I get Green’s point. I think he’s commenting on how strength does not necessarily = size – effectively what Chris said.
Green, think about it this way.
People say this:
“The guy who can bench 250x4 will be bigger than the guy who can bench 110x4”
Because it’s true. Any beginner will have left gains on the table until they have reached a basic strength foundation.
What you’re getting at is the point at which this concept breaks down – and that’s well beyond the ‘basic strength foundation’ level.
The guy who can bench 400x6 isn’t necessarily bigger than the guy who can bench 300x6 – at that level, it’s a matter of specific technique and training goals.
Your client will certainly get bigger by improving his bench. But, once a basic strength foundation has been reached (can’t say for certain where that is), training for a bigger bench will be the slower route to more upper body size.
This is why people should stop repeating the phrase “base of strength” because they have now ended up confusing themselves.
The basic idea is that by the time this “base” has been reached, the trainee would be experienced enough and sufficently honed his technique in several basic lifts to effectively utilise more advanced forms of stimulation and progression.
It has somehow been interpreted as every beginner needing a crash course in maximal strength training because hypertrophy cannot occur before some strength standard is reached, so he has to get there ASAP, which is defeating the purpose the original idea. It is also not surprising that a large number of beginners end up spinning their wheels on these programs for an extended amount of time.
Your muscles do not know how much you are benching. But they know when the load they are required to lift is progressively increasing and they need to grow and adapt to handle this increasing load. This is all essentially about survival.
In the end, the key is still progression. Progression in volume, load, TUT, density, etc… and time under the bar.