Strong but not big

Reply Tue 9 Oct, 2007 04:06 am
Hey, I'm a 17 year old male, I play alot of strength sports like rugby and rugby league. I really want to be phyiscally strong, as strong as I can be but I dont want huge muscles like weightlifters, I want lean muscles, still big so they impress the girls but nothing so big that they scare them away. Is there a way where I can be as strong as I can be without the huge weightlifter muscles? I want the strength in my upper body, mainly arms ,chest, back and the abs. I have a full gym membership so I have access to the equipment. What sort of weights should I do to gain my goal?
Reply Tue 9 Oct, 2007 04:18 am
I would think that if you're a member of a good gym, then the best person to consult would be one of the trainers there. He or she can see what body type you are, and recommend the correct training regime and diet, etc.
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Reply Tue 3 Feb, 2009 10:51 pm
I am a personal trainer, and I can tell you that there is a way to get stronger without getting much bigger. If you follow my advice, you will likely get a little bigger, but there is a definite difference between gaining muscle mass and gaining strength.
What a lot of people don't know is that there a lot of factors other than muscle size that affect a person's strength. For instance, the length of the muscle, the proportions of your limbs, where the tendons attach, and even the efficiency with which you are able to use your muscles.
To get strong, you must first ensure that you have proper form. I obviously can't demonstrate that here. If you are sure that you have proper form with most exercises, follow this advice: lift heavy weights. Don't do a ton of sets and a ton of reps. Pick weights that you can only do about 3-4 reps with. Sometimes you can do even fewer reps. Focus on compound movements like the bench press, squat, and deadlift which involve a number of muscles working in cooperation. Make sure that you do a few warm-up sets to get the blood flowing, but don't work yourself to exhaustion. It is more important, at least as far as strength is concerned, to do frequent workouts than it is to do extremely intense workouts that cripple you for days. The way most people work out will do very little for strength. Try doing a workout that involved a bench press, a squat, and a deadlift 4 times a week, with some other exercises like bicep curls, lat pulldowns, overhead presses, and calf raises thrown in. Do not work hard enough to make yourself sore with the main lifts. Just 2 or 3 sets with very heavy weights.
This may sound like a strange idea, but this method is very popular in eastern europe. A lot of the strongest powerlifters and olympic lifters have come out of eastern europe and have used these techniques. For much more comprehensive information, try to find the book Beyond Bodybuilding, by Pavel Tsatsouline. He knows his ****.
Reply Wed 4 Feb, 2009 05:43 am
Thanks, stewartd9. Welcome to A2K.
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Reply Wed 4 Feb, 2009 05:58 am
Good advice..I wrote up a post for another member over here that is along these same lines:

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Reply Tue 19 Apr, 2011 05:01 pm
your method is perfect, I also would like to add wardwork, I'm a 17 years old male that lives in a farm, lifting heys and shove mud is also a way to get strength without getting any bigger. I weight 150 and bench 265 and most kids in my school are at about 165-185 and bench about the same and their arms and legs are about three or four times bigger then my.
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