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Muscle Size vs Muscle Strength


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Posted by Geoffrey

Size doesn't always mean strength

Here is an article from a local fitness handout:

"According to Vladimir Zatsiorsky Ph.D, two types of muscle hypertrophy (growth) are believed to occur through resistance training: sarcoplasmic and myofibrillar.

Sarcoplasmic hypertrophy occurs with an accumulation of intercellular fluid and non contractile proteins, which do not influence muscle force production." [In other words, size, not necessarily strength.] "Myofibrillar hypertrophy on the other hand is an enlargement of the muscle fiber through increasing the density or thickness of the contractile filaments. Thus, myofibrillar hypertrophy increases the amount of force in which a muscle can produce." [strength, not necessarily size.]

"Resistance training can contribute to both sarcoplasmic and myofibrillar fiber hypertrophy. However, depending on the volume and intensity of training performed, one type of fiber hypertrophy may predominate over the other. For example, sarcoplasmic hypertrophy is typically seen among bodybuilders. It is common for bodybuilders to include a large number of total sets in their training while utilizing weights in which they can not perform more then 12 to 8 repetitions. Myofibrillar hypertrophy in seen to a greater extent among Olympic weightlifters and powerlifters who tend to use heavier weights and fewer total sets of between 6 to 1 repetitions."

Zatsiorsky, Vladimir. "Science and Practices of Strength Training." Human Kinetics 1995.


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