We’ve had a few comments come in this week from people struggling with their lack of progress and dissatisfaction with their size gains as compared to their strength gains.
I’ve written about this before and showed the geometric relationship between the area of a muscle and its cross-sectional size. This is a law which can’t be overcome – you will always see a disproportionate difference between strength and size because to double its power a muscle does not have to double it diameter or circumference. And those are what you measure with the tape.
But there is another issue here and it’s nicely illustrated by the accompanying photo: all people are different. The guy on the left with the big gun did not have the same parents as the guy on the right. But look at both arms; they are both well-developed and defined. Both of these models are doing productive strength training.
And here’s the truth that nobody wants to tell you in the fitness business: no matter what training, diet, supplement or strategy the guy on the right employs he will never have arms like the guy on the left. Never.
Where’s The Money In That?
The reason you never hear this is because there is big money – billions annually – in telling people they can transform their bodies into anything they want – as long as they buy “X” product. In fairness, only 98% of that is BS. Two percent is true, up to a point.
So when a guy asks me if changing his diet or routine will allow him to put on substantial size instead of just more strength I always have to wonder if his expectations are perfectly reasonable and that it might be helpful to tell him to eat more calories and stay well hydrated or whether he has the expectation of turning his 40-year-old 12″ ectomorphic arm into a 22″ python by eating egg whites and twisting his wrist at the top of a curl. One is reasonable and the other is not. But, to be sure, fitness marketers are lined up to sell the Python Program to whomever they can hustle.
This is one of two themes I intend to elucidate as often as possible on this blog (the other is maximum weak range power) because it represents what magicians call ‘misdirection’ in that it gets people to focus on something irrelevant and unimportant. The real benefits of productive, progressive strength training are so profound and so broad in their effects that they seem almost too hard to believe. Once again these benefits are:
• Lower blood pressure
• More lean (muscle) mass
• Higher fat burning 24/7
• Increased natural HGH and testosterone
• Increased libido
• Increased HDL ‘good’ cholesterol
• Improved cardiac function
• Lower bodyfat
• Greater bone density
• Stronger tendons and ligaments
• Increased energy
• Improved, toned appearance
• Increased sense of well-being
Again, these are not exclusive to Static Contraction or Power Factor training. Any productive and progressive weight training method can deliver these. What makes SCT and PF unique if that they are the most efficient ways to strength train.
The above list of health and lifestyle benefits is the real reason to engage in a program of productive, sustainable strength training. I urge you not to get pulled into the quagmire of believing unrealistic goals are possible if you just buy one more miracle product with ‘secrets’ that will make you look like Hugh Jackman without having Hugh’s parents. The great news is the above list of benefits represents a treasure trove far beyond cosmetic.