Increase potential for strength and power
The greater the size of the muscle, the greater the potential it has at generating force. The parallel effect of increasing in size, is an increase in the number of contractile properties.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that you stay in this training zone long enough to get bigger (strength vs hypertrophy training zones); just long enough to cause adaptation to the muscle cells that propagate contractile forces. Depending on which sporting season you are in, once a desired hypertrophic gain has been established, a greater gain can be earned when shifting to strength and power training cycles.
Reduce potential for injuries
Compound exercises such as the squat and deadlift have great transference to overall athletic performance and building a more resilient athlete; but you can take this one step further by focusing on specific muscle/s that will improve symmetry and reduce prevalence of injury.
Consider a contact sport. Most of the match is spent changing direction, speeding up and slowing down at various angles. The anterior cruciate ligaments (ACL) job is to prevent the tibia from sliding away from the femur helping to create a stable knee. The hamstrings serve to protect the ACL by reducing the forward slide of the tibia; by focusing on building the hamstrings in isolation you can help reduce the risk of injury during game play.
A time will come when your body will stop progressing. The strength you gain will be less than the amount of training you put in, and in some cases may cease to progress.
Being at this point is ok, but staying here for too long can become frustrating as no further progress is occuring. Increasing your volume load and shifting to a hypertrophy program for a short period of time can give your body the change it needs to get you out of your plateau.
This doesn’t mean your strength will improve immediately, but it will give you a chance to ignite different mechanisms such as growth factors and cell signalling responses that occur through increasing volume load, which can increase strength potential in the future.
Everything we do in day to day life has a metabolic effect. When the body is performing an activity it undergoes processes which release energy and work towards returning the body back to homeostasis. The higher the strain (the harder the session), the greater the energy expended, resulting in a larger metabolic output (metabolism being the sum of all processes occurring at one particular time).
During exercise the body breaks down energy and undergoes many different processes at one time, for example:
-When muscles contract calcium is released.
– As lactic acid accumulates the body must work fast to remove it.
– When muscle glycogen is depleted, more must be created for energy.
– As phosphocreatine stores deplete, more must be created.
After the exercise bout is complete, the body continues to expend energy in repairing damaged tissue, replenishing depleted substrates and working to bring the body back to equilibrium.
Hypertrophy training places a high mechanical load on muscle tissue thereby initiating greater repair and restore reactions. The more reactions that occur the faster the metabolism has to work. Over time you will adapt to the training stimuli and improve your ability to tolerate demands, in turn increasing your metabolic rate.
Reduce joint load
The great thing about hypertrophy training is you can still stimulate an effect using lighter loads and more reps. This is a great method for athletes in an off season or for those who need a break from high intensity training as it can reduce load on joint tendons and ligaments.
The body can only perform in high intensity zones for so long until over training and risk of injury increases. Reverting to a different method for a short period of time can reduce joint load while still maintaining muscle tissue.