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Falcon

How much mass does one need to be strong?

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Falcon

So I have this question: How much mass do I need to be strong, and yet all of that mass will be functional hyperthrophy? Yes I know about myofibrilar and sacroplasmatic hypethorphy and how to develop both of those, and I know that 1-3 reps work just strenght, but I was always a skinny kid, and it seems that I've hit my max with pullups, I can do some 10kg pulls, maybe about 5-6 max, but I can't move to 15kg, should I build more volume? It seems that the thing that's holding me back is lack of more muscle mass on my body.

Lately I've stumbled onto an older article which is posted on czech rope climbing site (czechs are the best rope climbers in the world) And they divide strenght workouts in 3 categories: http://www.svetsplhu.cz/trenink/trenink-sily-metody/

- (30 – 60 % RM) muscle failure happens in 15 – 20 reps. The muscle will become more endurance based.

- (70 – 80 % RM) failure between 8 – 12 reps. The muscle will become stronger by getting bigger, this is called muscluar hyperthorphy, the muscle is becoming heavier as well.

- (90 – 100 % OM) failure between 1 – 3 reps. The muscle will become stronger by activating more muscle fibers. This is called neuromuscular coordination

Okay I think we all know that. But:

I will now translate the main thing that caught my eye, Ill try to be as accurate as I can:

The muscle size and its strenght are closely related - the bigger the muscle fiber is, the stronger it can contract, and create more force. But in an athletic performance one can't use all of the muscle fibers, and his maximal strenght, which he can activate by mind, is always lower than strenght potential matching the overall muscle fiber size. The difference between absolute and maximal strenght is called the strenght deficit and it's set by number (%) of active muscle fibers. Logically then, the bigger muscle isn't always the stronger - bodybuilders often have big absolute strenght, but also a big strenght deficit.

The bigger the muscle fiber is, the stronger it can contract!

Does that mean, that gaining more muscle mass in my body can help my strenght goals? I holded 1kg of meat next to my shoulder and that thing was bigger than my deltoid. And that was just one kg! I mean, gaining just 1kg of mass would be a huge difference in my case, and to be absolutely honest, I've never seen somebody strong, who is my height (for example LBM is about my height) being skinny as me.

And yes, Im not big because of low TUT in my workouts, believe me, I'm eating enough, recetly I was getting 2000-2500 calories just from the milk, and even now Im keeping my intake ABOVE 3000 cal. daily.

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RatioFitness

Does that mean, that gaining more muscle mass in my body can help my strenght goals?

Yes. Relative strength/power athletes have large muscles. Look at ring men or sprinters, they would never hinder their performance just to get bigger muscles and look better.

The added muscle mass has the potential to allow for more force output than the weight of the body itself, thus gaining muscle can increase relative strength.

Think of it in simple terms: Let's say that you add 5 kg of muscle, but that new muscle will allow you to exert an extra 10 kg of force, which means your relative strength has gone up.

This only works up to a certain point though.

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Falcon

Yes. Relative strength/power athletes have large muscles. Look at ring men or sprinters, they would never hinder their performance just to get bigger muscles and look better.

The added muscle mass has the potential to allow for more force output than the weight of the body itself, thus gaining muscle can increase relative strength.

Think of it in simple terms: Let's say that you add 5 kg of muscle, but that new muscle will allow you to exert an extra 10 kg of force, which means your relative strength has gone up.

This only works up to a certain point though.

Thats cool with me. I just want to be strong as I can while all of my muscle mass is purely functional. The thing is, I've NEVER seen a guy with amount of mass like me, doing things I want to accomplish in the next 5-6 months. That's the whole deal.

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Joshua Naterman

Yes. Relative strength/power athletes have large muscles. Look at ring men or sprinters, they would never hinder their performance just to get bigger muscles and look better.

The added muscle mass has the potential to allow for more force output than the weight of the body itself, thus gaining muscle can increase relative strength.

Think of it in simple terms: Let's say that you add 5 kg of muscle, but that new muscle will allow you to exert an extra 10 kg of force, which means your relative strength has gone up.

This only works up to a certain point though.

Thats cool with me. I just want to be strong as I can while all of my muscle mass is purely functional. The thing is, I've NEVER seen a guy with amount of mass like me, doing things I want to accomplish in the next 5-6 months. That's the whole deal.

That answers your whole question, now doesn't it... You need to get bigger. So, get bigger. Muscle is approximately 80% contractile protein, as far as overall protein content goes, so working on a 10x3 or 8-10x6 protocol will really help you out by overloading those particular motor units and making you grow bigger in the strongest parts of your muscle, so to speak.

Having said that, you are going to need to do some endurance work as well because you need THOSE fibers to be strong as well. Everything works together.

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Falcon

Thank you for response slizz! I highly appreciate that.

10 sets x 3 at 6RM will do I think, both for pulls and HeSPUs Or GVT and that is basicly 10x10 @ 60% of 1RM...

I take the endurance work as high rep work, if Im not wrong. Freestyle barhitting and some handbalancing will do I think.

I'm still scared of gaining more mass, because of the whole sarcoplasmatic-myofibrillar thing, but heck, I have the whole winter to experiment, and about 6 moths to get my straddle planche.

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Wheelson

Falcon, I've come to the same realisations as you, my friend. I've been working on a workout template for the past week or so to meet these goals. I think it would be a big help to share template ideas for our next cycles!

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Joshua Naterman

Stop worrying, start eating, and start doing more work. The size you gain will be functional.

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Cole Dano
Stop worrying, start eating, and start doing more work. The size you gain will be functional.

Exactly!

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Falcon

Huh, okay then slizz :) I was already eating a ton, but today my whey finally arrived! Great.

I want to keep things simple, 10x3 at 6RM for pullups and heSPUs (maybe rather weighted dips), and I will throw 5 more kgs when I can handle the weight for 10-15 reps.

The chances its not my 6RM are pretty high :D but still, I don't know how to exactly find out what my 6RM is, so I will start at 10kgs, build up to 10-15 reps, and then start with 15kgs, and same thing over and over again. period.

For high rep work I was thinking about this:

10-20s is pure strenght - neuromuscular coordination and CNS work

20-40s is myo. hyp.

so basicly on rest days I do 10 sets of 30s-40s freestyle barhitting, that means I grab the bar, and just do stuff for 30-40 seconds without letting go of the bar, that means wide pullups, side 2 side, regular pullups, MUs, whatever... just an idea :)

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Cole Dano

Falcon i was just like you most of my life at 5' 10'' and 125 pounds.

If you want to gain some weight you really have to make it your job for a while, maybe 6-12 weeks at a time. I'd really consider taking a lot more whey as well. Every time you do something with it just put in a heaping scoop, 50mls, at least four times a day, morning, before workout, after workout and night. In your spare time drink milk, watching tv, drink milk, homework, drink milk.

Set a weight goal, maybe to gain 5 kilos, don't stop till you hit it, then consolidate for a while, doing WODs, then back on the weight gain program.

I'm pretty sure you're just like me, and at that age, the only way i'd put on weight is to really stoke the fire.

Slizz's programing recommendation is a good one, but it may be for you something like Poliquin's 6-12-25 will work well. Its the hypertrophy scheme that i've had the best success with.

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Falcon

I've been a skinny-fat kid for my whole life, so yea... mass is not my friend (at least not now).

When it comes to getting enough calories, I've learned to do that, I have no problem with that.

And I want to build mass just on bodyweight exercises, and with using weight belts... that means barhitting, handbalancing. I will still do the WODs, as I just said, I'll have one freestyle barhitting workout on some of my rest days.

5kg is... man, that is a huge amount! But, if that is what I need to exert more strenght, then I will gain that, but doing straddle planche in 5-6 months will be hard with that (or maybe easier, if my shoulders are going to be stronger).

I like the 10 sets of 3 reps, or maybe more, as I said, I'll build up to say, 10 reps, and then I'll add more weight, that sounds reasonably and isn't that damn complex.

Thanks for the help :)

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Cole Dano

5 kg is an example, you have to pick your goal. Use the weight gain to tell you how long to stay on the hypertrophy program, then back to strength until you want to gain more.

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Falcon

I'll try to move slowly from my strenght training to more hypethrophy oriented training, to just strenghten everything, - Deeper the roots, stronger the branches. Let's say, I'll give it another 2 months, and then I will slowly begin to move back to max strenght, of course I will spend a lot of time on statics now as well, I can't expect to pull out a S PL in 6 months by not training it. The thing is, I want that mass only to become stronger, not to look good.

One thing I do, is that I look at myself in the mirror, and I say to myself: "If this was somebody else, not you, what would you tell him to do?" And I would say "Gain more mass." When I compare myself to somebody like tsoonami, there is just no question about that, he looks like a beast, I look like an underfed kid. The mass must be the answer for me at this stage, so more volume on basic moves like HeSPU, pulls, dips, and such.

Strange thing is, have all of you guys done it like this? Gaining mass and then gaining strenght, and again...? It's strange I've never heard of it before when I was studying training schedules or stuff.

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Phil O'malley

Mr Brady did you integrate the 6-12-25 routine in with the WOD's or follow a different training regimen? thanks

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Fox

@Falcon

'

Quick question, you are aiming for 10x10-15 sets/reps as a superset for your excercises? That sounds pretty much to me! But I'm not an expert. My routine includes one day a week with a 10 sets of pullups/pushups on rings. But not as a superset, never tried it. The numbers go up, but I try not to rush it. I'm a little afraid of getting injured because of the high reps.

2nd question: Will it do any harm to me if I apply this routine to weighted dips on rings? Or do you think it is better to do weighted staff on PB's.

Thanks a lot and good luck!

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Cole Dano
Mr Brady did you integrate the 6-12-25 routine in with the WOD's or follow a different training regimen? thanks

Different, back squat, front squat and high rep leg curls and extensions on leg days. FBEs and high rep band work on upper body days.

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FritsMB Mansvelt Beck

Falcon. My answer to your original question is a little different from what I am reading here. In my opinion, you don’t need much mass to be strong. Just look at this guy’s channel (Rostam16):

http://www.youtube.com/user/Rostam16

I think, he is about your age, and (very) thin and (very) strong (planche pups, free HeSpups etc). If you search on youtube, you will find more skinny but strong people like him.

Imo gaining mass to get stronger is heavily overrated. Yes, if you burn more calories then your natural response will be to eat more; and you should. But to start to up your calorie intake to gain mass, while hoping that that mass will be mostly effective muscle, because you are exercising, sounds somewhat like putting the cart before the horse. Of course, my basic premise is that you eat healthy food to begin with and are not too focused on food (I know, it sounds easy, but for a lot of people in practice that is already very difficult). Again, imo getting (effectively) stronger is a matter of giving your (neuro) muscular system the right stimuli, including signals to your hormonal systems that have to produce a lot of the building blocks for effective strength gains. What the right stimuli are for each individual, is still not very well understood. Yes, a lot is known from scientific testing and from practical experience, but for an individual it is still quite an adventure to find out what works and what not for him/her specifically (actually a lot of fun, once you get into it). Hence the high level of interest, and lively and interesting discussions on a website like this. My advice to you: try to contact (strong and skinny) people like Rostam16 and ask them some questions about the importance of weight gain to get stronger. Their specific experience may be closer to what you may want to strive for.

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RatioFitness

I've got to disagree, Frits. That kid isn't really that strong, the best thing he can do is a planche pushup with poor form. Nowhere on his page do you see advanced ring skills. I don't think he would be able to do a maltese without getting bigger.

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Falcon

Fox: I mean like 10-15 max, not in a workout of course :)

Frits: I agree to some point, he is practically same as me, but, he is about 160cm tall, Im 179 (okay, Im just lying to myself with this number, Im way taller, I don't want to know how much taller)

He can do those skills just because of his weight, and height, I havent seen anybody my height having such strenght and being skinny as me, Metin could be an example. But you're not wrong, a lot of strenght comes from the CNS, but I believe, to have that strenght at my height, I would need more functional mass in order to perform correctly, not a single gymnast who is strong on the rings looks like me. Let Shatilov be the example, even Coach Sommer said, that gaining more mass would help him with his ring strenght. And he is about my height, too.

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Philip Chubb

Frits has a point. Though maybe this would be a better example. This whole guys channel is awesome actually. He also does a maltese in another video. Though I don't know how tall he is. malthpgDm5A

Stll, at Falcon's size, gaining mass probably would be the shorter route. Though not exactly the necessary one.

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Falcon

PHILIP: That is Stephen Thomsen, and I have already talked to him about planche training, and he is 160-165 cm tall I believe, you see, he looks similiar to Rostam, and is about the same height. Most of the short guys don't need that much mass I think.

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Joshua Naterman

When there are only one or two people doing something that the vast majority can not, there is almost always a structural component to it. Uncommonly advantageous attachments, lever lengths, more muscle fibers with smaller individual size, "stronger" myosin isoform, etc.

Most people dramatically overestimate how much muscle they actually have, and if you look at the majority of these "skinny" strong guys you'll see that they literally have almost zero body fat and the muscle that they do have is very well-developed and dense. Doesn't have to be terribly thick.

It is also worth remembering that a lot of these exceptions also still spend quite a number of years developing the abilities that we look at and want to emulate, so there is not only a very large genetic component but also a huge training component to their success.

Progress in extreme pursuits is measured in years, not months or weeks, even for the gifted. Usain Bolt, despite being supremely gifted, took many years to finally set the 100m world record to where it is today. Don't think you'll be any different even if you have the greatest of physical talents.

Take your time, eat more, and continue to gain whatever muscle you need for your performance to improve. That's it. Any other question is a waste of time, you can't compare to other people because there is just way too much that can be (and probably is) going on for you to ever make a fair comparison.

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Falcon

Take your time, eat more, and continue to gain whatever muscle you need for your performance to improve. That's it. Any other question is a waste of time, you can't compare to other people because there is just way too much that can be (and probably is) going on for you to ever make a fair comparison.

I have the same opinions about comparing myself to other people.

So I should gain mass all the time... okay, that is cool with me. 3000+ calories a day, some high rep barhitting, handbalancing, or 10x3 workouts, no hypethrophy routines for legs - only strenght, rest of the time WODs. Let's do this!

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Rower

You make it sound like you are a twig or something. Judging by your videos, you carry a good amount of mass, considering your age and body type.

I also seem to remember that you have been doing the WODs for only 4 months. Obviously it is working for you.

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Falcon
You make it sound like you are a twig or something. Judging by your videos, you carry a good amount of mass, considering your age and body type.

I also seem to remember that you have been doing the WODs for only 4 months. Obviously it is working for you.

Not really. I'm doing WODs for about 2-3 months, I think that was after my first ring series video on YT. That may very well be false, I have a bad memory :D

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