The difference between strength & muscle building

by Philip MacDonald | Last updated

It is very important for soccer players to develop their muscles.  It becomes even more important as you are in your final teen years and entering adulthood.   When I say develop your muscles I’m referring to spending time in the gym working with weights.  As you age, your bodies are more able to carry muscle and this should be taken advantage of otherwise you’ll be at a disadvantage from the competition.

However, there is a difference between strength training and muscle building.  I’m not trying to be technical here but there is a difference and it is important to understand the two so you know how to spend your time in the gym.

Muscle building is working out your muscles so that they grow in size.  This happens when you work out a minimum of three sets, each set 10 repetitions.  This should all be heavy lifting so you cannot lift an extra rep.  You must also eat a lot of protein for muscle building to occur.  In order to find out how much protein should be eaten daily, multiply 1.5 by your weight.  This will give you the amount of grams of protein you need to eat on a daily basis in order to build muscle.  For example, a 150lbs player would have to eat 225 grams of protein per day to build muscle (150 x 1.5 = 220).  It is easiest to spread out the protein over five or six meals throughout the day.  To learn about proteins, which ones to eat and avoid click here.

Strength building is literally building your strength.  The difference is that you do not need to build muscle mass.  Strength building is only 4-6 repetitions (lifting your max) with five or six sets.  It is still recommended to eat balanced proportions protein throughout the day. In order to grow and repair your muscles they require a lot of protein.  To learn more on weight training for soccer players click here.

Most professional soccer players are strong and lean.  They carry a low body fat percentage, normally less than 10.  However, this doesn’t happen on it’s own.  This is the result of hard work in the gym and proper nutrition.

Once you have the skills and knowledge of the game, it is important to develop your physique so that you can play against almost any opposition.  It will help you become strong and fast.  It will also help prevent injuries from occurring.

Best of luck with your strength training.  Be sure to send us any questions or comments.

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