T Nation

Best Hypertrophy Program?


not a beginner:

I am looking for links or opinions on the best hypertrophy training program for me. Here is my info.

25 y/o, 175 lb 6'0" about 6-11 bf (6% skinfold 11% bodpod) ive been training 5 years. mostly in the 10-15 rep range.

cant squat or deadlift too heavy because i have broken my back in the past and eventually the compression causes a chronic ache.

Have done 6-8 week heavy programs including mostly deads, squats, cleans, bench, heavy dips+chins. had poor phisique results from that.

I dont bench and dont really do direct chest work for a few reasons:
i have protracted scapula and tight pecs from training all chest no back for the first 3 years of lifting.
so now i dont train chest and i DO train scap retraction (rows and high puls alot)

my bench is really weak, like maybe 185? (ouch im gonna hear about that one)
i can do 5-6 dips with 120 lbs. also 50 BW dips
but i dont want big pecs. i think it looks gross

also im all about big arms and shoulders, "small" pecs. trouble areas are calves and forearms for sure. i also really want HUUUge rear delts!
im guessing that id like to add 10-15 lbs of muscle in the next year. i also train MMA once a week.

nutrition is pretty close to JB's 7 habits. eat clean no prob.

sample day: (as requested)

2 cups egg whites+veggies scrambled
2 pieces sprouted wholegrain toast

10am -11am train
followed by 1.5 servings Surge

homemaid rice pudding-
2 cups cooked rice+handful rasins+2 scoops banana Metabolic Drive and 2 cup of skim milk

3 cups Dr John's Chilli (at work)

2 scoops Metabolic Drive+1 cup frozen blueberries +2 Tsp flax seed (ground) (at work)

Top Round Steak (maybe 2-3 deck of card size cooked) and a big salad with balsamic and olive oil and Flameout.
maybe broccoli

1 cup cottage cheese and 2 TB Peanut butter+1 scoop Choc Metabolic Drive mixed

I am going for big arms shoulders and upper back
also legs, calves and forearms. small pecs and waist.

also i HATE getting fat. 175 ripped looks great but 185 soft is neither big OR asthetic.

im pretty sure that by saying that im gonna get flamed. what ev.


yeah you need to eat. you sound gay.


thanks for that


okay you have a weak chest, and your plan to improve this is NOT working your chest? what the hell are you on?

also theres two kinds of hypertrophy, 5-6 reps you gain strength and muscle fibre 8-12 ish range is sarcoplasmic hypertrophy the liquid volume of hte muscle basically


no my goal is not to work my chest, maybe i wasnt clear but i havent done any direct chest work in a year because i DONT WANT A BIG CHEST. thanks


i know this. i am not a nube. thank you


I would start here if I were you: read everything Chad Waterbury has written on this site. Learn his methods and try to apply them to your training. You can even speak directly to him in the author's locker room if you have any questions.


You know babies sucked at walking when they first tried it.

If it's a weakness, attack it.


You didn't talk enough about your diet.

If you want to gain muscle you have to gain weight. 185 might not look good if you gain 10 lbs of fat, but if you gain 8lbs of muscle and 2 lbs of fat (hypothetically) it would look better.

So, if you want to be 190 or 200lbs, you have to eat like it.

Basically, eat more. Check out the Clean Mass Diet.

If you want the absolute best hypertrophy program on here, check out HSS-100, WHFS, GVT, or OLAD.

Many people say they have made the best gains on these, or the coaches say they are the best programs they have ever designed.


My earlier post probably wasn't that insightful.

Go and read the Caveman post in the Physique and Performance Photos. It is titled 'Grateful'. There is so much info in there and his posts are pretty much meticulous.

Gottatrain is also another good T-Nation member who has made some good posts.

From my experience, exercises such as bench, push press, bb rows, deads, squats and cleans tend to put on great size.


I agree I say you need to squat, dl, and bench. Drop the Ego and go SLOW aim to make slow steady progress and you will actually strengthen that back. Be more healthy in the long run if you do things WISE.

Also agree on CW's work as well as any of the authors. Just pick a porogram and what will be best. Usualy the one that has the most stuff you dont do or avoid

Best of luck,


im sorry again i wrote the original post out if sequence, ill go edit it

i dont do direct chest work because i dont want a big chest

also i want to correct anterior shortening (or protracted scapula) by stopping chest work and upping trap/rhomboid work

my chest is weak. and thats fine with me. i dont want a big chest.

i said that in my post.
im all about arms and ahoulders


I don't know many people with a big delts, big guns and a pissy little chest. But all the best to you.

Seriously, check the Caveman and Gottatrain posts.


Any program works for a little while then it needs to be changed, therefore this is no "best hypertrophy program", the fact that you've been training with a higher rep scheme means that you should probably try a lower rep scheme 3-8 reps.


you should focus on training to create a balanced body not one with a weak chest and huge arms and shoulders. if one part of your body is lacking it will inhibit gains everywhere else.


if you arent a "nube" as you put it and know all abou the different hypertrophy ranges and how to do them, then why are you asking for our adivce? and not working your chest at all and just working your back to balance it out? why not work your back harder than your chest and just do some light chest work? you do know that if your trying to gain 15 pounds of muscle your pecs will grow at least a tiny bit because they are one of the bigger muscles on your body right? you cant just select which muscles will grow and which wont. really id suggest light high rep chest work if you dont want it to stimulate growth youself, if you JUST work back and ignore your chest your backs gonna get huge and your chest is going to atrophy into nothing


why am i asking advice? because i am in a grey area between "nube" and "expert". only training and studying for 5 years.
i wanted to know which coach writes the best programs in peoples opinions.

with doing military presses and tons of dips, my chest hasnt shrunk one bit. i also punch ALOT.
mostly punching bags.

so far my back hasnt gotten huge so im not worried about it.

also what exercises are best for rear delts? im doing rows with elbows out and cable face pulls and rear delt machines. not much luck.


thanks to people who pointed me towards Waterbury.
i listened to his Double Taps and he explained that, in odres to achieve hypertrophy from lower reps, one must increace total sets.

in the past when i dropped down to 4-6 reps i still did 3-4 sets, because according to many experts where i lift (pro athlete training mostly) most of the CSCS guys say that 10 x 3 is too much. and have their athletes do 5 x 3.

weeks of heavy training (while eating for hypertrophy) led to small strength gains and alot of fat with no muscle size.

im going to try this new aproach.

any other suggestions?


Specialize. I've been really satisfied with some of the great specialization programs found on this here website. CT's Shoulder Overhaul. Staley's EDT for ARM's. Ian King's "Limping Into..." series. CW's Perfect 10 program

Also- and you'll get this advice here a lot (because it works)- always include the staples- deads, bench, chins, dips, military press, squats, etc. Multi joint compound movements are your bread and butter- don't neglect them.


um. just because you do a couple of chest exersices does not mean your going to have a big chest.

Your going to end up looking like the Huntch Back of Notre Dame with an unbalanced work out.