Does Strength Training Potentiate Hypertrophy?
Study Reference: Carvalho et. al. (2021) is stronger better? Influence of a strength phase followed by a hypertrophy phase on muscular adaptations in resistance trained men. RES SPORTS MED
- Men with an average training age of 4-5 years in the gym performed 4 sets of squats and leg press training 3x per week for 8 weeks
- One group lifted in the 8-12 rep range throughout the entire 8 week programme (hypertrophy only training)
- The other group lifted in the 1-3 rep range for the first 3 weeks, before lifting in the 8-12 rep range for the remaining 5 weeks (strength and hypertrophy training)
- After 3 weeks, the hypertrophy group saw greater quad growth compared to the strength + hypertrophy group- as expected.
- However, at the end of the 8 weeks, the strength + hypertrophy group saw superior growth compared to the hypertrophy only group.
Real world Applications:
- The study supports the idea that, if you want to maximise muscle growth, then including a short strength phase prior to a hypertrophy phase may be beneficial.
- However, there are plenty of other studies that show that a strength phase prior to a hypertrophy block shows no additional benefits. Therefore, it’s important to note that more research is required before this becomes reliable.