Discover how to get stronger without getting bigger by following the advices from Adam Sinicki.
Sinicki is known online as “The Bioneer.” He is a health and fitness writer, a personal trainer and has gathered almost half a million subscribers on his YouTube Channel.
He knows that some people don’t go to the gym to get bigger and show off muscles like a professional bodybuilder, but rather want to look lean and be strong at the same time.
“The problem with getting stronger without getting bigger is that a lot of the triggers, the stimuli that lead to more strength also lead to increased hypertrophy, the muscle growth,” Sinicki explains, noting that mechanical tension, metabolic stress, and muscle damage are used to build more strength but it will also cause more muscle size.
Fortunately, there are a few factors that can increase your strength without having a big impact on size. Check out below how to get stronger without getting bigger.
How to Get Stronger Without Getting Bigger
There are some easy things you can focus on straight away to get stronger without getting bigger. “You want to cut away fat, if you strict back the added layer of subcutaneous fat, then you are going to look leaner without losing any strength.”
Building more tendon strength and grip strength will also give you strength without adding size – think rock climbers that have immense strength to hold their bodyweight by their fingertips, but are not bulky like bodybuilders.
Another tip that the Bioneer shares that Bruce Lee and Dennis Rogers used a lot in their training to cultivate good strength without looking bulkier are overcoming isometrics. This is when you are pushing or pulling against something that’s too heavy for you to move. This could be a cable flye with incredibly heavy plates that, in the end, don’t move at all, but you exert all your strength trying to move it.
Related: How Did Bruce Lee Workout?
“To get the best results, you want to hold each contraction for about six seconds using maximum force, every inch of strength you can muster and you want to make sure you train at three different joint angles at least because it only has an area of effect of about 30 degrees.”
Overcoming isometrics is similar to doing a one-rep max. When you recruit all those muscle fibres to move the plate, you are not causing a lot of damage, which is one of the main ways to increase muscle size and that usually happens at the eccentric portion of the movement. “You’re not building more muscle, you are improving your efficiency and ability to command the muscle that you already have.”
Adam Sinicki also talks about inter-muscular coordination, the ability to use multiple muscle groups together in the right order in the right synchronicity in order to exert the maximum force through a certain movement pattern. He also digs deeper into something called farmer’s strength.
If you want to know how to get stronger without getting bigger and understand more of the arguments that go behind it, check out the Bioneer’s video below.
VIDEO – How to Get Stronger Without Getting Bigger
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- Barbell lift: Stevie D Photography