Strength and muscle building can help and support the other. You can hardly build strength without muscle, just as you can’t build muscle without strength. But still there are differences.
When we talk about hypertrophy, it is important to remember that everybody is different. Two people can be on the exact same program and experience different results. However the underlying principles of hypertrophy, like strength training, are universal.
Some athletes get jacked using bodyweight movements, or just by looking at the weights, whilst others have to work twice as hard to put on the same amount of muscle. This is an important reminder.
You can choose to follow the practices of the biggest guy or fittest female in the gym, but the methods that work for them might not work at all for you. Once you understand the principles then you can adapt and apply the right methods in order to find the best way for you.
What is hypertrophy?
Hypertrophy is simply the increase in size of an organ or tissue through the enlargement of the cells that comprise it.
A hypertrophy program is designed not to increase strength or improve athletic performance (although there is an overlap, of course), but to primarily cause muscular growth by increasing the size of your muscle fibres.
Remember, this plan is not designed to improve strength or power. This program is strictly for the purpose of gaining serious muscle size.
Use this plan for 6 – 8 Weeks, than change in order to stop the muscles getting too used to a certain workload.
This one is a killer. You do not use heavy weights, but you won´t need them.
How to Build Muscle: 6 Day Split
Cycle: 6 Day Split
- 2 days workout
- 1 day off
- 2 days workout
- 1 day off, restart
Decline Smith Presses: 2 x 12 .
Flat Hammer Presses: 4 x 25
Incline Dumbbell Flyes: 3 x until failure
Seated Dumbbell Presses: 1 x 25
Reverse EZ Bar Presses: 1 x until failure
Seated Dumbbell Side Laterals: 1 x until failure
Backsquats: 4 x 25 .
Horizontal Leg Presses: 1 x 40
Leg Extensions: 1 x 40
Leg Curl Machine: 3 x until failure
Pull-ups: 2 x 12
Deadlifts: 2 x 10
Dumbbell Rows: 2 x 10
Lat Pull down: 2 x 10
Rear Delt Machine: 2 x 25
Barbell Shrugs: 2 x 12
Dumbbell Shrugs: 2 x 12
Upright Rows: 2 x 12
Standing Dumbbell Curls: 2 x10
Dumbbell Drag Curls: 1 x 20
Incline Hammer Curls: 1 x 15
Close-Grip Benches: 1 x 25
Tricep Press Downs: 1 x 25
Double Arm Kickbacks: 1 x 25
Dips: 1 x until failure
Seated Calf Raises: 3 x 15
Donkey Calf Raises: 3 x 15
How to Build Muscle: Principles of Muscular Hypertrophy
Progressive Tension Overload
This means that muscle fibres must be subjected to increasing levels of tension – Think progressively increasing the weights that you are lifting over time.
How to Build Muscle: Damage
When you train you tear and stress your muscle fibres, these are called microtears. When you rest, recover and replenish your body properly, your muscles will grow back stronger and more able to cope with the stresses that they are being put under. This results in larger muscles. This includes good quality sleep and nutrition, without both of these your efforts will be in vain.
This means working your muscles to failure. Repeated actions that lead to muscle fibres being worked to their metabolic limit will instigate hypertrophy.
Here is a good tutorial to explain principles of hypertrophy applied to the chest.
And from the same series, a guide for your back.