TRAINING TIPS STRENGTH VS SIZE PART 1: WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE - Chaos and Pain

TRAINING TIPS STRENGTH VS SIZE PART 1: WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE

Most people start to lift weights because they want to get bigger and stronger.  At first, it’s easy to do both. Just picking up heavier weights each workout forces your body to adapt and grow.  However, once the Honeymoon is over, it will become more difficult to gain both size and strength at the same time.  Now what to do?

Strength training and size training are two different principles. And yes, there is going to be an overlap of both, no matter if you train for size or strength.  So now ask yourself, do you want to be strong enough to pick up a Bus, or just look like you can?

  1. Train for Strength

Strength training’s primary purpose is To Get You Stronger!!! The idea is to train your muscles to respond to small, quick bursts of power.  Strength training is more about training your Central Nervous System and making new neural pathways that help you lift more weight.  When you train, your nervous system grows first, your muscles second.  When you focus on heavy, compound movements, your nervous system gets more of an intense workout than your muscles.  Getting bigger is nice, but a Strength Athlete doesn’t care about anything except getting stronger.

How do you train for strength? 

Make the Big 3 (Bench, Squat, and Deadlift) your priorities, and keep your reps low.  I prefer my strength athletes to perform between 4-6 reps on most exercises, with enough rest between sets to put forth max effort on every lift.

  1. Train for Size

Have you seen any pics of recent bodybuilders?  22-inch arms, 60-inch chest, six pack, you get the idea.  Now compare them to the top Powerlifters in the world.  The bodybuilders look like they are 1000 times stronger than the Powerlifters. But they aren’t. In fact, they are much weaker.  Wtf is going on?

When you train for size, you are less concerned with the amount of weight you lift, and are more focused on strict form and time under tension. When your muscles work longer, they release more hormones that are responsible for recovery, and building more muscle size.  With Strength training, most sets don’t last more than 10 seconds.  When your sets are fast and under 10 seconds in length, you work more on developing the Nervous System.  For optimal size gains, you want your sets to be in the 20-30 second range.  When your sets last more than 20 seconds, you work more on developing soft tissue, such as muscle fibers, blood vessels,
ligaments, and tendons. The body parts that are responsible for making you as big as a house!

How do you train for Size? 

Include the Big 3 in your workouts, however use less weight and make the sets last longer.  I prefer my size athletes to perform between 8-12 reps on most exercises, with as little rest as possible between sets. However, don’t sacrifice completing your rep goals by not resting long enough.30-60 seconds rest between sets is a good place to start.

  1. Conclusion

Your approach to gaining size is different from trying to gain strength.  Manipulation of repschemes easily allows you to train for your specific goal. And what’s the coolest part?  You can combine these two different training philosophies to get the best results of your life. Don’t get held up by a plateau.  Break through it, and use it as a spring board to speed up your results. 

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