Getting Super Strong Without Gaining Weight

This blog post addresses how to get really strong without gaining additional body weight. Why would someone want to get strong without gaining weight? If you are in a sport where additional bodyweight is not needed such as track or you are already playing at your ideal body weight, than an increase in strength without mass will make you faster.

Here is why. Say we have 2 rugby players. Player A weighs 260 lbs and can apply 400lbs of force into the ground that is 1.54x his bodyweight. Player B weighs 180 lbs and can apply 300lbs of force into the ground that is 1.66x his bodyweight. Although player A is stronger and can apply more force into the ground, player B is faster. When it comes to determining speed, mass specific force is more important than overall force. This is why relative strength (strength in relation to body weight is one of the most important factors in developing speed).

So how do I get strong without gaining weight?

-          Focus on developing higher threshold motor units through type IIB fibers. High intensity with low volume 3-5 sets of 1-3 reps above 85%.


-          Use the dynamic effort method and plyometric exercises. You want to work faster contractions. Perform sets of banded or chain compound exercises for multiple sets of 3. You want to make sure you have full recovery between sets.


-          Lower your volume and accessories to avoid adding muscle mass. The sled can be used as a great accessory as it does not have an eccentric portion (the lowering portion of an exercise that causes the most muscle damage.)

Graham WilkersonComment