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Does Gaining Strength Mean Gaining Weight?

Here is my question: Is it possible to gain strength without gaining body weight? For instance, if you have a well-trained athlete at, say, 205 lbs. with 9% bf, who can squat 500 lbs. for one rep and bench press 335 for one rep, is it possible for this same athlete to increase these max lifts to a 600 lb. squat and a 400 lb. bench press without gaining any bodyweight at all? How strong can one become before gaining bodyweight becomes necessary? Is it totally genetic as to how much strength the body produces at certain bodyweights?

Also, this really gets me. How can you have someone that is, say, 6’2", 250 lbs., 10% bf, with a very impressive physique, have weaker max lifts in all power exercises (cleans, squats, deadlits, bench) than someone who is, say, 5’10" and 205 lbs. and 9% bf?

The athlete you spoke can probably increase his poundages but he will eventually hit a wall. Bigger does not mean stronger. Some very small weightlifters are MUCH stronger than gargantuan bodybuilders.

Yes it is possible. The most widely accepted way to do this is by altering your training (reps). 1-3 reps with near max resistance is said to be for strength, and 8-12 for size. This has been discussed several times on the site, especially by the strength coaches. I’m sure you will still gain some size depending on your current level of activity, genetics etc. This is also true because people in the know about Pro-Body(abusers)builders say that some of the top pros (weighing 300+) can’t bench 315 two times! I’m 5’4", natural, 160 lbs and can press it once!

Keep the reps really low, like 3 or less. Do lots of sets. Keep the weight at around 75-80% of max

Absolutly no hypertropy? Probably not, as most strength training routines will, over time, lead to some hypertrophy of the contractile proteins myosin and actin. However, it is very possible to gain large amounts of strength with very minimal hypertrophy; mostly through nuerological factors (i.e. greater cross-bridge utilization, increased motor-unit recruitment, motor-unit syncronization, etc.)

This has to do with how the nervous system and muscle recruitment is involved in strength training. The average person is only capable of contracting approximately 50% of the muscle cells in any given muscle. A well trained strength trained athlete can approach approximately 90% muscle recruitment. Bodybuilding hypertrophy methods increase muscular size much moreso then muscular recruitment and low-rep heavy weight maximal strength training methods do the opposite. So basically although added size in a muscle does give an individual more potential horsepower it doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll be able to use all of that muscle to lift heavier weights unless they spend significant time focusing on nervous system training through heavier weights, lower reps, dynamic methods etc. which is why you might see a much lighter muscled individual with superior muscle recruitment be able to outlift a much heavier person. As to how strong you can become before adding bodyweight becomes necessary it’s hard to say but it does take many years of max strength training methods to even begin to approach the max an individual is capable of at a given bodyweight.

It’s impossible…NOT. I’ve done a similar jump in strength without jumping in bodyweight. Ed Coan, weight about 215, totalled enough to make him the strongest man in the world. He competes with guys like Garry Frank who weigh 350. Coan’s training also is garbage. Imagine if he trained in a better fashion. George Halbert benched 683 at 195 lbs. There is no real limit, it’s just a bit harder to be strong and not be a fat slob, and depends on what you are training for.

I am not saying you are wrong or right, but I thought that I had read that elite strength athletes can recruit a higher % than lay people, but I distintly remember it being a MUCH lower number. I may be wrong, I use aluminum cookware a lot.

i got to flame Rafael and say he just posted one of THE dumbest post ive read in a while. His comments on Coan are outrageous. read the damn articles that Coans in. On this site even he said bigger aka 6 feet plus guys need to be around 350 jsut to compete with him. How cany you say that perhaps the greatest powerlifter of all time’s training is ‘garbage.’ It gets HIM the records and works for HIM… even the WSB guy concede that.

Don’t you know that training doesn’t matter & it’s all Coan’s nutrition & diet that makes him so strong? :stuck_out_tongue:

One other thing worth mentioning is that it also depends on what type of hypertrophy you have in a muscle. Bodybuilding methods (higher reps, shorter rest intervals, more sets etc.) produce more non-functional non contractile hypertrophy through increasing the sarcoplasm and nutrient storage in the muscle so although the muscle might be bigger all that size is not necessarily functional for lifting heavy whereas low rep strength training methods produce hypertrophy of actual contractile proteins so what you see is what you get. This is why you could probably take an advanced bodybuilder who trains with higher reps, more sets, shorter rest intervals and if you had them train with strictly lower reps for a period of time you might find them getting smaller while actually getting stronger.

been to a wSB seminar where they diss Coan’s training methods. Read his workout plans with your own eyes. One was in the latest Powerlifting USA. They are the exact same stuff people were doing in 1983 and for that matter 1973. Now if this training was so good, wouldn’t everyone who read PL USA be at least close to Ed Coan? If you think there is something remarkable about week1:70% x 8, week 2 75% x 8, week 3, 80% x 5, week 4 85% x 5, then I guess it is great training. The fact is if Michael Jordan’s training was shooting foul shots 2 hours a day, would that make him less great? No. Would that mean that everyone should copy MJ’s program? NO. The fact is, Coan’s training methods would not produce similar results in 98% of the population. It would produce a plateau. If you don’t believe me try it. I have. It got me a wonderful 350 pound squat and a 315 pound bench, where I was stuck for over a year. Coan is the greatest powerlifter of all time. And he is the example of someone with ultimate strength at a relatively low bodyweight. Ask dave tate in private about his admiration for ed coan, but his frustration with his training.