So you want to get stronger without getting big and bulky?
The majority of people that train at MontanaFit want to increase their strength but are not interested in gaining any size.
They want to feel fit and strong, but also lean.
Many people associate lifting weights with getting bigger. While this can be the case it really depends on what type of lifting program you are following.
There is also a common misconception that using lighter weights and doing more reps will help you “tone” without gaining size.
The truth is lifting lighter weights and doing a ton of reps is actually how body-builders train to increase muscle size.
An increase in muscle size will also make you stronger. That is why people with big muscles are also usually quite strong and can lift a lot of weight. And also probably why people tend to think if you try to get stronger you will automatically get bigger.
It is very possible to get extremely strong without adding a lot of size. This is evident in sports where weight classes are important like Wrestling, MMA, Boxing, Weightlifting etc. You also see it in sports where being light and really strong is helpful like gymnastics and rock climbing.
In order to get stronger without gaining size you need to follow these guidelines:
- Lift heavy – 80% plus of your 1RM for 1 to 5 repetitions with adequate rest between sets
- Lift/Move Fast– Dynamic movements like Power Cleans, Snatches, Plyometrics and Sprints will develop strength without gaining size.
- Eat Appropriately – The only way to gain size is to take in a surplus of calories which can be used to create muscle or be stored as fat. If you don’t eat a surplus there is nothing in the system to be able to gain size.
That doesn’t mean you only ever lift heavy and/or fast but you would want to make sure that a big piece of your training follows those guidelines.
It is still important to do higher repetitions with lighter weights to keep your joints healthy, strong, and working properly. You just need to make sure you aren’t doing too much volume in that range while also eating a surplus as that will lead to a gain in size.
How is it possible to get stronger without increasing muscle size? Well essentially it comes down to your brain creating a better connection through your nervous system to your muscles.
This leads to:
- Learning to Recruit More Muscle Fibers
- Activating Muscle Fibers Faster
- Increasing the efficiency of each Muscle Fiber
At MontanaFit our focus is on training people to excel outside the gym. That means our program is designed to develop strength, endurance, power, and coordination so you feel fit and athletic, and ready to get after any pursuit with confidence.
If that sounds like something you are into, click the button to schedule a call and find out if MontanaFit is the right thing for you.