Hey Angels and Alphas,
One of the most common goals bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts have is to gain muscle size and strength at the same time. The problem, however, is that this isn’t always possible.
There are certain factors that might cause your muscles to develop at different rates, or one could overtake the other completely. In this article we’ll take a look at some of the science behind how strength and size get built and talk about why you might be gaining more size than strength – and how to fix it if that’s the case!
A comparison of gaining strength vs. gaining size
When it comes to working out, some people are more interested in gaining strength while others are more interested in gaining size. But which one is more complicated?
It seems like an obvious answer that gaining size would be more difficult than gaining strength, but it turns out there’s a little more nuance to the question than that.
For starters, the goals of those who want to gain size and those who want to gain strength may be different. People who want to gain strength might be largely focusing on increasing their one rep max, while those who want to gain size are interested in achieving the optimal frequency for muscle growth.
Additionally, it takes less energy to maintain muscle mass than it does to maintain a low body fat percentage. Therefore, someone looking to gain size will need fewer calories per day than someone looking to build muscle mass because they’ll need less protein as well.
Lastly, adding muscle can increase your metabolism which will lead you towards burning more calories during the day. All this means that trying to bulk up isn’t as hard as many think it is!
Tips for gaining strength
1. Get enough protein. Protein is the building block of muscle, so you need to make sure you’re getting enough of it in your diet.
2. Lift heavy weights. You need to challenge your muscles if you want them to grow stronger.
3. Don’t forget about your cardiovascular health. A strong heart will help you better endure strength-training workouts.
4. Rest and recover properly. Your muscles need time to repair and grow after a workout, so make sure you’re getting enough rest.
How to make sure you are seeing progress
When you are working out to gain strength, it is important to make sure that you are seeing progress. This can be difficult to gauge, as gains in strength can be slow and subtle. However, there are a few good ways to tell if you are improving.
One way is by taking measurements of your lifts – such as the amount of weight lifted or the number of repetitions performed – every couple weeks or so.
Another way is by taking note of how your body feels after completing an exercise session or following a new training program – if you feel weaker than before then chances are your form has worsened or you have gone past your limits for the day and need to take some time off from training hard.
Progress comes in waves
When you’re trying to gain strength, progress comes in waves. You’ll have good days and bad days, and sometimes it feels like you’re not making any progress at all. This can be frustrating, but it’s important to remember that everyone goes through this. The key is to keep pushing yourself and focus on achieving sustainability in your routine.
Don’t forget about intensity
When most people think about gaining strength, they think about going to the gym and lifting heavy weights. But that’s only part of the equation. Intensity is just as important, if not more important, than the amount of weight you’re lifting. You should always try to keep the number of reps low (under 5) and make sure you have a full range of motion with each rep.
The goal is to be able to use heavier weights for less reps in order to improve your maximal force production capacity – which can lead to improved muscular endurance, power output, muscle size, and strength.
Don’t miss out on your mind-muscle connection
The mind-muscle connection is key when it comes to gaining strength. You need to be able to focus on the muscle you’re trying to target and recruit as many muscle fibers as possible. This can be harder than it sounds, especially when you’re just starting out. But once you get the hang of it, you’ll be able to add weight to the bar and see results quickly.