Increasing strength vs. increasing size
I thought this might be interesting. I asked my coach why my thighs had not increased in size since March even though my leg strength had increased so much.
Here's his response:
Well first it proves that you have a lot of untapped potential! You've only just started working your legs, fully, in the last month or two.
Its interesting, but at first espescially it is known that most of the increase in stregnth output comes from neurolugical factors, not just increased cross section-
-synchrony and coordination of exact muscles used espescially in a multi joiunt movement,
-disinhibition of the antagonist (opposing muscle group) ie unnecessary muscles get out of the way
- disinhibition of protective factors like Golgi Tendon Organs that normally protect the muscle from generating too much force at once and doing harm.
Whe nthey "learn" to let more motor units fire, more force output results with not yet a big change in size. This is why we train with low reps and big weight, with lots of sets. Many ways of teaching the body to generate big force, something it naturally doesn't due for safety reasons.
- also this typ[e of hypertrophy, called myofibrillar hypertrophy, is known not to be as quick or drastic as the "pump" kind, called sarcoplasmic hypertrophy. In myofibrillar, the contractile elemnets, actin and myosin, thicken and increase in number., in sarcoplasmic, the noncontractile elements, mostly fluid (sarcoplasm) increases. This is why the bodybuilder who is very large, does not walk onto the oOlympic platform and cj 700 pounds, even tho he "looks it" - to those who don't know what theyre looking
at:-) and by the same token, the Oler is not going to don a pair of posing trunks and win the Olympiia. Interesting stuff, vital to knowing how to train for the results you want.