Strength Vs Hypertrophy, what does it mean? Well, if you’re someone who has just started lifting weights, this article isn’t for you. Come back when you gain some experience and if you’re someone who has been lifting for sometime, continue reading.
If you’re looking to increase muscle size then hypertrophy training is the way to go but if you’re looking to maximize your strength, then strength training is your method to do so.
What Is Strength & Hypertrophy Training?
When you’re training for strength, you’re more likely to develop something called Myofibrillar Hypertrophy and when you train for hypertrophy, you’re more likely to develop something called Sarcoplasmic Hypertrophy. Confused? Don’t be.
Myofibril hypertrophy happens when you stimulate your muscles by lifting heavy weights, which causes trauma to the individual muscle fibres. Because your body treats this as an injury, it overcompensates and in attempts to recover, increases the volume and density of the ‘injured’ myofibrils.
Sarcoplasm is the fluid and energy resources surrounding the myofibrils in your muscles. It contains ATP, glycogen, creatine phosphate and water. Sarcoplasmic hypertrophy occurs when the volume of sarcoplasmic fluids increase in your muscle cells increase.
What it all means is that when sarcoplasmic hypertrophy occurs, the size of your muscle increases without the addition of more muscle fibres which does not increase your overall strength and when myofibril hypertrophy occurs, your overall muscle fiber density increases.
How To Train For Strength & Hypertrophy?
Well, if you want to train for strength, then lifting relatively heavy weights with low rep ranges is the way to go. A common template that you can follow is to choose the amount of weight that you can lift for 4-6 repetitions for 3-4 sets with rest interval of 3-5 mins per set.
If you’re training for hypertrophy then you should be lifting relatively moderate weight for a higher number of repetitions. For example, choose a weight that you can lift for around 8-12 repetitions for 3-4 sets with a rest interval for 1-2 mins per set.
If you’re still thinking about which one out of the two should you choose, then you’re missing the point.
It’s not a competition between these two types of muscle hypertrophies, rather it’s the synergy that you need to develop in order to build your physique the best way possible and enjoy all the health benefits of weight lifting.
I recommend you focus on both types of hypertrophies. There are different methods to go about it. One way to achieve it is to segregate the week such that you’re training the same muscles for hypertrophy one day and then the same group of muscles for strength some other day in the week.
Someone who has just started working out doesn’t need to get into these complications as the first few months of lifting weights are the most rewarding and no matter which training method you choose, you’ll be developing both types of muscle hypertrophies(considering you don’t get yourself injured).