for strength and don't eat like a moron the aesthetics you crave will undoubtedly follow.

I doubt you've seen many guys who bench 405 or squat 500 that are small. On the other hand, walk into just about any commercial gym and you'll see loads of 150-pound dudes running the rack on curls and performing drop sets of triceps pushdowns.

What good is a six-pack and veiny 14-inch arms if you can't deadlift your way out of a wet paper bag and your waif-like body resembles something that would get crushed against the wall by a surging crowd of angst-filled teenaged girls at an Avril Lavigne mall appearance?

If you're a newbie (or even someone who's been training for a few years and just not happy with the end results), this article will serve as a reminder to focus on the basics, get strong, and steal a page from Ms. Lavigne and stop making things so complicated!

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