Is it a Big Difference to Train for Strength or Muscle Growth?
For most of us, the two go hand in hand for a long time. But once you have left the beginner years behind you, the two specializations will differ significantly. Feel free to look at the difference between a professional bodybuilder and a powerlifter; their workouts differ significantly.
When we talk strength, we mean maximum explosive force for a short period, how much you can lift in a single or a few lifts. Your central nervous system should activate the body maximally and explosively; bang! For this, the body must get used to extreme stress in the nervous system, mentally, in the muscles, and all ligaments and joints.
You will become explosively strong, and the only thing that matters is how much is on the bar. Exercise for muscle growth is all about muscle mass. What lies on the bar is secondary. The most important thing is to become muscular.
To become muscular, you also have to lift more and more weight; they are similar to each other. What sets them apart is that muscle growth is at best between 6-12 reps per set, on some exercises even higher. To build strength and get your body used to extreme loads, you have to lift very near your max, and the number of reps then ends up between 1-6, which is not optimal for muscle growth. So you should be strong in both cases, but it is about which reps interval you focus on. 1-6 for strength and 6 to at least 12 for muscle growth. So you can become strong as an ox without being incredibly muscular, while you can become muscular without lifting extreme weights. The two often go hand in hand, but they can also differ.
Things to Keep in Mind When Training for Increased Strength:
When you train with extreme weights, your technique becomes very important. Lifting incorrectly with heavy weights can result in serious injury. You can make a little mistake if you manage to lift 12 reps, but you will be injured if you lift wrong with the maximum weight. So technology is the most important thing to keep in mind, be careful.
When you train for strength, you should also constantly try to put on more weight, i.e., progression session after session. It is the increase in load that is in focus with this training.
Be sure to be rested before each set. It may be ok to be finished for muscle growth and run another set with lower weight, but this does not increase strength.
Rest properly between sessions. Your ligaments and joints will be pressed during strength programs, so there may be a point in two days of rest before the same muscle is trained again.
Do not forget to train differently and shock the body from time to time. You should not always wear out and only run programs with 3-6 reps. If you have trained with few reps for an extended period, your body will respond well to another program for a while. It’s pretty ok to run many strength programs in general but alternate them from time to time and other things.