Muscle Hypertrophy is the growth of, increase size of a muscle (cell). Typically muscle hypertrophy is the goal of a bodybuilder or any individual training for aesthetics.
When designing a program with hypertrophy being the goal it is crucial one targets the muscle(s) they are wanting to increase the size of. Often times, individuals will incorporate secondary muscles more than the primary muscle and at times one may need to decrease weight and/or pre-fatigue the desired muscle in order to assure it is working at its full capacity. Unlike performance training or functional training, the goal with hypertrophy “bodybuilding” training is to isolate the muscle and to limit the assistance of other muscle groups.
The common thought when trying to achieve muscle hypertrophy is increasing the amount of volume placed on the muscle. In order to this, one may manipulate rep range, rest time, time under tension and/or resistance. What I have found is everyone is different and the most important factor is to place a stress on the muscle it not use to. The following are guidelines when developing a program for muscle hypertrophy.
- Rest period 45 sec-90 sec
- Rest between days-48-72 hours. Typically 72 for larger muscle groups such as legs and back
- Number of sets-for large muscle groups 12-16 and smaller ones 9-12.
- Weight-choose a weight that allows one to get the full range of motion for 6-12 reps. Typically this is 75-90% of one’s 1 REP MAX.
- One should incorporate core strengthening and flexibility along with movement prep in order to work the muscle in full range.
- Form is key. Proper execution of the desired exercise is critical to stimulating the muscle at is full capacity. That being said, incorporating “drop sets, cheat reps, partial reps and other modalities to push beyond failure” are necessary at times.
- Body part splits are typically done as opposed to full body workouts and/or push/pull splits. The body part splits allow adequate time for the muscles to recover.
- 4-6 days a week is ideal for lifting and sessions should last 45 minutes to 1 hour. They will last longer if cardio is done post workout and/or more abs, calves or stretching.