T Nation

Crossfit Hypertrophy Chapter in Muscle Bible


I recently got your new book, and I love it. I really like the Crossfit Hypertrophy chapter. I am not a crossfiter, but like some of their methods. I love Olympic lifting, but want to be aesthetic also. What is a way I can do an Olympic variation like 5-6 days a week, but yet still work in the isolation work you talk about in the book? I like the super setting isolation with the oly lifts but don’t know what to use with each lift, and also I want to do some beach work.


Well supersetting isolation and Olympic lifts is a complex thing and should only be done if you are super efficient at the Olympic lifts. The reason for doing it with Crossfit athletes is so that they get used to performing the Olympic lifts under a state of muscular fatigue… in a way it’s sport-specific training. Not something I would have them do if they did not have to perform these lifts with fatigued muscles in competition. And certainly not something I would do with people who want to maximize their Olympic lifts or do not have superb technique as it will hurt both.

So be careful when you consider that option.

It can be done with pulls though, since they are less technical. One of my favorite superset was shrugs + snatch grip high pull from blocks + band pull-apart.

As for building hypertrophy while doing the Olympic lifts, the first thing to consider would be to adjust the parameters of the Olympic lifts to favor hypertrophy:

Olympic lift variations for muscle mass

  • Use the simpler variations of the Olympic lifts. Stay with the “power” or “muscle” variations and preferably start the barbell from blocks or from the hang, the hang being superior for hypertrophy.

  • Most of your work should be in the 3-5 reps range. I would not go above 5 reps per set and sets because technique will suffer.

  • Another very good approach is using 2-3 reps EMOM for 8-12 minutes. Using a weight that is 65-75% of your maximum, doing 2-3 reps at the beginning of every minute (0:00, 1:00, 2:00, 3:00, etc.).

  • The use of complexes can also be considered but sometimes they have too much of a metabolic component or can be confusing if your technique is not super solid. While they can be effective, I would use them only if you are in good physical condition and have solid overall technique.

  • If your primary goal is muscle mass, the cornerstone of your plan should still be hypertrophy work.


Thanks CT. I really like the EMOM for Olympic lifts, and I also like complexes as finishers.

Would this sample week be something that is usable?

(Upper Body Pull day)

  • Snatch variation EMOM 3 reps at 70% for 8-12 min

  • shrugs + snatch grip high pull from blocks + band pull-apart, 4 sets of 6

  • pullups or bentover rows and bicep isolation work.

(Upper Body Push Day)

  • Push press or Jerk ramp to 3rm then 80-90% of that for 4x3

  • Incline flye pre exhaust with Incline Bench 5 sets of 6-8

  • 50 ring dips

  • Maybe some triceps isolation

  • complex of muscle hang muscle snatch, behind neck press, front press, behind neck push press, front push press. trying to get 3x8

(Lower Body Pull Day)

  • Power Clean EMOM same as above

  • Clean grip deadlift work up to 5x3 at 90%

  • Clean Pull for 6 then superset with KB swing for 10-15 for 4 sets

  • pullups or bent over rows and biceps isolation

(Day 4 similar to day 1)

(Day 5 similar to day 2)

(Lower Body Push Day)

  • Clean EMOM similar to above

  • Front Squat ramp to 3rm then 80-90% 4x3

  • Complex maybe a Super, Canadian, or Bear. Or Loaded Carries

(Day 7 OFF)

Thanks for any input