CT, just wondering if you could shed some light on strength questions for me, just some stuff I was thinking of during the day.
What exactly is “strength”? Assuming equal muscle mass and equal technique, what is it happening that makes one stronger? Is it simply neural efficiency at recruiting more fibers faster?
In your experience with clients, do you see any pattern in regards to how much strength one can gain from their initial level ( Maybe not their very first session, but after solid technique has been established). I was just curious if you noticed people tend to double or triple, or more, their baseline strength or if it’s even a worthwhile question since people are too different.
There are many many factors involved in being strong. Of course your capacity to fire more motor units is one of them, and so is you capacity to coordination motor units within a muscle as well as several muscle groups together.
Receptor sensitivity to acetylcholine (neurotransmitter responsible for muscle contraction) is another neural element that plays a role.
Structurally, the ratio of fast-twitch to slow twitch plays a role as does tendon and limb length. Tendon thickness/rigidity.
You have the Golgi Tendon Organs which are a safety mechanism that regulate how much of your muscle’s force production potential your body will let you use.
Scar tissue from years of training can play a role too.
Regarding strength. Your potential to gain strength can vary depending on the lift as not all muscles have the same trainability.
It also depends on starting age. Someone who starts training at 17 will have a lot more potential for improvement than someone who starts lifting at 50.
I have trained several people who doubled their strength on big movements (most people should do at least this) and some who tripled it (but these normally started at a fairly low level) on big movements… on smaller exercises it can be much more than that… going from a 100lbs to a 300lbs bench press is much harder than going from a 10lbs to a 30lbs DB curl!