Strength Training Vs Hypertrophy What Is The Difference

If you are new to training in general you might hear the words strength training vs hypertrophy, but what do they really mean? So I really want to dig into what they really mean, so to answer this question I did a little bit of research.

What is the difference between strength training vs hypertrophy, well the answer is really simple actually, so when you hear someone saying that they are strength training that means they are training to get stronger, they are training so they can lift heavier things. Then on the other side of the question hypertrophy means training for muscle growth, and overall getting bigger.

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Training For Strength

So now we know that strength training is training to get stronger, but how do we actually get there?

So when training for strength the best rep range you should be using is between 1 – 4, if you want to learn more about rep range for strength training you can read this article here!

In terms of rest times you need to have longer rest times because you are not training for muscular endurance, you should give yourselves at least 3 to 5 minutes of rest so you can work on your set at maximum intensity.

Training For Hypertrophy

Now that we know how to train for strength, how do we train for hypertrophy? 

Well when training for muscle growth the best rep range to use is said to be between 5 and 12 as once you get to 12 plus reps you start training more muscular endurance than muscular growth.

But as for rest times you can take shorter ones, but ideally you still want to use that 3 to 5 minutes or even longer if you want. Just because you are training for muscle growth does not mean you don’t want to take that fire into the gym.

Strength Training Vs Hypertrophy Which One Is Right For You

But the question you might ask yourself is “Strength training vs hypertrophy which one is right for you”, well … I really don’t have a clear cut which one is better because it is really up to you.

First you have to look at yourself and ask do I want to build muscle, or does my focus more want to be to build strength. Once you have decided that then you can start adjusting your workouts from the amount of reps you do , the amount of sets you do, what you eat etc.

But then some people might say “but Barry, yes I want to get strong, but I also want to build big muscles can’t I do both?” , and the answer is yes you can. 

If you decide you want to do both there are many ways to do so, like alternating between a strength training program and a hypertrophy program. Or you could start training within a 4 to 6 rep range, but these are just two ways there are many more.

Just one thing to note this is true because at the end of the day no matter which path you choose to go for the most important part of your success is progressive overload.

If you are still struggling with what your goals should be this is a great article they could help you decide you fitness goals.

Progressive Overload

Progressive overload is the most important part of training no matter if you are training to be a professional soccer player or to be the world’s strongest man. Now that you know how important it is, what actually is progressive overload.

To put it simply progressive overload just means if you are at level 1 strength then you are going to lift level 1 weights. Then once you get to level 2 you lift level 2 weights, so though technically you are making the exercise harder it is just to match your current level so it is not too easy.

And what could be surprising is that many beginners are a great progressive overload, but once they get comfortable and settled in, that’s you people start forgetting to overload. For most intermediate lifts getting comfortable is the reason they find that they plateau.

If you want to learn more about progressive overload you can read about it here!


Strength training vs hypertrophy is one of the age old questions in training. And to be honest the difference in training styles are really not that different where the main difference being the rep ranges used.

But that is not a bad thing, as with both sides of training not having that much of a difference most people can train both at the same time.

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