Nov 29, 2021Building Both Muscle & Strength
Generally speaking, training to get strong involves low sets of heavy weights, while training to pack on muscle – also known as hypertrophy training – involves higher reps of light to moderate weight.
A recent article on boxrox.com outlined how athletes can build both strength and muscle by speaking with sports scientist and powerlifter Greg Nuckols among others.
Below is an excerpt from that article.
Nuckols, who runs Stronger by Science, published an in-depth review of a wide body of scientific literature to find evidence for the hypertrophy rep range, but found that “there’s simply not a very big difference in muscle growth when comparing different rep ranges.”
Evidence suggests that there might be a rep range that achieves the most muscle growth, but the picture isn’t clear and, if there’s a benefit, it’s most likely minimal.
While it might be tempting to simply do low, heavy reps to reap both hypertrophy and strength benefits, in practice this isn’t the most effective approach.
It’s incredibly hard to get enough volume for strength by doing sets in the 1-5 rep range. Heavy sets come with incredibly high levels of muscle fatigue and the workload takes much longer to complete. So, to achieve both goals, you need a combination of rep ranges.