Most goals can be distilled down into one of three broad categories; Hypertrophy, Performance, and Weight loss. All too often people don’t know the difference when selecting a training style –which can lead to a whole bucket of “not gonna do it.” Get the strategy right and you’ll stay more motivated.
Hypertrophy occurs when your muscles are focused with a combination of load and volume. The dominant fuel source for this style of training is sugar (glycogen), which is why you’ll recover faster from weight lifting when eating a diet with plenty of carbohydrates. Protein is the other currency required if you want your muscles to have the raw materials needed to rebuild bigger and stronger. This type of training is ideal for more muscle size or definition. It’s also a great choice when you’re ready to reboot your metabolism by eating more calories. Hypertrophic training gives your body lots of “use options” for those extra calories besides being stored as body fat.
Performance training isn’t the same as hypertrophic training. Performance training is all about specificity for your sport with all other concerns being secondary. What matters is that you get better at what you do. Much of your training time is participating in the sport itself with emphasis on recovery to handle higher training volume. Performance training might have metabolic benefits or even hypertrophic elements but it all depends on your sport.
Weight loss training is really a priority, not a specific exercise category. Engaging in training practices that expend calories without elements that drive lean mass up are the most direct promoters of pure weight loss, even though the inclusion of resistance work may result in more actual fat loss. Activities such as running, cycling, and other endurance activities expend calories and promote fat burning. These kinds of activities should represent a large stake in your time allocation if strict weight loss is your goal. At MetPro we often recommend activities that fall under these categories initially, then gradually include additional training modalities as weight loss milestones are met.