T Nation

Increasing Strength and Not Weight?


Is it possible to train in a way that increases your strength without signifigantly increasing your body weight? The reason I ask is for people trying to stay within a weight class for wrestling, MMA ect.


Yes. Don't eat too much.


Just add more cardio, and continue to get good amounts of protein.


as the S&C coach at my school says, reps under 5, or better yet, 3 or under, will build strength but not muscle so you get stronger but not bigger.


Keep the volume and calories low while keeping intensity high.


hmm I thought strength was a by product of muscle?! I think your going to gain some muscle but you just wont get tons of hypertrophy if you keep rep lows and don't eat a lot.


would this as an example for a workout?

Bench press 5x1-3
Seated Rows 4x5
Military Press 3x5


2 ways to gain strength, more muscle or a more effective nervous system. Read some stuff by Dave Tate on the subject.


Start Olympic lifting and eat only as much to maintain your current weight.


Probably the fastest way to gain strength is to train the CNS. Here is a good article "The Rule of 90%" on CNS training


Yeah but it's also a function of increased CNS efficency.

Powerlifters and weightlifters are perfectly well able to increase their strength and not gain excess bodyweight. Just be aware of how much you're eating!


Yes. It is a function of rep scheme and most importantly diet.

As people have said, muscles can become stronger by growing or by becoming more neurologically efficient.

The book Power to the People discusses this in depth.


Eat at maintenance level, increase the number of times you do a certain lift per week, and vary the intensity each day.