While some people set out to increase both muscle strength and size, others simply want to become stronger without having body builder-type physiques. If you fall into the latter category, then this article is written solely for you as there are specific things you can do that will help you achieve greater strength without bulking up your muscles more than you’d like.

Here are the best ways to go about it:

  • Reduce your number of weekly strength training sessions. Working your muscles 1-3 times a week as opposed to 4-5 times per week can help you gain muscle strength without gaining size.

  • Rest longer between exercises. One method that body builders use to grow their muscles is shortening the time between exercise sets. Therefore, one way to combat this effect then is to rest longer. Two to five minutes should do it.

  • Lift heavier weights faster. Lifting heavier weights or using more resistance will increase your muscle strength, while engaging in the movements faster will help limit the gains in size. That is why a number of athletes that need size not bulk (like MMA fighters and gymnasts) use this method of training. Just remember to keep proper form so that you don’t injure yourself in the process.

  • Use explosive moves. Another strength building option that won’t build size involves using explosive moves in your workouts. This includes box squats and plyometrics like box jumps and hurdles as both offer positive results. You can also add resistance bands to these types of moves for even better results.

  • Engage in speed training. Like explosive moves, speed training can help you achieve one result (stronger muscles) without achieving the other (bigger muscles). This makes speed training equipment, like agility ladders and harness training, beneficial to your exercise regimen.

Do these five things and you can boost your muscle strength without boosting their size, giving you the exact physique you want.