This is a subject i am pretty passionate about. I think I am so passionate about it partly because I have played sports that require me to maximize strength without increasing too much size, but also because there is so much misunderstanding out there about it.
Some people believe that getting stronger means getting huge and muscular like the pictures you have seen of body builders who are so huge their arms can't hang down at their sides. No disrespect for those guys. They want to get that big and they love it. But do you HAVE to get that big to be strong?
Let's take a look at this olympic gold medalist in the clean and jerk at the most recent Olympics.
Did he just lift a LOT of weight over his head? Yeah he did! Is the bar bending slightly from how much weight is on it? Yes. Does this guy look freakishly huge? No. Does he looked jacked beyond belief? No, not really. Does he look pretty fit overall. Yeah, he does. So what am I getting at here?
You can get stronger and fitter without getting bigger. How do you do this? It takes doing a smaller number of repetitions at a heavier weight. I'm talking like 7 reps or less per set. On those sets you try to move as much weight as you can. These are the types of reps that are beneficial for strength and power in weight lifting. You can also get a lot stronger and fitter by just using your own body. You can do high volume workouts with body weight movements like push-ups, air squats, or other gymnastic movements.
So, if you don't want to get huge, don't worry about it. There is a trying style for you. Training for strength and fitness rather than size can be found at most functional fitness gyms, but if you are a lone wolf, give this style a try and see what results you get.
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