The Difference Between Hypertrophy, Endurance & Strength Training:
In this blog post, I briefly explain the difference between these three lifting principles and their respected benefits. When an individual has a specific training goal, the first thing to determine is “How should I train in order to achieve this goal?”. Yes, all of these listed principles are applicable for whatever fitness goal that may be present but may not be the most efficient in reaching that specific goal. In order to maximize results from a training program, the individual needs to understand how the body will react to specific stressors and understand the effect these stressors have on the muscles.
Endurance focused weight training involves large amounts of volume (reps) while utilizing minimal load. (weight) The rep schemes associated with this training principle range from 12-20 repetitions at a load of 67% (1 rep max) or less. Meaning the individual would use a weight that allows proper form and controlled reps for all scheduled reps. Endurance focused weight training engages type II fast twitch muscle fibers more so than type I slow twitch muscle fibers, which implies minimal muscle growth in the targeted muscle group. The stress imposed on the targeted muscle group would be minimal in the sense of muscle fiber breakdown, thus meaning if an individual is trying to get stronger or gain size. I personally have seen a lot of “influencers” post programs and broadcast programs that sticks with a “3 x 15” type of rep/set scheme for almost every lift. Sadly, this will not result in a “bigger booty” etc. so I wouldn’t continue to waste your time and money. This training principle is best utilized while running a very low caloric deficit (low energy stores in the body) or while performing accessory movements towards the end of a workout to fatigue the muscle as much as possible. This is the best style of training for beginners just starting out.
Hypertrophy focused weight training involves moderate volume with moderate to high loads. The rep schemes associated with this training principle range from 6-12 repetitions at a load of 67-85% (1 rep max). Meaning the individual would use a weight that still allows for proper form and controlled reps but in turn challenges the body much more than endurance based training. Hypertrophy focused weight training engages both type I and type II muscle fibers due to the energy demands on the body. Due to the increased stress imposed by this form of training, this is the “go to” training principle for muscle growth. The load used is enough to cause adequate muscle fiber breakdown but still allows the body to recover at an appropriate rate. I personally base all of my own training off of this principle (but I use all three at the same time) due to the results and affects this style of training has had and continues to have on my body. When aiming to maximize this style of training an individual wants to gradually increase the load while gradually decreasing the volume while performing a specific lift. For example; 1st set x 12 reps, 2nd set x 10 reps, 3rd set x 8 reps and 4th set x 6 reps.
This training principle is best utilized while aiming to gain size, maintain current composition and even while running a caloric deficit. Hypertrophy focused training is the most applicable for any desire fitness goal.
Strength focused weight training involves low volume with high loads. The rep schemes associated with this training principle range from 1-6 reps at 85% or greater (1 rep max). Meaning this style of training can compromise form and controlled reps very easily and should only be utilized if a spotter is present. Strength focused training engages mainly type I muscle fibers due to the vast energy demands that this style of training imposes on the body. Due to the vast energy demand, muscle growth will not be as evident because the muscle breakdown caused is extremely hard to fully recover from in a timely manner. This style of training can be best utilized for those looking to gain mass and mainly strength. This style of training is the premise of a football strength and conditioning program thus meaning extremely taxing on the body. Nutrition and recovery are the focal points for this style of training being effective. This training principle is best utilized by those in a caloric surplus and have vast experience in training.
I hope this shorter than normal blog post helps provide those with information needed to determine the type of weight training principle that would be best suited for them. I personally utilize a mix of all three principles but I have been doing this for a number of years and understand how to appropriately manipulate my body into doing what I want it to. For those interested in how to properly program a training program and specifically a hypertrophy training program, I will include the links to my blog posts specifically covering those. I appreciate everyone who takes the time to read these, it means more than you know. If anyone has any questions pertaining to this blog or fitness in general, don’t hesitate to ask!