Do hypertrophic adaptations lead to an increase in strength?
The general consensus among most athletes and coaches for the last few decades has been that increases in hypertrophy, defined as ‘an increase in muscle size accompanied by an increase in myofibrillar protein (Taber)’, has a causal relationship with increases in strength, defined as ‘the ability to produce force against an external resistance (Taber)’.
But does a bigger muscle produce more force?
The authors of the two paper linked below, Dr. Chris Taber and Dr. Jeremy Loenneke, have differing beliefs on this question. In a Weightlifting House first, we hosted this interesting discussion between the two doctors in search of greater understanding between the entwined relationship of these two training qualities.
The discovery of truth in this area is monumental, and the implications with regards to athletic training are potentially enormous.
Want to read these papers?
Exercise-Induced Myofibrillar Hypertrophy is a Contributory Cause of Gains in Muscle Strength – Taber et al.
Exercise‑Induced Changes in Muscle Size do not Contribute to Exercise‑Induced Changes in Muscle Strength – Loenneke et al.
Listen to the discussion
Dr. Chris Taber is a sport scientist and has a PhD in Sport Physiology and Performance. Dr. Taber is an Assistant Professor at Sacred Heart University. He is also the head coach of the Sacred Heart Weightlifting Team.
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Dr. Jeremy Loenneke is an Assistant Professor of Exercise Science at The University of Mississippi within the School of Applied Sciences. He obtained his PhD in Exercise Physiology from the University of Oklahoma under the mentorship of Dr. Michael Bemben. Dr. Loenneke previously earned a Master’s degree in Nutrition and Exercise Science from Southeast Missouri State University. His research focuses on skeletal muscle adaptations to exercise with and without the application blood flow restriction.
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- Joshua Gibson Instagram