More Muscle Mass for Strength Gains?

Example 1: People have been asking about how to increase their numbers in the overhead press and many people have replied to them to get more size/muscle mass on their delts and upper back. I also found an article in Startingstrongman where Kalle Beck mentions about doing high volume;

"The goal is to get bigger stronger shoulders and more muscularity so do high reps. Work on hitting some good working sets at 3×8,3×10, 3×12, etc after you get used to the higher volume throw in some fun stuff like 2×20 or something. What I love to do is pick a weight you know you can hit for 15 reps and do as many reps as possible for 3 sets. A common set for me would look like this.




Once I was able to do 20/15/10 on those three sets I would bump up the weight. Notice every good presser you can tell they are good pressers? Big delts, big traps, upper backs, etc. You need to build up your muscularity to become a good presser." -

Example 2: There is also a Supertraining06 video where George Leeman mentions he focuses on doing more reps and volume if he is looking to get strong and then after that phase i think he mentions about peaking.

So to sum it all up, should you:

  1. focus on more volume and then/possibly peak for a lift?
  2. keep pounding exercises with a heavy weight and moderate volume and get some from the both worlds?
  3. Just do exercises with high intensity and low volume?

(Sorry if there is anything wrong with the text my english isn’t my language)

Some programs build then peak.

Some programs Build and Practice( peak) at the same time.

Other programs kind of stick in the middle, and let you get a bit from both worlds.

You will find coaches and athletes and writers and scientists and programs that advocate one strategy or the other. Any of these programs are good, because whoever wrote them understands these ideas, and built the program around them.

If you find someone who advocates ONE of these ideas, while ignoring or outright avoiding the other (peaking without building, forever,for example) be skeptical.

As for which is best, that’s up to you. Whichever one keeps you motivated. Whatever you decide to do, make sure to follow the program, to allow it to lead you through the process. You are ahead already, because you understand these ideas. You will learn something, whatever you do. Some poor guys don’t believe that planning your training is very important, so they never have the faith to try any programs to see what works best for them.

Lately, I’ve been doing “blocks,” 6 weeks of building with rep PR’s, then 6 weeks of peaking with ramping, low rep, higher weight sets. Mentally, it’s fun to have a specific goal to shoot for each session. By rotating the blocks, I rotate the goals to stay fresh and motivated.

I don’t know if it’s the best way, but it’s an effective way. And if I switch to a program that blends the building and the peaking, I’ll already know how to do it. I’ll be set up to get more out of it. Good programs teach you about training and planning.

1 Like

Thank you very much for your reply, it was very informative and gave me a better understanding of programming. i’ll just have to try things out and see which methods work the best for me, the higher volume and then peak or the heavy weights with moderate volume etc.

Is this question in the context of strongman or just muscle/strength in general?

I’m asking about the muscle mass having anything to affect strength, so i would say muscle/strength type of question