I have clients of all sizes and shapes at the gym in Alexandria, VA. Some of the clients that are thinnest or skinniest often amaze me at their strength. Just as being big and bulky with muscles that look like the Incredible Hulk doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re strong, being skinny doesn’t mean weak, either. Everyone has their own perfect body, some are tall and thin. While they might look skinny under layers of clothing, when they’re in shorts and a T-shirt, you can see their muscles.
It’s not unheard-of to get stronger without getting bigger or bulkier.
In fact, that’s one of the dilemmas that body builders face. They may have big bulky muscles, but they don’t have strength. How does that happen? Getting ripped isn’t the same as becoming strong. Your body increases strength by muscle growth and neural adaptation. Neural adaptations is the process of the body making the best use of the muscles it already has. If you’ve gained strength, but aren’t bulky and big, that’s the reason.
What causes neural adaptation, but not muscle growth?
Part of the reason for skinny, but strong is the number of reps. Too many—12 or more, improves endurance, not bulk. Too few, three reps or fewer, gives you power and strength but not muscle growth. Not working to metabolic fatigue will keep you strong but skinny, too. Training too little also does it. Most of all, consuming too few calories is the biggest offender. Getting strong and staying skinny occurs when you maintain the same calorie count you did before working out hard. You need extra calories to build muscles.
You get health benefits from being strong and being thin.
When you’re thinner, you tend to be less prone to ailments like heart disease. “Skinny” tends to be more agile than big and bulky. Getting stronger brings great benefits, too. You’re less prone to injury and are ready for daily living tasks. Some of the most powerful bodies are thin. Consider Bruce Lee and other martial arts people. They don’t look like they have much muscle, but they’re powerful.
- Most bodybuilders and big, bulked up people aren’t nearly as strong as those with more sinewy muscles. Using your muscles for daily tasks, rather than just pumping iron can make a difference.
- Skinny can mean less fat and more muscle mass. That’s an indicator that the person should be stronger. It’s a lean, yet muscular appearance that can be quite deceptive.
- I’ve seen some really strong women, particularly at The Worx. Women have hormones that suppress their ability to bulk up, but not their ability to get stronger.
- Strength comes in all sizes. It’s all about diet and the exercise program you’re using. It’s why we ask your goals before we create a workout plan designed specifically for you.
For more information, contact us today at The Worx