Hypertrophy Versus Strength Training

Hypertrophy and strength training are both effective types of weight training. Keep reading to find out how the two types differ and which aligns with your goals…

Hypertrophy and strength training are most commonly referred to as types of weight training, offering different results, but similar benefits. While hypertrophy focuses on building muscle size, strength training focuses on building muscle strength. Whether you’re heading to the gym or working out at home, there are effective ways to practice either, or both methods.

Weight training is a form of strength training using weights for resistance. This training method applies stress to the muscles, causing them to adapt and grow stronger. Both hypertrophy and strength training have similar benefits, although the methods and outcomes are different.

Photo by Limor Zellermayer on Unsplash.

What is hypertrophy training?

Hypertrophy training is a type of weight training focusing on increasing muscle size. Improving muscle mass, endurance and strength while burning fat are the outcomes from hypertrophy training. 

To build muscle size quickly, you can use this form of weight training by focusing on reaching higher weights with lower reps. 

After warming up, use a weight which pushes you to reach muscle failure between 8–12 reps. This means you can complete only between 8–12 reps using that weight, but no more and no less. When you can achieve the max reps within the range for a full set without exhausting the muscle, increase the weight.


Benefits of hypertrophy training:

  • Increase muscle size
  • Increase strength
  • Increase muscle symmetry
  • Increase caloric expenditure (which may promote weight loss)

Who uses hypertrophy training?

Bodybuilders often focus on using hypertrophy training to increase muscle and definition.

What is strength training?

Strength training is a type of training focusing on increasing muscle strength. This type of weight training can help with not only muscle strength but also everyday life. It can sharpen thinking and learning skills for older adults and help them develop strong bones. Especially as you age, having strength can help reduce your risk of falls and increase your independence.


How to practice strength training:

  1. Warm up for 5 to 10 minutes.
  2. Select a weight heavy enough to tire your muscles after 12 to 15 reps.
  3. Once you can easily do more than 12  to 15 reps, increase your weight.

For optimal results it’s recommended to allow a rest day in between training the muscle group. This has led to what is often known as the bro-split, where people have a training day per muscle group so not to exhaust them, but the split you do should depend on the goal.

By practicing strength training for 20–30 minutes two or three times a week, you can build your muscle strength and see significant improvements over time.

Benefits of strength training:

  • Increase lean muscle mass.
  • Reduce body fat.
  • Increase metabolism.
  • Increase bone density.
  • Sharpen thinking and learning skills.
  • Releases endorphins, which can improve your mood.
  • Reduce symptoms of chronic conditions like back pain, obesity, arthritis, heart disease, diabetes and depression.

*Above information from Mayo Clinic.

Who uses strength training?

Strength training is used by everyone from older demographics to powerlifters. Strength trainers are different to bodybuilders, as typically strength trainers avoid reaching muscle failure during their sets, while bodybuilders will try to reach muscle failure. However, each will structure their workouts differently depending on their goals and targets. 

Using strength training is great for any fitness routine as it helps builds muscle endurance and strength.

What’s the difference between hypertrophy and strength training?

The main difference between hypertrophy and strength training is the results they achieve

  • If you want to build muscle size, use hypertrophy training.
  • If you want to build muscle strength, use strength training.

Both are forms of weight training, but hypertrophy training is more intensive and fast-paced, while strength can be done over time, increasing and keeping your muscles strong. Those looking to increase lean muscle mass would prefer hypertrophy training, while those looking to increase their muscle strength would prefer strength training. 

When looking at how the two compare in terms of exercise format, hypertrophy training is practiced by increasing training volume, while reducing the intensity and shortening the rest period. On the other hand, weight training involves decreasing training volume and increasing the intensity and rest period between sets.


Can strength training and hypertrophy training be used together?

MyProtein claims you can use both strength and hypertrophy training together to build muscle size and strength. This is because the two weight training types go hand-in-hand and their results overlap to some degree. Either way, if you choose strength training, you will see your muscle size increase over time and if you choose hypertrophy training, your muscles will get stronger too. Although each focuses on separate goals, you can combine both to grow muscle size, endurance and strength.


Thinking of starting hypertrophy or strength training? You can find your local gym on Localsearch.com.au.

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      Chloe Thistle

      Junior Marketing Administrator

      Chloe Thistle is a Junior Marketing Administrator at Localsearch, bringing her talents and background in digital and social media marketing to her role. She has sharpened her marketing skills across many different industries, including entertainment, fashion and in the B2B field. In her spare time, Chloe can be found either lounging at the beach or five coffees deep at one of her favourite local cafés. No stranger to adventures, she’s trekked to Mt. Everest Base Camp — fueled by coffee of course — has completed the Kokoda Challenge and is always looking for the next mountain to climb! Chloe loves looking for ways to combine her passions for adventure, sustainability and marketing, always chasing the latest trends in both marketing and fashion. Now, she’s utilising her vast life and digital marketing experience to blog and assist in the content with the Localsearch Marketing Team.