T Nation

Consistant strength/hypertropy gains

I’m in doubt on what would be a good protocol for consistant strength/hypertropy gains. I’ve made decent strength gains using sets of six reps at 75%1rm. I would start at 4 sets and increase by 1 set a week (or more if possible), and adding 5 lbs once i reach 6 sets, always lifting at full intensity by timing sets. I’d also alternate bar grip distances by a few inches each workout. I figured that 6 rep sets would be enough for good strength gains and optimal hypertropy gains, but I seem to be only getting the strength side of it.

I was wondering if alternating 4 sets of 10 reps(65-70% 1rm) and 10 sets of 4 reps(85-90% 1rm) reps on a weekly basis for a couple of months at a time would be an effective method for good hypertropy gains while still allowing me to make good gains in strength?

no matter how good a program is it wil only work for a period of time. periodization is the key to consistent gains.

P-dog is right. Variation is important. Look for my asnwers in this guest forum detailing my pendulum periodization technique. It will also be the focus of an upcoming article.

For general strength and body composition, how do you way the relative importance of periodized variation in exercise selection vs. rep protocols?

Joel Marion wrote an article here that suggested to keep exercises the same and vary the loading and tempo. Charles Staley often changes supplemental exercises but keeps major ones the same for two months.

In your view, are SLIGHT changes in exercises such as varying the grip-style or width, or bench angle, sufficient when rep protocols and volume are thoroughly periodized?

any effective program should be based around the core/money exercises. it makes no sense to eliminate an effective exercise from your program just for the sake of doing so. as ct mentioned in a previous post stick to:

bench press and variations
squat and variations
deadlift and variations
overhead pressing and variations

your body doesnt know the difference between a seated pulley row and a seated hammer strength row. your body does however know the difference between a set performed at 50% of 1rm and 95% of 1rm.

there is no way in hell im going to stop bench pressing and substitute pec dec flys simply to vary my routine. in general stick with the core exercises and focus on periodizing sets and reps.

you can switch the order of the exercises to work on weak points or work around an injury. but i honestly see no reason to deviate from the main lifts.

just my 2cc, hopefully ct wont rip me a new asshole.

As I said in my interview I keep the same basic exercises year round, but I vary the way I perform them. Variation can come from grip width, stance width, eccentric tempo, isometric pauses, intensity, number of reps, number of sets, density, etc.

I vary assistance exercises quite often though.

Thanks, P-Dog and TC!