Strength Training vs. Hypertrophy Training: Understanding the Differences
The correlation between muscle mass and strength
When it comes to building muscle and increasing strength, many people often use the terms "strength training" and "hypertrophy training" interchangeably. However, as renowned strength coach Andy Galpin explains, these two forms of training are actually quite different and should be approached with different goals in mind.
According to Galpin, strength training is focused on increasing the ability of the nervous system to recruit muscle fibers. This is done through exercises that involve heavy weights and low reps, such as squats and deadlifts. The goal of strength training is to improve overall strength, power, and explosiveness. On the other hand, hypertrophy training is focused on increasing the size of individual muscle fibers. This is done through exercises that involve moderate weights and higher reps, such as bicep curls and leg presses.
Which is the goal of each mechanism
The goal of hypertrophy training is to improve muscle size and definition. It's important to note that while strength training and hypertrophy training may have different goals, they can still complement each other. For example, incorporating both heavy and light weights into your workout routine can help to increase muscle size while also improving strength. Galpin also highlights that both strength and hypertrophy training require progressive overload, which means gradually increasing the weight, reps, or volume of your exercises over time to continue making progress.
Increasing Strength without Increasing Muscle Mass: What the science says
Many people believe that the only way to increase strength is to also increase muscle mass. However, as strength coach Andy Galpin explains, this is not necessarily the case. It is possible to increase strength without necessarily increasing muscle mass.
Galpin states that strength is primarily a neural adaptation, which means that the nervous system is primarily responsible for increasing strength. The nervous system can be trained to recruit more muscle fibers and improve muscle activation, which leads to increased strength without necessarily increasing muscle size.
One way to achieve this is through neural adaptation training, which involves using lighter weights and higher reps. This type of training focuses on improving the nervous system's ability to recruit muscle fibers, rather than stimulating muscle growth.
Another way to increase strength without increasing muscle mass is through the use of isometric exercises. Isometric exercises involve muscle contractions without any visible movement, they are great to improve muscle activation and recruitment.
Galpin also emphasizes the importance of proper technique when it comes to increasing strength. Improving technique can lead to increased muscle activation and recruitment, which can lead to increased strength without necessarily increasing muscle size.
Alpha-GPC and Strength Training
Alpha-GPC (alpha-glycerylphosphorylcholine) is a compound that is found naturally in the body and is also available as a dietary supplement. According to some studies, it may have benefits for strength training.
One way that Alpha-GPC may benefit strength training is by increasing the levels of acetylcholine in the brain. Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter that plays a role in muscle contraction, and increasing its levels can lead to improved muscle activation and recruitment. This can help to increase strength, power, and explosiveness.
Another way that Alpha-GPC may benefit strength training is by improving cognitive function. Some studies have shown that it can improve focus and attention, which can help to improve the quality of training sessions and lead to better performance in the gym.
Alpha-GPC may also have potential as an ergogenic aid, which means that it can help to enhance physical performance. Some studies have shown that it can improve power output, muscle endurance, and recovery time.
In conclusion, strength is primarily a neural adaptation and it is possible to increase strength without necessarily increasing muscle mass. Techniques such as neural adaptation training and isometric exercises, and proper technique can help to improve muscle activation and recruitment, leading to increased strength.
This is why A-GPC can play an essential role on improving strength training
Strength training and hypertrophy training are two distinct forms of training that should be approached with different goals in mind. Incorporating both into your workout routine can help to improve overall strength and muscle size.