How to Build Muscle and Strength

Adding a strength phase to your training regime is key to fuel muscle growth

Everyone is looking for that extra edge to build muscle fast. According to a new study, adding a strength phase to your bodybuilding program can spur new muscle growth!     

Building muscle doesn’t mean you have to be a powerlifter. if you want to learn how to build muscle, you will find that getting stronger may be the key to a more muscular physique.      

The current research suggests that heavy- and light-weight resistance training can build muscle, but this new study is unique because it shows you how to build muscle faster! Although both heavy and light weights can increase mass, lifting heavier weights will build maximal muscle strength, whereas lifting lighter weights will not.     

Strength Training for More Muscle Growth   

Strength training has some unique advantages over training with lighter weights in terms of muscle physiology. Strength training with heavier weights results in greater tension on the muscle.   

As we all know, those weights in the gym are there for one reason — to place tension on your muscles so they can get bigger! Usually, when people start weightlifting, there are rapid increases in strength followed by slower increases in muscle mass. These results suggest that early strength-training gains may precede lean muscle mass.  

Theoretically, if you are stronger, you can train with heavier weight and place greater tension on the muscle, facilitating muscle growth.     


Certain studies have documented that when total weight volume is similar, resistance training with heavier weights results in greater muscle mass. For example, one study analyzes the effects of three resistance training protocols with similar workloads — 4 sets × 3-5 repetitions vs. 3 sets x 9-11 repetitions (at one’s repetition maximum) vs. 2 sets x 20-28 repetitions — on muscle growth and strength.  

Interestingly, only the first two groups (those training with heavier weights) gained muscle, whereas no significant muscle growth was observed in the low-load regimen (2 x 20-28 repetitions)1.  

The Best Way to Build Muscle

Researchers wanted to find out if adding a strength training phase to a bodybuilding phase would result in greater lean muscle increases than a bodybuilding program alone. The groups trained for eight weeks and were divided into two bodybuilding groups:   

1. Bodybuilders

This group performed 4 sets per exercise, 8–12 reps per set. In between sets, they rested for a single minute. The weight was adjusted if a participant performed less than eight reps or more than 12 reps in a set to keep them within the desired rep range.

2. Power Bodybuilders

This group combined strength and bodybuilding training. The first three weeks, they performed strength training utilizing weights that only allowed four sets, 1–3 reps per set. They rested three minutes between sets. The remaining five weeks, they switched to the same training program as the bodybuilding group, where they trained with 8-12 reps and rested 60 seconds between sets.   

The study subjects were not newbies either. They were well-trained individuals with five years of resistance exercise training that could squat 1.5 times their bodyweight!    

Bombshell Results

The total amount of weight lifted was greater in the bodybuilding group compared to the power-bodybuilding group. For example, after eight weeks, the bodybuilding group squatted a total of 103,196 pounds and leg-pressed a total of 323,327 pounds on average.  

In comparison, the power-bodybuilding group squatted 80,664 pounds and leg-pressed 241,031 pounds on average. Both groups increased muscle mass. Now, get ready for the bombshell…    

Despite lifting less total weight after eight weeks, the power-bodybuilding group gained more muscle and more strength!    

A muscular female wearing Bang and VPX apparel walking around in a gym while carrying a Redline Energy drink

It gets better.     

At the beginning of the study, the group using the bodybuilding workout gained the most muscle. In the first three weeks, the bodybuilding group gained almost 2.6% muscle, whereas the powerlifting group gained nothing. However, when the powerlifting group switched to the bodybuilding program, the participants gained muscle faster and surpassed the bodybuilding group, ending with nearly 40% greater muscle gains.    

The researchers suspected that the three weeks of strength training increased muscle tension and resulted in greater recruitment of type II fibers, which have greater muscle growth capacity.   

So, if you are looking to build muscle faster, based on this study, adding a strength phase using heavier weights with 3-5 reps before a bodybuilding phase of 10-12 reps may yield greater muscle growth.    

Best Supplements for Muscle Growth

To help build strength and size, take Bang® Master Blaster® pre-exercise. Master Blaster® is a fully dosed pre-workout with 26.5 grams of active ingredients per scoop. Unlike other pre-workouts, Bang® Master Blaster® is university-proven to build lean mass and improve strength after just four weeks3.  

bang energy pre-workout powder supplement, master blaster rainbow unicorn container

A recent study found that subjects using Bang® Master Blaster® averaged a:  

  • 6.9-pound increase in lean mass.  
  • 23.2-pound improvement in the bench press.  
  • 52.5-pound increase in the squat.   


  1. Campos, G. E., Luecke, T. J., Wendeln, H. K., Toma, K., Hagerman, F. C., Murray, T. F., Ragg, K., Ratamess, N., Kraemer, W., & Staron, R. S. (2002). Muscular adaptations in response to three different resistance-training regimens: Specificity of repetition maximum training zones. European Journal of Applied Physiology, 88(1), 50–60.  
  2. Carvalho, Leonardo et al. “Is stronger better? Influence of a strength phase followed by a hypertrophy phase on muscular adaptations in resistance-trained men.” Research in sports medicine (Print), 1-11.   
  3. Schwarz, Neil A et al. “Effect of Bang® Pre-Workout Master Blaster® combined with four weeks of resistance training on lean body mass, maximal strength, microRNA expression, and serum IGF-1 in men: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.” Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition vol. 16,1 54.

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