T Nation

Lagging Hypertrophy


So I'm 19 and I've been lifting for 3 years now. I've done 2 powerlifting meets and 1 bodybuilding show. At the bbing show I was absolutely dwarfed by the other teen (I couldn't believe he was a teen lol).

Anyways this leads me to my next point: how come I always seem to make strength gains significantly faster than hypertrophy gains? My best lifts are 385lb squat, 230lb (touch and go) bench, and 475lb deadlift yet I'm not exactly the biggest as u can see in my avi. Does it have something to do with the fact that I'm only 19?
P.S. I don't believe in doing "brosplits". I believe in high frequency and progressive overload


How have you been training exactly? Have you tried different methods? At 19 you still have plenty to learn about what your body responds to best.

And of course if you arent getting bigger, eat more than you are.


some people just do mate, genetics can be a bitch sometimes.

I know you don't believe in "brosplits" (grrr), but considering what you are doing now isn't doing what you want it to, don't you think it's worth trying something different?




You probably need to train with more TUT and more volume per bodypart. I can pull/squat/sometimes bench the around the same or more that a few of the physique guys at the gym but they all look much more developed than I do.


Also this.


Yeah maybe.The 1st year and a half I did brosplits. Made newb gains and then I plateaued. Since then I've been doing either Layne Norton's PHAT or some powerlifting program.

Currently am eating 4000cals/day. Can't eat TOO much or else I'll get fat cause I'm an endo-mesomorph (if you believe in somatotypes)


I do a lot of volume, but I guess I do train pretty explosively most of the time. I'll try to slow down my reps (uggh I hate lifting light weights lol)


Ha, me neither. Didn't help that he was a bunch taller and you guys were the only ones on stage. But that's the (crappy) luck of the draw. All you can do is focus on you.

For most people, unless they're pretty advanced, this is the way it is most of the time. If I offered $10,000 to the first person who either increased their bench 25 pounds or added 1 inch to their arms, which is going to win you the money first? There are more ways to get "stronger" - improved technique, neural efficiency, etc. Adding quality muscular size is simply about stimulating growth, providing nutrients, and waiting.

I don't think so. In your training time so far, you've built up a very solid strength level and dropped some fat along the way. So whatever you've been doing has clearly had some good results.

As Dr. Phil would say, "And how's that been working for you?" I'm guessing "bro splits" means bodypart splits, like just training 1-2 bodyparts a day? That can definitely be incorporated into a high frequency program that hits each bodypart 2-3 times a week. And progressive overload is standard issue for pretty much all training.

I think it's a matter of figuring out your exact priorities and then jumping on a plan to get you there. Nothing magic about that. If you're looking to add muscle, the classic method of "main lift like a powerlifter, accessory work like a bodybuilder" would be the simplest answer.


Good answers above.

Nothing to add except that you look good kid, and your strength levels are impressive.

You'll get where you want to be eventually with your attitude. Keep it up.


what about 5/3/1? That'd give you some heavy lifting, which you are good at and obviously enjoy, and you could just do all your accessory stuff high rep, bodybuilder style with things like drop sets or whatever.


IMO this is a large giveaway, and until you correct it it will be a problem no matter what your program is.

Conceptually you need to learn how to train for hypertrophy. Shift your thinking away from "how can I lift the most weight" to "how can I trigger more growth" and answers may start to appear as you continue training.

Practically speaking, more TUT, improving mind-muscle connection, appropriate volume.


What are your rep ranges?



You can train frequently, but the load and volume do not have to be the same at every workout.
Take a look at the routine in the link. Nearly the same but more work for back on day 1, pressing on day 2, thighs on day 3.

Your strength numbers look good. You can still go heavy AND get time under tension as well as total time under tension up, on a rotating basis.
Thighs just need time under the bar.
Give strong consideration to the routine above or something similar. It is simple.


Anything from 1-25 reps
I usually do lower reps on the big compounds and higher reps on accessory/isolation work

Yeah I'm currently running madcow 5x5 and doing bodybuilding accessories. I'm not sure km ready for 5/3/1 tho cause it's supposed to be for advanced lifters right?

And thanks to everyone who posted


Nope, 5/3/1 is for anyone with the self-discipline to stick to a template for a year or longer while making intelligent progress evaluations every 6 weeks or so.

Wendler laid out a very basic "5/3/1 for bodybuilding" template here:
It's shoulders/bis, back, chest/tris, legs/abs.


This is your answer right there. Now that wasn't so hard, was it?


LOL what's that supposed to mean?
Did u even read?


It means you aren't "big" because you have trained for only 3 years. Furthermore, your premise that your performance in the Big 3 is out of line of your size is incorrect. Overall, you seem to be doing ok.


K gotcha