A bodybuilder’s training routine basically comes down to two main parts: lifting for strength and lifting for size. The two are not the same. To see whether you should combine these or not, you must understand the concepts concerned.
Hypertrophy is when you try to build muscle, while strength training is when you are increasing strength. When you lift heavier weights than previously, your body responds by contracting its muscles harder. Thus it strengthens its ability to contract. Efficiency is increased, so these movements become easier over time. This allows you to add more and more weight, progressively. Hypertrophy points to size and refers to sarcoplasm, the fluid in your muscle tissue which leads to an increase in volume. Slow movements that stress the muscles for a longer while are ideal when aiming for this kind of hypertrophy. It is also called metabolic training.
Strength training is focused on the nerves as well as on the contractile proteins in the muscular fiber. It requires you to keep your muscles under intense stress. It gets the muscle dense because it increases the number of tiny fibers in it. The reps are made of very fast movements. The essential lies here: you need to know when to switch from strength reps to hypertrophy.
Linear periodization is the best workout scheme. Here are some further recommendations. For strength, have 1 to 5 reps and for muscle building 8 to 12 reps (some say it begins at 6). Also, remember to use more weight as you train for strength and go for lower weight during hypertrophy training. For volume training, rest for 30 to 60 seconds. Be moderate with the amount of strength workouts, because this can easily lead you into overtraining.
If you want to put on some size, the preferred method for bodybuilders is to have 5-day training splits and focus on bodily parts. Also, they concentrate on the overall volume instead of the load they are using. Of course, the lighter the weights you are using, the more time it will take to achieve hypertrophy. Use heavier weights to engage more of the muscle and create mass. Fatigue is good here. When it sets in, your nervous system gets to activate additional motor units to sustain the movement, so you can tap into more of your muscular power.
Most athletes look for muscle mass above average level, but they achieve it in different ways, according to their goals. For example, if you are a standard bodybuilder and not just a powerlifter then you will focus on eliminating fat, to show your ripped muscles. In any case, regardless of your aim, it’s important to make sure that you allow your musculature to recover properly.
If you want to be bigger and stronger, both types are advantageous. Hybrid training isn’t recommended though. These are very different workout concepts and shouldn’t be mixed at the gym in one session. Better keep them separated.
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