getting stronger without bulking?


Orange Belt
Jan 25, 2005
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hello, i only started lifting about 3 weeks ago.... currenty 5'9 at 79 kilos, im a kyokushin practitioner and really dont want to put on anymore weight, how can i become stronger or capable of benching more without increasing muscle mass, i assume that greater mass would naturally occur following trying to increase my bench.
If you keep your calories down, you won't grow, but I would imagine some muscle gain is inevitable if you just started lifting. Keep your reps low, take long breaks between sets and don't eat corned beef hash, and your size gains will be minimal.

On a side note, if you are lifting for kyokushin, your bench is probably one of the last lifts you should be worrying about. The power from your kicks and body punches will be generated largely by hip rotation, and as such, squat, dl, ab work, etc should be given priority over bench.
Control your caloric intake and keep your protein intake up + lift heavy = strength without size.
its inevitable that u will put on weight tho , u cant get stronger without ur muscles getting bigger , and while that may not translate 2 size per say , it will probably make u heavier. what u can do is look into plyometrics so ur muscles become more explosive without getting bigger or heavier.
i would really like to improve my upper body though, lower body is rather strong from years of kyokushin. Take part in quite a few mixed standup comps. Thai guys like to grapple, so increased upperbody strength should be beneficial.... not just for karate but for merely bettering myself.
What about eating big with good protein but training BJJ and lifting heavy
would the BJJ training get rid of the extra calories?
of course it would burn calories, why wouldn't it? it's not complicated. eat consistently throughout the day. 3 main meals, 2 or 3 smaller snacks. keep the portion sizes reasonable and try to eat complex carbs while staying away from simple carbs such as white bread and white rice. if you can, stay away from grains as much as possible, though some 12 grain bread or brown rice is better than white bread or rice. i've lost 13 lbs in 2 months from sandbag lifting, some GPP work 2-3 days a week (S&C with a sandbag and just bodyweight stuff). Plus BJJ and kickboxing a few times a week. I'm smaller, but bigger. Less fat, more strength, with a bit of muscle size. Most people eat too much anyway. Control what you eat a bit better and you'll see some good results. If you want to get big, you have to eat big.