T Nation

Reps, Tempo, and Hypertrophy

Hey there guys. I’m currently into a strength phase of training. I’m doing basically 5x5 for most exercises, with a 4111 tempo. I am making some decent strength gains, but no size/weight gains…in fact, I have lost weight since I started this phase of workouts.

In a couple of weeks, I’m planning on beginning hypertrophy training, and I am asking for suggestions on what style of workout I should use. Like, is 1,6 appropriate for benching exercises? Most of the training styles I read about seem to be strength oriented.

In the past, what I did was, I began with a light weight, about 30% of my 1RM, and did 8-10 reps with a super-slow 4141 pacing, increasing the weight for each set until I was at about 60% of my 1RM for my fourth and final set. This set would usually only get me 6 reps or so, but because of the tempo, all sets had really good TUT - usually a minimum of 60 seconds per set. But is this the best method for visible growth? I always had an amazing burn and pump doing things this way, but I always wonder if I’m doing this properly.

I know there isn't any 'best' way, but I want to know if the method I was using is far off the mark. I made decent size and weight gains doing the above method, but I'm wondering if there is a better way to do it.

The tempo issue is the thing I find most confusing. 4141 for hypertrophy? Or always stick with 4111 for strength or growth and just up the reps?

One more tempo question, and this is surrounding my current training. I want to do 1,6’s for benching. What tempo should I use for the ‘1’ rep? Explosive movement and controlled lowering? Since it’s supposed to be heavy, I wonder what pace would be even possible.

All answers are very much appreciated.

For hypertrophy purposes, the tempo is something you want to vary. I wouldn’t always stick to a 4-1-1-1 tempo, at times you might even want to use slow concentrics and fast eccentrics. From what you describe though, it sounds like you respond best to higher reps and more time under tension for hypertrophy so i am wondering why, if you are actually losig size doing 5X5 that you are considering using something like the 1/6 workout next? German volume training seems like it would be Taylor made for you. Search for german volume training and german volume training 2001, either one of them would work just fine. As for your question on using the 1/6 for bench the temp on the 1 rep should probably be about 3-0-x-1

The reason I wanted to try the 1,6 is to maybe boost my gains with a different method, and I wondered also if the higher reps involved in doing the 1,6 might benefit my physique. I’ve stuck with the 5x5 for a while because I have gotten very good strength gains for my size - I’m 6’1", 180, and my current DB curls are 75 pounds, DB shoulder presses are at 85 lbs, etc…but I feel I’m not visually growing hardly at all. I feel dense, at least (muscles, not brain

Ok, so for hypertrophy, higher reps, but what plan is the best? How should I structure the reps/sets…like I outlined above?

Strato, if you want to get bigger, you need to eat more. Didn’t see anything about diet in your post, bud.


And yes, Kelly’s suggestion about a higher volume program is probably a good one.