What exercise is best for building strength but not making you build too much muscle bulk?

3 Answers

Kim Snowling Profile
Kim Snowling answered

There are lots of variables to this question, but these 3 things can vary your outcome dramatically.

  1. The type of exercise you enjoy
  2. The food that you eat
  3. Lifestyle - the time you have to exercise
  4. Your gender
I know it sounds silly but no matter what exercise you participate in, you will always get some kind of muscle growth.  As exercise causes the body to burn fat and produce muscle.

  • Type of Exercise -  
  • Firstly it is important that you do an exercise you enjoy otherwise you will not stick to your 
  • lifestyle change -   If you enjoy lifting weights then the best thing for you to so is endurance training. Lower your weights so you are able to 10-12 reps before exhausting yourself, this way you will build up the strength without piling on the muscle. I would say though it is always important to do some kind of Cardio (running) as this really burns the calories & keeps you healthy.  If weights are not your thing, then Yoga is meant to increase core strength along with relaxation.
  • Food - A healthy balanced diet is always advisable for any lifestyle wether you exercise or not.  Protein is the product that will build muscle and it is important when you exercise to eat plenty of it as protein will also mend the muscle you worked on, however I would suggest that if you do not want to bulk up then do not over eat protein. It is probably best for you to see a nutritionist about what is the best diet plan for you.

  • Gender. Unfortunately this is very true, muscle growth is enhanced by testosterone so ladies will always be less muscular than men.
So, to answer your question I would say eat healthy, do endurance weight training, throw in some running or swimming to mix things up a little, then hopefully you will see your strength increase without too much muscle growth.

( I am not a personally trainer so therefore I would recommend you speaking to your local personal trainer who will be able to set you goals and produce an exercise plan tailored to you.)

thanked the writer.
fred hani
fred hani commented
People go into bodybuilding for different reasons. Some engage in weightlifting exercises

to lose weight and build muscle mass to improve their looks.

The secret of continuous progress in bodybuilding is knowing how to challenge your body so

that it doesn’t get bored with your workouts. Our bodies are extremely adaptable organic

engines. Once you’ve reached your peak performance for a specific set of movements at

fixed intensities, that is the time when your body begins to achieve equilibrium.

Why does equilibrium matter?

When your body attains equilibrium, it ceases to perform at its highest level and you may

find it more difficult to cut fat and build mass in specific areas of your body.

You can change this trend by progressively increasing the total weight or resistance you

are using whenever you work out.

Fhani - http://musclebuildingriches.com/
Caitlin Stephens Profile

I know it sounds silly but no matter what exercise you participate in, you will always get some kind of muscle growth.  As exercise causes the body to burn fat and produce muscle. If you enjoy lifting weights then the best thing for you to so is endurance training.A healthy balanced diet is always advisable for any lifestyle wether you exercise or not.  Protein is the product that will build muscle and it is important when you exercise to eat plenty of it as protein will also mend the muscle you worked on, however I would suggest that if you do not want to bulk up then do not over eat protein. It is probably best for you to see a nutritionist about what is the best diet plan for you.To put it in perspective, I come from an operational background both military and police having finished my career as a SWAT team leader which has provided me with a practical training ground from which I can grab the best knowledge from the harshest environments and put them to work effectively for the masses.

Darik Majoren Profile
Darik Majoren answered

So the best way to increase strength will unfortunately lead you to building denser muscle with a "Tad" bit more mass.

When you "Bulk Up" is when you lower your repetitions increase the weight you lift and consume a bit more carbohydrates in your diet. Anything in the 6-10 rep range will increase the over all size of the muscle. The amount of micro-tears you do will also increase size.

Your best bet to increase strength without bulking up is to increase cardio in your workouts. 30-40 minutes of solid elevated heart rate cardio before weight training is a good start. This will also increase blood flow to your muscle groups and warm the muscle prior to training. Use repetitions of 12-15. You will still break down the muscle but not like the lower reps with higher weight. You do need to break down the muscle so it can become denser thus, stronger. To keep cardio going during weight training, try super setting opposing muscles - on Arm day do a set of Biceps, then right on to Triceps without stopping . . ., Leg day? Do a set of Quadricep leg extensions then right to hamstring curls without stopping . . .  you should be doing 4-5 sets of each alternating the opposing muscle groups where you can.

Break concentration of areas into days . . . a day for legs and day arms, a day for chest, and a day for Back and shoulders.

make sure to get in your 12-15 and on last set drop weight by 25%-35% and keep trying for 12-15 reps . . . This will exhaust the muscle and maintain your cardio as well.

Make your meals low in salt (salt adds water weight and can bulk you up), low in carbohydrates and high in protein . . .

Your muscles will become more defined AND stronger.

Always engage in ANY new exercise routines SLOWLY . . . This will avoid injury and allow for joints and ligaments to grow in strength along with the muscle . . .

Good luck and remember to watch what you eat, and do high repetitions . . . You will have both strength and a well defined body in no time.

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