T Nation

Training for Strictly Hypertrophy?


#1

CT, I see that a lot of your training is aimed at building a strong/muscular physique an all around body.

If the goal was purely aesthetic/hypertrophy how would you go about training? Would you really change anything?


#2

A few things. There is very little, or even no emphasis on maximal lifting. Normally for a pure hypertrophy program the lowest I will go for number of reps in a set is 6… well not 100% correct; I might throw in 2 sets of 4 repetitions per muscle in a 4 weeks cycle (on the 4th week).

I also use more techniques like drop sets, mechanical drop sets and rest/pause

But the overall philosophy of appointing more volume to the problem area(s) still applies.


#3

The implication here (might read incorrectly) is this would be a shorter term blitz?

Even if pure hypetrophy is goal one should mostly do “base” training for stength/perfoance (~3 reps) or did i get this wrong?


#4

Read my post above. If someone only cares about hypertrophy I would rarely go below 6 reps. Is ity different than what I was saying 2 years ago? Yes because I experimented with various forms of training since then and I would not be doing my job if I didn’t allow myself to change some of my views based on new findings.


#5

OK got it, is it still valuable in that scenario to ramp up to a 1-3RM, or do some overload hold/isometric to “potentiate”?

Like wouldn’t really count that as part of working sets, but to potentiate strength/performance for the actual muscle building sets (6+ reps)?


#6

There is definetly an advantage to potentiating the nervous system prior to “size lifting” but there is absolutely no need to ramp to a 1, 2 or 3 RM. I found that going up to an RM (maximum weight you can lift for a given number of reps|) is what drains you and prevents you from doing a program more than 3-5 weeks.

You only need to lift heavy or explosively. It doesn’t have to be a max effort. The following would work well:

  • A few sets of 2-3 reps with 85-90%
  • Heavy partials (but not maximal)
  • 2-3 sets of functional or overcoming isometrics
  • Walkouts or holdouts with 105-110%

#7

CT, if pure hypertrophy was the goal and one only had access to free weights what kind of tricks or tips can you give?

Drop sets on bigger movements may be dangerous for some.

Would you go even higher on reps?

What about exercises selection for muscle groups i.e Hamstrings, Quads, Back, Chest…etc.

Sorry, if this is asking for too much but, I will be done with my mini cut soon and will be getting back to growing. However, I will only have access to free weights and want to make the best progress possible.


#8

Something I’ve experimented with is doing pause reps.

I go a bit lighter than the clusters/layers but do a pause and explode up 5-8 reps, after a some explosive ramps or iso holds.

Bench, front squat, snatch grip deadlift (automatically pause from floor)

Then maybe some db work (laterals)

Really good stuff, we’lll see if it works for hypertrophy