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Examining Some Popular Hypertrophy Programs

In this article, I want to look at three of the more popular hypertrophy programs that are out there on the internet. The first is Doggcrapp (or DC) training which is the brainchild of Dante Trudeau (he also runs Trueprotein.com). The second is Bryan Haycock’s Hypertrophy Specific Training or HST.  Finally, of course, I have my own approach to muscle mass gains which I’ll talk about a bit too.

Each program share several fundamental similarities, as all programs that work should.    All are based around the idea of progressive muscular tension overload, for example.  But each also has its own distinct approach to generating hypertrophy.  This reflects the realities of training.  All programs have to find some balance between frequency of training, intensity and volume.

So if you want to use a higher volume of training, either frequency or intensity have to be decreased.  If you want to use a higher frequency, either intensity or volume have to be decreased. … Keep Reading

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There Are No Training Secrets

What stimulated this article was an experience I had last week. As described in the About Me page I’m currently living in SLC Utah training full time at the speed skating oval trying to make National or Olympic qualifying trials (making the team, of course, is the ultimate dream).

The Big Kid Wants Training Secrets

Anyhow, last week I made friends with one of the other skaters (most of the skaters at the oval are, shall we say, unfriendly. Coming from me that’s saying a lot. I personally think they carry the same elitist prick gene that road cyclists carry but I digress). He’s young and big, I shall call him The Big Kid (TBK).

So TBK and I are at dinner talking skating. He tells me that he moved down here to try and make the national team. Ok, I’m down. Except that when I see him at the rink, he’s usually spending more time hitting on the chicks instead of training.… Keep Reading

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The Importance of Rest

One factor that is often forgotten by hard training athletes is the importance of rest.  Rest for the body, the mind, and most importantly the joints.  If you go into your gym and look, you’ll probably see lots of people training with knee braces, wrist wraps, elbow braces, etc. who refuse to take time off.  Alternately you may see folks who are just there going through the motions.  If you think about it, you might be one of those people.

The Importance of Rest Days

I want you to ask yourself how many days off you take each week. And when I say off I mean off. Not “I do an hour of aerobics but that doesn’t count.” I mean off. One, maybe two. Probably not that many. How many people (the ones wearing the various braces) are in there every day, sometimes more than once? Either they are doing weights multiple times per week and cardio on the off days or they are doing both each day.… Keep Reading

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Periodization for Bodybuilders: Part 3

Now that you’ve read Periodization for Bodybuilders: Part 2 and understand the different training zones, I want to start to apply all of this information with explanations of how to set up workouts and training programs.

Training Zone Recap

I finished the second part by giving some volume recommendations for both training and maintaining loads for the different components (4 of them) of training: pure strength, intensive bodybuilding, extensive bodybuilding and really extensive bodybuilding. Without recapping that entire article, I’ll simply summarize the loading parameters for each below.

Summary of Loading Parameters for Different Training Types

Notes: Tempo reads X/Y/Z where X is the lowering speed, Y is the pause, Z is the lifting speed. Some coaches add fourth value for the pause at the top. Rest intervals are in minutes, set length is in seconds. The really extensive zone should be timed for 1 to 2 minutes (up to maybe 3 if you’re a masochist) without focusing so much on reps.… Keep Reading

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Periodization for Bodybuilders: Part 2

In Periodization for Bodybuilders: Part 1, I discussed some basic periodization concepts and mentioned some of the major writers on the topic. Yet, somehow I managed to miss one of the primary proponents of having bodybuilders perform different types of training to maximize appearance: Fred Hatfield.

With his concept of Holistic Training, Dr. Squat may have been one of the first to formalize the idea of training different ‘components’ of a muscle to maximize/optimize growth and appearance. So let’s look at that briefly.

Fred Hatfield’s Holistic Training

In his original holistic training schema, Dr. Hatfield proposed using three different intensity/rep ranges to optimally stimulate a muscle. This included sets of 4-6 done explosively, sets of 12-15 done rhythmically and sets of 40 done fairly slowly. Different types of workouts were done in a fairly complicated cycling pattern (Hatfield called this ABC training) and, frankly, keeping everything straight was a huge pain in the ass.… Keep Reading