Is Strength the Same as Hypertrophy?

Can you get bigger muscles without gaining strength and can you get stronger without getting bigger muscles? And how important are rep ranges?

There are differences in results from lower to higher repetition ranges but you can’t separate strength from hypertrophy. Hypertrophy refers to the growth of muscle cells. This is not the same as the pump you might get after an intense kettlebell workout.

How muscles develop and in what volume varies between individuals due to genetic factors. Whether you just started training or whether you’re training for a while also plays a factor in the rate of growth. Some people will gain a lot of size without getting very strong, and some will gain a lot of strength without gaining much size, but most of us will be in between those two.

When training for strength, your rep ranges will be around 5 to 1 and your weight will be more around the 1RM range. When training for hypertrophy, your rep ranges will be around 6 to 12 and your weight will be in the 70% to 85% range. Thus, the answer is yes, there is a difference between training for the two.

Are all these rep ranges set in stone? No, it will depend on the programming, state of the person, exercises, and a whole lot more. Of course, there won’t be drastic differences.

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