Is it possible to perform strength training on certain muscle groups and training for mass gain on others?

For example, I don't want big legs, but I of course want much stronger legs. Can I do strength training on my legs day (low repetitions and heavy weight) while purely working to put size on my upper body on their days (high reps, lower weight)?

OR will my body only do one thing at a time over a given timeframe? By that I mean, if I do my legs day for maximum strength gains and then for the rest of the week do training for size, will my body decide that it should just pack on size everywhere that I trained that week, or still honour my strength workout for legs?

This could include body parts that are related / close together like say if I wanted to have stronger biceps but bigger triceps.

  • The type of training is decided mostly by the rep range and diet, so im taking an educated guess that probably you could do strenght and mass apart. But, honestly, you probably dont want to. As a reference, see all the funny pictures about skipping leg day on the internet
    – K.L.
    Feb 18, 2013 at 8:55
  • @K.L. Obviously I will build some muscle and size in my legs either way so they look muscular like the rest of my body - I just don't want huge tree stump legs. The other thing though is that my legs are much weaker than they should be.
    – Marty
    Feb 18, 2013 at 8:57
  • 3
    A lot of people fears getting big, but to actually get bodybuilder big, "tree stump leg" big, you would have to work very long and very hard. IMHO - you dont need to worry :)
    – K.L.
    Feb 18, 2013 at 9:30
  • 1
    It's more a generic question anyway - if muscle X is getting out of proportion to its surroundings, can I move onto strength training for just that group or will it still see size gains from trying to buff up the area around it.
    – Marty
    Feb 18, 2013 at 10:01
  • Maybe try editing the question, to make note of the fact that it does not consider beginners, but advanced bodybuilders who have problems balancing out their silhouette
    – K.L.
    Feb 18, 2013 at 10:08

2 Answers 2


You sure can, however if your diet is proper you will still gain mass even while strength training. Therefore, you will probably gain mass everywhere, but somewhat less in the parts where you focus on more strength.


To a degree yes. Do you mind if I ask how long you have been training? If you haven't been training for very long, there isn't really a notion of training for size vs training for strength, since doing just about anything(within reason) will elicit a training response.

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