If getting leaner or more muscular is the goal then strength
doesn’t really matter, it isn’t relevant in most cases. Yet, in an attempt to
completely contradict myself getting stronger is something I think we should
strive to achieve – even if body composition changes are our priority. Why on
earth would I go against my own word in a matter of sentences? There is method
in my madness, read on to find out if you agree.
Once you go past that initial ‘’beginners phase’’ where you
gain strength week on week like Arnie on Popeye’s Spinach+ you do find it
harder to gain strength, that is just the way it is. Instead on weekly progress
in the strength department, it becomes monthly, and then bi-monthly to the point
you barely notice any increases at all. In my experience, it doesn’t have to be
like this. Instead, it just requires a BIGGER effort to ensure your strength
does continually increase.
Instead of noticing 10-20kg increases in your lifts, it may
only be 1-2kg increases.
So why do you need to get stronger to LOOK better? Apart
from the alpha-male status you achieve with goliath like lifts in the gym, getting
stronger can certainly lead to looking better. When you use a higher repetition
range of say 10-12 by increasing your strength, you will be able to handle more
weight therefore placing new volumes of stress on the muscle. Guess what? The muscle
has to adapt to this NEVER seen before stress, and it does so by growing.
Training for strength certainly changes the way your muscle
texture appears under the skin, it looks HARD and DENSE. This is a very nice
bi-product of getting stronger, and in my opinion it does look better than
muscle which is soft.
Contrary to wide belief strength training burns colossal
amounts of calories leading to a reduction in body fat. Forget the typical ‘’strong
man’’ physique, look at powerlifters and how lean they are! These dudes are
eating several thousand calories a day and they just lift big, most of them
have abs which would make a cover model grab the nearest top to cover up.
Post-training numerous studies have shown that strength
style training increases the metabolic rate for up to 36 hours. Another good
reason to have some strength training as part of your master plan don’t you
Having outlined several spectacular benefits of manning up occasionally
and getting stronger I think it makes sense to strive for strength. Sure, it isn’t
my sole purpose but I do certainly aim for strength increases on a regular
basis because I feel it has a sense of inevitability about it – your muscle
will be forced to grow!