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  1. #1
    Registered User philip750's Avatar
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    Progression schemes for hypertrophy?

    For you guys who train only for hypertrophy, how do you program progression? Right now im doing RP style volume ramping, really liking it so far, but wanted to see what others do for inspiration.
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    I do a basic double progression.

    8 to 12 reps for some lifts, 10 to 15 reps for others. When my sets for an exercise hit the max reps in that range, I increase the weight and drop to the lower end of the range.

    Rinse and repeat.
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    Han shot first! TolerantLactose's Avatar
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    If you're lifting for hypertrophy, progression should be looked at more as an indicator than a driver.
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    Originally Posted by FatBallz View Post
    I do a basic double progression.

    8 to 12 reps for some lifts, 10 to 15 reps for others. When my sets for an exercise hit the max reps in that range, I increase the weight and drop to the lower end of the range.

    Rinse and repeat.
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    Originally Posted by philip750 View Post
    For you guys who train only for hypertrophy, how do you program progression? Right now im doing RP style volume ramping, really liking it so far, but wanted to see what others do for inspiration.
    What do you mean by RP volume ramping?
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    Originally Posted by TolerantLactose View Post
    If you're lifting for hypertrophy, progression should be looked at more as an indicator than a driver.
    This pretty much.

    I've played with double progression methods - and you can make rapid progress in terms of reps / set - but you tend to reach a peak which you can't pass. Then changing your routine or taking a small amount of time off makes you lose your edge. So even in hypertrophy training you still get neural training (SAID principle).

    At the moment, I'm doing more mixed but similar loads and rep ranges and although it doesn't produce these kinds of peaks, the underlying upward trend is still about the same insofar as I can detect it.

    If you have a good work ethic you can wing it - just come in and do as much as you think you need. Or you can count weekly volume (hard sets) done to a consistent RPE if you want to be more measured.
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    Originally Posted by BeginnerGainz View Post
    What do you mean by RP volume ramping?
    RP uses significant volume increases over the course of a Meso
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    Registered User philip750's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by SuffolkPunch View Post
    This pretty much.

    I've played with double progression methods - and you can make rapid progress in terms of reps / set - but you tend to reach a peak which you can't pass. Then changing your routine or taking a small amount of time off makes you lose your edge. So even in hypertrophy training you still get neural training (SAID principle).

    At the moment, I'm doing more mixed but similar loads and rep ranges and although it doesn't produce these kinds of peaks, the underlying upward trend is still about the same insofar as I can detect it.

    If you have a good work ethic you can wing it - just come in and do as much as you think you need. Or you can count weekly volume (hard sets) done to a consistent RPE if you want to be more measured.
    Right now i do count hard sets measured with rir, then from meso to meso i look for progression instead of forcing progression, so if progression occurs and im able to do do more weight, sets or reps each meso, then i know im getting enough total volume to drive hypertrophy.

    Seems like a lot of the you have to add weight to the bar comes from people with strength training mentality. But if i got this right, for hypertrophy you could basically keep the same weight and reps for a long time and still be producing a hypertrophy adaptation, as long you do enough total work at right Rir/Rpe. Of course over time when the weight falls out of the overload threshold because you got bigger annd stronger, you need to add weight/reps to get back into the right RPE again.
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  9. #9
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    Originally Posted by philip750 View Post
    Right now i do count hard sets measured with rir, then from meso to meso i look for progression instead of forcing progression, so if progression occurs and im able to do do more weight, sets or reps each meso, then i know im getting enough total volume to drive hypertrophy.

    Seems like a lot of the you have to add weight to the bar comes from people with strength training mentality. But if i got this right, for hypertrophy you could basically keep the same weight and reps for a long time and still be producing a hypertrophy adaptation, as long you do enough total work at right Rir/Rpe. Of course over time when the weight falls out of the overload threshold because you got bigger annd stronger, you need to add weight/reps to get back into the right RPE again.
    You should still expect to add weight - the alternative is for your reps to rise in order to achieve progression. You just won't be adding it as fast as the neural adaptations might have you believe is possible is the point I'm trying to make.

    One way I like of handling weight is to start with a weight that produces quite high rep sets (say 12-15). Use that weight in 2 workouts then next time increase it - keep doing that until you can only get sets of 5 or 6.
    Last edited by SuffolkPunch; 07-15-2021 at 01:01 AM.
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  10. #10
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    Originally Posted by SuffolkPunch View Post
    You should still expect to add weight - the alternative is for your reps to rise in order to achieve progression. You just won't be adding it as fast as the neural adaptations might have you believe is possible is the point I'm trying to make.

    One way I like of handling weight is to start with a weight that produces quite high rep sets (say 12-15). Use that weight in 2 workouts then next time increase it - keep doing that until you can only get sets of 5 or 6.
    How do you track progress like that? Deload and repeat, starting with a heavier weight and ending with a heavier weight + matched RPE?
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    Originally Posted by Xpiro View Post
    How do you track progress like that? Deload and repeat, starting with a heavier weight and ending with a heavier weight + matched RPE?
    I didn't really try but you could use rep/RPE tables to calculate a projected 1RM and use that as the progression metric.
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    So the idea in not tracking is basically just trusting that you’re adapting and proving it when you start over after a deload, I assume. Is there a name for that kind of progression?
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    I've just started again after a layoff and am going to try the rep goal system. For example, aim for 25 or 30 reps over three sets, if I succeed, up the weight next time. If I fail, keep the weight the same next time and aim to do more reps each workout until I reach the rep goal.
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    Originally Posted by BeginnerGainz View Post
    What do you mean by RP volume ramping?
    Increasing hard sets over the course of a meso going from MEV to close to MRV before deloading.

    And adding weight/reps within the cycle as well to stay within the proper RIR range.

    So week 1 maybe you do 10 sets of direct chest work at RIR 3 and then final week you’re doing 15 sets at an RIR of 0-1.
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    Registered User philip750's Avatar
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    Whats the biggest difference in hypertrophy training vs strength? Seems like hypertrophy is pretty forgiving adaptation, but strength training should have more thoughts into periodization etc.
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    Originally Posted by philip750 View Post
    Whats the biggest difference in hypertrophy training vs strength? Seems like hypertrophy is pretty forgiving adaptation, but strength training should have more thoughts into periodization etc.
    Pretty much anything works for hypertrophy, but strength adaptations are pretty specific.

    What works for powerlifting isn’t going to work for strongman, weightlifting, or CrossFit in regards to management of volume, frequency, peaking etc.

    Wanna train a muscle 1x a week? You’ll gain muscle, maybe not as quickly as higher frequencies but it’s a minimal difference if you do enough volume.

    Wanna get jacked doing 15-20 reps for everything? Go for it.

    But that’s not gonna work for development of technique on lifts specific to a strength sport that require a 1RM attempt.

    If you just want to develop general strength I’d say that’s closer to hypertrophy training where pretty much anything works to a point.
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    Originally Posted by Filmbuff81 View Post
    Pretty much anything works for hypertrophy, but strength adaptations are pretty specific.

    What works for powerlifting isn’t going to work for strongman, weightlifting, or CrossFit in regards to management of volume, frequency, peaking etc.

    Wanna train a muscle 1x a week? You’ll gain muscle, maybe not as quickly as higher frequencies but it’s a minimal difference if you do enough volume.

    Wanna get jacked doing 15-20 reps for everything? Go for it.

    But that’s not gonna work for development of technique on lifts specific to a strength sport that require a 1RM attempt.

    If you just want to develop general strength I’d say that’s closer to hypertrophy training where pretty much anything works to a point.
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    Registered User philip750's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone! Basically hit enough total volume with the right relative effort (3-0 rir) and your pretty much on the right way for hypertrophy?
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    Originally Posted by philip750 View Post
    Thanks everyone! Basically hit enough total volume with the right relative effort (3-0 rir) and your pretty much on the right way for hypertrophy?
    That’s literally the basis of it all yeah.

    Train the way you enjoy to train and stay consistent and just be patient.

    If you feel like you need a little added motivation, you can structure your training to include dedicated strength blocks to break up the monotony.

    You could also plan blocks of higher rep metabolite work that incorporates intensity techniques too.

    But every block will lead to hypertrophy so really just do what you want if that’s your main goal.

    And unless you have very specific strength goals just throwing in a few heavier sets will do what you need if you prefer to train concurrently.

    I.e. work up to a heavy set of 3-5 reps and then use back off sets to build volume up.

    So many options honestly.
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    You can grow big and strong with a mishmash of sets, reps, exercises….a variety of splits….


    Metabolic stress, time under tension, pushing the muscle to failure and beyond….all kinds of things to make training interesting and stimulating mentally and physically…or you can be rigid and plodding.

    To me, the size of a muscle is 99% related to its strength beyond beginner level neural adaptations and gained skill in a movement…

    Want big arm? When you can curl 135 for 8 strict, and do pushdowns with the same…they will be big.

    Think this way… anything from maybe 60-90% of your 1 rep max pushed hard, repeatedly…is useful.

    There are studies that suggest a sweet spot for volume, frequency and intensity….but what those studies don’t address is “instinctive” training where you do what you can do based on how you feel. Think of baseball….guys might hit ten homers in June, 0 in July, 20 in August! We all have biorhythms…won’t your training reflect that?

    I think it’s great to have some workouts that are “power days” with heavy doubles and triples…big basic compounds…but then moderate and even light higher rep sets on isolation work. NONE OF IT MAKES YOU SMALLER.

    Hit some sets at:
    12-15
    Some at 10-12
    Some at 8-10
    Some at 6-8
    Some at 4-6
    Some at 2-4

    You could have 10 rep days and five rep days….you could have happy medium 6-8 rep days.

    Hypertrophy is going to come from total time under tension, repair to damaged fibers, increased number of fibers….changes in capillaries and mitochondrial adaptation….changes to carbohydrate stores…blood flow,….food.

    To keep you sane….just do it, go by how you feel.
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