Saturday, March 10, 2018

Muscle Hypertrophy vs Strength - Yes, There is a Difference
People wonder about the difference between muscle hypertrophy and strength and how the two are related.
I will discuss the both of them and how to train for each.

Muscle Hypertrophy vs Strength - Yes, There is a Difference

The Difference Between Muscle Hypertrophy and Strength

Muscle Hypertrophy

Muscle hypertrophy, otherwise known as muscle synthesis, is a process where the muscle gets bigger, mainly through sarcoplasmic hypertrophy. Although there is also myofibrillar hypertrophy (Also known as sarcomere hypertrophy) which is a bit different from sarcoplasmic hypertrophy. Hypertrophy relies on nutrition a lot more than strength does in the long run. Muscle can't be built with nothing.

Muscle hypertrophy is started off when a muscle is damaged after a workout. There are certain hormones that effect this process such as testosterone, growth hormone, insulin-like growth factor and insulin. When the muscles are repairing a few things happen. First the muscles swell up. This causes the blood to circulate through them. This means that more nutrients and oxygen are delivered to help repair the damaged muscles.


Strength is a different type of gain. It's a process where the muscles get used to being activated. The body gets used to muscles firing via neural adaptions, which means that to get stronger you need to rely less on hypertrophy and more on neural adaptions. Strength is also a bit easier to improve, especially in the short term. Some studies showed that people that are new to training could lift up to double the original weight used in a matter of weeks via a phenomenon called "noob gains". Another fun fact is that the muscle gets a bit denser via myofibrillar hypertrophy which unlike sarcoplasmic hypertrophy helps with performance.

To be more exact, this is how strength is improved: when you train, the body "remembers" the movement patterns for each exercise making you more efficient at activating the muscle groups used during that specific exercise.
There are however a few well known supplements that can help increase performance short term. A few of those supplements are citrulline-malate, beta-alinine and caffeine.

How to Train

Now that we have everything covered, lets talk about the most interesting part on this topic - how do we train for each of these? The answer is simple, more reps with less weight for muscle hypertrophy and less reps with more weight for strength. I would recommend 15 to 20 reps for muscle hypertrophy and 1 to 5 reps for strength.

Some research states however, that for strength gains it is optimal to do 1 set per exercise, while for muscle hypertrophy it is generally recommended to go high on the volume and do about 4 sets per exercise, so further into the details, I would recommend the following:

Muscle hypertrophy

Reps: 15-20 (Go higher if you are a beginner and lower if you are intermediate/advanced)

Sets: 3-5 (Go lower if you are a beginner and higher if you are intermediate/advanced)

Exercises: 5-7 (Go lower if you are a beginner and higher if you are intermediate/advanced)

Rest: 30-120 seconds (Go higher if you are a beginner and lower if you are intermediate/advanced)

General tip: choose a few compound exercises for a bigger growth hormone release and to get the muscles ready to work and then a few isolation movements to cool down at second half of the workout, to get the blood flowing into the muscle (Via the phenomenon called "The pump" and generally through contraction with high reps). You should also consider adding slow eccentrics.

Who is this optimal for: this approach is optimal for bodybuilders and teenagers looking for an aesthetic look. It is a very good approach for teenagers as the low weight training reduces the risk of injury.


Reps: 1-5 (Go higher if you are a beginner and lower if you are intermediate/advanced)

Sets: 1-3 (Go lower if you are a beginner and higher if you are intermediate/advanced)

Exercises: 3-5 (Go lower if you are a beginner and higher if you are intermediate/advanced)

Rest: 90-180 seconds (Go lower if you are a beginner and higher if you are intermediate/advanced)

General tip: try to get rid of isolation exercises and aim for compound exercises. I must also add that quick and explosive concentric movement is the best way to go for strength and power.

Who is this optimal for: this approach is optimal for people trying to compete in strongman, powerlifting, playing sports or who do manual labor. This type of training will promote muscle activation efficiency which in turn might mean saving a bit of energy doing things like manual labor or sports.


As we can see, they are both different and are both trained differently, and fun part is, we can combine them to get the best out of both worlds. To combine them you can simply just follow a split such as the push/pull/legs split, first three days you would do strength training then the next three days you would do hypertrophy training. With this type of training you can be a power-builder, a mix between a bodybuilder and a power-lifter.

NOTE: When I say a specific amount of reps, I do not mean picking up pencil weights and just flinging that weight for the specified reps, but I mean that you should use a weight at which you would struggle to do the needed amount of reps.


Saturday, March 01, 2014

Go From Scrawny To Brawny With These Muscle Building Tips
Have your loved ones or doctor been on your case about improving your eating habits? The truth is that your physical outcomes are largely governed by your own efforts. Getting your nutritional needs in order doesn't have to be difficult or boring. There are an endless variety of healthy, tasty foods you can add to your diet. This article will introduce you to ways you can incorporate nutritious foods into your everyday life.

A lot of people who exercise end up putting more emphasis on speed than they should and less emphasis on technique than they should. Regardless of the exercise performed, the repetitions should be slower while you focus on the technique. You are sure to get better results using this approach as opposed to churning out an equal number of repetitions quickly. Take time to be certain you are doing the exercise correctly.

Women who are pregnant should take extra care of their nutrition. Protein is one of the top nutritional needs for pregnant women. Adding the whites of two eggs to a delicious fruit smoothie in the morning is an easy way to meet the higher protein needs. Egg whites contain 3g of protein and just 15 calories each. They are fat-free, so they are a very good source of pure protein. Stick with pasteurized eggs to maintain good health.

Protein is essential in building up muscle mass. Protein is the primary building block from which muscles are made. If you do not eat enough of it, your body cannot create new muscle tissue. Aim to eat lean and healthy proteins at least three times a day.

Try mixing up your workout routine. Like any workout, things can become boring, which can keep you from doing them. Make it a little difference by switching the exercise that you do each time that you head to the gym. By adjusting your workouts, you keep them interesting and you will stay engaged.

You need to watch your diet, especially on those days that you intend to work out. One hour prior to exercising, take in more calories. Don't overeat on workout days, but eat more than days that you aren't planning on weight training.

Oatmeal for business is what you need to begin your day. Oatmeal is full of grains, which are filling, and will leave you feeling full until lunch.

Did you find the information you were looking for in this article? If you have not, you need to do more research to find the answers you need. There are new techniques being tested and written about daily, so keep up with innovation and your body will give you the results you've been looking for!

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Tuesday, November 05, 2013

The Surest And Fastest Way To Build Muscle
By Emmanuel Palmer

What do you do when the weather gets warmer and clothes are getting sparser? Go to the beach of course! If you're still unsure about baring your previously indulgent physique, don't worry there's still time and definitely room, for improvement. Get a gym membership and read on to find out about the fastest way to build muscle.

So now you have a new found zest for fitness - or the rediscovered childhood trauma of being made fun of. Either way, you will get the desired results if you want it bad enough. Before we start, it is a good idea to understand the basic principle on how bodies build bigger muscle. See, progressive overload is increasing the amount of weight your body carries - it reacts by building stronger tissues which we now recognized as bigger muscles.

Consult with your personal trainer about the drills you will be doing and the weights you should be carrying. As a rule of thumb, the ideal weight load for you is the one that will enable you to continue lifting until the 8th or 12th rep without losing the correct form. A lower weight load is good enough for strength training but in muscle building we are aiming to push your body to stimulate muscle growth so aim to do at least 8 reps per set and 8 sets per target muscle group.

As you exercise, your muscle tissues get a few tears in it especially when you lift the heavier weights. To speed up the process of repairing these tissues you will need to get in as much protein as you can in your diet. Chicken, fish, lean meat, eggs, nuts, sea food and cheese are excellent, and delicious I might add, sources of protein. Know your recommended protein intake per day by multiplying your lean mass weight (total body weight less the amount of fat) by 2.75.

Experts have differing opinions on the amount of fat bodybuilders need in their diet. If you want a really big body, then include fatty food in your meals. This actually helps to increase muscle building hormones in the body. Be sure to closely watch your diet because should you ever decide to take a break from exercise without changing your diet; your weight gain will take on an unattractive appearance. Make it a point to drink at least 10-12 glasses a day especially during workouts to sustain your stamina.

And to save the best for last, one of the best tips to build bigger muscle is sleep. That's right, sleep. Resting helps in muscle development because this is the time the previously mentioned muscle tears gets fixed and mended. Sleep also stimulates blood flow to the muscle tissues, preparing it for future sessions of more pain induced workouts. If you want to speed up muscle development, get quality sleep.

So there it is - easy tips on the fastest way to build muscle. Eat a lot of good food, take plenty of fluids and get a lot of sleep. That doesn't sound too hard right? Check with your physician for any medical conditions you might have so you could avoid the necessary drills. Other than that, you are free to enjoy yourself in your workout. It is a challenging but equally satisfying experience - you will want to come back for more.

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