What is Hypertrophy Training?
Written by Holden Rethwill 

Without going too deep into the science, muscular hypertrophy essentially refers to an increase in muscle mass, which typically in turn leads to an increase in muscle size and strength.

Hypertrophy Types

In order to train hypertrophy, first we must note that there are two types.

Myofibrillar Hypertrophy

(an increase in myofibrils)

Put simply, bundles of muscles (known as myocytes) connect to tendons, which connect to bones, and thus move your body. Each myocyte contains myofibrils which are what allow the muscle to contract. Therefore, myofibrillar hypertrophy refers to an increase in the myofibrils, which then allow the muscle to increase both strength and density.

Sarcoplasmic Hypertrophy

(an increase in muscle glycogen storage).

Put simply here, this refers to an increase in the volume of sarcoplasmic fluid in the muscle cell, with no actual increase in muscular strength. In other words “the pump” or “pump city”.

hypertrophy Training

Ok, so how do we train it? Basically you want your rep ranges hovering in the 8-10 or maybe 12-15 range. That’s right where we want to be for hypertrophy training. Somewhere in that 8-15 range under loading is the sweet spot, with the occasional extension to 20-25 to even 50 reps when using a band (that’s where “the pump” sets in – see how this is linking together?). In regards to sets, we’re typically going to hover in that 3-4 set range.

Example Workout

Take, for instance, this example from our in-house strength class.

Three Sets of:
8-10 bent-over reverse flys
Rest 30 seconds
15 Banded Horizontal Rows
Rest 30 seconds
8-10 Step-Ups each leg
Rest 30 seconds

All within that 8-15 rep range, and all done at a loading intent on creating good movement patterns while still challenging the muscle to grow. NOTE: rest intervals were shorter. This is done to increase growth hormone response – just another added benefit to hypertrophy training. Ideally your rest intervals are somewhere between 30-60 seconds, maybe out to 90 if a longer set is performed (think 15 rep back squat or something like that).

Then the finisher…

Five Rounds of:
30 Band Pull-Aparts
30 Hammer Curls
30 Jumping Air Squats

Was the five rounds a little excessive for some? Maybe… BUT THE PUMP WAS REAL!!!! Sarcoplasmic hypertrophy at it’s finest there. While you may not increase your 1RM by doing that, you definitely increase blood flow to the muscles which in turn will have aesthetically pleasing results!

Benefits of Hypertrophy Training

Ok that makes sense, we can’t lift heavy barbells right now so we might as well up the reps, decrease the rest, and *boom mind blown* I can still get strong!!!…What are some of the other benefits?

  • I wanna get BIG, BRO – Increase your muscle mass.
  • It’s time to EAT, YO – Muscle tissue requires energy. Therefore, the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn throughout the day. #SCIENCE
  • No WEAKNESSES, BRO – helps to improve muscle symmetry throughout the body.
  • More muscles = less no muscles. Increasing muscle size leads to increasing muscle strength. If you never give the muscles a chance to grow, you’re missing a huge step in the ladder to strength world domination.
  • Heavy lifting hurts my knees (no but for real, it does) – Hypertrophy works to build tendon strength and muscle tissue density. It is PHENOMENAL as a precursor to a more intense, heavy lifting phase.
  • BEACH SEASON. We’re in San Diego, and it’s here year round! Hypertrophy is great for overall aesthetics for people with ALL goals and interests in mind. Wanna get big? Add some Hypertrophy. Wanna get lean? Add some Hypertrophy. Wanna work off all those sweets from the holidays and get back to walking around the house naked – don’t lie, we all do it. Hypertrophy.

DISCLAIMER…NO, HYPERTROPHY TRAINING WILL NOT MAKE YOU BULKY. I didn’t say that anywhere in the article, so don’t come at me with that. Hypertrophy training both increases muscle size while helping people lose body fat. That combination does not make you bulky. It makes you a lean mean kickass machine.

Invictus Upper Body Accessory Program

Do you love lower body, but shy away from pressing intensive workouts? Are strict pull-ups and handstand push-ups movements you hate to see? Let this upper body accessory program turn you into a pressing and pulling champion!

What You Get with the Program: Let’s face it here, just about everyone wants a stronger or more defined upper body. Not only is it great for aesthetics, but it’s great for performance as well.

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Andrej Pravda
Andrej Pravda
January 18, 2021 11:11 am

Hi guys, I’ve been following Comp blog since 2017. Have you ever think about create Hypertrophy program ? 🙂 I would love that ! 🙂

Last edited 3 years ago by Andrej Pravda
Andrej Pravda
Andrej Pravda
January 19, 2021 12:48 pm

Thanks for your reply Holden ! Definitely, I will 😉

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