The Intelligent & Relentless Pursuit of Muscle™

The Anti-Bodybuilding Hypertrophy Program
Break the "Rules" and Gain Real Muscle!


Anti-Establishment Hypertrophy

I can't read most hypertrophy training articles because of health reasons — they make me sick. Never has there been a topic with more misinformation than muscle-building methods.

At least some strength-training articles seem to have a shred of scientific basis, but with bodybuilding articles, all common sense and science seems to go to the wayside. That's probably because more is understood about the nervous system than muscle soreness, or maybe it's because most of the writers who are only concerned about hypertrophy training are imbeciles who can't even build muscle on themselves. You be the judge.

After a recent seminar, a famous strength trainer told me I should market myself as the guy who could revolutionize bodybuilding. There's only one small problem with that — I don't like bodybuilding. Yep, you heard me right, never have liked it, probably never will. I see most competitive bodybuilders as overly tanned, overly shaved, waddling pieces of uneducated flesh and I have no interest in that market.

Yes, that's harsh, but recently something has slightly changed my views on bodybuilding: I started contributing to Testosterone and I realized there are some pretty damn cool and intelligent people out there who like bodybuilding. I'm not talking about "shaved gorillas posing in thongs" bodybuilding, but the good old hypertrophy-inducing strength-training from the days of the past. So, for all of you out there who love bodybuilding for what it used to be, I've written this article.

Old-time strongmen were the only people who truly revolutionized bodybuilding. Unfortunately, their methods have been largely forgotten. In exchange for infrequent, machine-laden, ineffective bodybuilding methods, many great principles have been lost.

Let me tell you a little secret — hypertrophy training and strength training don't have to be two separate entities. I've never designed a program that was based solely on "hypertrophy" training, but my clients have gained a ton of muscle over the years (if that was the goal). Let me repeat a statement from one of my previous articles: muscle growth is mainly controlled through caloric intake. Assuming all is normal with a trainee's physiology, even the best hypertrophy program won't build appreciable amounts of muscle if there are insufficient calories. Got it?

So allow me to uncover some real hypertrophy methods so you can apply them to your current program in exchange for more functional muscle. Bodybuilders beware: I'm about to barbecue a few of your sacred cows!


Five Hypertrophy Training Principles You Must Understand

1) Train More Often

First and foremost, you must drop the notion that a muscle group can only be trained once a week. Strongmen from the past didn't train that way and you shouldn't either. The more frequent the growth-stimulating sessions you can have, the better.

2) Forget about Time Under Tension

One of the things that really makes me nauseous is the assumption that hypertrophy-inducing sets must last from 40 to 70 seconds (or is it 20 to 90 seconds, or 43.5 to 68.7 seconds?) So that must mean the classic 5 x 5 method doesn't build any muscle since those sets don't last at least 40 seconds. Or maybe I'm just a dumb hillbilly and everyone who uses the 5 x 5 method is actually using a tempo where each rep takes eight seconds? (I don't think so!)

3) There's a Daily Limit to Muscle Stimulation

I can't believe I'm actually going to do this, but I must quote a bodybuilding catch-phrase from the 1980's: stimulate, don't annihilate! There's an absolute limit to the amount of hypertrophy-inducing stimuli you can apply on any given day. That's why those "one day cures" are a huge, stinkin' pile of B.S. I feel sorry for those who actually wasted an entire day attempting such a program.

4) Don't Train to Failure

You must keep the nervous system from becoming overly fatigued if you want to train frequently. Therefore, leave the grunting and screaming to the frat boys who have 13" guns and spend their entire day doing concentration curls and wasting Daddy's money.

5) Train Through Soreness

Initially, you'll probably have constant soreness on this program. That's okay! The soreness will subside once recovery increases and proper adaptation has taken place. Soreness is your body's way of saying, "I need more carbs and protein." So feed your muscles constantly!


The Anti-Bodybuilding Hypertrophy Program

After reading through these principles, you probably understand why I refer to this as an anti-establishment program. I think I broke every so-called "hypertrophy" rule in the book! But you know what? This program rapidly builds muscle and it's very similar to the principles the old-time strongmen used to follow.

Now, let's get to the program that's going to build some serious muscle and increase strength levels! (Keep in mind you can pick your own exercises. Those listed are just examples.)

Day 1

Chest 10, Back 10

Horizontal

Flat Barbell Bench, Barbell Rows, Seated Cable Row (both back movements using a pronated grip with the width the exact same as bench press)

3

80% of 1RM

60 seconds between supersets (i.e. train chest, rest 60 secs, train back, rest 60 secs, train chest, rest 60 seconds, etc)


Day 2: OFF


Day 3

Thighs 5, Abs 5, Calves 5.

Barbell Front Squat, Hanging Pike, Standing Calf Raise

10

60% of 1RM

60 seconds between giant sets (i.e. train thighs, rest 60 secs, train abs, rest 60 secs, train calves, rest 60 secs, train thighs, rest 60 secs, etc.)


Day 4: OFF


Day 5

Chest 5, Back 5

Vertical

Dips, Chin-ups

10

60% of 1RM

60 seconds between supersets


Day 6: OFF


Day 7

Thighs 10, Abs 10, Calves 10

Deadlift, Decline Sit-ups, Seated Calf Raise (Note that this uses different exercises from Day 3.)

3

80% of 1RM

60 seconds between giant sets


Day 8: OFF


Days 9 & 17*

Same as Day 1 except with 4 & 5 reps per set, respectively (in other words, you'll just do 4repsfor each body part on Day 9 and 5 reps for each body part on Day 17).


Days 11 & 19

Same as Day 3 except with 65% & 70% of 1RM, respectively


Days 13 & 21

Same as Day 5 except with 65% & 70%, respectively


Days 15 & 23

Same as Day 7 except with 4 & 5 reps per set, respectively


*The days that aren't listed are, of course, off days.


A Reluctant Addendum

I know what you're thinking:

No, I didn't. The best increases in upper arm hypertrophy are achieved through compound exercises such as dips, chin-ups, bench presses and rows. Therefore, no direct arm work is prescribed in this program.

It's a strange phenomenon. Every trainee who's been around the iron game for more than a year knows that big arms are built from compound exercises, but people are still convinced they need direct arm work! So I'll give you the choice. I don't recommend the direct upper-arm work option, but I know some people will add direct arm work anyway, so I might as well make sure they do it right.

If you feel cheated and betrayed by my original recommendations, follow the same parameters given in the plan, but cut the total sets in half. For example, on the 10 x 3 day at 80% of 1RM (i.e, Day 1), execute the following:


Preacher Curl, Decline Dumbbell Triceps Extension Superset

5

3

80% of 1RM

60 seconds

On the other upper body day with 60% of 1RM, execute the following:

Incline Hammer Curl, Tricep Pressdown Superset

2-3

10

60% of 1RM

60 seconds


Closing Remarks

Don't forget, you must feed your recovery. Think of it this way, if maximum hypertrophy is your goal, you can't eat enough during the two hours post-workout and before going to bed. Eat throughout the day too!

Follow the details of this program precisely and you'll be rewarded with head-turning muscle mass and a better understanding of "real" muscle-building methods.


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