Bigger Isn’t Always Better! How To Train for Strength

in Fitness

When we are learning how to keep fit, we tend to follow a set number of rules to ensure that we are doing the right things. When you start working out, the goal might be to get stronger, but you may not want to build large muscles. The fact is getting strong does not actually mean having to get larger muscles. Hypertrophy is the process of defining your body and building the size associated with weightlifting and other practices. If you want to gain strength, you have to bear some of the following in mind.

Strength Is About Tension

The key to getting stronger is not about bulking up. If you are looking to bulk up, it’s about putting your body under a lot of stress and eating a lot of calories, as well as taking the right supplements. The fact that if you are looking to put on muscle and size, you can go for certain supplements and eat a lot more. You can find more information at about specific supplements that can help you towards this.

Strength comes from the central nervous system, rather than the muscles. This is why you have to focus on tension, because this is what sends the message to the central nervous system that you need to deal with the force you are up against.

Test Your One Rep Max

This is incredibly important. Lifting greater than 90% of your one rep max is going to improve your strength by recruiting the high-threshold motor units, which have the most potential for increasing your strength. It’s a good idea to calculate your one rep max. There are a variety of calculators that can help you with this, and you can find one at, but it’s important if you are training for strength that you only test your one rep max very sporadically.

If you want to increase strength, it’s recommended you lift greater than 90% of your one rep max. But you’ve got to have an understanding of the impact on the central nervous system. You may need to rest more in between workouts.

Longer Rests Between Sets

The difference between training for muscle growth and training for strength is that you need to rest for longer when training for strength. If you want to get bigger, you should only rest between 30 and 60 seconds between sets. When training for strength, it should be between 2 minutes to 5 minutes.

Train Your Weak Points

If you want to be strong, you’ve got to understand the weaknesses in your muscular chain. When you are incorporating exercises to strengthen the weaker parts of your muscles, it’s going to decrease the likelihood of muscle imbalances that can increase your risk of injury. This is why compound movements are generally considered to be the gold standard.

Constantly confused, strength and muscle size are not interchangeable. If you want to get stronger you don’t need to put on bulk and size. After all, bigger is not always better.

Image Credits: StockSnap

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