The following article will provide a better idea of how hypertrophy training takes place along with what is hypertrophy training and what are some of the most essential things you need to follow if you are going to check out the hypertrophy training program.


Now you want to build muscles but you do not know how much to lift in a week or how often you need to train? Well, this is one of the major problems that most people who want to work out face. While some trainers do mention that all you need to work out for is three times a week while there are others who say you need to do it five times a week. If you are quite new to weight training and are looking for an aesthetic appeal then you might want to know that the training for size is a patience game. This is where hypertrophy training comes into the picture. Let’s take a detailed look into what is hypertrophy training and how it affects your body.

Definition of Hypertrophy Training

This is for all those who are thinking about what is hypertrophy training, hypertrophy training is a type of training that mostly focuses on the development of your muscles. Here you will be focusing on the size of the muscle fibers being increased along with developing larger muscles where your focus is while working out. The focus may be based on where you want your muscles to grow. Some of the common places of focus would be the thighs, calves, biceps, and back. Hypertrophy training also tends to focus more on a moderate amount of repetitions along with moderate weights being used for training.

Importance of Hypertrophy Training

Hypertrophy training when paired with strength training becomes two of the main focuses of resistance training. It also means that just focusing on one of the areas does not mean that you will find gains in the other area. There is a difference between strength vs hypertrophy training. It is hence important to provide equal focus on both of these areas. Rather than doing general training, it is important that you check out your workout design and bring about changes that will help you gain strength faster along with better muscle gains. As unfocused resistance training may lead to zero results being observed.

There are also certain benefits when it comes to hypertrophy trading such as follows:

1. You tend to start feeling stronger and you can start lifting heavier things than before

2. Regular working out tends to raise your heartbeat and will hence lead to better heart health and lowering of heart disease.

3. There won’t be the risk of being overweight and hence keep your body fat levels in check while keeping your body composition in check.

The Science of Hypertrophy Training

To understand more about hypertrophy training here is the science behind hypertrophy training and how it is going to help you in the long run.

 Types of Muscle Hypertrophy

Hypertrophy enables the growth of cells in your muscles which in turn will also grow your muscles. This sort of hypertrophy training program consists of two types such as follows:

1. Myofibrillar

For those who are looking into long-term muscle growth, a myofibrillar type of hypertrophy training program is the ideal one. This sort of training will focus on increasing the physical size of the muscular cells. While it does take time, it is important to keep your consistency while holding a lot of patience and dedicating your time to achieve the results.

2. Sarcoplasmic

This type of hypertrophy training program will be related to a sudden pump that is generated when fluid causes the muscles to swell and hence increase in volume. This type of training unlike myofibrillar is temporary and is used mostly for bodybuilders or weightlifting shows where they pump up before going on stage to be judged.

How Muscles Grow

There are two phases in which muscles start growing. The first one is the muscle adaptation phase which lasts for about 4 to 6 weeks. It is during this phase that your muscle gets adapted to the weight that you are lifting. Here you will need to use proper postures and movements to ensure there is no muscle injury. Also having to weight train about 3 to 4 times per week can be exhausting which is why you need to keep patience for results.

Right after the adaptation phase comes the hypertrophy phase which usually lasts for 2 to 6 months. This is the phase where your muscles will feel a lower amount of pain and start gaining volume. You will not only increase the number of sets you are doing but will also be increasing the amount of weight you are lifting. This phase will also tend to show some microscopic tears in your muscle fibers which happens due to the contraction experienced in various muscle groups. This tear in return will also act as an accelerating agent for muscle growth. Splitting out days on which you want to focus on a particular muscle group will help you achieve better results in about 8 to 16 weeks.

The Role of Hormones in Hypertrophy Training

It is true that a healthy hormone system helps us to keep in shape and will also make it easier for us to do our daily life activities. Especially for people who are trying to gain muscles while they do follow the diet, it is sometimes also due to hormonal imbalance that they do not get desired results. Hormones are considered to be a vital part of the metabolism conducted by your body.

When you are following a workout routine your body usually consists of various hormones which can either be anabolic such as insulin, growth hormones, and testosterone or they can be catabolic hormones such as cortisol, and glucagon which break down to provide energy. It is to be noted that in order to gain better muscle growth you need more anabolic hormones than catabolic hormones. This is because anabolic hormones tend to grow muscles through a process identified as anabolism where energy is used to construct small units of molecules. Whereas when catabolic hormones are more, they tend to break down all of your muscles. This leads to losing out on all of the muscle gains which you worked hard for.

Setting Up Your Hypertrophy Training Program

For achieving good muscle growth, it is important that you set up an effective hypertrophy training program that can show results within a few weeks. Especially for those who are beginners in lifting, hypertrophy training is quite difficult to adjust to. In the early stages of training the body tends to make various neural adaptations. However, as you keep on practicing you will find yourself being able to focus on muscle growth. You might also want to differentiate between hypertrophy and strength training. Here’s some way to set up your hypertrophy training.

 Determine Your Training Goals

When you set goals ensure you take a realistic approach. While getting fit or getting in shape is what most people tend to keep as a goal, it is important to quantify these goals rather than making such statements. Even when you say you want to build muscle, you need to state how much of this muscle would you like to build. With the help of a numerical component attached to it, it becomes easier to track your progress and reach your goal faster.

 Understanding Repetitions, Sets, and Loads

While there are multiple ways in which you can design your repetitions, sets, and loads, the most common way is to perform about 3 to 5 sets of two to six reps per exercise. For hypertrophy, you might want to keep it as three to four sets with about 6 to 12 reps. And if you are trying to gain better muscle with muscular endurance then you might want to amp this number by 2 to 3 sets with about 12 to 20 reps. In each of these methods, it will be important to use the heaviest resistance that will enable you to complete all of your sets and reps while maintaining good form.

Importance of Rest and Recovery

One of the most overlooked parts of the hypertrophy training program is the amount of rest that you need for proper muscle building. That is true for both your rest periods within your workouts and the rest that you take between two workouts. Even some of the best athletes tend to keep a rest day within their training program. In between workouts, you might not want to rest for more than 60 seconds. This will allow your muscle to gain some of the energy before you move on to your next set.

Key Principles of Hypertrophy Training

Based on whether you are looking at a hypertrophy vs strength training program you will need to follow some of the key principles that can be provided as follows:

A. Progressive Overload

Progressive overload means continually tending to increase the musculoskeletal system such that there is better muscle gain along with strength and endurance. In short, if you’d like to grow your muscles you might want to ensure that you are putting in enough effort and training your muscle accordingly. This also means increasing the resistance apart from which you can also lay the foundation first and then move on to harder exercises.

B. Time Under Tension

Volume tends to be one of the most important factors when you are training to increase the size of your muscles. In training, the volume will be the number of sets and reps that you are going to complete. Initially, you will start with an easier volume and as you keep on practicing you will find yourself engaging with a higher volume. To increase the intensity of the movements the volume plays a major role.

C. Muscle Confusion

Muscle confusion means frequent changing of exercises such that there is a shock in your body or muscles which tend to provide them a signal to start growing and to improve their strength. While muscle confusion is a great way to attain muscles you might want to ensure that you are at least practicing hypertrophy for about 2 to 5 times a week. Consistency will be another key factor in deciding whether this mechanism is working out or not.

D. Frequency and Volume

The major benefit when you tend to increase your training frequency is that you get to better distribute the training volume throughout the week. This high-frequency training will also allow you to do more effective volume and lower junk volume. If you can get the right balance between rest and the frequency with which you need to work out it will become easier to manage your muscle gains in hypertrophy strength training.

Essential Hypertrophy Training Exercises

When you are practicing hypertrophy strength training you might want to incorporate some of the essential hypertrophy training exercises which can be provided as follows:

A. Compound Exercises

Compound exercises in hypertrophy training tend to consist of multiple joints being involved during the execution of a particular movement. Some common examples of compound exercises are squats, deadlifts, and bent-over rows.

B. Isolation Exercises

The isolation exercises are those in which there is only a single joint being involved in performing a particular movement. This can include various exercises such as barbell bicep curls and dumbbell lateral raises.

C. Choosing the Right Exercises for Your Goals

There has been a long debate on which one to choose for better muscular hypertrophy. Is it better to go with isolation exercises or compound exercises or whether you need a combination of both of these exercises? While some people suggest isolation exercises are the best as they help you focus on a single muscle group at a time while others say it is better to focus on multiple groups at a time as it becomes time efficient. While there is still a lot of confusion, it is true that both isolation and compound exercises can provide equal muscle hypertrophy which is why it is up to you whether you’d like to choose isolation or compound exercises based on your comfort.


Overtraining is a definite no when it comes to using hypertrophy training. While you may think it is through raining yourself harder that you get to reach your goal. However, sometimes the overload becomes too high leading to a lot of injuries and the recovery needed will also not be available. You need to ensure there is a proper period dedicated to your training while also providing equivalent time for rest.

Poor Form and Technique

Hypertrophy training is only efficient if you tend to focus on the form and technique that you are applying. If you use poor form while lifting weights you might face some serious wear and tear in your muscles. While some of the exercises it is easier to maintain your form which may include those exercises with fixed movement patterns. Whereas there are other exercises such as lifting loads when maintaining form can be hard. The dumbbell lateral raise is also an example of where maintaining form can be hard. When a poor form is followed it may not provide the results you are looking for.

Neglecting Rest and Recovery

If you feel exhausted then you are probably overtraining yourself. Neglecting rest and recovery is the last thing you might want to do especially when you are trying to follow the hypertrophy training program. No adequate rest and recovery and break down all of the muscles that you’ve worked hard for.

Ignoring Nutrition

Nutrition is the base for your body's muscle building. The better nutrients you take in the better muscle growth you will find in the long run. If you do not eat proper nutrients you do not get the required energy and hence you cannot take up all the weights that you are planning to. This can lead you astray from your goals.

Nutrition for Hypertrophy Training

Eat big, get big is the rule if you want to follow the hypertrophy training program. You might also want to calculate the number of nutrients you are providing to your body so that you do not consume an excess of any of the nutrients which may also send outside effects to your body.

A. Macronutrient Requirements

When you are talking about nutrition, apart from essential micronutrients it will be important to focus on macronutrients as well. These macronutrients typically have a set range for muscle gain and can be provided as follows:

1. 40 percent of protein

2. 30 percent of fat

3. 30 percent of carbs

What most people miss out on is the consumption of fats and carbs. They mostly focus on only protein and forget that a required amount of fat and crabs will also be necessary for a balanced diet and for muscle gains.

B. Importance of Protein

Proteins actually act as fuel to your body's muscles. Fueling your weight training session and also ensuring that you have the energy even after your workout give your muscle space to recover and grow at the same time. This is why protein is stressed as an important ingredient in your nutrients.

C. Hydration and Electrolytes

Electrolytes tend to be an important part of your diet as well since they manage your homeostasis levels which can also be called your body’s balance levels. Apart from this, electrolytes also tend to help in various bodily functions such as neuron firing, heart pumping, and maintaining a good acid-base balance. Hydration also plays an equally important role. If you do not keep yourself hydrated enough you might see that your muscle gain is now being limited.

D. Supplements for Hypertrophy Training

There are three main supplements that you might want to invest in when you are practicing through the hypertrophy training program and these three supplements can be provided as follows:

1. Creatine

Creatine help improves power output apart from also increasing muscular strength and size.

2. Protein powder

In order to ensure there is long-term muscular growth and repair it is important to include protein powder in your diet. Protein powder is also easy to consume and can be also added to oatmeal or shakes.

3. Citrulline

Citrulline is a great supplement as it improves blood circulation levels with an increase in the body’s nitric oxide levels.

Staying Motivated and Overcoming Plateaus

After all, you need to stay motivated throughout the training period. While it may seem quite hard to reach that goal you’ve set, it becomes easier once you’ve gotten accustomed to the blocks that come your way. You might also need to stay consistent unless and until you are sure that now you can do it on your own.

A. Importance of Mental and Emotional Wellness

Your mental and emotional wellness will also affect the way you are working out. While you may put in all of your efforts it may go all down the drain if you fail to keep up your mental and emotional well-being. It is hence important to keep them at great levels. Taking time to time rest from workouts and going out with friends and family would be a great start to handling your mental and emotional health in a better way.

B. Staying Focused on Your Goals

No matter how many hardships come your way ensure that you are staying focused on your goals and you are not straying away from all those goals. You might also want to record your progress so that you can track all the ways your body has changed throughout the journey and how you can keep on trying as you go ahead.


While gaining muscle in just two or three weeks seems like an impossible task, you need to be open to hypertrophy training and keep on pushing through while also getting adequate rest. It is also important that you do not just focus on working out but also keep a check on what sort of nutrients you are consuming and whether you are at your top condition when you are going through this hypertrophy training program.


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