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  1. #1
    Registered User skiinian95's Avatar
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    how to get strong while staying small

    I know this is a bodybuilding forum, but out of curiosity, is their a method to keeping your muscles small while gaining strength, besides having good genetics?
    I know Bruce Lee was famous for his strength at 130lbs body weight, and he achieved this partially due to weightlifting. Apparently he could curl 80lbs in one hand for reps. wow!
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  2. #2
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    Work in the 3-5 rep range, do a couple heavy working sets (after warming up properly for it) of each the main compound lifts, do a little bit of assistance work, get your protein, get your nutrients, don't eat at a calorie surplus. If you eat at a calorie surplus, you'll get bigger. If you don't, you won't. If you get bigger, you'll have more muscle to move weight with, so your potential to be strong will be greater, but even a skinny bastard can be stronger than your average desk worker with a little training. I'm not much heavier than you, and recently squatted 140kg, benched 90kg (full range of motion, arse on the bench, no assistance) and deadlifted 160kg. These are not impressive numbers, especially when compared to the guys on here who weigh 100kg lean, but they are numbers that most people in commercial gyms will never move on their own, in their life time. My relative strength is high (squat and deadlift both above 2x bodyweight), although I could be a lot stronger if I had more muscle mass. Strength is the product of muscle mass, levers, technique, and neural adaptation. You can't change the length of your limbs (without surgery), but you can improve technique and keep working the skill to develop neural efficiency....and of course you can eat to build muscle mass.
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  3. #3
    Registered User Apollo21's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by skiinian95 View Post
    I know this is a bodybuilding forum, but out of curiosity, is their a method to keeping your muscles small while gaining strength, besides having good genetics?
    I know Bruce Lee was famous for his strength at 130lbs body weight, and he achieved this partially due to weightlifting. Apparently he could curl 80lbs in one hand for reps. wow!
    Well theres not a lot you can do without gaining weight. I dont wanna weigh over 160 but want to bench 300. The key is just keep working your muscles harder each time eat the calories that is needed i'd say around 1400-1700 for you. You can only gain as much weight as fat you put on. You can make you muscles denser but they can only get so dense.
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  4. #4
    EricTheConqueror batman37's Avatar
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    Strength is primarily a function of the CNS.

    Stick to low reps as previously stated. You don't have to get massive to be strong but you will gain some weight, mainly more (muscle and bone) density. You also don't have to eat at a HUGE surplus either.

    Jump on Starting Strength now.
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  5. #5
    Lack of iron &or sleeping SuffolkPunch's Avatar
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    Bruce Lee again.

    Most of the pics of Bruce Lee are when he was more like 160lbs by the way. This is quite buff for a short guy with a small frame.
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  6. #6
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    Originally Posted by skiinian95 View Post
    I know this is a bodybuilding forum, but out of curiosity, is their a method to keeping your muscles small while gaining strength, besides having good genetics?
    I know Bruce Lee was famous for his strength at 130lbs body weight, and he achieved this partially due to weightlifting. Apparently he could curl 80lbs in one hand for reps. wow!
    At the point where he achieved those curl amounts, he weighed much more than the 130. Closer, as SP mentioned, 160-165. What's your fascination w/ staying small?

    or

    Nevermind, staying small is easy. Don't eat. Gaining size is a function of calories. You're already small, so that is nailed in the bag -- keep eating the same diet. It'll keep you right in the same zone.
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  7. #7
    Registered User germaine07's Avatar
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    At 5'10 & 143lb, you're not just small, you're too small. Even if you went up to 160lb while doing you're powerlifting, that would be a lot more feasible IMO. Search some powerlifting routines, low volume, low reps for compounds, work 85-95%, train frequently, use accessory exercises to compliment your routine & lagging parts.
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  8. #8
    Registered User skiinian95's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by germaine07 View Post
    At 5'10 & 143lb, you're not just small, you're too small. Even if you went up to 160lb while doing you're powerlifting, that would be a lot more feasible IMO. Search some powerlifting routines, low volume, low reps for compounds, work 85-95%, train frequently, use accessory exercises to compliment your routine & lagging parts.
    Thanks for the response, yeah I think I do need to get a bit bigger maybe around 170. I just started lifting two months ago on starting strength, have very low body fat, and my lifts are in pounds:
    145 squat
    110 bench
    225 dead lift
    80 military press
    125 power clean
    on starting strength, probably should have mentioned that earlier, but I was looking for more of a general response. Thanks.
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  9. #9
    Registered User skiinian95's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Apollo21 View Post
    Well theres not a lot you can do without gaining weight. I dont wanna weigh over 160 but want to bench 300. The key is just keep working your muscles harder each time eat the calories that is needed i'd say around 1400-1700 for you. You can only gain as much weight as fat you put on. You can make you muscles denser but they can only get so dense.
    1400-1700 calories? that seems low..
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  10. #10
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    Originally Posted by skiinian95 View Post
    1400-1700 calories? that seems low..
    It is. He won't be benching the described wish of 300 anytime soon. But that's not important right now. Where do you want to go today?
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  11. #11
    Registered User JSNeves's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by skiinian95 View Post
    Thanks for the response, yeah I think I do need to get a bit bigger maybe around 170. I just started lifting two months ago on starting strength, have very low body fat, and my lifts are in pounds:
    145 squat
    110 bench
    225 dead lift
    80 military press
    125 power clean
    on starting strength, probably should have mentioned that earlier, but I was looking for more of a general response. Thanks.
    170lbs and very lean is a much better goal for your height to have high relative strength.

    Also as far as the calorie intake recomendation, always keep in mind calorie needs can vary a HUGE amount from person to person
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  12. #12
    Registered User Apollo21's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by KarlynSkuatrach View Post
    It is. He won't be benching the described wish of 300 anytime soon. But that's not important right now. Where do you want to go today?
    Oh really because you know so much about weight training. Listen i went from 205 to 270 in less than 2 months. I'm 30 pounds away, what says i can't get there?

    Anyways, i said 1700 calories yeah that is low but during my 2 month period of me gaining muscle i probably never got more than 2200 calories only on Sundays. and around 1200 - 1600 calories Monday-Friday. I weigh more than you and i obviously "need" more calories.
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  13. #13
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    Originally Posted by Apollo21 View Post
    Oh really because you know so much about weight training. Listen i went from 205 to 270 in less than 2 months. I'm 30 pounds away, what says i can't get there?

    Anyways, i said 1700 calories yeah that is low but during my 2 month period of me gaining muscle i probably never got more than 2200 calories only on Sundays. and around 1200 - 1600 calories Monday-Friday. I weigh more than you and i obviously "need" more calories.
    You just went full retard.
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  14. #14
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    Originally Posted by Apollo21 View Post
    Oh really because you know so much about weight training. Listen i went from 205 to 270 in less than 2 months. I'm 30 pounds away, what says i can't get there?

    Anyways, i said 1700 calories yeah that is low but during my 2 month period of me gaining muscle i probably never got more than 2200 calories only on Sundays. and around 1200 - 1600 calories Monday-Friday. I weigh more than you and i obviously "need" more calories.
    205 to 270. Under two months. That worked well in your favour. Musta put it in yer legs, eh?

    :snicker:
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    Registered User Apollo21's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by germaine07 View Post
    You just went full retard.
    what was retarded about what i said? everyone has different beliefs. If you say well mines better. Yeah stand in line, everybody thinks they have the perfect program.
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    Originally Posted by Apollo21 View Post
    what was retarded about what i said?
    The part about the girl scout average of 1400 calories, and putting up a 200+ BP at a buck/half bodyweight.

    For starters.

    But wait, there's more. Would like to see your BP video first.
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    All Around Achieversch;994897223]The part about the girl scout average of 1400 calories, and putting up a 200+ BP at a buck/half bodyweight.

    For starters.

    But wait, there's more. Would like to see your BP video first.[/QUOTE]

    So you're saying that your brain can't comprehend the fact that i bench over 200 at only 158 lbs? And only eating 1400 calories. And ok i have a video of me struggling to get 265 this was 3 weeks. I'll have it uploaded by 1:30
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    Originally Posted by Apollo21 View Post
    So you're saying that your brain can't comprehend the fact that i bench over 200 at only 158 lbs? And only eating 1400 calories. And ok i have a video of me struggling to get 265 this was 3 weeks. I'll have it uploaded by 1:30
    Well, okay. If you say so. Are ya gonna have a pre-wkout snack first? I like a lettuce leaf w/ a dab of skim milk on it. Then I stare intently at a bag of peanuts for a few minutes, just to get some flavour.
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    Originally Posted by KarlynSkuatrach View Post
    Well, okay. If you say so. Are ya gonna have a pre-wkout snack first? I like a lettuce leaf w/ a dab of skim milk on it. Then I stare intently at a bag of peanuts for a few minutes, just to get some flavour.
    Okay its uploaded. and i prefer 2 chicken legs and 4 slices of cheap cardboard pizza around 6 o'clock sharp considering thats all my school has that is worth eating. Then i workout around 8 every night.
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    Originally Posted by Apollo21 View Post
    Okay its uploaded. and i prefer 2 chicken legs and 4 slices of cheap cardboard pizza around 6 o'clock sharp considering thats all my school has that is worth eating. Then i workout around 8 every night.
    You bounced it and your spotter locked it out.

    Still... it's not bad strength for your size but this whole argument is dumb. Ask anyone who can bench 400lbs if you can get there on a starvation diet and I can tell you the answer will be no.
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    Originally Posted by SuffolkPunch View Post
    You bounced it and your spotter locked it out.

    Still... it's not bad strength for your size but this whole argument is dumb. Ask anyone who can bench 400lbs if you can get there on a starvation diet and I can tell you the answer will be no.
    Very good points i knew somebody would say something about the spotter. Was it really a bounce that wouldnt make it a rep? I'll redo my max near the middle of March. hopefully getting 285 at that time.

    I wasnt trying to argue. I cant get the necessary calories because i have to eat school food as for i am a poor college student. I'm saying i get around 1400-1700 calories in a day where i am.
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    Originally Posted by Apollo21 View Post
    Very good points i knew somebody would say something about the spotter. Was it really a bounce that wouldnt make it a rep? I'll redo my max near the middle of March. hopefully getting 285 at that time.

    I wasnt trying to argue. I cant get the necessary calories because i have to eat school food as for i am a poor college student. I'm saying i get around 1400-1700 calories in a day where i am.
    Powerlifters have a 2 second pause at the chest to keep the lifts honest. They also have to lock out their elbows to complete before the spotter pulls is back to the rack.

    My guess is that you are blessed with very fast twitch muscle composition. Your rapid improvements have come from neural efficiency improvements and didn't require a lot of new muscle growth - although that is not to say that you didn't have some.

    There's always ways of adding calories if you do decide to try a surplus... Once you learn that you can eat pretty much what you want so long as you meet certain basic requirements (protein, fat and micros) with 'clean' food, you can pile on the calories using convenience foods. Big bag of peanuts in your desk drawer... shakes with ultrafine oats... etc.
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