and Nutrition Articles
Affecting Muscle Strength When Weight Training
By Chad Tackett, Fast Track to Fat Loss Program
wonder or do you know why one person develops strength and
than another when he or she is performing the same exercises, following
the same weight training program? Many people feel that they must be
wrong because they aren't getting the same results as another person.
important to realize that there are six primary factors affecting every
individual's ability to achieve strength and muscle development, and we
have little or no control over most of them.
of Muscle Fiber
the most influential factors is muscle fiber type. We have two
basic types of muscle fibers, often referred to as "slow twitch" and
twitch." Slow twitch muscle fibers are best used for cardiovascular
activities. They produce small levels of force for long periods of time
and thus are better suited for endurance activities. Fast twitch fibers
are best used for anaerobic activities. They produce high levels of
for short periods of time and are best suited for power activities such
and women have an equal combination of both
slow twitch and
fast twitch fibers. However, some people inherit a high percentage of
twitch fibers that enhance their performance in endurance activities,
as long distance runners. Most world class marathon runners have a very
high amount of slow twitch fibers. World class sprinters or football
for example, have relatively more fast twitch muscle fibers. Although
fiber types respond positively to strength training exercises, the fast
twitch types experience greater increases in muscle size and strength,
and thus may obtain greater and/or faster results from a strength
factor over which we have little control is age. Studies show
that people of all ages can increase their muscle size and strength as
a result of a safe and effective strength training program. However,
rate of strength and muscle gain appears to be greater from age 10-20,
the years of rapid growth and development. After reaching normal
maturity, muscular improvements usually don't come as quickly.
does not affect the quality of our muscle, but does influence
the quantity. Although men's and women's muscle tissue are
the same, men generally have more muscle tissue than women do because
size is increased by the presence of testosterone, the male sex
The larger the muscles, the stronger the person; this is why most men
stronger than most women.
and Muscle Length
strength factor that is naturally determined is limb length.
Persons with short limbs tend to be able to lift more weight because of
advantageous leverage factors (arms and legs). Similarly, differences
strength development may come about because of variation in muscle
Some people have long muscles, and some people have short muscles.
with relatively long muscles have greater potential for developing size
and strength than persons with relatively short muscles.
of Tendon Insertion
strength is also influenced by the point of tendon insertion.
For example, let's say Jim and John both have the same arm and muscle
However, Jim's biceps tendon attaches to his forearm farther from his
joint than John's does. This gives Jim a biomechanical advantage: he is
able to lift more weight than John in biceps exercises such as the
these factors affect our ability to gain strength and muscle
development through training. Keep in mind, however, that the most
factor in achieving good results is using a very slow, controlled
movement and lifting to the point of muscle fatigue. In addition to
good lifting technique, it is absolutely imperative that you not only
with intensity on a well-balanced program, but also give your muscles
resting time between training sessions. Overtraining is a common
people make; it happens not only when you don't allow your muscles
rest, but also when you train with too many sets and exercises for each
mistake people make is doing the same program
over and over
again even after they have reached a plateau. Any time you 1) stop
strength or muscle size or 2) get bored, it is crucial that you change
the program, so that you can go through a whole new phase achieving new
results.We inherit most of these factors affecting strength from our
and they have a big impact on our size, strength, and appearance. It is
very important that you not become obsessed with trying to look like a
world-class body builder--or any other body type that is not your own.
We are not all meant to look the same. It is very important that you
about and accept your own body's characteristics and type, so you can
a reasonable program specific to realistic goals and personal interests.