Hartman, M. Stolt, G., Bemben, D. A., Shehab, R. L., & Bemben, M. G. (2005). Effects of training experience on the relationship between muscle mass and isometric force production. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 37(5), Supplement abstract 962.

Highly trained weightlifters (N = 11) were compared to recreationally trained weightlifters (N = 16) on factors normally associated with lifting performance.

There were no differences between groups for body weight, total thigh mass, or bone-free lean thigh mass. There was a strong relationship between bone-free lean thigh mass and isometric peak force in the high performance group but only a low insignificant relationship in recreational lifters. Adjusting isometric peak force for lean thigh mass, there still was a significant difference for performance and muscle mass between the two groups. The ability to produce force was related only partially to lean mass in high performers. Factors other than muscle mass account for force production.

Implication. Muscle mass is only one factor determining strength performances.

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