Have you ever wondered what your strength training progress might look like? When do you start building muscle? How much muscle can you build, and will you get stronger forever? Who should you look to for an evidence-based approach to strength training progress? What does the scientific literature say about strength training progress over a few months, a few years, or a lifetime?
On this week’s episode of “The Discover Strength Podcast,” I sat down with Senior Exercise Physiologist Rick Rignell to discuss all things strength training progression. We look over what the relevant literature has to say in regards to how we adapt to exercise, and what we can expect in the short and long-term of our strength training careers.
Rick and I describe in detail based on personal, anecdotal, and most importantly research-backed experience on what you can expect your own progress to look like. This means from the day you step into the gym for the first time and start lifting weights, to your last workout ever at 100 years old before you finally kick the bucket. How can we expect our strength training progress to shift over the course of time, and how can we set realistic expectations of strength training progress outcomes?
The reality of strength training is that most of us get the majority of our strength gains early on. This is due in large part to the neurological rewiring that happens when you start strength training consistently. Essentially your body gets better at recruiting the appropriate fibers designated to perform each exercise.
After a while, we start to hypertrophy, or grow muscle, but almost without question, increases in strength supersede increases in size development. Once we’ve achieved our physiological peak, anywhere from 12 weeks, to multiple years down the road, the name of the game becomes to hold on to your strength training progress. For anyone above the age of 50, where sarcopenia becomes extremely prevalent (age-related muscle loss), simply not losing muscle becomes more important than gaining any new muscle tissue. It’s time to put an end to the idea of growing bigger and getting stronger forever, and start focusing on what strength training progress really helps us with, a better, healthier, more fulfilling life.
This is a great episode for new and long-time trainees, and anyone who’s interested in what the journey might be like in their own strength training. I encourage you to like and share with any friends that may be interested in trying a Discover Strength workout, in person or virtually.
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Research from the episode HERE.