1) Drug-free muscular potential is influenced by the size of your frame.
2) Strength is a function of neural factors and muscular factors. Once youíve hit a point of diminishing returns for the neural factors, your strength potential will be determined by how much muscle you can build.
3) Based on a few simple calculations, you can get a pretty good idea of your muscular and strength potential.
I think almost every lifter has had this thought: ďI used to be able to get bigger and stronger so easily! But lately the gains have been slowing down dramatically, and Iíve barely made any progress in the past year. How much bigger and stronger can I reasonably get?Ē
Thatís a hard question to answer objectively, but Iím going to try. This article explains the basics of the models Iím using and makes some rough predictions. Part 2 refines those predictions and lets you know how you can use that information to make training decisions.
First, just a smidgen of background information:
How much muscle you can gain largely depends on the size of your frame.
How strong you can get is a product of how much muscle you have, and how proficient you are with the lifts youíre using to demonstrate your strength.
So, first and foremost, Iíll discuss the model you can use to predict how much muscle you can put on your frame. Then, based on that information, Iíll discuss the model you can use to predict how much more strength you can gain, and what proportion of that strength potential comes from neural/technical factors, and what proportion comes from muscular factors.
This may sound complicated and confusing, but bear with me; itís really pretty simple conceptually, and you donít need to worry about all the math behind it.
Whatís my muscular potential?
There have been a variety of ways proposed to predict someoneís muscular potential. They all give reasonably similar predictions, but there are two that I think are notably better than the others, and only one of them is user-friendly. Iíll touch on them all so that you can see the strengths and weaknesses of each.
The Berkhan/Leangains Model
This oneís probably the simplest. Martin Berkhan (the guy who runs Leangains.com) developed this model based on his observations concerning the stage weights of drug-free bodybuilders.
Weight (kg, in shredded, stage-ready condition) = height in cm Ė 100
To convert that to fat-free mass, youíd multiply the result by .95 (to account for 5% body fat in stage-ready condition).
So, if youíre 160cm (5í3″), you should expect to be about 60kg, with 57kg of lean mass.
Full Article: YOUR Drug-Free Muscle and Strength Potential: Part 1 • Strengtheory