T Nation

Hypertrophy vs Strength

I’ve always thought that as you got stronger you got bigger muscles. I’ve read some stuff that changed this thought. Its all about the reps.

Rep range Percent of 1 rep max Training Effect Goal desired
1-5 reps 85-100% Neural Strength & power little hypertrophy
6-8 reps 75-85% Neural & metabolic Strength & Hypertrophy
9-12 reps 70-75% Metabolic & Neural Hypertrophy & some strength
13-20+ reps 60-70% Metabolic local endurance some hypertrophy, little strength

I found this chart. Could someone explain this chart? Is it 1-5 reps total? or per set? And why don’t you get bigger as you get stronger?

[quote]swirly wrote:
I’ve always thought that as you got stronger you got bigger muscles. I’ve read some stuff that changed this thought. Its all about the reps.

Rep range Percent of 1 rep max Training Effect Goal desired
1-5 reps 85-100% Neural Strength & power little hypertrophy
6-8 reps 75-85% Neural & metabolic Strength & Hypertrophy
9-12 reps 70-75% Metabolic & Neural Hypertrophy & some strength
13-20+ reps 60-70% Metabolic local endurance some hypertrophy, little strength

I found this chart. Could someone explain this chart? Is it 1-5 reps total? or per set? And why don’t you get bigger as you get stronger?[/quote]

You were right, don’t let charts and articles over-complicate things for you.

Focus on getting stronger, eating like you’re trying to gain weight and resting enough to allow yourself to consistently add weight to the bar.

[quote]swirly wrote:
I’ve always thought that as you got stronger you got bigger muscles. I’ve read some stuff that changed this thought. Its all about the reps.

Rep range Percent of 1 rep max Training Effect Goal desired
1-5 reps 85-100% Neural Strength & power little hypertrophy
6-8 reps 75-85% Neural & metabolic Strength & Hypertrophy
9-12 reps 70-75% Metabolic & Neural Hypertrophy & some strength
13-20+ reps 60-70% Metabolic local endurance some hypertrophy, little strength

I found this chart. Could someone explain this chart? Is it 1-5 reps total? or per set? And why don’t you get bigger as you get stronger?[/quote]

They shouldn’t peddle charts like this as some kind of exact science. The body doesn’t work according to any numerical formula, this is largely an arbitrary GUIDELINE for basic training philosophies, and should be treated as more of a suggestion rather than the gospel truth of training.

Your original COMMON SENSE conclusion that stronger muscles = bigger muscles is correct, don’t believe everything you read, especially on the internet.

However, the difference between gaining strength and muscle, and gaining ONLY strength, is whether or not you’re eating enough food to gain bodyweight.

Gaining weight while making your muscles stronger will not only allow your muscles to grow, but you’ll get stronger FASTER than if you’re trying to stay at the same weight and increase your lifts.

::edit:: sento beat me to it …

Truth

Ok. Thanks guys. I figured I was right. I do have another question though. I read that increasing muscle mass is like putting a bigger engine in a car. More muscle means burning more calories. So if I pack on more muscle would I burn more fat around my stomach?

Yes, adding muscle increases your overall metabolic rate. This would make losing fat easier when that is your goal. However, it is very very very very hard to gain muscle and lose fat at the same time once you get beyond your beginner gains.

So gaining muscle will not magically make you lose fat since you need to be eating more than you are burning to put on muscle. But your daily metabolic rate does increase with muscle gains and when you decide to drop some fat you will not have to cut calories as drastically as before.

mr popular : Your original COMMON SENSE conclusion that stronger muscles = bigger muscles is correct, don’t believe everything you read, especially on the internet.

he is correct, strenght is related to a few factors; muscle CSA, motor unit recruitment efficiency, motor unit activation and myofibril size and number.

sent guy: Focus on getting stronger, eating like you’re trying to gain weight and resting enough to allow yourself to consistently add weight to the bar.

this is good advice as rest is just as important as the amount of total work you do. also he touched on a good point, progressive overload, this is key to hypertrophy as we all know, so therefore by association greater gains in size = gains in strenght

I would say they’re strongly correlated. When training specifically strength, the primary effect will be its increase, and the secondary effect will be hypertrophy. The same goes the other way with muscle size…

I love this article to which I no longer have a reference but 85 percent of your strength is tension based and the 15 percent is pumped based. Something like that. If all you do is tension based training i.e power lifting and olympic lifting then you can add that 15 percent extra muscle by doing some pump exercises. However pump is only temporary and local and tension muscle is easier to train, maintain and keep. So just get stronger and you will reap the benefits of more muscle mass anyways.

Adding more kilos on the weight will make you stronger. Doing more reps will get you a pump which is easy come and easy go type of muscle. Bodybuilding training is not necessarily pump training but can be tension training with exaggerated negatives for example. Doing an extended set will also reap the benefit of the pump and a safer way to add more weight progressively.

Biceps curls can be tension training if done with a ez curl barbell going for some heavy wight for example, or heavy dumbbells.

Anyways yes I did find the reference to the article, here it is:

“A training philosophy for solid mass gain” by Kelly Baggett. Found it on higher-faster-sports.com.

funmetal

I can’t remember who said this I know it was somebody on this forum. (and I am paraphrasing):
“Train to get strong and eat to grow.”

And here’s something I remember someone on this forum saying a while ago:

‘You’ll look like you can lift big weights when you can actually lift big weights.’