Let’s face it, everybody loves to see results, literally see them. Going down, or up a size in clothing can really help boost motivation for most of us. In a world where everything in pushed in front of eyes, we love visually measurable results. However, when it comes to strength, improvements may not be as evident as tightening your belt an extra notch. Ever been two weeks into a program and suddenly your squats are feeling strong and smooth compared to the scoop of mash potato you resembled in week 1? It can be difficult for many of us to get used to. Donn’t worry you’re heading in the right direction!


Strength Is A Two-headed Beast

Your body is going to change in a number of ways when you start strength training. Fortunately, the clever eggs in the world of S&C have split them into two easily identified groups, neural and morphological.

Morphological Adaptations

  • Muscle size
  • Connective tissue stiffness
  • Fibre type
  • Pennation angle

I’m not too worried about going into these for this post. If you’re interested in learning more specifically about these adaptations please get in  touch!

Neural Adaptations

  • Firing Rate and Coding – How quickly and efficiently you can ask your muscles to fire.
  • Motor Unit Recruitment and synchronisation – The amount of motor units you ask to create a muscle contraction and how well they work with each other.
  • Intermuscular Co-ordination – When move, various muscles will act to create the required movement. Improved co-ordination ensures the right muscles relax while the right ones contract.


Being Strong Without Big Muscles

These neural adaptations are the reason you can get stronger without a visual change. Your body is essentially teaching itself how to move. Making sure the right muscles are firing at the right time and in the right direction. The more it learns the better it gets at making sure everything works efficiently.

Every week I see the same person Personal Training in Richmond, whilst they haven’t changed drastically in appearance, they sure as hell move much much better. With the foundation of correct movement, the visual adaptations you are striving for will follow quickly.