This subject seems to spark your interest, since the answer on our Facebook group  has been significant.  Fortunately, 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 weeks, not just the exercises.

Of course, as I always say, the best protocol is the one you’re not doing, but the answer lies in what kind of hypertrophy you respond best to.  Some 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 learned a new way to smoke his cigars.

This can be seen most plainly in professional bodybuilders interviews where they talk about their workouts.  Provided they say what they’re really doing and not some bullshit workout the publishers want to pimp out, you can find a wide variety of workouts, each being praised for making some of top physiques on the Olympia line-up.  While it’s true that every workout will work before you adapt to it, there is a trend in the type of stimuli you respond best to.

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 on T-Nation (5% Solution)

Another great workout that got my 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 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.  Then you can drop it when reaching concentric failure and immediately perform the 2 eccentrics reps with the help of your spotter.

The key point to remember that different type of people respond best to different type of protocols. Find out what yours is and design your protocol within that paradigm.

Enjoy the gains,

Sensei

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