When "strength training" is mentioned in that quote, it is referencing the 1-3 rep range.
There are several problems with trying to view strength training and muscle building as two different things, especially for beginners to intermediates, which this pertains most to....and is the audience for.
First, the quote positions strength training as something that ONLY involves training in the 1-3 range. Let us not forget that the 1-3 range is generally 90% of a lifter's 1RM. Even late intermediate to advanced strength trainees do not perform many working sets with 90% of their 1RM. Speaking in generalities, at most they will perform one set per workout in this range. Also, most are aware of the Prilepin chart, and limit work in the 90% range accordingly.
The reality is that even most late intermediate to advanced strength trainees train in the 4 to 12 rep range for most sets. Sure ascending triples and singles are used, but most of the working sets, including accessory work, are in the same ranges I listed for muscle building (5 to 12).
Second, beginners to early intermediates don't generally train using 90%+ weights and the 1-3 rep range. Strength training ranges for them are generally the same ranges used for "muscle building"...5 to 12. (For most exercises)
Third, a properly structured strength building workout for beginners to early intermediates won't look that much different than a properly structured muscle building workout. They use most of the same core exercises, and both require a focus on progression to maximize results.
Finally, I talk to people you have added substantial muscle each day, from pro bodybuilders to amazing body transformations. Though they train differently, one thing is consistent...99% will tell you that progression on a smart selection of exercises was the key to their gains.
Also, most of them are brutally strong! I know bodybuilders who swear they aren't anywhere near powerlifting ranges, but who deadlift 600 and deep squat 500. Though this is the high end of the spectrum, the reality is that most natural bodybuilders I know, and I know more than most, are only a stone's throw away from Elite powerlifting standards. "Stone's throw" meaning 150-200 pounds or less.
The ones that aren't haven't been lifting more than a few years. They still focus on progression and will get to this level soon enough. This statement might piss a few people off but it's true. Remember, these guys are under 200 pounds.
Does this progression need to be rapid? No. Does this progression require you to get as strong as the Hulk? No. With that said, I know of no other way to get as big and strong as simply pushing yourself on every set for as many reps as possible, and adding weight at every opportunity. (This applies to beginners to intermediates)
A rep range by itself is an indicator of nothing. Studies are great but they can't gauge effort. Strength, in studies, is usually looked at as a byproduct and not the mechanism driving gains. Studies also can't trump endless decades of real world information.
I don't care who you are. I don't care what rep range you train in. As a beginner to early intermediate, pick a rep range that works for you and ram the heck out of progression. Never waste a set and you will become a beast.
For most natural trainees, strength and muscle building are virtually the same for several years. (Depending on the trainee, and his goals)
All this Weider magazine 40 sets, pumping, TUT, blasting hoo-ha might be needed for some 280 pound gorilla to make gains and stimulate growth on their 82nd steroid pulse or whatever, but it's simply not needed for a beginning to early intermediate NATURAL bodybuilder.
AND, when a natural MUSCLE BUILDER does get to intermediate levels, switching to a mindless 6 to 12 range and increasing volume won't do much by itself. Some form or progression will still be required. Yes, you can drop the weight and use various techniques - like rest pause, slow negatives, whatever. These techniques can be great at saving the joints from the constant strain of heavy weight. But they still require progression.
You can't do the same workout with the same weight day in and day out for years and expect results - for size or strength. We all know this. So if we all know it, and we realize progression needs to come into play sooner or later, why the heck is this even a discussion?
On one hand we "need" muscle confusion - or a new workout every 8 to 12 weeks, but on the other we don't "need" a relentless focus on progression?
The best ways to "confuse" your muscles are:
1) Actually getting your butt to the gym week in and week out.
2) Taxing the heck out of them with heavy barbell and dumbbell exercises.
3) "Confusing" them by adding more reps, and then more weight.
If anyone knows of a better system for building size and strength than this for beginners to intermediates, speak now.
Destroy That Which Destroys You
"Let bravery be thy choice, but not bravado."
Last edited by BendtheBar; 05-27-2011 at 08:16 AM.