Strength guru Josh Bryant, MFS, CSCS, PES, isn't one of those shapeless, doughy heavyweights that you sometimes associate with powerlifting. He is a heap of well-defined muscle
with the strength to match. Josh has helped bodybuilders like Johnny Jackson and Branch Warren build the beasty strength that they are known for and, as the owner of JoshStrength.com
and co-author of the eBook "Metroflex Gym Powerbuilding Basics," he is sharing his secrets with the "masses."
Of critical importance when it comes to adding size
, Bryant says, is first realizing the value of strength - something that is quickly forgotten in the quest for bigger pecs and biceps.
Two Types of Hypertrophy.
"Muscle hypertrophy is a product of sarcoplasmic hypertrophy and myofibrillar hypertrophy," he says. "Sarcoplasmic hypertrophy is an increase in fluid inside the muscle cell, basically, growth of the non-contractile part of the muscle. In other words, you will look bigger but you won't necessarily be stronger. This is achieved via training with a high rep range and important for bodybuilders. Myofibrillar hypertrophy is built with heavy weights and low reps; this is the contractile part of the muscle. In other words, as the muscle gets bigger, it gets stronger
. Many powerlifters have nearly the same amount of muscle mass as bodybuilders; the reason is because of extreme developments in myofibrillar hypertrophy."
Going Heavier Helps.
"Studies show the amount of weight lifted is not relevant to the muscle size increase with novices. Novice athletes can get similar increases in strength
with 50 percent of their one repetition max, but an advanced strength athlete will generally need to use greater than 85 percent. Generally, for a beginner, anything will make them grow." So the question is: How heavy are you going?
Josh doesn't just cite the research for piling on the plates. "Lee Haney said it best: 'The key to building massive, powerful muscles
is to doggedly increase the training weights you use.' As a bodybuilder, or muscle-building enthusiast, your limit strength - how much weight you can lift on a core lift - is your base."
3 REASONS TO LIFT HEAVY
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When you are stronger, more volume can be performed with the same weights. And greater volume with greater weight eventually leads to greater size.
Josh Bryant, MFS, CSCS, PES, is the owner of JoshStrength.com and co-author of the eBook "Metroflex Gym Powerbuilding Basics.To learn more about Josh and The JoshStrength Method, go to his website and subscribe for his free newsletter and training tips.
More weight can be used on isolation exercises. If you front squat 500 pounds, odds are you can do heavier leg extensions than if you only squat 300 pounds.
The two identified factors for increasing strength are increased neural factors: increased coordination of the movement and an increase in muscle size. In other words, strength equals size and vice versa.