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  1. #1
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    What is the physical or chemical difference between a strong muscle and weak one?

    Size does not equal strength. Its easy to tell by looking at someone how muscular they are, but not as easy to tell how strong they are. (look at power lifters, some are 150lbs and can squat bench and dead more than 200lb ripped guys)

    I understand, looking at muscle structure, than a smaller muscle has thinner muscle fibers. My question is, what is the physical difference between a strong muscle and an weak one of the same size if the muscle fibers aren't bigger or more in number, what makes it stronger?
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    Anyone?
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    Notorious Inquisitor industree's Avatar
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    Banned HostileTakeover's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by industree View Post

    This doesn't answer my question, I just read through it.

    Allow me to clarify, I am not looking for how to train to get stronger or how to train to get bigger. I am trying to understand what is different about the muscle from a power lifter compared to a regular person (besides size) what about the muscle has changed that makes it stronger.
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    B.S. Kinesiology CSCS Vipersg123's Avatar
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    It's a few things

    1. Muscle fiber type. People with primarily slow twitch fibers will be weaker than people with more fast twitch fibers
    2. limb length
    3. joint angles
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    Again, I don't think I'm making my question clear enough.

    I don't mean genetically, take a person that hasn't lifted before, put them on a powerlifting program for 5 years. Now what about the muscle besides its size, has changed in this time period to make it stronger?
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    I think it has to do with the motor units, which are single motor neurons and the muscle fibers they innervate. When someone lifts over a period of several years, their nervous system becomes more efficient at recruiting more motor units. The reason some people are stronger than others is that their bodies have learned to recruit almost all of the motor units necessary.

    Edit: I'm not sure if this is exactly what you were getting at, but it's the closest explanation I had
    Last edited by zriess; 11-07-2007 at 02:39 PM.
    Kinesiology undergrad- Athletic Training

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    B.S. Kinesiology CSCS Vipersg123's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by HostileTakeover View Post
    Again, I don't think I'm making my question clear enough.

    I don't mean genetically, take a person that hasn't lifted before, put them on a powerlifting program for 5 years. Now what about the muscle besides its size, has changed in this time period to make it stronger?
    It has to do with muscle fiber type (more slow initially and then over the years of training more fast twitch) and neuromuscular adaptation.
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  9. #9
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    NUEROMUSCULAR EFFICIENCY is the only thing that really matters in strength, the actual size of the fiber dosnt really matter

    ex) last year i had 11.5 -12 inch arms and curled 110.....my friend had 15 inch arms and curled 80. i could do more cuz i have a stronger neuromuscular connection

    Edit: i hope that answered something lol, powerlifters are largely improving what i just talked abou with low rep/set heavey weight training
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  10. #10
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    mainly the ability of the body to recruit all of its muscles fibres..a few other factors that have already been mentioned.
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    Originally Posted by HostileTakeover View Post
    Again, I don't think I'm making my question clear enough.

    I don't mean genetically, take a person that hasn't lifted before, put them on a powerlifting program for 5 years. Now what about the muscle besides its size, has changed in this time period to make it stronger?
    CNS effeciency has alot to do with it. Why don't you just do some research instead of asking everybody else? The info is out there.
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  12. #12
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  13. #13
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    also lifting increases mitochondrias which are the powerhouse of the cell.
    broken back but now I'm back... let's go muscle memory!
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    needs a tan zriess's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Ascendancy View Post
    also lifting increases mitochondrias which are the powerhouse of the cell.
    This more directly affects the aging process of muscle, but does help improve the function of it
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    Originally Posted by zriess View Post
    I think it has to do with the motor units, which are single motor neurons and the muscle fibers they innervate. When someone lifts over a period of several years, their nervous system becomes more efficient at recruiting more motor units. The reason some people are stronger than others is that their bodies have learned to recruit almost all of the motor units necessary.

    Edit: I'm not sure if this is exactly what you were getting at, but it's the closest explanation I had
    lol, cut and paste from websites much?
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    needs a tan zriess's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by HostileTakeover View Post
    lol, cut and paste from websites much?
    Naw man, that's Bio 255
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    Originally Posted by HostileTakeover View Post
    lol, cut and paste from websites much?
    God forbid that someone has perfect grammar on a bodybuilding forum? I always try to do the same. And the process of recruiting more motor units is not some lost archaic knowledge. I believe the difference between two people who have the same size muscles, but one person is stronger is that they can recruit more muscle fibers and have a superior fast-twitch muscular system. There could also be other factors like having better focus and being able to tap into your reserve muscle fibers that are only used in threatening situations. I've read that those fibers can make up 15% of someone's power and that is one key aspect as to why humans can do unreal acts of physical prowess in bad situations.
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  18. #18
    needs a tan zriess's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by drummerofgod89 View Post
    God forbid that someone has perfect grammar on a bodybuilding forum? I always try to do the same. And the process of recruiting more motor units is not some lost archaic knowledge. I believe the difference between two people who have the same size muscles, but one person is stronger is that they can recruit more muscle fibers and have a superior fast-twitch muscular system. There could also be other factors like having better focus and being able to tap into your reserve muscle fibers that are only used in threatening situations. I've read that those fibers can make up 15% of someone's power and that is one key aspect as to why humans can do unreal acts of physical prowess in bad situations.
    Thank you. And that sounds like a good explanation to me
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    Originally Posted by Vipersg123 View Post
    It's a few things

    1. Muscle fiber type. People with primarily slow twitch fibers will be weaker than people with more fast twitch fibers
    2. limb length
    3. joint angles
    repped
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