Strength gains and muscle gains are two different things. You can look muscular and not be strong, be strong and not muscular, or you could be both.
Originally Posted by Wrestling_Prodigy
When you are lifting weights there are certain rep ranges that differ the two. The 8-12 rep range is mainly for building muscle and not strength(people call this the bodybuilding routine), the 20 and over rep range is for muscle endurance gains, and the 1-5 rep range is for pure strength gains, although you will still gain muscle from this rep range, you won't gain as much from the 8-12 rep range.
Bodybuilders use the 8-12 rep range. If you ever look at a bodybuilders training routine, you'll see it's usually 3-4 sets, 10-12 reps per exercise. They are training specifically for just muscle gains and not strength. But we don't want to do that. We want to work the 1-5 rep range.
It says that muscles build mass and strength in response to stress put on the muscles. Well by adding alot more weight and doing fewer reps and more sets, you are putting your muscles under tremendous amounts of stress. And in turn they will get alot stronger and bigger. All of todays strongmen, olympic weightlifters, and powerlifters use this routine(heavy weights and low reps). For example: Olympic weightlifter Ivan Stoistov. He weighs in around 160-180lb, yet he can clean&jerk 205kg, which is 450lbs!
I would like to see any modern day bodybuilder do that regardless of how much they weigh. Ivan trains for absolute strength, while the BBs train for just muscle. Get me a ripped 180lb bodybuilder and I swear he wouldn't be able to clean&jerk 450lbs. I doubt Ronnie Coleman can even do that, and doesn't Ronnie weigh like 315 or something like that. That's a perfect idea of looking strong but not being strong. I'm not saying he's not strong, but compared to strongmen, powerlifters, and olympic weightlifters, he is weak!
You don't have to be ripped to be strong. I remember about two years ago I used to wrestle this kid who look fatter than me. Yet when I wrestled him, he was very strong and tough for me. That's because I was training high reps for muscle and not strength. But things have changed since then. I use a program called the 5x5 program. 5 sets of 5 reps. Perfect for strength gains. Go to the website stronglifts.com and it will have everything I'm talking about. If you can bench 135 for an easy 3x10, then put on alot more weight till all you can do is no more than 3-5 reps for about 5-6 sets. When you are training the 1-5 rep range, make sure you take long rests so that you will be able to do those certain amount of reps you were training with easy again. I suggests 2-3min breaks. Remember that you are lifting very heavyweight, so don't think that's too long of a break between sets.
The only exercises I ever do when lifting weights are squat, lift, overhead press, sometimes barbell row, calf raises, bench press, and sometimes clean and clean&jerk. That's it. No dumbells or machines.
Hope that some of this helped. I know it's terribly long and maybe a little confusing at some points, but it's kind of hard trying to spread my point on the internet. If you have any questions you could just PM me or ask me right here.