Hypertrophy, muscular strength, muscular power, muscular endurance and 1RM


Last previous to this post I was talking about lifting weights and bigger muscles and we hit on the word hypertrophy but we didn’t go into much detail about hypertrophy nor did I talk about the other two terms: strength and muscular endurance. Today I am going to talk about all 3 in more detail so that you know from here on out what to do based on your goals.  


Muscular hypertrophy:

  • Volume: 1- 3 sets per exercise
  • Intensity: 70%-85%RM, 8-12 repetitions (if you are unconditioned, beginner, or clueless of your 1RM then start off at 60%RM and read bottom of the page to find your 1RM; this will also depend on the exercise, a 1RM for bench press will be different for a 1RM for squats.. etc)
  • Rest period: (between sets) 1-2 minutes. This means active rest not sit on your butt and do nothing rest.. e.g walk around)
  • Frequency: Novice: 2-3 days a week, Intermediate: up to 4 days a week (split routines)

Advanced individuals:

  • Volume: 3-6 sets per exercise (periodized manner)
  • Intensity: 70%-100% 1RM, 1-12 reps per set, 6-12 reps for the majority
  • Rest period: 2-3 minutes for heavy loading, 1-2 minutes moderate-moderate high intensity
  • Frequency: 4-6 days a week

Muscular Strength:

  • Volume: 1-3 sets per exercise 
  • Intensity: 60%-70% 1RM, 8-12 repetitions
  • Rest Period: 2-3 minutes between sets for core lifts, 1-2 minutes for “assistance” exercises ( I will explain these in another post) but basically anything outside of core lifts:)
  • Frequency: Novice: 2-3 days a week, Intermediate: 3-4 days a week

Advanced Individuals:

  • Volume: N/a depends on the program and or intensity
  • Intensity: Cycling load of 80%-100% 1RM, progressing to heavy loads 1-6 reps
  • Rest Period: 2-3 minutes between sets for core lifts, 1-2 minutes for assistance exercises, extended rest periods may be necessary
  • Frequency: 4-6 days a week

Muscular Endurance

  • Volume: 2-4 sets per exercise
  • Intensity: lower than 70% of 1RM, 10-25 repetitions
  • Rest Periods: 30 seconds- 1 minute between each set
  • Frequency: Novice: 2-3 days a week, Intermediate: 3-4 days depending on whether they are using total body workout or upper/lower body workout. if they are using total body, 3 days if they are using upper/lower split then 4 days a week. 

Muscular Power:

  • Volume: 1-3 sets per exercise
  • Intensity: light to moderate load, 30%-60% of 1RM for upper body exercises, 0%-60% of 1RM for lower body exercises, 3-6 repetitions not to failure
  • Rest Period: 2-3 minutes between sets for primary exercises when intensity is high, 1-2 minutes for assistance exercises or lower intensity exercises 
  • Frequency: Novice: 2-3 days a week, Intermediate: 3-4 days a week

Advanced Individuals:

  • Volume: 3-6 sets per exercise
  • Intensity: Heavy loading 85%-100% of 1RM (necessary for increasing force), light to moderate loading 30%-60% of 1RM for upper body exercises, 0%-60% of 1RM for lower body exercises performed at an explosive velocity, 1-6 repetitions in a periodized manner
  • Rest Period: 2-3 minutes between sets for primary exercises when intensity is high, 1-2 minutes for assistance exercises or lower intensity exercises
  • Frequency: 4-5 days a week

Now I realize this was a lot to take in, especially for someone who is new to weight lifting or wants to start weight lifting and while all of these aspects of weight lifting are important, they each depend on your goals, fitness program, and where you stand (novice, intermediate, advanced).  ** Novice/Intermediate your guidelines are everything that does not specify under advanced as a heads up. The hardest part is remembering this information and using it because at first you might become puzzled by all these terms that are unknown to you but if you keep following my blogs; I will continue to unleash definitions and help you understand what all this means. I separate information on blogs so that my blogs don’t frustrate you and you don’t have to read through such long ones to get an answer. Now for those of you who didn’t catch on, I will explain what assistance exercises are and what split routine exercises are and etc.. but those will be for a later post. In the meantime, use the word assistance as any exercises besides core exercises and take split routine as a upper/lower body regimen until I make the post explaining them. There is tons to know about weight training! Most people do not practice or weight train using all of these, and chances are  you probably won’t do muscular power exercises and depending on the person you may or may not want to do muscular endurance (although I am a firm believer that it is very useful). For now, I just want everyone to focus on Hypertrophy (building muscle mass) and strength (unless you just want to look the part and don’t care about being strong).  I will answer all questions and even send personal emails if you need me to, so don’t feel alone on this journey. This is the major I graduated with and I know my stuff, and whatever I don’t know I know who to go to and where to find it; never be afraid to ask me questions. 


Now to find your 1RM, the route is usually the same per exercise but the results will differ. You DO NOT HAVE TO FIND YOUR 1RM for every single exercise.To save yourself time, it is much easier to tell me your program and/or fitness goals and I will tell you what 1RMs to focus on unless you have all the time in the world at the gym to find your 1RM for everything. The main exercises people usually want to know their 1RMs for are: squats, bench press, leg press, power exercises. There may be a few more but these are the ones I deal with more regularly but I know how to find them for each exercise if you NEED to or want to. 



Basically start off with a warmup of whatever you are doing your 1RM on. I would say a warm-up of 10 reps. (I would recommend dynamic stretching between getting started.. ) to get your body warmed up. 

I usually allow my clients to have 5 trials but it can be done in 3 depending on how efficient you are. 

No matter if you are a beginner or advanced individual you will need a spotter for squats and bench press. NO EXCUSES. 


For males I usually have them do their body weight as a starting point and women I usually have them do half their body weight or 80 percent of their body weight.. unless they are beginners and know they can’t then I will have them start at bar. If the man cannot do his body weight then I have him do 80 percent of his as well.. just depends on circumstances. 


Nonetheless If they are doing a lower body 1RM I will add 20 pounds each time and if they are doing an upper body, I will add 10 pound each time. Now if someone knows their bench press or squat and tells me.. things are a bit different from there. You honestly can do this in as many trails that you need but keep in mind each time you are exerting more energy and means you will get weaker.. so you want to do this in the least amount of trials as possible. 


The first trial should be doing 3-5 reps, and the 2nd-depending on where you are at.. with it.. can either be another 3-5 reps or starting your 1 rep.. best way to tell.. is to have someone who knows what they are doing with you while you do this. 


** 1RM isn’t for everyone honestly and should be done if you are an advanced individual in my opinion or someone who wants to know, or has goals that specify you needing to know your 1RM. if this sounds a bit confusing.. there are online calculators that might help you out, and you can always ask someone at your gym if they know. Thank you for reading, hope this helped.


Shay-lon xoxo


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Hello! College graduate in exercise science and ACSM Certified Personal Trainer. My blog has all kinds of fun topics, something for everyone who is anyone that involves themselves with fitness. I like to think of fitness as a confidence booster, something to make us feel good and look good & pushes us to do things that make us feel more productive, unstoppable and stronger mentally and physically. My blog focuses on building people, and helping people see their true potential, while also sharing my journey with workouts, competing with powerlifting, and sharing how to's on workouts, so you step inside the gym with more knowledge. I don't know everything but I am on a voyage to build my character, my strength and work on my weaknesses --- with awesome people in my corner who support me and my goals. I plan on being your cheerleader, friend, coach and trainer all-in-one and most of all, I want to be your listener, the person who can listen and gain more knowledge about you and learn what makes fitness important to you; what's your why! (Your why will carry you to the finish line). It's important to have purpose for something, because you will need that purpose when you start to give up on yourself or want to quit. "Don't let the fire that guides you, dim" - Shay-lon Besides the fitness stuff, I reside in Ohio, love dogs and love pizza. Typical 26 year old trying to build an empire that brings out the best in others and makes me the best person I can be in all aspects in my life. Before I die, I want a reason to live, and I was given that reason each day I am able to wake up --- I have learned to not take life for granted and to explore as much as possible because to live with zero regrets would be fantastic! "I've conquered many things, but I still have much to learn about life, because nobody can know everything. & every battle is different" - Shay-lon

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