lifestyle

Quick & Dirty Breakdown on 3 Types of Muscle Development

What is the Goal of your workout?
The amount of repetitions you choose for an exercise has a lot to do with what the RESULTS you will see.

There are 3 main types of muscle development:

💪Power-Strength
🏋️‍♂️Hypertrophy
🚴‍♀️Muscular Endurance


and each of them is achieved with a special combination of repetitions, amount of load/resistance, and mission.

This week we will talk about the benefits of each repetition range, what that looks like during a workout & what type of fitness (& life goals) that helps most!

➡️Power & Strength ⬅️

This is most relatable to an all-out effort or intensity. Strength & Power training occurs when you are doing between 1 – 5 repetitions. These types of sessions are focused on expressing and expanding your potential to lift heavier, and also lifting them more explosively!

Some exercises most commonly associated with Power & Strength are:

  • Powerlifts – Squat, Deadlift, Bench
  • Olympic Lifts – Clean & Jerk, Snatch (kettlebell, dumbbell, or barbell)
  • Sled Training – max sled push for distance, max speed
  • Hill/Short Distance Sprints

Although the number of repetitions are basically the same, the main difference between lifting for strength and lifting for power is 🔥the amount of time the movement actually takes 🔥 🔹Strength is the ability to produce high levels of muscular tension & output in order to overcome resistance (gravity, external load). 🔸Power is the ability to produce high levels of muscular tension & output in the shortest period of time

This means when training for Power, the amount of weight will be LESS and the speed will be MORE , and the opposite for Strength.

Think of this: 2 vehicles can each go 100 mph. The light sports car (power training) can go from 0-100 in 8 seconds, while the truck full of bricks and logs takes 21 seconds… both display their best performance, but the “how” is what differs!

When picking your training style, keep in mind if you want to move fast & powerful like a sports car, or be sturdy and controlled like a truck!

➡️Hypertrophy ⬅️

This is how the majority of workout routines are structured. But first, let’s define hypertrophy:


Hypertrophy is the stimulation of new of the muscle fibers, growth of current ones, and this type of training will help improve the health of the muscle tissue over time.
It does NOT make you bulky or instantly mean you will have defined muscles in one week of workouts.


The resistance you use for Hypertrophy training will be lighter than your slow strength, and somewhere close to your explosive power (to see what I mean, look at yesterdays post). Aiming for 6-12 repetitions in each set, having control through the full range of motion, not moving explosiveley to “feel the muscle” , and not too heavy so you can do enough repetitions are the things to notice here.

At @orcaempirefitness we like to use this range of repetitions as a foundation because it provides a good volume of exercise (how many reps in the workout), so our members can:

  • get comfortable and competent with exercise form
  • stimulate the muscles to grow strong without too much fatigue (like with power training)
  • ‘feel’ the muscles during the lifts,
  • allow newer clients to really learn the movement, AND
  • for distinguished students to enhance their skills/strengths with high quality sets


I recommend this quantity of repetitions as the majority of a training program, unless you have a specific endurance or power related fitness goal.
Reach out if you have any questions or want to see what this looks like in a full workout

➡️Muscular Endurance ⬅️

When you think endurance, you might think of long duration or long lasting sports:

Running, swimming, biking, rowing, triathlon, hiking…Muscular Endurance is the ability for your body to be able to repeatedly exert force over time against resistance.


For those sports, your resistance is gravity, elevation, and the water… But in a gym setting, your resistance to train muscular endurance is choosing a light weight (less than half of your strength training). The goal is in each set to sustain 12 or more repetitions (even up to 30 at a time).

If you remember power being how QUICKLY & EXPLOSIVELY you can move a weight over a distance, think of your endurance to be how EFFICIENTLY you can move a weight over a distance. This is why “having great form” is important when doing high repetitions of any exercise:

Using this repetition range can be beneficial for:

  • Power & Strength athletes looking to increase blood flow & recovery to their working bodies without entirely resting (since they usually beat themselves up with heavy training)
  • Older populations who are looking to maintain muscle, bone density, and aerobic fitness as they age
  • Return from injury, surgery ailment because the resistance is low, and helps build back stamina in the muscles & tissues

In short, EVERY repetition range has a special focus, but NONE of them should be isolated from one another!

Every Body should Lift Heavy & Powerful … train for hypertrophy to have a strong body… and train for endurance to promote their longevity, or quality of live for the long term!

If you liked this type of content, please let us know so the content on this page can be optimized fro what YOU benefit from most. Cheers to Training!

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