Strength training or hypertrophy?
When planning a routine in the gym we differentiate between strength exercises and hypertrophy exercises. Two similar concepts, but with important nuances that should be kept in mind.
The trends of the fitness world vary over the years and what is fashionable today or seems to be the best training option for a good preparation, is likely to be questioned in a few years by a large part of the community.
What does seem clear is that both the strength training such as hypertrophy They have been established for two years as two fundamental pillars to develop training routines in the area of bodybuilding.
Strength training as its name indicates aims to increase the strength of the athlete and for this it focuses on working the muscle power, that is, the most explosive capacity of muscle fibers.
Exercises specifically focused on strength work are performed by lifting loads close to the 100% of maximum repetition and they are not intended in any case, at least as a direct objective, to increase the amount of muscle mass.
On the other hand, comment that strength routines focus, unlike hypertrophy routines, on basic and compound exercises. Deadlifts, military presses, bench presses, or the dreaded squats are a good example of perfect exercises for working out strength in the gym.
Although to make a hypertrophy training You will also need what is popularly and somewhat erroneously known as "strength", your main objective will be to increase muscle mass.
To achieve this, hypertrophy exercises work with loads close to the 60-75% of RM (maximum repetition).
Hypertrophy seeks the growth of muscle and muscle fibers, so it makes no sense to work at full intensity at all times.
The good thing about hypertrophy, beyond the different objective it pursues, is that it allows a much more varied number of exercises. In hypertrophy routines you can introduce more isolated and specific exercises. If you work with the correct technique, hypertrophy allows you to work on more specific muscle groups.
Play with sets, reps, and rest
All of the above is very good, but it is time for us to put all the meat on the grill and make the main ones clear. differences between strength and hypertrophy.
Strength routines are performed on a greater number of sets, while in each of them the repetitions are generally lower than those of hypertrophy.
In strength training you usually work on 5 0 8 series, while hypertrophy does it as much as 3 or 5. As for repetitions, the force will consist of 1 to 6 repetitions with the highest possible load, while hypertrophy can be perfectly extended to 10-12 repetitions. If you are still involved with this series and replays, I recommend you read this post "What are the series and repetitions in a training? "
Another important difference comes from the hand of rest. Strength training requires a higher level of explosiveness so the rest between sets is also longer. The recommended rest for strength training can be perfectly extended up to 2 or 3 minutes. In hypertrophy, work is more concentrated and does not require more than 30 or 90 seconds break to reload with another series.
As far as planning is concerned, hypertrophy training allows us to train more days a week. We must not forget that we work more specific muscles and that therefore the variety of the exercises allows us to focus our efforts more. By working more specifically we allow our bodies to recover in a better way.
On the other hand, as I have previously commented, strength training works with each exercise a greater number of muscles. This implies that general fatigue is greater and therefore we need more rest before being in full condition to return to training. People who work with hypertrophy can train perfectly 5 or even 6 days a week, while they do it through force, they do not usually exceed 4 or 5 weekly training sessions.
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To start, is it better strength or hypertrophy?
The truth is that if you are a novice in this gym it does not make much sense to ask yourself if you should start with a strength routine or a hypertrophy routine.
The most complicated thing for newcomers is getting a correct technique in all exercises. Don't forget that poor posture during weight lifting can cause serious back, knee, or cervical injuries.
Also, if you haven't been lifting a weight for a long time, you will probably have to start with very small loads, so during the first weeks your interest should not go much beyond get a non-harmful exercise technique.
In this scientific study carried out by the federal university of Sao Carlos (Brazil) it can be seen how strength training, specifically that which refers to training “to failure”, has important benefits in advanced athletes. Novices get more benefits from exercises with less weight load.
I recommend that you also put yourself in the hands of a specialist as soon as possible who can prepare a training routine adapted to your goals and abilities. The room monitor is usually a fairly generic and unspecific figure. If you want to really improve, it is recommended that you contact a personal trainer or a physical trainer that does not take many people.