Does Strength Really Matter?

People who aspire to build muscle and burn fat often get distracted by their ego, chasing big lifts. The issue with making your training too focused towards strength is that rest periods lengthen, repetition ranges drop and time under tension diminishes - the outcome is reduced muscle stimulation and energy expenditure. These are far from perfect conditions for optimized body composition changes, especially in a short space of time.

Does this mean strength doesn't matter? Absolutely not, striving to gradually improve your performance is a fundamental part of building muscle. The value of progressive overload can't be denied, but it still must fall within the context of body composition training. This means getting stronger within "hypertrophic" rep ranges, usually between 8-12, rather than 1, 2 or 3 rep sets. Higher rep ranges are also crucial for building size and burning fat, aiming to get stronger and achieve overload within these parameters is equally essential. You will notice on the programs in Health Kik I regularly use moderate to high rep ranges, they work IF you know how to deploy them expertly!

Contextualizing strength gains is also crucial - rest periods and rep tempo are two variables which really influence your ability to recover, and therefore consistently perform optimally. When you are trying to ascertain if you have improved your strength, it is crucial the variables are "like for like" to make it a fair assessment.

To summarize this question, you should always aim to build your performance within the rep ranges you're using - but don't fall into the trap of wanting to hit 1 rep maxes, if your aim is to optimize muscle size and fat loss.

Kris Gethin