T Nation

Strength Vs. Mass

Strength vs. mass clarifications please:

Several times now I have read posts that claim steroid A is best for strength, but not mass per se. And, steroid B is best for mass, but not strength. This is a bit confusing to me because increases in strength mean that there is more tension placed on the myofibril (muscle fibers). Generally, more tension = more white fast twitch fiber stimulus = more/faster growth. Therefore, my question is: wouldn’t a strength-steroid be even better for mass gains than a mass-steroid??!!

Furthermore, if a muscle were to get stronger without increasing in size significantly (unusual), wouldn’t it have to come from a more efficient neuro-muscular connection (motor units are recruited at a faster rate and greater in number)?? In that case, how can a steroid have this effect when they are usually known to increase muscle mass AND strength through anabolic properties not neurologic properties???



steroid action is far more complex than the simple dicotomy of mass vs strength or even non-neurologically mediated and that which is neurological. even before we consider modes of action, we must consider how people vary in their individual hormonal makeup and many other factors that influence development. for example there are positive correlations for dose and time. also look at something like winny, it works through at least 3 mechanisms primarily: androgen receptor binding, glucocorticoid antagonism, and through the microsomal receptors. there are also neurological improvements too. so while some steroids may indeed affect strength more than mass or vice versa, there will always be individual variation in response due to external factors other than the steroids.

Some times the degree of water retention a steroid causes can be attributed to whether it is a mass builder or a strength builder/ cutter.