DO GAINS IN STRENGTH EQUAL SIZE?

does strength equal size

“Does STRENGTH equal SIZE?”

In other words, will training with a focus on gaining strength also lead to significant increases in muscle mass?

This is a pretty common I get asked, usually by lifters who are just starting out.

Basically, the answer is yes, significant gains in strength WILL lead to significant gains in muscle size, but only if you’re eating in a calorie surplus.

If you’re taking in more calories than you burn throughout the week and you’re consistently adding weight to the bar on all of your major lifts, those increases in strength absolutely will correlate to increases in muscle size.

progressive overload

Not only that, but gaining strength is actually by far the single most important factor of anything in your entire training program, and it’s the one thing that should be given the highest amount of focus when you’re in the gym.

Yes, total training volume and frequency are also important, but progressive overload is still the ultimate bottom line when it comes to building muscle.

So many people try to over complicate things, and in the process they end up losing sight of this one basic principle. It’s better to keep things simple and only add things like SARMs that you know will benefit you in order to build strength and gain size. You can see my source of the best SARMs here if you’re interested. However, it’s the one principle that lies at the very foundation of the entire muscle building process.

If you’re not consistently getting stronger, you’re not going to be getting much bigger. You can pretty much be guaranteed of that.

This is why I constantly talk about how crucial it is that you keep a training logbook, track your workouts (weight, sets and reps) and then focus on “beating the numbers” each week.

size and strength

In fact, doing this one thing alone and combining it with a reasonably controlled calorie surplus essentially guarantees muscle growth for you.

What happens if you’re NOT eating in a calorie surplus?

If you’re eating at your calorie maintenance level or in a calorie deficit, you’ll still be able to build strength, but it won’t be accompanied by significant gains in muscle size.

This is because your body can gain strength both through increases in actual muscle mass, but also through “neural pathways” as well, meaning it can become more efficient at using the existing muscle it already has.

So, if you’re training hard in the gym but you aren’t providing your body with the excess calories that are needed to actually build new muscle, the gains in strength that you experience will be achieved primarily through increases in neural efficiency.

In other words, you’ll get stronger, but not much bigger.

neural gains

The only exception to this rule is if you’re a complete beginner in the gym who is just starting out.

In this case, it may be possible to build a small amount of muscle while eating at maintenance or in a deficit, as the body can use some of the calories in stored body fat and divert them to muscle growth.

However, it likely won’t be to a significant degree, and the gains will only be temporary and limited to the initial stages of your training.

Does Strength Equal Size? The Bottom Line

does strength mean size

If you’re someone whose primary goal is to pack on a noteworthy amount of muscle size, then gaining strength over time is the most important factor of all in your entire training plan.

However, those gains in strength will only translate to significant increases in muscle mass if you’re consistently eating in a calorie surplus each day by taking in more calories than you burn.

If you fail to eat in a calorie surplus, you’ll still make strength gains in the gym, but it won’t be accompanied by a significant amount of size to go along with it.

If you want to grab a complete step-by-step plan that shows you how to properly combine an effective training routine with a well-structured daily nutrition plan to build muscle as efficiently as possible, check out my complete Body Transformation Blueprint below…

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