Strong But Small? Big But Weak? 4 Reasons Why


What’s up guys, Sean Nalewanyi, RealScienceAthletics.com
and in this video today I want to talk about a very common misconception I often hear in
regards to the idea that strength equals size. Before I get started, if you find this video
helpful and you want to get even more daily tips and updates from me, then make sure to
follow me over on Instagram as well at Sean Nalewanyi and as a thank you for watching
this video, I’m also doing a giveaway down below in the comments section where you can
win a free copy of the body transformation blueprint. Which is my complete muscle building and fat
loss program that outlines everything you need to know to achieve your goal physique
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step by step. So just click the link down below to enter
in for that. So I’ve been talking about this like a broken
record for well over a decade now. I talked about it in my last video and it’s
the idea that progressive overload is the primary driver of muscle growth. It’s the ultimate bottom line and that if
you want to get bigger, you need to focus on getting stronger first and foremost, not
on getting a pump or feeling the burn or performing a ton of sets or using special fancy lifting
techniques, but on adding more weight to the bar over time on all of the key compound lifts
in proper form, I should mention that as well. There’s just no way around that okay? A stronger muscle is a bigger muscle and training
for improved performance is the fastest way to put on size, especially if you’re in the
first two to three years of training. But a lot of people get confused on this in
that they see somebody at the gym who might not be that strong and is lifting less weight
than they are yet they clearly look bigger and more muscular, which can obviously be
kind of frustrating or the opposite can be true as well. Okay? You can have someone who is lifting fairly
impressive weights but doesn’t seem to be carrying the right amount of muscle relative
to how much weight they’re lifting. So if strength equals size, then how can that
be? Well, the answer is pretty simple and it’s
that strength does equal size to a very large degree, but it’s relative to the individual,
meaning that as you get stronger you will get bigger, but the degree of strength development
that’s going to be required for you to look a certain way in terms of overall muscularity
won’t necessarily be the same as the next guy. Okay? So just because you’re squatting 315 pounds
for reps, that doesn’t mean that your legs are automatically going to be the same size
as everybody else out there who’s also squatting 315 pounds. You can have one guy who squats 315 or even
less and has really impressive looking legs and another guy who squats 315 but doesn’t
look nearly as impressive. When we’re talking about muscle growth, we
have to be realistic and we have to acknowledge the role that genetics play in the process,
which means that some people just respond faster to training and are going to have a
bigger hypertrophic response to a certain level of strength. Whereas some people won’t respond quite as
well and they’re going to need to spend more time developing their strengths in order to
reach a similar level. Aside from the overall hypertrophic response
to training, another huge factor is body structure because of factors like limb length, muscle
insertion points, wrist size, ankle size, waist size, clavicle width as well as height. Different amounts of muscle can look quite
a bit different on each given person. So you could have an upper arm that measures
say 15 inches flexed, but because of a combination of all of these different factors, proportionally
it could look just as muscular as somebody else with a 17 inch arm. Maybe your arm length is shorter, which makes
the biceps and triceps seem wider. Maybe your biceps insert further down towards
your elbow so that you have a longer muscle belly and maybe you have a smaller wrist as
well, which creates the illusion of a bigger upper arm. All of those things are going to give you
an advantage and you aren’t going to need to put on as much actual muscle in order to
have impressively muscular looking arms. Remember that physique aesthetics are partly
about your objective measurements on paper, but at the end of the day it ultimately just
comes down to how muscular you look visually and there’s a certain illusory aspect involved
in that. So if someone has a more favorable body structure,
they might not have to add as much weight to the bar or gain as much total muscle mass
in order to achieve a certain level of visual muscularity. Another factor to look at is leverages. So depending on what exercise someone is performing
because of their body structure and the leverages that are involved in that lift, they might
just be better suited to certain lifts. And so even though they’ve built up to a fairly
large amount of weight compared to someone else, they might not appear as big in response
to that amount of weight they’re lifting as you would expect because they’ve already got
a built in advantage right from the get go and that their body was just better suited
to moving more weight on that particular exercise. For example, you might see some guys who can
deadlift quite a bit of weight but don’t really look that big and again that can be because
of the way that their particular body structure is set up, right? Maybe their body structure just allows them
to move more weight on that exercise right out of the gate. The other thing to consider if you’re just
looking around your gym and comparing yourself to the other lifters that you see is that
you don’t know what any given person’s specific training goals are. In other words, some people might just be
more focused in on certain lifts than others and they might’ve spent more time building
up their strength on those particular lifts. So maybe the guy with the really Jack looking
physique is say dead lifting next to someone who isn’t as muscular and so you look at that
and you say, “Well, what’s going on here? I thought strength equated to size. So why is that smaller guy dead lifting more
weight than the bigger guy.” But you have to take a look at their overall
training program and take everything into account, right? Maybe the first guy does a lot of heavy pull-ups
and pull downs and rows and shrugs and other movements to build their back musculature
and they’re using a more bodybuilding focused program. Whereas maybe the second guy is mainly just
focused on building a big deadlift and he doesn’t pay as much attention to those other
lifts. So in that one instance, things might seem
a bit off because the one guy is smaller but moving more weight. But again, the overall training program has
to be considered. And then beyond those three factors, of course
the final factor to consider, which is a huge one, is drug use. Okay? You might see guys in the gym who are suspiciously
muscular even though they’re not very strong. And a lot of times that can be a dead giveaway
that steroids are involved because steroids provide a huge advantage when it comes to
putting on muscle mass. I mean, you could literally take steroids
and do nothing but sit on the coach and you’ll still gain some muscle from it. So don’t discount the factor of drug use because
that will hugely affect the amount of weight that a given person needs to lift in order
to achieve a certain level of muscularity. So try not to concern yourself too much with
what everyone else in the gym or on YouTube or on Instagram is doing. Strength and does equal size for the most
part so just focus on staying consistent with your own program, tracking your workouts on
paper and building up a solid strength foundation. And when combined with proper nutrition, you
will consistently put on new muscle mass as you add more weight to the bar during those
first few years of lifting. So thanks for watching guys. Make sure to hit the like button and subscribe
below if you found this information helpful. If you appreciate the no BS, evidence-based
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in the next video.

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