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View Full Version : Powerlifting for mass?....(pics of mass changes with new training focus)



induced_drag
11-24-2014, 01:05 PM
I had posted this pic in another thread I wrote about caloric surplus, but when thinking about it, I thought this topic deserved it's own thread and I would share my recent experiences.

I have always heard...."quads respond better to higher reps"..etc. I had in my past focused much of my work on leg presses and lighter squats (for me that means something I can do for 10-12). However in the past year +, I have really taken more a powerlifting approach to my squats.

To summarize my workouts, in this time, my reps have never gone above 5. Squats were always done first. I would only do 3-4 working sets of 3-5 reps (after a good warm-up). Trained my legs only once a week. After squats I would do a few VERY LIGHT sets of leg press mainly continuing to work on my hip mobility. (really light means 2-3 plates on each side.....YEP that light). I might then finish with 2-3 sets of extensions. My primary work was squats though and I would go to 90%+ 1rm on almost every workout. (eg 3 reps at maximal effort).

I was not working out for 'mass' at all, and I had not given it any thought until I looked at a recent progress pic. I compared it to one from about 8-9 months ago, and the difference seemed pretty significant. I have always felt my legs were 'stubborn' and I have not experienced anything in the past that seemed to make them respond like this. Over this time, I have brought my squat up to 550 (and hopefully higher soon now that my hip is doing better)

I just never really put the work in on squats. I "worked" them in the 10-12 range...maybe sometimes going down to 8 reps, but I was never super comfortable loading it up to bring myself down to the 5 range and especially not the 3 range. (now even working the 3 range feels great)

Just wanted to share an experience. This once again enforces my belief that the key to building significant muscle mass over time, is to train to be able to move heavier and heavier loads. I believe that highly supplemented individuals may be able go gain mass regardless what training methodology they choose. (eg the Kai Greene 'feel the muscle', benching with 135lbs). But for individuals with more 'normal' hormone profiles, especially 100% natural guys, progressive increases in load and tension over time are what seem to stimulate growth the best. (just my opinion...)


Interested in hearing what others think.


http://i646.photobucket.com/albums/uu187/induced_drag/59edd7ba-8142-4809-8997-68922041a0e9_zps9a3ab454.jpg

Marius_Ursus
11-24-2014, 01:12 PM
Have you ever had your muscle fiber types profiled?

NorwichGrad
11-24-2014, 01:21 PM
Interested in hearing what others think.



Great progress, ID.

I'm just gonna use myself as an example. When I started WL four years ago, my 'mirror beach muscles' were a bit more jacked than they do now. Over the years, I have noticed my guns get a bit smaller. I have also noticed my chest shrink a little bit..

BUT,

My legs and back and posterior chain have gotten bigger for sure..

And it makes sense. We don't use biceps or chest in weightlifting.. Well, we do a little bit, but not as much as powerlifters..

But my legs have gotten bigger from back and front squatting 3 times a week, even if only for 3 or 5 reps. And my back development is a result of the first pull in the cleans an snatch.

Now, this is only comparing myself now with myself years ago. I'm not a bodybuilder so it's not fair to make comparisons outside of me.

But yeah, training with heavy loads seemed to helped with some mass development.

Jbizzlechizzle
11-24-2014, 01:28 PM
I've found that for myself, less is more. So, yes, I agree that going heavier and doing fewer reps, with the right diet, will help with building mass. I used to go the gym and grind out multiple 10-12 rep sets on the bench or the squat rack only to realize later that I was burning too many calories to grow. Obviously, YMMV but this is my experience.

DNAexpressed
11-24-2014, 02:04 PM
Great results, thanks for sharing. How many cals over maintenance do you eat roughly?

Smelly bull
11-24-2014, 02:21 PM
Years ago I switched to a powerlifting routine and was very surprised with the "size" results.

As you do, I believe my size increase is due a more disciplined approach, tracking every rep and continuously increase the weights. It is tough as ****, but it works.

bodyhard
11-24-2014, 02:25 PM
Damn ID I hope this doesn't come off as trying to knock your progress, but I really don't see any difference except that the second pic is bigger in pixels.

Could be the pics, but that is what I see.

Nevertheless great quads man.

Mr. Someday
11-24-2014, 03:01 PM
I have always heard...."quads respond better to higher reps"..etc. I had in my past focused much of my work on leg presses and lighter squats (for me that means something I can do for 10-12). However in the past year +, I have really taken more a powerlifting approach to my squats.


I do higher reps now simply because I'm 45 and not 35 anymore, but I also know that my leg are just maintaining now, they are not bigger. My point is that they didn't get to this size and thickness from high reps. I really believe my love of lower reps and heavier weights built my foundation. When I got the chance to work with Dante (aka Doggcrapp), I really became more of a believer in the power-bodybuilding approach. I don't want to get into preaching one way is better than another, but I can't count how many times I've seen national level guys, pros or just plain old big mofo's talk about feeling the weight, higher reps with more focus on form, or other things along those lines when if you look back at their early approach they kept trying to push bigger and bigger weights each and every day. So for me my approach has changed with my body and my age. I have some aches and pains I deal with...none of which are unbearable, but they still need to be considered when I go into the gym. I lift to get maximum intensity but also to have my joints live to see another day.

v4lu3s
11-24-2014, 03:16 PM
impressive gains.

I have worked low volume, 5 reps or less on squats for 95% of the time i have lifted over the past 8 years, and never made real size gains. Probably going to just do 5 sets or less of 3-5 reps heavy as i can then do a lot of volume after and see what happens next...

NorwichGrad
11-24-2014, 04:42 PM
Damn ID I hope this doesn't come off as trying to knock your progress, but I really don't see any difference except that the second pic is bigger in pixels.

Could be the pics, but that is what I see.

Nevertheless great quads man.

Take a piece of paper, John..

Measure his hips in both before and after pics. Write down the number in mm or inches..

Do the same with his quads.. Take the ratio..

Sorry, that's just the analytical engineer in me.. :D

induced_drag
11-24-2014, 05:14 PM
Take a piece of paper, John..

Measure his hips in both before and after pics. Write down the number in mm or inches..

Do the same with his quads.. Take the ratio..

Sorry, that's just the analytical engineer in me.. :D

Responding from phone so more replies later. To me I can see it pretty clear in the pics. Fullness of outer quad etc. But even measuring as NG suggested a 1/4 face on is .8 inch increase in dia.

The way I know 100% is I have a few pairs of pants I can't even wear anymore. Even my loose fit jeans bought 3" waist size up, I can't wear normal underwear. The tightness of the thighs pulls them up and bunches. I have a few pairs of jockey that are spandex type that I have to wear with my jeans now. I blew out the outer seam by the pocket last week on a pair of my dress pants. No doubt about it.....

bodyhard
11-24-2014, 05:17 PM
Take a piece of paper, John..

Measure his hips in both before and after pics. Write down the number in mm or inches..

Do the same with his quads.. Take the ratio..

Sorry, that's just the analytical engineer in me.. :D

But the second picture is bigger so of course the ratio will be bigger :D

NorwichGrad
11-24-2014, 05:34 PM
But the second picture is bigger so of course the ratio will be bigger :D

Yes, of course! :D

That's why you gotta measure the hips to establish the baseline..

bodyhard
11-24-2014, 05:46 PM
Yes, of course! :D

That's why you gotta measure the hips to establish the baseline..

Or shrink the second pic so they can be identical in pixel size and THEN measure ;)

NorwichGrad
11-24-2014, 05:50 PM
Or shrink the second pic so they can be identical in pixel size and THEN measure ;)

Now you're talkin'..

Then superimpose one picture over the other..

ID - you must feel weirded out about guys discussing your measurements.. lol..

pharmamarketer
11-24-2014, 06:06 PM
ID my whole body has responded from a powerlifting routine that I have done for 8 months that emphasizes heavier and heavier loads. I rarely go over 5 reps. In fact I was at my son's wrestling practice tonight (he is 6 and loves wrestling. That's a whole other thread but he kicks ass at it and I love that he loves it so much) and I had a guy ask me what I have been doing because he thought I looked bigger than this summer.
My point is, I have seen the same hold true with myself. My back is probably the biggest change and my legs are second. My back seems to respond the best of all my body parts.
Your legs are looking noticeably larger. Well done.

Brackneyc
11-24-2014, 06:11 PM
Responding from phone so more replies later. To me I can see it pretty clear in the pics. Fullness of outer quad etc. But even measuring as NG suggested a 1/4 face on is .8 inch increase in dia.

The way I know 100% is I have a few pairs of pants I can't even wear anymore. Even my loose fit jeans bought 3" waist size up, I can't wear normal underwear. The tightness of the thighs pulls them up and bunches. I have a few pairs of jockey that are spandex type that I have to wear with my jeans now. I blew out the outer seam by the pocket last week on a pair of my dress pants. No doubt about it.....


I see a truly epic thread in the making here. :D

GnomusMaximus
11-24-2014, 06:14 PM
Dude you're not wearing women's clothing at all, I guess you were being serious about all that aerodynamic stuff.

TouaregV8
11-24-2014, 06:29 PM
This picture was taken in early 2000 when my quads measured 30", the largest that they have ever been. Back then I worked out with very heavy weight in the 4-6 rep range. I had a PR squat of 585lbs for 6 reps with a belt and wraps at that time. A back injury in late 2001 prevented me from lifting this way anymore. The closest I have gotten my quads since then has been 28". I have seen first hand that very heavy weight in the low rep range stimulates hypertrophy better than moderate weight does in the higher rep ranges (10-15). At least for me, it did.

http://i1300.photobucket.com/albums/ag86/Jeffh_tampa/TouaregV8_zps90d0b058.jpg (http://s1300.photobucket.com/user/Jeffh_tampa/media/TouaregV8_zps90d0b058.jpg.html)

scullin
11-24-2014, 06:55 PM
Pretty big even in the before pic. But yeah seems to be working. And I think the whole Kai Green light weights thing is BS. He lifts big weights, just likes to sound like some sort of mystic half the time.

induced_drag
11-24-2014, 07:19 PM
Or shrink the second pic so they can be identical in pixel size and THEN measure ;)

BH this is just for you!

I imported this into cad and did exactly as you said.

I aligned major joints (red lines at ankles knees and navel) this scaled height, and I also aligned my hip bone (the red rectangle). This scaled the width of the pic.

I then traced my right leg on my "after" pic and overlaid it on my "before" pic. You can clearly see a good deal of daylight over my outer quad.

Remember looking at a cylinder, 1/4" from straight on is aprox .8" in diameter. 1/2" from straight on is 1.5" increase in dia. (those are of course talking circles so I dont know exactly how it translates to legs) All I can go by is there are just some thing I cant even wear anymore. I have some stretch boxers that I cant even get on anymore. That is the cool thing about clothes is that are not changing.

I had given up on keeping measurements as my progress is so slow now. I was not expecting to see growth like this.....I wish I had kept track. But in the end.... I dont really care what a 'tape' says. I care what I look like and how much I can squat. (and those two fight for first place constantly ;) )

http://i646.photobucket.com/albums/uu187/induced_drag/legcomp_zps13520a78.jpg

pharmamarketer
11-24-2014, 07:46 PM
Pretty big even in the before pic. But yeah seems to be working. And I think the whole Kai Green light weights thing is BS. He lifts big weights, just likes to sound like some sort of mystic half the time.
Yes and he is popping Pez candy like tic tacs. God knows what that guy has brought into his world.

GKC45
11-24-2014, 08:09 PM
Nice work ID. I can see it even without the math stuff :)

Halfway
11-24-2014, 08:48 PM
Like toureg, back when I was squatting mid 6's my legs were definitely bigger, but then I was 260 so that's to be expected.

not being able to consistently train my legs for close to a decade also didn't help :(

I do believe that heavy work is necessary but prefer to keep it to just one hard set to minimize overall stress - then fill in the gaps with a ton of that 'kai green stuff' ID mentioned (lighter, squeezing)

best of both worlds imo ( or maybe the worst? who knows with this crazy hobby)

Plateauplower
11-25-2014, 03:13 AM
First nice job, visible growth there, and that is impressive being close to what you thought your potential was.

I think people respond differently to various rep ranges, even different muscle groups within the same person. That being said if you can squat 100x5 the legs aren't going to be the same size as the guy can squat 500 for a single rep. IMO the ratio of mass to strength is variable, in that you can have someone with inordinate strength for their size, but usually strong = big.

In my own experience I grow better at lower rep ranges and trying to always add weight or reps. As soon as I get to 5 reps consistently at a weight, I add. My legs have been growing nicely this year with this approach, and although I do include some higher rep work as well, squats are the only direct leg work I'm currently doing.

I have seen the most improvement in leg size since I started doing multiple sets in the 3-5 rep range followed by a couple of drop sets in the 6-8 rep range than when I was doing 10-12 rep ranges for mobility and working on form, even though the last few reps were near max effort.

Creaso
11-25-2014, 03:26 AM
I had posted this pic in another thread I wrote about caloric surplus, but when thinking about it, I thought this topic deserved it's own thread and I would share my recent experiences.

I have always heard...."quads respond better to higher reps"..etc. I had in my past focused much of my work on leg presses and lighter squats (for me that means something I can do for 10-12). However in the past year +, I have really taken more a powerlifting approach to my squats.

To summarize my workouts, in this time, my reps have never gone above 5. Squats were always done first. I would only do 3-4 working sets of 3-5 reps (after a good warm-up). Trained my legs only once a week. After squats I would do a few VERY LIGHT sets of leg press mainly continuing to work on my hip mobility. (really light means 2-3 plates on each side.....YEP that light). I might then finish with 2-3 sets of extensions. My primary work was squats though and I would go to 90%+ 1rm on almost every workout. (eg 3 reps at maximal effort).

I was not working out for 'mass' at all, and I had not given it any thought until I looked at a recent progress pic. I compared it to one from about 8-9 months ago, and the difference seemed pretty significant. I have always felt my legs were 'stubborn' and I have not experienced anything in the past that seemed to make them respond like this. Over this time, I have brought my squat up to 550 (and hopefully higher soon now that my hip is doing better)

I just never really put the work in on squats. I "worked" them in the 10-12 range...maybe sometimes going down to 8 reps, but I was never super comfortable loading it up to bring myself down to the 5 range and especially not the 3 range. (now even working the 3 range feels great)

Just wanted to share an experience. This once again enforces my belief that the key to building significant muscle mass over time, is to train to be able to move heavier and heavier loads. I believe that highly supplemented individuals may be able go gain mass regardless what training methodology they choose. (eg the Kai Greene 'feel the muscle', benching with 135lbs). But for individuals with more 'normal' hormone profiles, especially 100% natural guys, progressive increases in load and tension over time are what seem to stimulate growth the best. (just my opinion...)


Interested in hearing what others think.


http://i646.photobucket.com/albums/uu187/induced_drag/59edd7ba-8142-4809-8997-68922041a0e9_zps9a3ab454.jpg

The greatest success I had in hyper trophy was using the old school Arnold workouts in his encyclopedia. Warm up of 15 reps then 10 reps 8 reps and two sets of 6 reps.

I would use a weight I wasn't able to lift more then 10 times, or 8 or 6.

I've just switched to 2 sets of 6 and 2 sets of 8.

But when I think of low reps I think of 1-3.

6-8 I think is the optimum rep range for growth and of course you always got to try and isolate the muscle groups you are working.

trans4mation
11-25-2014, 05:58 AM
I do higher reps now simply because I'm 45 and not 35 anymore, but I also know that my leg are just maintaining now.

Why would your legs just be in maintenance mode now? I figure you've got several good years of growth ahead of you. 45 is still a relatively young age in terms of bodybuilding, remember "Old Superman" and his growth into his middle 50's?

Mr. Someday
11-25-2014, 06:16 AM
Why would your legs just be in maintenance mode now? I figure you've got several good years of growth ahead of you. 45 is still a relatively young age in terms of bodybuilding, remember "Old Superman" and his growth into his middle 50's?

If I had stick legs sure I could grow them further. I still try and bring up hammies and calves which aren't my strongpoint, but I don't think my quads are getting any bigger without measures I'm not willing to implement. But good point...don't want to leave the impression that you can't grow a bodypart just because you're in your 40's.

JerryB
11-25-2014, 09:50 AM
Thanks for sharing the comments and photos.

Great progress.

A majority of the professional bodybuilders started in power lifting.

induced_drag
01-02-2015, 05:57 PM
Just a small bump ;) Since I just started my cut, before my strength tanks I figured I would squat some weight. Did not go in with intention of going to a single, but I felt good. I put 555 on which is a 10lb bump for me, but I know I had a good deal more in me. This felt nice on my back.

Now if I could ever improve my damn walkout.

Vid looks a tad high, but the shorts I am wearing with the stripe always throw the off. Plus the high angle. My mobility is always a work in progress for me. I moved my squat stance even closer as I was feeling hip pain on a prior set. This felt good though.

p63WlGwXlwA

drudixon
01-02-2015, 06:58 PM
I think in many regards, muscles respond to different. I'm growing better with low weight, slow reps and partials now than since my noob days. Once pics are dramatic enough I'll post.

PS not your usual depth at all. Hip crease well above knee. No hate, just know what you normally do.

Pps. Strength at a different stance width very well could have mass carryover.

ajdahlheimer
01-02-2015, 06:59 PM
Looked plenty low to me (but don't post it over in the strongman forum :D )

Awesome lift!

induced_drag
01-02-2015, 07:52 PM
I think in many regards, muscles respond to different. I'm growing better with low weight, slow reps and partials now than since my noob days. Once pics are dramatic enough I'll post.

PS not your usual depth at all. Hip crease well above knee. No hate, just know what you normally do.

Pps. Strength at a different stance width very well could have mass carryover.

Yea....looks weird like I said. The biggest thing is the shorts. ( the angle doesnt help, but the white stripes on the shorts are the biggest) I took a cap at the bottom and drew an arrow where my hip crease is.

http://i646.photobucket.com/albums/uu187/induced_drag/Capture4_zps4114d9d4.jpg


This is a side cap from an older squat vid showing the same illusion from the shorts but from a much better angle.
http://i646.photobucket.com/albums/uu187/induced_drag/squat4_zps836824d1.jpg


This is why you wear singlets in meets. :) Either way...regardless, I just felt good in the gym tonight. If it was not at depth, it was not real far off. My hip mobility is always a challenge and I will never be an ATG squatter. But I can hit 'legal' depth, but that is about it!

Maybe next week I will go in an and go for 565 and shoot from the side....in a singlet.....with 3 judges..... j/k. All good. That is why I was the first to point out it looked a little high.
I am not looking forward to an extended deficit. First 'cut' in almost 2 years....but have to pay the piper sometime!

DrivingIron
01-02-2015, 10:52 PM
I do higher reps now simply because I'm 45 and not 35 anymore, but I also know that my leg are just maintaining now, they are not bigger. My point is that they didn't get to this size and thickness from high reps. I really believe my love of lower reps and heavier weights built my foundation. When I got the chance to work with Dante (aka Doggcrapp), I really became more of a believer in the power-bodybuilding approach. I don't want to get into preaching one way is better than another, but I can't count how many times I've seen national level guys, pros or just plain old big mofo's talk about feeling the weight, higher reps with more focus on form, or other things along those lines when if you look back at their early approach they kept trying to push bigger and bigger weights each and every day. So for me my approach has changed with my body and my age. I have some aches and pains I deal with...none of which are unbearable, but they still need to be considered when I go into the gym. I lift to get maximum intensity but also to have my joints live to see another day.
Nice post, I feel the same way as a man in his forties who has been into bodybuilding for over 30 years now.

Bando
01-02-2015, 11:56 PM
I took a cap at the bottom and drew an arrow where my hip crease is.



I would say your squatting skills are way better than your arrow drawing skills

induced_drag
01-03-2015, 12:05 PM
I would say your squatting skills are way better than your arrow drawing skills

No doubt! Ha! Yea....that was surly not my deepest squat ever. Could have been deeper for sure. Not really a strength issue for me, but more of a mobility one as you know. I had experience some hip pain earlier in my sets and brought my feet in closer. I have to say that was probably in my head when I unracked the weight. I was a little frustrated it went up so easy. If I had known it was that 'light' I would have been much more confident with the weight. But as with any new PR on squats, I am always pretty tentative.