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Get Stronger to Get Bigger?


Hey just a quick question. I recently read an article somewhere that for beginners a good way to measure your progress towards getting bigger is getting stronger. In other words, if your not getting stronger, your not getting bigger.

This led to some confusion because I wasn't sure if this was just referring to compound lifts or isolation exercises also....? Cause by that theory if you start out with 10lbs with skullkrushers (assuming you increase 5-10lbs every month) you should be skullkrushing 215 3 years down the road.

Or if your bicep curling and start out at 15lbs....3 years from now you should be doing 120lb curls. Am i understanding this correctly or is there something else to it?? Thank you in advance.


Wait...you have found a mysterious mystical calculator that tells you exactly how much strength and size you will gain in the future?



lol.....no it was just an example


well that's good, so I know 12 months from now I should be incline benching 3pps. BEASTMODE.

lol OP it doesn't quite work that predictably. but yes if you are training primarily for size then adding more weight to the bar over time/adding reps/getting more quality reps and muscle growth should go hand in hand.


Yes, getting stronger WHILE you get bigger is a good sign you are gaining mostly muscle. The mirror, pictures (that I would ONLY take every other month or less frequently) and measurements are the other ways.

If you aren't gaining weight, why would you be gaining muscle mass?

Yes, you should be getting stronger if your weight is increasing.


Very much agree.

If your bodyweight is increasing and your strength isn't improving, you're probably adding more fat than muscle. For a prime example of this, do a search on this site for "Artem." The kid gained almost 100 pounds of bodyweight in one year, but did not gain nearly as much strength/muscle as he should have (at the end, he still couldn't squat his bodyweight). When he cut back down, he realized it was pretty much all for nothing.

Had he been paying better attention to his training along the way, after month two or so, he should've realized "Oh shit, I'm up 20 pounds on the scale, but my lifts in the gym haven't moved. What should I tweak?"

In most exercises, and in most workouts, you want to use a bit more weight and/or more reps each session. You're not going to add 5, 10, or 20 pounds on every lift in every workout. But most of them, most of the time is a general goal to keep in mind.


now THAT sounds like a failed bulk.


I've personally never seen a weight lifter who did that. That would take complete denial of what you are actually doing in the gym....and then stuffing your face like you just trained as hard as a pro.


Size and Strength come at different times and at different rates. You will find, you may be gaining strength for awhile without noticing any gains in size. Then, after the strength gains have set in, the size gains will come. As long as you progress using the correct rep range to gain size, size will come. It doesn't come at the same time though. and sometimes it might come at the same time. But ive noticed that strength comes first, then size comes a little while later.

If you go from curling 40lb dumbells to 60lb dumbells, thats a huge increase. Thats a 40lb increase. 20lbs per arm. As long as your eating good, the size will come. Many make the mistake of not progressing and asking why they aren't getting bigger. Ask yourself this question, are you lifting the same weight as last year at this time. If you say yes, most likely, you are the same size. but, if your lifting more weight on just about every exercise, you will be alot bigger.


Ive known many guys, including myself, where my weight stayed exactly the same, or even lost weight, yet i gained some muscle. That old myth, that you can't lose fat and gain muscle at the same time has been proven just that, a false myth.


I knew being a self-critical perfectionist was good for something...


That's pretty much what he did. A prime, albeit unfortunate, example of a kid taking getting stuck in his own head and ignoring more experienced advice. "Drinking two gallons of milk a day plus a bunch of food." No real regard for smart training or smart high calorie intake.

His training log, gaining 40-ish pounds in 3 months:

His thread cutting from 240 to 190 in 10 weeks:

Plenty of experienced guys were giving him advice all along the way, but it wasn't sinking in.

(Not trying to hijack this thread. Just pointing out a legit practical example of the importance of monitoring your training/strength as you gain size.)


Agreed. It's beyond me how that was even possible lol


If your muscle inflates that means you got bigger.