My Best Hypertrophy Protocol: A Burning Question
This subject seems to spark your interest, since the answer on our Facebook group as been significant.
The truth of the matter is that it is much easier to train for hypertrophy than it is for relative strength. One of the keys to hypertrophy I often remind my students is varying all the loading parameters every 4 -6 workouts, not just the exercises.
Of course, as a commonly accepted training paradigm says, the best protocol is the one you’re not doing, but the answer lies in what kind of hypertrophy you respond best to. Some of you will grow like weeds on functional hypertrophy protocols with frequent changes in set, reps and tempo patterns, while others will benefit most from the same strength-endurance workout that they’ve been doing since Bill had Monica learn a new way to moisten his cigars.
While it’s true that every workout regimen will work before you adapt to it, there are common threads in the stimuli that you best respond to.
The 4-5% Solution
For myself, one of the workout I respond best to is the 4-5% Solution, where your vary sets, reps and load every workout while getting stronger. You can read all about it here.
The 4+2 Solution
Another great workout that got me some of the best gains in my life is the 4 + 2 workout, where you perform 4 repetitions of an exercise with your 4 RM, and then perform 2 heavier loaded reps eccentrically with the help of a spotter for the concentric part. A good workout for the for the back would look like this
A – Medium Grip Chin-Up : 5 sets x 4/2 4:0:10 rest intervals: 180 seconds
For the chin-up, I recommend this simple trick: instead of using a weight vest or a weight belt, use a dumbbell between your crossed legs for the concentric portion of the set. Once you reach concentric failure, you partner switches the dumbbell for an heavier one, and do you two more reps eccentrically, as the spotter helps you through the concentric range.
Here is a video of this method in one of my bootcamps
The key point to remember is, no one reacts the same way to a given protocol. Only experimentation will help you figure that one out. Of course an experienced coach can save you a lot of trial and error.
Enjoy the gains,
Coach Charles R. Poliquin