Tracking workout volume is a better gauge of putting on lean muscle mass than using absolute strength increases. Most people think that getting stronger means adding muscle, but this has not always been the case. Strength gains can occur through neurological improvements and technique rather than increases in muscle size.
DOES GETTING STRONGER MEAN YOU ARE GETTING BIGGER?
ARE STRENGTH GAINS A SIGN OF MUSCLE GROWTH SUMMARY
· You can have strength gains without increasing muscle mass.
· Track gains in lean mass with body composition, not just using strength gains.
One of the best indicators to gauge progress in the gym is monitoring that your weights and/or reps are increasing. If you are getting stronger each time you go to the gym, you may not want to add additional sets. Although this is a topic of debate among researchers, most studies have found a correlation between strength gains and muscle growth, but this does not always occur.
When you exercise, you can get stronger due to improved neurological training (i.e., brain and nervous system) or by building more lean mass. If you are training like a powerlifter and doing singles and doubles, you can certainly get stronger but won’t build much muscle.