After watching Keith's video I have been thinking a fair bit about my workout and what direction to take things.
He mentioned that sometimes he would do a typical 'body building' workout and sometimes he would do olympic lifts. Is he saying this because 'body building' workouts are more targeted at building muscle/size and olympic workouts more at strength?
I always thought doing something similar to what BBS by Doug McGuff suggests would take care of both fields.
Is there such thing as a workout that emphasizes increasing strength and a workout that emphasizes increasing size?
Looking back at my workout logs...... My leg press went from 155kg (341 lbs) to 173kg (390.5 lbs, 50lb change) in the space of 6 weeks but I have little size increase to show for it. My pullup has gone from 6 reps to failure to 10 reps to failure in 9 weeks. My bench has gone from 7 reps at 50kg (110 lbs) to 8 reps at 66.3 kgs (146 lbs, 36lb change) in 9 weeks.
My body weight has changed from 75 kgs to 76 kgs in the meantime. How can I have all these changes in strength but not put on more muscle mass?
Would I benefit from increasing the volume of my workouts? Currently I do a single set to failure of the 'big six'.
in general, Doing BBS Big 5 will do the trick for both, and the only reason to build bigger muscles is because the stress response from doing the workout calls for more strength in order to take on the same stress for next time. There will be times where you may grow bigger muscles while your performance slows, and time where your rate of increase in performance will be faster and your size will actually look to remain the same.
If you have some fat around your body, you can expect to become more lean looking while having similar circumference around your arms, chest, etc. Due to simultaneous fat loss and muscle gain.
I asked McGuff on his blog if it was possible to gain strength but not have any increase in muscular size, and the answer is yes. How? you're body can actually become more efficient with strength if the support systems become more efficient like your cardiovascular system, respiratory system, etc.
If you want to build strength or size, you can't really specify which one you want by doing a specific workout. doing strength training will do both, whether you like it or not.
But, if you want to target a specific skill, then practice the skill. Or, if you want to help 1 area of the body get more priority than others, you can do so by putting the ones you wan to prioritize by putting it towards the front of the workout, but in general you want to put the exercises you did the least amount of progress in front and the best towards the back.
There are a few exceptions to this "rule" but you can learn about them from watching Drew Baye's 2009 Speech. Examples: neck exercises go first, wrist curls go after and exercises that involve pulling with your hands, abs go last. Drew will explain why.
How can I have all these changes in strength but not put on more muscle mass?
Muscle mass is strictly that, skeletal muscle mass.
Strength on the other hand, is a skill. It depends both on physical muscle mass, ability to use it psychologically (ie, mental discipline, staying focused, etc), as well as your nervous system, its adaptations and component parts.
This is why you are able to get stronger without necessarily gaining mass. You became more efficient at using the tools you were already 'packin'. On a more basic level, this is seen when a fat kid runs a mile, throws up, and repeats this the following week except now he can run 1.5 miles, before throwing up.
Little to nothing has physically changed, but he's more determined now, familiar with the pain of being out of breath/dry mouth, and probably a little bit better at 'running', the skill itself. Not by much, but a meaningful amount if he had never ran before in his life (before the previous week).
"At the dawn of their lives, no matter their fate, men seek a noble vision of man's nature and of life's potential."
Thanks for the replies guys. For the record im 6'2 and sitting at around 12% body fat. So I dont think fat loss is the reason for the lack of size increase. Ive also been resistance training since I was 16(I must admit I had little clue of how to go about things back then though). Im 21 now. At my peak I was hovering around 82-83 kgs and still had around 12% body fat.
So basically I keep doing what I'm doing and size will come along eventually?
Also, the more fat you have, the more muscle you can gain potentially. This is explained in Casey Butt's website about genetic potential.
for example: at my height 65.5 inches ( 5' 5.5") wrist: 6.5 inches ankles: 8 inches
my maximum muscular bodyweight at 12% is 176.9 lbs and bulked (water retention) = 184 lbs.
currently I've been doing this for 2 years and have only reached about 120lbs and about 11.5% body fat. I'm also almost 24 years old, and after 25, your testosterone starts to drop since puberty has ended for average person. So, for anyone lucky enough to know to train HIT before they turn 25, then they are definitely getting there quicker than the average man past their 30s. but, they will reach their genetic potential eventually with time.