Hypertrophy Training vs Strength Training

Building muscle and building strength are the same thing aren't they? Learn about both and what will work best for your success.

Scott Frothingham

10/25/20222 min read

Building Muscle

Training for hypertrophy means you are looking to increase the physical size of your muscles. It can take several months for you to notice any results. Bodybuilders focus on resistance training for hypertrophy, but you may be interested in this form of training to change the appearance of your own muscles.

Building Strength 

Training for strength involves training your nervous system to use as many muscle fibers as needed to overcome an external force. It is a neuromuscular adaptation, meaning your nervous system learns to communicate better with your muscles to produce movement and create force.Strength training plays a vital role in most sports training as well as everyday life. It also plays an important role in keeping you healthy.

How to choose

They interconnect because they often occur at the same time. When you train for hypertrophy, the increased muscular size can increase your strength. When you train for strength, the ability to perform tasks for longer periods can lead to hypertrophy.However, you can adjust the acute training variables to focus on either hypertrophy or strength training. According to NASM, the 5 key variables you need to consider when picking between focusing on hypertrophy or strength are: intensity, repetitions, rest   period, sets, and exercise selection.

Benefits of resistance training

Resistance training can offer several potential health benefits. The American Heart Association (AHA)Trusted Source recommends you perform strength training at least 2 days per week to help keep you healthy.Some benefits of resistance training include: replace body fat with lean muscle mass, [can help] manage your weight, [can help] increase your metabolism, [can help] increase bone density (reduce osteoporosis risk), [may] reduce the symptoms of chronic conditions, such as: back pain, obesity, arthritis, heart disease, diabetes, depression.


Training for strength or hypertrophy means you’ll need to participate in resistance training. Resistance training for one will naturally increase the other, but there are steps you can take to focus on one over the other.To do this, you need to modify the fundamental aspects of your workout, including the intensity, reps, rest period, sets, and type of exercises. As a general rule, you’ll gain more strength by focusing on lifting heavier weight, lowering reps, and executing fewer sets with full rest in between. By contrast, training for hypertrophy involves moderate weight, higher reps, and more sets with limited rest in between.

[Remember before undertaking any new exercise program always consult your healthcare professional to find what's right for you. Everybody is different so everyBODY is different.]