You know what really grinds my gears?
When someone says “I want to build muscle but I really don’t care to add strength”.
I mean, do you really think you’re going to get massively bigger by pushing around the same weight as you are now?
Besides, who the hell wants to look big and muscular but struggle to open a water bottle?
Not everyone wants to deadlift 600lbs and bench press 400lbs…I get that.
But if you are someone who thinks that they can completely ignore strength and somehow achieve significant muscle gains, you, my friend, are sadly mistaken.
With this post, I want to remove that silly idea from your head by listing 5 reasons why you should train for strength, even if you “don’t care for it”.
Reason #1 – With Strength Comes Size
Plain and simple.
If you can manage to get stronger, you WILL get bigger, period.
Training for strength is the most sure-fire way to ensure you are progressing in the gym. And with progress, comes gains.
By now you should understand that the main focus in any training program should be progressive overload.
Slowly increasing the total workload without sacrificing reps, sets, rest, etc.
In fact, if your training program does not encourage you to progress regularly, then ditch it, right now!
And I know that a lot of people will say “I never focused on strength and I still got great results”.
And to those people I say, you didn’t “focus” on strength because you weren’t writing things down and ensuring you were progressing. But I guaran-damn-tee you that you have progressively gotten stronger throughout your journey.
Think about the simplicity of how our body builds muscle.
We introduce a stimulus, our body adapts to it by building muscle to handle that stimulus. If we continue to provide new stimulus, our body has no choice but to continue to adapt and grow. So regardless of training splits, rep ranges, weight training techniques (supersets, drop sets, etc), as long as we are getting better, we are getting bigger. It’s really no more complicated than that.
So do you have to train like a powerlifter? NO!
But I highly encourage you to focus on strength in the sense that you should be aiming to get better with each lift, regularly.
Reason #2 – Joint Health and Longevity
I think it’s funny when someone says “I don’t train heavy because I want to keep my joints healthy”.
Training heavy does not damage your joints. Working with a load you can’t handle and performing a lift with shitty form is what damages the joints.
To the contrary, getting stronger does not just mean getting bigger (muscles), it also increases the strength of your connective tissue.
Just like our body adapts to a stimulus by creating more muscle, our connective tissue responds the same way.
Anytime we train for mechanical tensions (strength), we are not only strengthening the muscle, but we are strengthening every ligament, tendon, and joint involved in the lift.
I used to get pain in my elbow from bench pressing.
I also used to get pain in my right knee from squatting.
But since I focused on perfecting the lifts and slowly increasing the load while allowing enough time to adapt, I have completely eliminated both of these nagging pains while doubling (and almost tripling) those lifts.
Reason #3 – Muscle Density
There are 2 types of muscular hypertrophy.
Sarcoplasmic Hypertrophy: This is the type of hypertrophy that bodybuilders will typically aim for. It is responsible for increasing the size of the muscle cells in order for them (the cells) to increase the amount of water and glycogen they can store.
Myofibrillar Hypertrophy: This is the type of hypertrophy that is triggered from power lifting/strength training and is responsible for increased strength and increased size of certain muscle fibers.
A trainee who trains only in an 8-12 rep range will, at some point, find it damn near impossible to increase their workload.
Also, if they were to get injured and/or be forced to stop weight training for more than a few weeks, they will begin to appear flat and depleted quite quickly.
On the other end of the spectrum, there are specific muscle fibers that respond better to training with heavier loads. This type of training will not only increase the individual’s strength, faster, but it will increase the size of certain (muscle) fibers. In this case, the trainee could take 6 months off from the gym and still appear dense and muscular.
On top of it all, even those who train mainly for sarcoplasmic hypertrophy will have to get stronger to induce a growth response.
But the main take away is this.
If you can manage to increase the size of the fibers (myofibrillar hypertrophy), then this muscle will have more room for sarcoplasmic growth.
So not only should you train for both, but in both you should aim for strength/progress.
Reason #4 – Everything Is Easier When You’re Stronger – Even Fights
This may sound funny, but being strong is pretty damn awesome 🙂
Just regular things that used to be a pain have become less stressful on my body in general.
I’ll give you an example. Whenever I had to help friends move, I was always the weak link. Not to mention, I always woke up the next morning with serious lower back pain.
Now, I just pick shit up like a caveman, carry it upstairs with one hand (slight exaggeration), and put it where it belongs while everyone else is gasping for air trying to decide if they can continue.
I mean, I was never concerned about my ability to fight guys my size, but despite my MMA training, there was always concern about bigger guys. And although I am a family man who has no plans for getting into a street fight, it feels good to be confident that if anything were to ever happen, I could just manhandle someone (if need be).
Reason #5 – It’s Alpha as Fuck!
Don’t be that guy with a decent build who isn’t helpful for shit.
When I am at a friend’s house and they need me to help hold their car up to change their oil because their car-jack is broken, I want to be able to provide that help.
But seriously, when someone says “Hey muscle-man! Can you give me a hand with this?” it’s nice to be able to deliver.
Nobody cares how jacked you are if you can’t help carry a pack of sodas to the barbecue without struggling.
Let me ask you something…
Can you pick your wife/girlfriend up and carry her into the bedroom without struggling or gasping for air afterwards?
Women want men…not jacked boys.
What good are all those muscles if you can’t put them to use?
Focus on strength!
So there you have it! 5 Reasons why you should care about strength even if you’re not a powerlifter.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I am not saying that you should train like a powerlifter or that you HAVE to squat, bench, and deadlift.
I am simply implying that focusing on getting stronger, despite your training approach, is going to be the most beneficial route to success in the gym.
If you are curious as to exactly what I did to not only transform my body for a second time, but also gain a significant amount of strength in a short period of time, then check out my Max Adaptation Strength System.
Have questions regarding this post? Leave them in the comment section below and I will be sure to get back to you.
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