Strength Vs Aesthetics
- 10-25-2010, 05:51 PM
Strength Vs Aesthetics
I'm quite an amateur and, for the most part, find most of my answers by reading other threads posted by more experienced members, and after searching around I've failed to yield the results I've been looking for, so I just want to ask directly.
What basics differ when it comes to muscle training for strength and muscle training for aesthetic look? Such as diet, number of sets/reps, programs, etc.
I've been strength training for a long time and enjoy noticing when I can finally add another 5 pounds to a curl for difficulty and such, but I feel as if I will want to try something different in the near future and decided I just wanted to look better. What are some basics points to help me start?
- 10-25-2010, 08:10 PMBoard Sponsor
- 5'1" 121 lbs.
- Join Date
- Mar 2008
As said in Wathen, D., Baechle, T. R. & Earle, R. W. (2000). Training variation: Periodization. In T. R. Baechle & R. W. Earle (Eds.). Essentials of strength training and conditioning (2nd ed.) (p. 395-421). Hong Kong: Human Kinetics.:
Hypertrophy/Endurance – very low-mod intensity (50-75% 1RM), very high-moderate volume (3-6 sets of 10-20 reps)
Basic Strength – high intensity (80-90% 1RM), moderate volume (3-5 sets of 4-8 reps)
Strength/Power – high intensity (76-90% 1RM, depending on exercise), low volume (3-5 sets of 2-5 reps)
Maintenance – moderate intensity (~80-85% 1RM), moderate volume (~2-3 sets of ~6-8 reps)
Competition: Peaking – very high intensity (>95% 1RM), very low volume (1-3 sets of 1-3 reps)
At the end of the day, these are very simple and general points/guidelines, and you really need to find what works best for YOU re each goal, because individuals WILL differ between what works for them and another, etc. - for example, the only thing that makes a difference in the different goals for me is changing my nutrition, because what works best re hypertrophy or strength also works best for me re fat loss as far as training goes.
From observation and experience with myself and clients, as well as "theory" recommendations:
I'm assuming by aesthetics, you actually mean getting lean or creating a proportionate physique - both two very different goals.
Nutrition - generally less than Maintenance calories
Training - anything will work
Nutrition - generally more than Maintenance calories, since if you're trying to create a proportionate physique you want to make sure your muscle mass is "even"
Training - focus on your imbalances, moderate to high intensity, the multijoint compound lifts, generally 8-15 reps - depending on the body-part, and recovery periods anywhere from 30 seconds to 5 minutes
Nutrition - generally more than Maintenance calories
Training - moderate to high intensity, the multijoint compound lifts, generally 8-15 reps - depending on the body-part, and recovery periods anywhere from 30 seconds to 5 minutes
Nutrition - generally the same as for gaining muscle
Training - high intensity, the multijoint compound lifts, generally 3-8 reps, and recovery periods anywhere from 2-5 minutes
The Primordial Woman
- 10-25-2010, 08:47 PM
... Nothing more needs to be said. Great post Rosie!
10-27-2010, 02:16 PM
This was more than I hoped for! thank you very much.
10-27-2010, 03:53 PM
- 5'1" 121 lbs.
- Join Date
- Mar 2008
10-27-2010, 03:58 PM
How long have you been lifting for? If you are past the first 6 months or so of lifting consistently, you might want to look at programs that have some level of built in periodization. There are numerous ones out there that rotate you through different exercises as well as different rep ranges over the course of the program, which both helps with strength and size as well as avoiding any plateus.
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10-31-2010, 11:56 PM
Sorry for the late response
But in regards to the question, I've been lifting for about 2 years now and after a lot of trial and error, know a lot of different exercises, have strong form, and feel confident in trying to learn/practice different programs. I'd love to hear the names of any regimens if that might meet the qualities of this post. I'd appreciate any help you could offer.
11-01-2010, 09:32 AM
It's tough to give any specific advice since you don't define what you mean by improving appearance. Do you mean getting leaner so you can see muscle definition better? Do you mean achieving some sort of ideal shape in regards to the proportions of specific muscles? Are you talking about being bodybuilding competition ready?
The answers to these questions will make a big difference in what your training and diet plan are. Most people simply want to be lean enough to see the muscle mass that they have. Others take it a step further and want to build very specific muscles to try for some proportion (they are usually competitive bodybuilders). You also have to assess how much muscle mass you have now. If you have very little muscle mass, then you need to concentration on driving up the big lifts in the 5-20 rep range to build some size. If you already have alot of size overall, but want to improve some specific muscle groups then you would have a different strategy.
11-02-2010, 12:01 AM
I really should have asked the difference between training for strength vs. size (rather than appearance). Rosie had cleared that away quite quickly. I was curious in the difference in diet and lifting since I've heard a lot of different answers and wanted a solid, more dependable one.
11-02-2010, 06:00 PM
To expand on what Rosie and SRS2000 said, there are different methods for training for strength.
First, if you are training for strength WRT to powerlifting, then not only will you be performing the big 3, but your ancillary work will be much different. You will be focusing on the weak parts of your lifts (like locking out benchpress, or coming out of the hole in a squat, for example). And from there, additional work may be needed to specifically strengthen weak or underactive muscles, such as triceps in the prior example and glutes in the latter.
If you are training for say, a strong man competition, then it will be even more specialized. Yes, you will still have to core lifts in the weight room, but you will also have more functional lifts, such as zercher squats, fat bar work, etc.
Finally, if you training for functional strength, then the exercise selection and rep ranges are again different. More time will be spent on core strength: local core endurance, rotational strength, hip strength; as well as balance and coordination.
So, the workouts for strength, just like for aesthetics, will vary based on the objectives set.
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