How do I build strength and power without gaining weight?

Specific forms of exercise focused on increasing power are unlikely to result in substantial weight gain but are very beneficial for increasing power, such as plyometrics (jump training) and medicine ball throws, as long as a few protocols are observed. Some of these exercises include squat jumps, tuck jumps, MB chest pass, and pullover throws. Gaining weight (i.e. muscle mass) occurs when an individual combines resistance training exercises and a proper diet with sufficient caloric intake. Athletes can minimize the amount of  mass they gain by manipulating their program and diet. Research has shown hypertrophy gains (muscle growth) are maximal when a resistance training program is of high volume with moderate repetitions (i.e. 8-12 repetitions, 3-5 sets, with 70-85% intensity, multiple exercises per body part). However, if caloric intake is less than or equal to the amount of calories burned per day, weight gain will not occur. In these cases, often times, the athlete's body composition will change reducing body fat and slightly increasing lean mass, but no overall change in body weight. To ensure sufficient calorie expenditure, be sure to incorporate a healthy low fat diet, cardiorespiratory exercise (including speed and agility training), and specific forms of power training mentioned above into your overall program. REFERENCES TO NOTE: Kraemer WJ, Ratamess N, Fry AC, et al. Influence of resistance training volume and periodization on physiological and performance adaptations in collegiate women tennis players. Am J Sports Med. 2000; 28:626-33. Campos GE, Luecke TJ, Wendeln HK, et al. Muscular adaptations in response to three different resistance-training regimens: specificity of repetition maximum training zones. Eur J Apply Physiol. 2002; 88:50-60. Tan B. Manipulating resistance training program variables to optimize maximum strength in men: a review. J Strength Cond Res. 1999; 13:289-304. Baker D, Wilson G, Carlyon R. Periodization: the effects on strength of manipulating volume and intensity. J Strength Cond Res. 1994; 8:235-42.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.