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I am new to exercising and weight lifting. Some of the people I spoke to always asked me "Are you building strength or gaining mass". I always answered a little bit of both but the truth is that I never really knew what is the difference between gaining mass and gaining strength. I understand what gaining mass and strength means but what is the difference and how to gain mass over strength or gain strength over mass?


Good question. 

It really depends what are you trying to achieve.

I think most people want to gain mass nover strength because they have no real life use of strentgth; other than helping moving furniture around. To gain mass over strength you need do your exercises slow and rest between your workouts as it takes time for your muscles to regenerate. Use weights, barbell, flat bench and try to avoid using any machines. Just pure weights. When you want to build muscle you need to focus on your eating but be careful, you don't want to stuff yourself with an unhealthy processed food. You can eat healthy and gain mass as well. 

On the onther hand some popel want to gain strength over mass. They have no use of having big muscles; think of athletes, mma fighters ....etc. They need strength without the bulk of muscle. To gain strength over mass you need to lift heavy weight as fast as possible. Increase the rest between sets from 30 seconds to 3-5 minutes.