T Nation

Muscle Size vs. Muscle Strength


hey, im new to this site, but i've been working our for more than 6 months now...i still dont know the difference in number of reps/sets between gaining muscle size and muscle strength. can someone please shed some light on this. thanks


yea im new too, i woudlnt really no much but there are certain exercises that build alot of muscle strength and less size.

iv been to the gym 5 times iv been asking people about there exercises and iv noticed the people that do reps get bigger and stronger and people and do continues exercises dont get as big muscle but its strong.

hope this helps, dont know if its true but thats what i noticed


It is fairly well accepted that to gain strength, lower reps should be used, from 1-5 reps. To add mass calls for slightly higher reps, around 6-10. "Toning" as its called, calls for rep ranges around 10-15. This is a confusing word for it since you can't "tone" a particular part, but you burn more calories with higher reps so you tone your body in general. You cannot tone only one part, just like doing 100 crunches won't tone your abs.


Don't use the word tone ever again.

And that rep scheme isn't entirely true.

Total volume and load are more important than the # of reps in a set.

10 sets of 3 is known for inducing hypertrophy as well.

Please don't dispense half truths.

If you want a nice mix of strength/hypertrophy use a 5X5 5 sets of 5 reps with one of the big lifts, squat, deadlift or bench.

And do all them, you have to squat to grow your upper body.


jesus, are you retarded? you know who has ALREADY shed some light on this? the authors who write articles for the site that are well-written.

read the newbie thread if nothing else, just to show an ounce of fucking effort in terms of educating yourself.


generally 4-6 reps is for strength and muscle fibre hypertrophy

generally 8-12 is for general conditioning and will work you a bit for stamina and induces sarcoplasmic hypertrophy ( the fluid volume of your muscles, which can account for 30% of their overall size i believe)

1-3 reps usually are used for power training, and power is a combination of strength and speed, basically moving a heavy weight as fast as possible with good form

what people usually do is increase the set volume as they decrease the reps

like someone above mention 10/3 or 5/5 or 3/12 etc but everyone is different, i prefer doing 3 sets of 6 and 3 sets of 10, but for power ill use more sets


Was this a joke?

No one can spell that poorly while at the same time completely ignoring the apostrophe.

He's been to the gym 5 times and noticed that people that do reps get bigger and stronger and people and do continues exercises don't get as big muscle but it's strong? What in the hell?


I realize this is the beginners' forum, so I apologize for being rude. I just didn't understand that at all.


I wasted about 10 minutes of my life trying to decipher what exactly you were trying to see with this batard of a sentence.

Then I just decided to stab myself in the eyeball with a pen. Equal amount of pain, less thinking involved.


As mentioned above, read the articles written by the T-Nation dudes. Browse through the archives.

Muscle size and muscle strength go together. To get stronger, you have to have more muscle. Having more muscle makes you bigger. If you get bigger muscles, you will be stronger. They are not independent.


well i have gained 13 lbs of muscle in the last 5 months, so i guess i have been educating myself...thanks for the effort to answer the question though.


I almost never go over 8 reps unless its on the last 2 sets of the day and thats just to get the "pump"(yeah I said it)

Lift to get strong,Eat to get big and everything else will take care of itself.Its not nearly as hard to understand as some people make it out to be.


Also this is untrue. I rarely ever squat anymore because of lower back problems and I seem to be growing fine. The squat is a great exercise but its not great for everybody.


No this must be a joke, something tells me BALBOS has a new user-name.