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What is the link between Size and Strength?



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Old 01-05-2009, 12:14 AM
rioch rioch is offline
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Default What is the link between Size and Strength?

When I'm in the gym, I ocassionally see people who are smaller than me lifting much heavier. Whilst I'm smart enough to ignore what other people can lift and concentrate on how the weight I'm lifting feels for me, I've often wondered what the connection is between size and strength. I don't find it so hard accepting that people smaller than me can lift more - they are simply stronger - but what I can't understand is why, if they can lift more, aren't they bigger than me? Or, alternatively, why when I'm lifting less am I bigger than them?
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Old 01-05-2009, 04:23 AM
beastmasterK beastmasterK is offline
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Muscle fiber density. Strength training promotes denser epithelial tissue allowing skeletal muscle to become "stronger" without gaining size.
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Old 01-05-2009, 04:54 AM
rioch rioch is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beastmasterK View Post
Muscle fiber density. Strength training promotes denser epithelial tissue allowing skeletal muscle to become "stronger" without gaining size.
Does that mean that it is possible to consistenly gain size without increasing weight?
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Old 01-05-2009, 05:03 AM
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iron_worker iron_worker is offline
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That would assume you are losing density... which I dont' think is something you want to do.
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Old 01-05-2009, 05:11 AM
rioch rioch is offline
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So what causes muscle density to increase? When I gain muscle size, are the muscle fibres getting bigger (but density isn't changing).

Subquestion: Is it therefore possible to train for size and strength in the same workout?
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Old 01-05-2009, 05:38 AM
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Generally, higher volume training has a propensity to increase muscle size and lower volume training will increase muscle strength and density.

This is not to say that when doing strength training you will not gain size or when doing volume training you won't gain strength. There is no "line in the sand" where one stops and the other starts. Just for the sake of conversation/argument, however, some say that a 5x5 program is a good "middle ground" for strength and size.

IW
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Old 01-05-2009, 06:02 AM
rioch rioch is offline
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It would therefore be beneficial to me to do some strength training, as that will lead to higher volumes, which will lead to more strength, allowing me to lift more when I do muscle gain training. Right?
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Old 01-05-2009, 06:59 AM
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If by that you mean to get bigger and stronger you should switch back and forth between volume training and strength training then yes, that is is a good idea. Some people use the low volume strength training as a type of deload from the high volume pounding you get from a more size based program.

IW
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Old 01-05-2009, 08:06 AM
rioch rioch is offline
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That's exactly what I mean.

How do strength training programmes differ from mass gaining programmes? Is it just about reps, or is there more to it than that?
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Old 01-05-2009, 09:52 AM
Doo Doo is offline
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Strength versus size is not only a factor of muscle fiber density but also the ability to recruit those muscles.
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