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  • Tyler Hakamaki

Factors to increase maximal strength

There are a few ways to increase adaptations in strength expression over time.

1 - Increase neuromuscular efficiency. This can be achieved by 1) increasing motor unit recruitment or 2) increasing rate coding (firing rate).

2 - Another way to increase strength expression is to increase the muscle cross-sectional area. This is achieved through hypertrophy.

The ways in which strength expression increases with neuromuscular efficiency relate to an increased muscle EMG during maximal voluntary contraction, increasing motor unit recruitment, increasing motor unit firing rate, and down-regulating the co-contraction of muscles.

The ways in which strength expression increases with hypertrophy relates to the increase in the cross-sectional diameter of the muscle. “This is due to a greater number of actin and myosin filaments. The more cross-bridge cycles that occur, the stronger the muscle. Which is the primary adaptation of skeletal muscle to long-term resistance training.

5 factors for increased strength expression:

1) Increase motor unit recruitment

2) Increase rate coding

3) Down-regulation of proprioceptors

4) Hypertrophy

5) Tendon and connective tissue adaptations

Brief summary of how to implement

1) Lift something heavy and/or fast to increase motor unit requirement

2) Train at high speeds to increase firing rates

3) Do oscillatory exercises for the downregulation of proprioceptors

4) Train a variety of rep ranges, focusing on volume and intensity on a lift that provides a long range of motion for hypertrophy

5) Do eccentrics and isometrics for tendon and connective tissue

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