Although strength and hypertrophy are not the same, there are two aspects of training that have a close relationship since training one, the other increases (this increase will depend to a greater or lesser extent on a series of factors such as the choice of exercises, the intensity, the rest periods between series and sessions …).
Organizing your own strength routine is not so easy , because there are a number of factors that you must have very clear to be able to find the structure that best suits your objectives and, above all, your needs. The number of series, the number of repetitions or the weights with which we are going to work are some of the factors that, apart diet, mark the differences between a routine of strength and one of hypertrophy.
Differences between strength routine and hypertrophy routine
The first difference between strength and hypertrophy can be found by talking about what force is : it is the physical quality that, improving it, allows us to improve the rest of qualities (speed, resistance, power …). This has its sense in as much as being stronger will allow us to be faster (to greater muscular strength, more speed we can generate), more resistant (the stronger a stronger muscle is going to be to fatigue) or more power we are going to be able to generate.
Another difference between both routines will be the weights with which we will work. Given that in the strength routines we will perform ranges of repetitions lower than those of hypertrophy , the weights that we will use for a strength routine will be higher than those we use in the hypertrophy routines . And in the same way it happens with the ranges of repetitions: for a strength routine the range of repetitions will be low (standing between one and six in general), when in a hypertrophy routine we can be talking about repeating ranges of ten to twelve or fifteen maximum (between six and twelve is usually the most usual).
The rest between sets is another key to differentiating strength routines routines hypertrophy factor. When moving larger weights (in spite of performing fewer repetitions), rest between sets in a strength routine is usually superior to the one we would perform in a hypertrophy routine: two to three minutes of restbetween sets would be a normal rest for a routine of force and between 45 and 90 seconds rest between series of a hypertrophy routine.
And of course, the fundamental difference above all those that we have mentioned will be, without a doubt, the diet.
Organizing your own strength routine
If you are clear that your main objective is to gain strength , you have fulfilled the first necessary point when organizing your own routine. But now comes the most difficult, which is the choice of the exercises, find the number of sets and repetitions per optimal series for us and adjust the rest times to ensure a good recovery between sets and, therefore, an effective work.
Choose the right exercises
When we talk about strength routines , the basis or skeleton of all routine should be multiarticular movements (squats, deadlifts, bench presses, military presses, rowing with barbells and pullups): being movements that involve several muscle groups, we are going to We need to do a global job, and we will also mobilize a lot of muscle mass for its execution.
- Squats : the main muscle group that we are going to work with this exercise are the quadriceps, and as auxiliary muscles the gluteals, hamstrings and core. It is the best exercise to work our lower train provided there is no injury that prevents us.
- Press bench : is the star exercise to work the upper train along with the dominated (but the dominated tend to be more complicated and not everyone can do). Its main muscle is the pectoral, seconded by the triceps and, to a lesser extent, by the shoulders.
- Deadlift : one of the best exercises to work the global force. There are those who classify it as an exercise for the back and those who see it more as a femoral exercise, despite which is one of the most muscle mass recruit: hamstrings, buttocks and lower back are the main muscles involved , helped by our arms (to hold the bar) and ours (which intervenes as a stabilizer of the whole body). The most important thing in this exercise is to take care of the position of our back to avoid injuries .
- Rowing with a bar : one of the best exercises to gain strength in the back is rowing in any of its variants. Focusing work on the back, the musculature of our arms, especially the biceps, intervenes as an aid in movement.
- Military Press : it is the main exercise when working the shoulders, but together with the deadlift one of the exercises that better technique requires if we do not want to injure ourselves . With the shoulders as the main muscle group, the stabilizing work of the core will be fundamental to protect our back and our health.
- Dominated : Possibly the most complete exercise of all those we have mentioned since, with the exception of the lower train (which acts as an auxiliary group), all the muscular groups of the upper body (arms, chest, back and shoulders) intervene principally in the movement.
Now, apart from these exercises, which as we said should be the basis of our routine, there is a wide range of analytical and isolation exercises that we can use to complete our routine and the work to be done. Within this range of movements and exercises is the so-called calisthenics, which are the exercises performed with our own body weight and which are usually very useful in the famous HIIT routines.
How many series and repetitions?
The number of series and repetitions to include in our routine will determine that it is inefficient (if we fall short) or too heavy (if we pass). In addition, we must take into account an important factor when calculating the number of sets and repetitions such as frequency (commonly referred to as F), since the higher weekly training frequency of a muscle group, the lower the total of series and repetitions since we will need more rest to recover from the effort .
To give you an idea, bodybuilders tend to train at a F = 1 (a muscle group a day) since their intensity is such that they need long periods of recovery. In spite of this, this frequency could be perhaps a little low, considering that a muscle can take a maximum of 72 hours to recover at all .
In my opinion, a frequency that could be optimal for training based on a strength routine would be around two or three days per week of training for each muscle group (keep in mind that multi-joint exercises involve several muscle groups, so that this counts as training).
Depending on the person, the number of series that can be performed in strength training can vary between two and four series for each exercise , with the number of series in the aforementioned range of one to six repetitions (the lower the number of repetitions the greater percentage of load to be used).
The importance of rest between sets
And with the previous sections calculated, we just need to plan the rest time between sets , because without adequate rest our recovery will not be total and we could cause an injury.
In the case of a strength routine and, therefore, since we are going to work with large weights, the rest time between series should not be less than two minutes nor more than three. If it is less than two minutes, we could force our body to perform a new series without being recovered , which will increase the risk of injury and fatigue. On the other hand, if the rest is longer than three minutes, we could get an opposite effect and that our “disconnect” from the training and the next series costs us more than the one we have just done.