Should one gain weight when strength training?


New Member
I understand a large part of strength training is neural recruitment and not necessarily hypertrophy. That said, should one increase calorie intake if over a period of several weeks bodyweight stays the same? Or, should one only increase calories if strength isn't improving on the current diet? Thanks.
If you're using a strength training program and you're gaining strength without gaining weight, then all is good and there's nothing to be unhappy about. I would only worry about gaining additional weight if your strength stagnates.

Based on the thread Bryan in ThinkMuscle: Hypertrophy=Strength, I would say that if you are serious about getting stronger then you will need to put on some weight. Here is a good post by NWlifter that sums it all up nicely:

[b said:
Quote[/b] (NWlifter @ April 19 2005,9:48)]Form and coordination are the two main non-hypertrophic factors that alter people's strength in lifts. The CSA of a muscle itself has been found to be a reliable predictor of it's strength.
Also, tendon 'stiffness' can make a difference in "starting strength" which helps in power lifting type exercises. What happens with powerlifters, is they eventually maximize all the cooridination 'tricks', then hypertrophy is the sole or at least primary means of increased strength. In many many tests, trained subjects could voluntarilly and maximally recruit their muscles. This means as far as pure neural strength gains, for a particular muscle, there isn't much room.


And on a simpler level, if you look at the strongest powerlifters in the world you'll notice a trend: they're all pretty "hefty" guys. After you reach a certain point, i.e. when you've learned to recruit all of your muscle fibers and perform the movement as efficiently as possible, the only way to get stronger is to get bigger.
many trainees gain strength while minimizinge wt gain or even dropping wt classes. As mentioned the neural component plays a large role in the ability to get stronger.

Keep in mind with the whole issue of gaining wt if your absolute strength is going up but your relative strength is significantly falling this will probably be detrimental to ahtleticism

coach hale