Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Strength not Muscle Mass!

Question:

Could you tell me the best possible way to gain strength without gaining muscle mass, is there an effective way of losing weight without losing strength.

Answer:

This is what a trainer should be thinking from an open mind, a very common problem with an average PT is that they are hindered in the bodybuilding mentality. Most of them think bodybuilding training and strength training are identical. Sorry to say this but you need to know how to distinguish these to get the best results.

Did you know that some of the strongest athletes in the world are Olympic Weight Lifters? They have to get stronger as much as they could without affecting their weight (to remain in the weight class). You could call them the Masters of increasing strength without increasing the size! Agree?

So why not copy the principles …

Load and Repetition: The science guys did proved that hypertrophy (increase in size / muscle mass) occurs when you train in an 8 to 12 rep zone with the same RM (rep max) weight. And few of these guys namely Zatsiorsly found that Olympic lifters do not train for more than 5 reps per set. Berger suggested that it should be 3sets of 6 reps with 6RM (rep max) for greatest improvement of strength. Keipen’s research indicated that 3 sets x 5 reps with 5RM (rep max) load was the best. So its not hard take the sets reps and load either from how Berger or Keipen has suggested.

Rest: 30 to 60 seconds are considered as more of Hypertrophy (development of muscle mass), instead 3 minutes to 5 minutes rest period between sets are known as the best for maximal strength training.

To answer the second part of the question! I do not see any reason to loose strength with fat loss. Obviously the case is different if you have lost more muscle due to malnutrition and extreme dieting. It’s always good to hit a strength development workout once a week including Bench Press, Dead Lifts and Squats even while you are on your fat loss program.