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Strength training (especially with heavy loads) routinely produces greater gains in strength than in muscle size, which leads to an increase in the ratio of strength-to-size. In textbooks, the change in the strength-to-size ratio is usually attributed to changes in neural drive. However, there is only a small amount of evidence for increases in neural drive being responsible for the greater gains in strength over size across different types of training program, such as when training with heavy loads rather than lighter loads. Therefore, this study investigated the changes in single fiber properties after a long-term period of standard strength training. Strength increased substantially (almost certainly by far more than muscle size, although size was not measured on the whole muscle level). Even so, there was no change in the force per muscle fiber after normalising to the fiber cross-sectional area, indicating that changes in the single fiber contractile properties do not contribute to changes in the strength-to-size ratio. This apparent contradiction is why other changes such as lateral force transmission (which is governed by connections between single muscle fibers and the extracellular matrix), tendon stiffness, and coordination have been proposed as key determinants of the strength-to-size ratio. -------------------- #sandcresearch #strengthandconditioning #strengthtraining #strength #sportsscience #biomechanics #performance #research #science #infographic #infographics #hypertrophy #muscle #gains #fit #gymlife #athlete #athletes #athletic #power #powerful
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