Factors that Determine Levels of Muscular Strength

Muscular strength is proportional to the cross - sectional diameter of the muscle fibers. The greater the cross - sectional diameter or the bigger a particular muscle, the stronger it is, and thus the more force it is capable of generating. The size of a muscle tends to increase in cross - sectional diameter with weight training. This increase in muscle size is referred to as hypertrophy. Conversely, a decrease in the size of a muscle is referred to as atrophy.

Strength is a function of the number and diameter of muscle fibers composing a given muscle. The number of fibers is an inherited characteristic; thus an athlete with a large number of muscle fibers to begin with has the potential to hypertrophy to a much greater degree than does someone with relatively fewer fibers.

Strength is also directly related to the efficiency of the neuromuscular system and the function of the motor u-nit in producing muscular force. Initial increases in strength during a weight-training program can be attributed primarily to increased neuromuscular efficiency.
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