Over the last few months, I’ve been hearing a lot about Hypertrophy Training. You hear bodybuilders talk about it while manually shaking their protein. ( I know, who still does that, right?)
Well, what is, and where can I buy some?
Hypertrophy training is essentially a method of training with the object to build muscle. Muscle hypertrophy is a scientific term for the growth and increase of the size of muscle cells.
With this training method, your focus solely on building muscle, NOT strength or endurance training ( ego lifting is not considered a form of training).
If strength training is moving the weight from point A to B as efficiently as possible, Hypertrophy Training is moving the weight as inefficiently as possible. The objective is focus on muscle contraction, Time under tension if you will. Do not focus on lifting the heaviest weight possible, that is not the point here, focus more on making the muscle work on every rep.
There are plenty of articles floating around that explain this concept in detail, but the basics are as follows:
- You have to eat a lot. Clean eating as usual, but high amount of calories. Daily intake of about 4000 calories is not uncommon, but experiment with what works for you.
- Your rep range has to be optimized to between 8-12 for most exercises.
- You have to focus. This is not the time to half ass your workouts. You have to push yourself to breaking out, anything less your body is already used to. Your weight has to be around 70-80% your 1 rep MAX.
Here is a sample routine, courtesy of www.realweighttraining.com
4 Day Muscle Building Workout
Monday – Chest/Biceps/Forearms
To kick off the week we’re going to hit chest, biceps and forearms. It’s a good idea to switch the first 2 exercises in this routine (dumbbell bench and barbell bench) each week to promote good upper chest development.
- Dumbbell Bench Press – 4 sets of 12, 10, 8, 8
- Incline Barbell Bench Press – 4 sets of 12, 10, 8, 8
- Dips – 4 sets of MAX
- Cable Crossovers – 4 sets of 10 reps
- Incline Dumbbell Curl (alternating) – 4 sets of 12, 10, 10, 8
- Rope Cable Curl – 3 sets of 10
- Preacher Curl – 3 sets of 10
- EZ Bar Reverse Curl – 3 sets of 10
- Wrist Curl – 3 sets of 12
Tuesday – Legs/Abs
Heavy leg training is a MUST build your quads, hams and glutes. Squats you should be lifting as heavy as possible! Deadlifts should be done with slow rep timing, focusing on the stretch and contraction of the hamstring.
- Squats – 5 sets of 12, 12, 10, 10, 8
- Stiff Leg Deadlift (AKA Romanian Deadlift) – 4 sets of 12
- Leg Press OR Leg Extensions – 4 sets of 10 reps
- Leg Curl – 4 sets of 10 reps
- Hanging Leg Raise – 3 sets of 15 reps
- Swiss Ball Crunch – 3 sets of 20 reps
- Hover – 3 sets for MAX time
Thursday – Shoulders/Traps/Triceps
A few notes for this day. First, shrugs need to be slow with a pause for 3 seconds at the top of the movement. Second, tricep kickbacks need to be done with ultra-strict form with a 2 second pause at the top of the movement. Never leg your elbows drop below your shoulders!
- Seated Barbell Press – 4 sets of 8
- Dumbbell OR Cable Front Raise – 4 sets of 12
- Dumbbell Lateral Raise – 4 sets of 10
- Cable Reverse Fly – 4 sets of 12
- Dumbbell Shrug – 5 sets of 15, 12, 12, 10, 10
- Lying Dumbbell Extension – 4 sets of 10 reps
- Cable Tricep Extension (using rope) – 3 sets of 10
- Dumbbell Kickbacks – 3 sets of 12
Friday – Back/Calves/Abs
Back, calves and abs today. You’ll see I have wide grip pullups as the first exercise. These are THE KING of all back exercises and you should always kick off your back day with them. If you can’t do pullups, replace the exercise with lat pull downs and work up to it.
- Wide Grip Pullups – 4 sets of MAX reps
- Cable Row – 4 sets of 10 reps
- One Arm Dumbbell Row – 4 sets of 8 reps
- Close Grip Pulldown – 4 sets of 12 reps
- Standing Calf Raise – 5 sets of 15, 12, 12, 10, 8
- Seated Calf Raise – 5 sets of 10, 10, 8, 8, 6
- Decline Sit Up – 3 sets of 20
- Floor Crunch – 3 sets of 20 reps
- Hanging Leg Raise – 3 sets of 15 reps