When starting a gym regime whether it be for an upcoming event or just for a hobby, it’s always worth setting goals to keep you motivated and disciplined. Otherwise, you may find you fall off the wagon sooner or easier than anticipated.
There are many different forms of training out there, but this article will focus solely on strength training, pretty explanatory, the goal being to increase strength after a period of time. You’d think that if you consistently weight trained and kept to a meal/diet plan you should notice your strength increase along with increased muscle mass anyway. The way that muscles increase in size is through a process called ‘Progressive Overload’, this means increasing either weight, time under tension, or volume (reps and sets). The definition of Strength Training is as follows:
“Strength training is a type of physical exercise specializing in the use of resistance to induce muscular contraction, which builds the strength, anaerobic endurance, size of skeletal muscles and bone density”
So yes, increasing strength will also increase muscle mass. However, the rate in which strength increases will differ depending on what type of training you’ve opted in for. If your main aim is to gain strength the best rep range found is between 1-3 reps and performing 4-5 sets. It’s been found that the reason for this is because strength training isn’t solely reliant on muscle mass, it’s due to different neural adaptations. This means that the central nervous system has a part to play in the increase of strength.
So, as an example. If you’re aim is to get to 100kg on the flat bench press, you want to be hitting the 1-3 rep range, 4-5 sets consistently. Bare-in-mind, this would focus solely on increasing your flat bench and wouldn’t benefit muscle hypertrophy (muscle mass gain) as efficiently as a higher rep range. Some people like to incorporate a mixture of both in their regime.