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What's More Important - Strength or Mass?

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  • What's More Important - Strength or Mass?

    From a longevity standpoint, is it more important to have muscle strength, or must you also have strength and muscle mass? I want to make gains in muscle strength and definition, but I really don't care about building mass (as in bulking up). I thought of this question while reading the thread about building muscle while going VLC.

    The Primal Blueprint doesn't speak of carb refeeds on strength or anything like that...
    Last edited by john_solo; 07-30-2011, 10:44 AM.

  • #2
    Strength.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by john_solo View Post
      From a longevity standpoint, is it more important to have muscle strength, or must you also have strength and muscle mass? I want to make gains in muscle strength and definition, but I really don't care about building mass (as in bulking up). I thought of this question while reading the thread about building muscle while going VLC.

      The Primal Blueprint doesn't speak of carb refeeds on strength or anything like that...
      Mass won't help with performing everyday physical activities or with sports performance. If you aren't looking to be a bodybuilder I wouldn't worry about it too much. As long as you eat and train properly you will add some muscle, just not to the extent of a bodybuilder.

      The TNT Diet is a good companion to PB. They include the hows and whys of post workout refeeds.

      Steve

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      • #4
        absolutely strength. muscle mass is great for making a bigger splash in a swimming pool; strength is good for doing shit.
        http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread60178.html

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        • #5
          They're too correlated for any feasible study to show differential benefit.

          There was a study that showed health and I think longevity benefits for the people in the top 3rd of 'strength'.
          Given current standards that probably just means not horribly weak.

          Doug Mcguff and other M.D.s say muscle mass is beneficial in surviving accident and injury.
          Again, I suspect that really means not frail.

          I've surfed the net pretty hard trying to figure out if bulking is good bad or neutral and haven't come up with anything convincing.

          Calorie restriction is pretty well supported for health benefits and big longevity benefits in animals and that's pretty opposite to bulking.

          Research on long lived populations seems to show activity is important but notable strength or performance not at all.

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          • #6
            The Primal Blueprint doesn't speak of carb refeeds on strength or anything like that...
            It mentions lift heavy things.
            Carbs: 50-100 grams/day (or less) = accelerated fat loss. 100-150 grams/day = effortless weight maintenance. Heavy exercisers can increase carb intake as needed to replace glycogen stores.
            How to Succeed with the Primal Blueprint | Mark's Daily Apple
            Moderation: Certain high glycemic fruit, coffee, high-fat dairy products, starchy tuber vegetables, and wild rice.
            Those items help with weight lifters of the "heavy exercise" primalist.

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            • #7
              The PB book doesn't mention refeeds, but Mark has written (approvingly) about them.

              keep this in mind, while I absolutely respect the work that Mark is doing, he's trying to appeal to a broad audience he has said time and time again his goal is to "bring people to a homeostasis" NOT to make people into fitness models or help them achieve super-lean levels. This is why the book doesn't mention refeeds but Mark acknowledges that they are helpful for those that are trying to do what I described.
              Last edited by iniQuity; 07-30-2011, 04:29 PM.
              I used to seriously post here, now I prefer to troll.

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              • #8
                Read this, from Mark himself: Carb Refeeding and Weight Loss | Mark's Daily Apple

                This isn’t enough for everyone, though. To go back to yesterday’s “hormones as software” analogy, some people are hackers who relish digging deep into the fine print of software manuals discussing human nutrition and hormonal responses. Others – the bulk of my readership – are cool with using their standard-issue, factory Mac or PC to reap the basic benefits of Primal living, while others prefer learning Unix and taking night classes in comp sci down at the local community college after work. They’re the ones who spend the time to fiddle with the programming language of our bodies in order to become real hormonal hackers. I get that. I love that stuff, too, if only to able to take the information and distill it for a large audience. Though one can see tremendous results with minimal effort following the simple principles of the Primal Blueprint (i.e. how I approach my own eating habits and how I recommend others do as well) digging deeper into the science of leptin and how carb refeeds impact leptin levels can unlock an entirely new level of fat loss (and understanding of why that fat loss is occurring).
                Now can we please put all this stupid back and forth over eating fucking potatoes to fucking rest? Fuck.
                I used to seriously post here, now I prefer to troll.

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                • #9
                  I think that improving your strength/weight ratio should be your ultimate goal at all times. When I joined a gym about two years ago my goal was hypertrophy, but what good do those muscles do me when I can't even do a real pull-up?

                  I'd recommend that you train for strength and see what happens. Some people will become more bulky, some less ... that' mostly in the genes (specific genes have been identified that can result in people being very skinny, but strong, or quite bulky, but not so strong relative to the muscle mass).
                  MikeEnRegalia's Blog - Nutrition, Dieting, Exercise and other stuff ;-)

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                  • #10
                    Strength and mass depend on each other to a great extent, so you should develop both.
                    Ye shall know them by their fruits.

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                    • #11
                      When you add muscle mass a bunch of your other systems must adapt to support that mass. If you prevent loss of mass from age(sarcopenia) you prevent the downgrade of systems that were needed to support the prior mass.

                      I'm going with muscle.

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                      • #12
                        If you're talking about functioning in the world then strength is going to bring you more benefits: it'll be easier to lift, push, or pull things (including yourself).

                        If you're talking about maintaining health and mobility into old age and/or surviving an accident that causes massive damage to your body, then mass is key: a lot of the aging process is atrophy, and the more you have to start with the more you can lose without becoming weak. Also, organ mass is proportional to lean mass, which means that you'll better be able to handle any extraordinary stresses like said accident. Strength and other areas of ability might keep you from suffering the accident (or mitigate the severity somewhat), but once it's done you'll have to count on your reserves.

                        Fortunately a good strength program paired with a mass-building eating plan gets you both.

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                        • #13
                          I'm with AndreaReina. A strength based program (reps in the 3-5 range with progressive loading of weight) is key. On top of that, add in some hypertrophic sets (8-12 range). The way I do it is that on my heavy squat day, I do 3 sets of bench press for 10 reps. All of my assistance work (rows, dips, shrugs, good mornings, romanian deadlifts) are in the hypertrophic range at lighter weight (not light weight, but about 65-75% of max). I'm getting stronger as measured by the weight on the bar and I'm definitely adding some muscle.

                          And you need to make sure you get your protein in as well.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Laconophile View Post
                            Strength and mass depend on each other to a great extent, so you should develop both.
                            I'd just say that strength is the better target for most people. If you're going to focus on strength, mass will tag along as is appropriate for your genetic type. If you're going to focus on mass, strength won't necessarily develop accordingly, and you can be left with a weaker body (based on strength/mass ratio). The disadvantage of mass is that you have to carry it around.
                            MikeEnRegalia's Blog - Nutrition, Dieting, Exercise and other stuff ;-)

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                            • #15
                              Just taking this from a "chick looking at guys" viewpoint... strength.

                              Yes, a bunch of muscles is a wonderful thing to look at, but if you want to really impress me, DO something! If you can help me move the couch, pick me up in your arms or get the lid off of the pickle jar, then I'm going to fall in love with you.
                              Durp.

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