Can a person follow a pure strength program employing Easy Strength principles (not the 5 day per week 40 day program) indefinitely and continue to build strength, or is it necessary to insert a mass building phase from time to time?
No program works for everyone forever. It's not so much that it's necessary to "insert a mass building phase" as it is to vary the approach. NB: some approaches to strength training, e.g., Plan Strong, have enough variety built into them that one can follow them for years and continue to progress, but that's because they're not the same instructions but rather different lifting schedules based on the same set of principles.Can a person follow a pure strength program employing Easy Strength principles (not the 5 day per week 40 day program) indefinitely and continue to build strength, or is it necessary to insert a mass building phase from time to time?
TANSTAAFL - There ain't no such thing as a free lunch. There is a skill component to strength, and a mass component to strength. You can choose to focus on one, the other, or both as a matter of personal preference.Let's say I am not in a sport with a weight class. Gaining weight isn't an issue for me.
Increasing Limit, 1 Repetition Max
Scientific Research as well as decades of empirical data have demonstrated a greater increase in Limit Strength when Hypertrophy (what is considered a mass phase) and Power Training are part of your Training Program.
Physiological Responses to Two Different Models of Daily Undulating Periodization in Trained Powerlifters | fsu.digital.flvc.org
The above is the "Abstract" (Cliff Notes) of Dr Michael Zourdos' dissertation on this.
Zourdos' research found a primary key to increasing Limit Strength is...
...training different types of Strength at the same time: Limit Strength, Hypertrophy and Power.
Doing so provideds a...
Synergistic means the sum (total) is greater than its parts.
It is like adding 2 + 2 and getting 5. The total is larger than its parts.
Each Strength enhancing the other.
The Westside Powerlifting Training Protocol has been around 36 years, since about 1982.
This method employs Conjugate Training; training Strength (Max Effort), Hypertrophy (Repetition Method) and Speed Training (actually it's Power Training).
One of the concerns with lifters in weight classes is gaining weight and having to move up a weight class. Thus, the avoidance of...
This method is used to muscle mass. However, that does not necessarily mean an increase in body weight.
A well written and preformed Hypertrophy Training Program enables lifter to increase muscle mass while minimizing body fat; the end result is relative no change in body weight.
Secondly, the prime root of weight gain or weight loss is caloric intake (Diet); not training.
Third, a minimal amount of Hypertrophy Training for extremely lean individual with concerns gaining weight and remaining in their present weight class is easily addressed by placing less emphasis on it; performing a minimal amount of Hypertrophy work.
One reason some Hypertrophy Training Sets need to be employed is as a means of increasing Strength is...
One of the keys for increasing your training recover is to increase blood flow to the muscles after a training session.
The circulatory system delivers nutrients to the muscles for repair and eliminates "Metabolites", the garbage from training.
The most effective method for this is...
This means performing light, easy exercise that flood the muscle tissue with blood.
The least productive method is...
This amount to doing nothing after your heavy training session, just sitting around watching TV, etc.
There are a variety of way to incorporate Hypertrophy Training into a program that enhances recovery without increasing body weight/muscle mass...
You'll get more progression if you do a long set at the end of a training session
"The present results demonstrated the effects of an additional set of low-intensity exercise immediately after a high-intensity, low-repetition exercise in gaining muscular strength and endurance, suggesting its usefulness in the strength protocol", ...
Performing a Hypertrophy Set at the end of your Limit Strength Training increases blood to the muscle involved (promoting recover).
However, the single Hypertrophy Set post Limit Strength Training only minimally affects an increase in body weight, if at all.
To reiterate, Diet is the prime factor for weight gain or loss.
A greater increase in Limit Strength is elicited when some Hypertrophy and Power Training are part of your program.
Totally agree with this - some years ago at a body weight of 115 kg I was able to pull 3 sets of 5 deadlifts with 320 kg. I never got much bigger but there was a noted thickness in my back and shoulder muscles. Having said that, I now train in the range as described by Kozushi and honestly at almost 58 feel healthier and generally stronger / more able than I did back then. Healthy strength is the perfect way to describe it and for me the perfect aim.I think being able to manipulate between 1/3 and half my weight in one hand in different ways for multiple reps is healthy strength, and not difficult to acquire (or with two hands a deadlift of 150% bodyweight etc). I don't want to get all super huge, which I suspect is counterproductive health-wise.
Totally agree with this - some years ago at a body weight of 115 kg I was able to pull 3 sets of 5 deadlifts with 320 kg. I never got much bigger but there was a noted thickness in my back and shoulder muscles. Having said that, I now train in the range as described by Kozushi and honestly at almost 58 feel healthier and generally stronger / more able than I did back then. Healthy strength is the perfect way to describe it and for me the perfect aim.
My best regards to all.
@Antti3 sets of 5 at 320kg? That is quite a lot. You were an elite lifter. What federation did you compete in and how did you do?
Let me clarify that those were achieved with hand straps - my deadlifting was part of my programme for Judo training when I was competitive. I had intended carving out a career in powerlifting when I retired from competition but injuries left me with a poor bench press. I also suffered broken fingers in my fighting days and did not have the grip strength for true competition. When I stopped competitive judo I kept the deadlift in my training and the weight just crept up and up. I think I am just genetically predisposed for that lift.
I apologise if the original post made me appear to be in a better league than I actually was. I should have given more detail.
My relative strength (not just absolute strength) has gone up faster as I gain weight
Yeah that's a really good observation. Even in BW training, I've noticed (in general), the ones capable of the hardest feats are much more beefed up.This makes sense to me from a mathematical point of view. If a 100 kg guy increases 10 kg of muscle without fat, he now weighs 110 kg for a 10% increase. But his muscle mass went from 50 kg to 60 kg, increasing 20% (approximate figures). So his muscle to weight ratio went from 50% (50 kg over 100 kg) to 54% (60 over 110). Everything else equal, his relative strength is higher.