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How Important is Weight on the Bar for Hypertrophy?

I’m currently doing a strength and a hypertrophy session, so 2 workouts a week, suggested by Dan John as life is a bit hectic atm. My strength sessions are focussed around the big 3, getting stronger and improving technique. Usually I’m working up to a top amrap set and then do 2-3 back off sets for each lift.

On my hypertrophy days I rotate between staple exercises that work for me and I feel my muscles being worked with best.This is a full body workout with prioritization for my upper body as my legs grow like weeds compared to my upper body.

Now my question is, if you are lifting (close) to failure and your bar speed is maximal on your concentric, how important is the weight on the bar? Reason I’m asking is: when I do barbell rows first in a workout I’m way stronger, but when I do them later in a workout I’m weaker due to fatigue obviously. Does this mean the barbell row is less effective at this point because the load is less?

No. You’re still pushing to the maximal extent you possibly can, given the circumstances. You will grow.

Were this NOT the case, programs would never employ more than 1 set per exercise. And realistically, no more than 1 exercise per day.


I Log where in a workout the exercise was done and have a pr for then, that way if I switch the orders around for any reason I have a general idea of what can be classed as progress. So I have a 1st exercise pr, and a second exercise pr.

But if you are pushing as hard as you can on the work sets then it should do the job for hypertrophy.

I always wondered how people gain muscle without logging a single set or rep. They just lift as heavy as possible and almost to failure without ever tracking progress. Strength gains seem to follow anyways following this principle.

Here I am always trying to find the best program and logging every set/rep

For hypertrophy, it’s important, but it’s not the most important factor. If all you had was a fixed-weight, you could still build plenty of size by manipulating volume (sets and reps) and adjusting time under tension (intensity techniques like rest-pause, negatives, partials, etc.).

Autoregulation, basically playing workouts by ear and adjusting set-to-set based on performance and feel. Discussed in a few different articles. Thib talked about it, there was a study supporting its benefits, and I discussed it.

Also, re-watch Pumping Iron. You won’t spot many notebooks in the gym.

As is always the case when people say this… dude, c’mon. You’re 6 feet tall and under 170 pounds. Your legs are not growing like weeds. You need to be training everything, not de-emphasizing anything.

As Paul Carter succinctly told you last month, “Right now you’re weak as hamster piss, so regardless of what you do routine wise you need to go from a 135x8 bench to more than that.”


It’s amazing how many guys you see who have the genetic potential of Tom Platz come on this site. Isn’t it?:smirk:


I really need to start some kind of tally for every time we see “My legs grow super easy. I swear. Honest. Trust me.” It’s gotta pop up every other month, if not more often.


it really is shocking that a person could benefit from lifting weights without also writing about it. Almost as if the workouts make the muscle grow, and not the writing part. Weird.

I’ve always wondered how kids get taller without measuring their height monthly.

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Playing basketball: same way marathon running makes you skinny while sprinting makes you jacked.


So that’s what all these Asian kids were missing

And why they’re growing now (basketball is a thing in China now)

Thanks for linking the articles, really informative.