Hypertrophy 101

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Published on 26 January 2015
by Jean-Denis Thomson

Muscular hypertrophy is defined by the increase in muscle volume, an objective sought by many.

Muscular hypertrophy occurs during the muscle rebuilding period (anabolism). It begins after training that produces muscle breakdown, or the release of different hormones (testosterone, growth hormones, IGF-1), or a combination of both. Here are the main guidelines for your hypertrophy training programs:

  • Training with few repetitions (1 to 6), long recovery periods (2 to 4 minutes) and heavy loads favours the natural release of testosterone.
  • Training with between 8 and 12 repetitions, medium recovery periods (45 to 75 seconds) and intermediate loads favours the release of growth hormones and IGF-1.
  • Training with a long eccentric phase (holding the load) (4 to 6 seconds), long recovery periods (2 to 4 minutes) and heavy loads favours muscle breakdown.

This training will be effective only with optimum inter-training recovery periods. Recovery, essential to muscle rebuilding, mainly comes from two sources: 

  • A balanced diet that emphasizes a protein intake of 1.8 to 2.4 per kilo of weight per day.
  • A long enough period of quality sleep.

So if you want to increase your muscle mass, use the right training methods and ensure you recover adequately.

Jean-Denis Thomson
Kinesiologist, Training Department Director