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Strength training without getting bulky?

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  • Strength training without getting bulky?

    I'm hoping someone can give me a better understanding of strength training without adding too much size? I don't have weight to lose anymore. I'm in great shape, but I've stabilized at around 165lbs which is already a thick build on a 5'7" guy; I don't want to get much thicker.

    Right now I eat completely PB, I try to get 1g of protein per lb of body weight each day, and I keep the carbs below 100 most of the time.

    2-3 days a week I either do strength training at the gym, or go to the park and use my own body weight, I go hiking once or twice a week, and I bike and swim for sprints when I get the impulse.
    My primal journal!
    http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum...Meat-Manifesto

  • #2
    Try isometrics.
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    • #3
      Keep the intensity up (weight) and keep the reps low, max of 6 though sometimes you can have higher rep days if you're doing lighter weight or bodyweight work. If you're not eating a lot don't worry about adding size.
      I used to seriously post here, now I prefer to troll.

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      • #4
        The simple answer is that you just need to eat maintenance levels of food while keeping a solid strength program. You won't become more "bulky" just because of the program you follow...
        Are you a college student, trying to navigate college while being Primal? Do you know any other PB college students on a tight budget? Heck, for that matter, are YOU trying to live Primal on a budget? Enroll at Primal University!

        For after all what is man in nature? A nothing in relation to infinity, all in relation to nothing, a central point between nothing and all and infinitely far from understanding either.
        -- Blaise Pascal

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        • #5
          +1 on lifting heavy and keeping reps low.
          you won't get bulky unless you are eating more calories than you need. muscle won't just appear; it needs food to supply it. you can increase your strength while staying lean by eating at maintenance and working out correctly. i keep getting stronger and smaller just following the PB and mark's fitness book.
          http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread60178.html

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          • #6
            Originally posted by periquin View Post
            Try isometrics.
            BAHAHAHAHAHAHA "This antipersonnel mine weighs eight pounds. Not much, but try holding it with an outstretched arm. Hell of a workout."
            My whole life, I've felt like an animal......but I've ignored my instincts. I ignored what I really am. That will never happen again.

            My blog

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            • #7
              Getting bulky has more to do with your genetics that what program you follow.

              If you are already a muscular guy without having really tried you are more likely to gain muscle no matter what program you are on.

              An Olympic lifter will never have a gymnast's body no matter how many time he rides the pommel horse.

              High intensity plus low reps plus a ton of food is the recipe for bulk.

              High intensity plus low reps plus a maintenance level of food is the recipe for burnout.

              I would stick to body weight exercises. You will get stronger at those exercise and gain endurance with those exercises but lack of progressive overload should keep added bulk to a minimum (depending on how easy you add bulk of course).
              Last edited by chima_p; 11-12-2010, 07:02 AM.
              Don't be a paleotard...

              http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/nut...oxidation.html

              http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/nut...torage-qa.html

              http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/fat...rn-fat-qa.html

              http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/nut...-you-need.html

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              • #8
                You won't get big without trying, don't eat too much and so whatever exercises are fun for you.

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                • #9
                  Hmm, what's eating too much? I've been really hungry lately; I'm probably taking in around 2500 a day.
                  My primal journal!
                  http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum...Meat-Manifesto

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                  • #10
                    I don't really think people get huge bulky muscles without actively trying to. I think to really get those bulging bodybuilder pecs you've got to actively try to get them, doing tons of high reps / low weight stuff plus very careful eating. Everyone is different of course, and I'm a hardgainer type so I'm not one to talk.
                    If you are new to the PB - please ignore ALL of this stuff, until you've read the book, or at least http://www.marksdailyapple.com/primal-blueprint-101/ and this (personal fave): http://www.archevore.com/get-started/

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                    • #11
                      I've heard, not sure, that lifting without the combination of flexibility training will lead to bigger, shorter, muscles. Using full range of motion, isometrics, combined with a good stretching routine will protect the muscles and the surrounding ligaments and tendons.
                      Can't remember where I got this idea, That a percentage of the bulk a pro body builder gains is scar tissue as well as increased muscle fibers, due to the extreme levels of heavy lifting. Origin of "no pain no gain" ??? Anybody know if any of this is BS or not.

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                      • #12
                        I would say that unless you have a mesomorph build you won't get anywhere near bulky without really trying to. If you are a mesomorph then you're lucky as hell and you should enjoy it.
                        http://www.facebook.com/daemonized

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                        • #13
                          I have several friends who struggle with 'bulkiness'. Just like I am constitutionally very small and thin all over and find it difficult to put on any weight, they naturally have larger bones and large muscles without trying, and if they do load-bearing exercise that natural propensity can cause them to get very 'bulky' - it's the only word for it. It's true that no one is going to look like a bodybuilder unless they try, but check out a powerlifting competition - there is a mix of body types and sizes, and the smaller people are often as strong as the bigger people pound for pound, but some people can get BIG while they are lifting weights and getting strong.

                          Also, FWIW - it seems I can gain weight and add muscle without changing my eating habits much less eating 'huge amounts'. I don't regularly count calories anymore, but I have had the same shopping list every week for ages and eat a very consistent diet - all that food is gone by shopping day. I put on 4 pounds in the or so month since I really starting lifting - and I'm not even lifting that heavy or that often, and I'm a hardgainer.

                          I'm not sure what my advice to the OP is. I guess not to do too much strength-training if you don't want to be bigger. :/ Or try strength-training, but keep a close eye on your calories.
                          Last edited by animalcule; 11-12-2010, 08:45 PM.

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                          • #14
                            OP, Muscle will adapt to the program you apply to it, period. What you need to know is..

                            a. How your body reacts to training, i.e. Do you gain muscle fairly easy or is it pretty hard to see much gain for your efforts.
                            b. What you are doing in the gym, what you are doing out of the gym and the effect it will have on your body.

                            Once you know those things, you won't need other people who don't know you or anything about your ability to grow muscle to tell you what to do to reach your own goals. But even better....you will actually know what you are capable of with simple tweaks here and there in both diet and training if you decide to change how you look or feel later in life. I just recommend to read magazine articles and online sites, books, what have you and start figuring out what works for you, because what works for one doesn't work for the other.

                            In regards to your concern...

                            a. For stregth....60 to 80 % or more of your max x sets of 5 or under
                            b. Size 40 % to 70% x sets of 8 or more

                            Those are basic rules of thumb. Also, if you are hungry, eat! no matter what you do, you must allow your muscles to repair themselves, especially with a stregth based training program as it is usually done with complex moves that are very taxing on the entire body.....even if it doesn't seem so. A sound program based around strength, conditioning and flexibility shouldn't cause any issues with your goals, as you can mix in some body weight stuff, sprints, and do your heavy lifting only 2 days a week which if done with some intensity is plenty to not only gain strength, but maintain it. I recommend 5/3/1 by Jim Wendler and anything by Mark Rippetoe. All sound knowledge.

                            There is some over lap between size and strength, strength and size. However, to attain more than what is natural for your body structure and actual muscle size it takes a tailored program and diet geared towards it, the same goes for a pursuit of above normal strength for your body structure and muscle size. So bare that in mind bro. Workout how you like, stretch, condition, eat and rest and Im sure you will be fine.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by erikJ View Post
                              I've heard, not sure, that lifting without the combination of flexibility training will lead to bigger, shorter, muscles. Using full range of motion, isometrics, combined with a good stretching routine will protect the muscles and the surrounding ligaments and tendons.
                              Can't remember where I got this idea, That a percentage of the bulk a pro body builder gains is scar tissue as well as increased muscle fibers, due to the extreme levels of heavy lifting. Origin of "no pain no gain" ??? Anybody know if any of this is BS or not.
                              Stretching and a full range of motion should be apart of any and every routine regardless. Its better for your body and your future in both training and recovery as you get older. That much is very true.

                              The rest of it....not so much. Isometrics is the static hold of a certain muscle/muscles for a amount of time. In other words you are under load, forcing the muscle to hold in a "flexed" position.....which is when the muscle is both its biggest and shortest, so that doesn't fit in that thought.

                              As for Pro Bodybuilders and their mass being primarily scar tissue plus muscle fibers...not at all. Scar tissue actually inhibits proper range of motion and flexing of the muscle (how bodybuilders make their living) many get deep tissue messages to break up any impediments and also myofascial release therapy ( I think thats right, haha) to keep this from happening. There have also been several pros that have done full splits in their posing routine to show off their capabilities despite their massive amount of "bulkiness" which most confuse with an inability to move or function like normal people.

                              "no pain, no gain" more so refers to the burn of lactic acid in the muscles, and the muscle soreness it causes in that area when it builds up following a workout. Remember man.....people passionate about lifting both for strength or size don't do it to with the mind set of messeing themselves up....its to improve on their abilities...Even if some still do tear themselves up either out of lack of knowledge or just doing dumb stuff, haha.

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