5 Reasons Why You Should Build Strength Instead of Size

5 Reasons Why You Should Build Strength Instead of Size

We’ve all seen the chiseled bodies of professional bodybuilders, or aspired to look like Brad Pitt in Fight Club. There are plenty of reasons for weight training, but the most common is to build up bulk. What normally happens is that we go to a typical fitness centre, find a programme (usually a split programme, 5-6 days a week), sign up at a contract free gym in London (or whichever area you call home) and start going for it. I would argue that this is setting yourself up for a fall.

These muscle building programmes are not, contrary to popular belief, aimed at absolute beginners. This is because it is far more efficient to train for strength, to build up your body and central nervous system (CNS) first, THEN focus on building the size.


  • Strength helps you in everyday life.

    Helping a mate change flats? Picking all the grocery bags in one go? Working with heavy materials? Doing sport? All these tasks are much easier if your body is strong. While you normally do not need to lift 405 lbs’ worth of stuff, being able to makes many tasks in life easier.


  • It’s simple.

    Forget complicated training programs that incorporates 15 different exercises each visit to the gym. Stick to a simple 5×5 program which encompass a total of 5 compound movements for a full body workout. Back squat, overhead press (military press), deadlift, bench press and bent-over rows – that is all you need.


  • Time efficient.

    Going to the gym just three times a week is, in fact, plenty. The time in between those sessions will give your body enough of a breather to recover so that you can start your next visit to the gym with full power.


  • No leg day.

    With a 5×5 program there is no such thing as leg day. You are training legs every day, which means that, because your body is used to it, there are less of those devastating mega-sessions to recover from over the following 3 or 4 days. Also, “chicken leg” syndrome is avoided as your body is evenly trained.


  • Hypertrophy is easier with more strength.

    Once you have built up your strength, switching to a more bodybuilder-focused routine will make you see gains faster. You will lift heavier weights as a result of being stronger.


Bonus reason.

Bragging rights. No one cares if you can lift 225 lbs 10 times down at your contract free gym if the guy next to you lifts 405 lbs just once.

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The Author



The Founder of MyGym, Adam is a keen runner having completed various half marathons, the Brighton Marathon and is currently training for the Berlin Marathon in aid of Macmillan.

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