That guy with the ungodly big, bulging bi’s? He’s not necessarily stronger than you are.
That’s the upshot of a review in Muscle & Nerve that concluded the link between post-workout muscle size and muscle strength is tenuous at best. In fact, scientists noted, even when you lose muscle mass after time off, strength often sticks around. That's not all. You don't have to heave massive amounts of metal to spur head-turning gains; guys experience similar muscle growth with low- and high-load resistance training, yet there are varied results in terms of strength.
"As the story goes with exercise-induced changes in strength, neural adaptations are contributing first with muscle growth playing a more prominent role in the latter portion of a training program: however, there is little direct evidence that this is actually true in an adult partaking in a resistance training program," senior author Dr. Jeremy Loenneke said in a press release.
Take that, Hulk.