How to Lift Lighter....and Gain More!!

You want to get the most out of your workouts. Trust me, we get it! It can be confusing when trying to find the best routine to boost those muscles and recover faster. 

That's where hypertrophy comes in. You might have heard of this training style before, but is it a new fitness fad or a way to get results?

Let's talk about it.

How does Hypertrophy work?

Hypertrophy is defined as the increase and growth of muscle cells. It refers to an increase in muscular size achieved through exercise.

It's basically a thickening of muscle fibers, which occurs when your body has been stressed just the right amount to indicate that it must create stronger muscles that are able to tolerate this new, increased load. This need creates a response in the cells, leading them to synthesize more materials.

To sum it up - you damage the cell tissue in order to make it grow. But isn't that what strength training is for? Yes, but don't let discourage you from trying a new method!

Strength Training vs. Hypertrophy.

A lot of us might feel like we have to use the highest weights we can handle when doing strength exercises. But when you train with muscular hypertrophy in mind - you will see that using lighter weights may actually give you just as good results. 

Lifting lighter weights for many reps can be just as effective for building muscle and strength as heavy weights for fewer reps. The key is to lift to the point of fatigue.

For Example:

A Basic Strength Workout Breakdown:

Volume: 2 - 6 sets. 6 reps or fewer.

Percentage: 85% of 1 Rep - Max or Higher.

Rest: 2+ Minutes between sets.

A Basic Hypertrophy Training Breakdown:

Volume: 3+ sets. 8 - 12 reps.

Percentage: 75% - 85% of 1 Rep - Max.

Rest: <1 Minute between sets.

Is Hypertrophy the best way to go?

Muscular hypertrophy can be achieved through weightlifting at the gym. But you need to continuously break down and challenge your muscles in order to see growth!

Training this way is only as effective as the effort you put into your workouts, but the key is to rest well before prolonged sets.

To get results, you want your muscles to be fatigued. That being said, by letting your muscles recover for a little longer before your next set - you might notice you have more to give the next go around!