Fastest strength/hypertrophy program?

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Ny Wc

Level 2 Valued Member
In my opinion, frequent lower rep training is the fastest way to get stronger at an exercise. However, this kind of training isn't good for hypertrophy. I just started trying a new strength/ hypertrophy program and I'm having high frequency withdrawal.

What are the fastest strength programs that include serious hypertrophy. I'm looking at a 4 day a week program with a squat day, bench day, standing press day, and a dead-lift day. Then you add on assistance/hypertrophy at the end of each session. Any ideas for something else? Or is this basically as good a set up as I could hope for?

The goal being to get strong as fast as possible at the chosen lifts but also to get big.
 

banzaiengr

Level 7 Valued Member
The long used method was 6-8 reps for both rather than 5 and under. The other method was just heavy squats. Heavy squats has long been used to add size along with strength. And while on the subject of squats, another long used method has been high rep squats in the 20 rep range. Take the weight you can squat for ten reps and do 20. Sounds crazy? These are what is known as breathing squats, once you get to ten you come up and do deep breaths for two or three and gut out the next rep, and the next rep, and the next. Try for 15 reps and when you get there try to add one rep per workout. When you get 20, add weight. Having what used to be your 10 rep max on your shoulders for that long will cause hypertrophy. Many programs recommend this for three sessions per week but I have found that this is too much, go for two and see how that works for you while doing 6-8 reps on bench and standing press and 5 on the dead. Maybe a split like bench/squat two days and press/deadlift two days. Just my opinion.
 
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Ny Wc

Level 2 Valued Member
The long used method was 6-8 reps for both rather than 5 and under. The other method was just heavy squats. Heavy squats has long been used to add size along with strength. And while on the subject of squats, another long used method has been high rep squats in the 20 rep range. Take the weight you can squat for ten reps and do 20. Sounds crazy? These are what is known as breathing squats, once you get to ten you come up and do deep breaths for two or three and gut out the next rep, and the next rep, and the next. Try for 15 reps and when you get there try to add one rep per workout. When you get 20, add weight. Having what used to be your 10 rep max on your shoulders for that long will cause hypertrophy. Many programs recommend this for this sessions per week but I have found that this is two much, go for two and see how that works for you while doing 6-8 reps on bench and standing press and 5 on the dead. Maybe a split like bench/squat two days and press/deadlift two days. Just my opinion.

Yea, I'm doing 5 x 10 back squats as assistance on my squat day. I use zerchers as my main lift. I don't know if it's smart but I do think zerchers are bad a$$. I just started working out again at the end of last year so all I can manage with back-squats right now is 105#. I did 20 rep squats in the past. I got up to 275#. Thnx for the advice. Back squats are the king of size with strength.

Pet'- The waterbury method is a little too bodybuilder for
 

Ny Wc

Level 2 Valued Member
That sir, is bad a$$.
I wouldn't say it was bad a$$. It wasn't awful. On a different occasion, I was doing Texas Method. I squatted around 380# low-bar which isn't that heavy in my book. I tested my high-bar for reps after the workout and I got 14 or 15 reps with 275#. That was after the squat pr, a standing press pr, and a dead-lift pr, So imagine what you could do with a 450#-500# squat or heavier....
 

banzaiengr

Level 7 Valued Member
Oh yea, if deadlifting twice per week is too much, try doing bent over rows or pull-ups on the second DL day. I say this because the twice per week high rep squats can also be hard on the back. JMO
 

FatCop

Level 1 Valued Member
In my opinion, frequent lower rep training is the fastest way to get stronger at an exercise. However, this kind of training isn't good for hypertrophy. I just started trying a new strength/ hypertrophy program and I'm having high frequency withdrawal.

What are the fastest strength programs that include serious hypertrophy. I'm looking at a 4 day a week program with a squat day, bench day, standing press day, and a dead-lift day. Then you add on assistance/hypertrophy at the end of each session. Any ideas for something else? Or is this basically as good a set up as I could hope for?

The goal being to get strong as fast as possible at the chosen lifts but also to get big.
I would say volume (reps) and food consumption are the two main must-haves for hypertrophy. Have you considered using the mass program from Power to the People? Russian Bear? Personally I'd sub in squats instead of deadlifts (takes me a long time to recover from high volume DL), with a few pull-ups thrown in as a finisher. Eat like a horse and you're set.
 

MaxBell

Level 1 Valued Member
Hi @Ny Wc, I personally have been on a low rep hypertrophy program since August and have seen constant gains of a pound a week easily, more when I can manage to eat enough. I have found reps of 5 and even reps as low as 3 have been great for building muscle, while also gaining some strength. What I have found to be key is to keep rest time to around 2 minutes, any longer just allows for too much recovery between sets and to do at least 5 sets of an exercise. I tend to find 5x5 and 8x3 necessary, any less and it just doesnt trigger growth, so you are looking at the ball park of 25 reps per exercise, split into appropriate sets with 2 minute rest intervals. The advantage of 8x3 is you can handle a little more weight, the downside is it is more fatiguing and time consuming, and extra fatigue increases likelihood of injury, 5x5 is my main scheme while 8x3 is great for breaking plateau's before going back to 5x5 to continue with the original program.
I have also found that I need to do around 3 or 4 exercises per workout, any less and it isnt fatiguing enough to stimulate growth either. So to summarize I personally have found a workout consisting of 4 exercises, with roughly 25 total reps per exercise split into appropriate set schemes with 2 minute rests to be excellent for building dense muscle.
I have posted a training log called "5 Day Routine" if you feel like checking it out, it is my current hypertrophy/ general fitness program that I have seen great gains from, if you solely want hypertrophy you could drop the conditioning days from it. The downside that I have seen to using low rep training for muscle growth is you have to opt for longer workouts, with higher numbers of sets, and recovery is key. If you are not eating enough good food, drinking enough water and getting enough sleep, that higher weight. low rep training will wear you down quickly, in my own experience. You also have to aim to accumulate fatigue through the week rather than throughout the workout, so instead of looking at it as 3 separate workouts, it helps to look at it as each week is a little mini-cycle and rather than pacing yourself through the workout, pace yourself through the week. Do enough work to make your muscles tired, but do not get them so tired that they are open to injury or become painful. And the key is that your muscles get tired, if you are becoming tired mentally or physically then your program is too draining. You can learn to feel the subtle differences of how the muscles feel if you practice good posture and focus on the sensation in the muscle, fatigue is a subtle feeling and to use heavier weight/ low reps for muscle growth you have to learn to pay close attention to what your body is telling you and train appropriately, once you get a feel for what your body needs it is just a matter of sticking to the program while making temporary changes as time dictates
 
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taedoju

Level 3 Valued Member
Certified Instructor
you can do lower reps higher weight and lots of sets, but this would be harder to recover from than working in hypertrophy range (higher reps lower percentage of RM)
 

Ny Wc

Level 2 Valued Member
I know what I'm doing now personally. It can be a long work out though.

Work out starts with Dan John park bench style training for strength. Your not going for weight as much as practicing the lift so using a weight that's too heavy ruins it.( You should be using heavier weight as the days go by though. Work up to comfortable sets of doubles, triples, 4's, or 5's.. 3- 5 minute rests so this part MAY take a while. There should be reps in the bank usually or at least some times so no strict rep goals/ set) Working up in weight is important because it tells you how heavy to go, it warms you up, and sets the groove before the weight gets heavy. Total volume is around 15- 25 reps for me depending on how much weight I use , how much time I have, and how soon I have to finish to still feel strong..A lighter back off set after the heaviest set really leaves you feeling good)..

Then you can do body building however you want. I'm getting into straight bodybuilding style work outs with high reps/ set and I'm not afraid to go slow for the pump if it feels right. Weight doesn't matter when going for the pump so you gotta go light. Just don't destroy your muscles when your bodybuilding because you've got more training to do that week. I TRY to avoid failure even when body building.

My work out
Bench-day: Flat-Bench, Clean and press, Upper-body i like 5 x 10 flat bench and then pump stuff (Gotta have flys)
Squat day- Zercher-squat, dead-lift,, lower body Nice choice is 5 x 10 back-squats here then hanging leg raises for 2x 8s You can weight these with some dip belts like the iron mind one. Try not to fry the abs though.
Day Off
Clean and Press day- C & P, Flat Bench- Upper-Body I like 5 x 10 Push-press, and then pump stuff
Dead-lift Day: Dead-lift, zerhcer-squat, abs, lower-body I like 5x10 Snatch grip dl, and then some 10s of front squats, rfes squats, hip thrusts and full contact twists
Off
Off again if you need it. I don't lately.

Notice that the strength exercise you use first alternates, You'll most likely need to use lighter weight when an exercise is second (Obviously). also notice that you always get 2 days rest beween a lower body day and an upper body day.

I'm testing it out still. I figured it was good to mention on this site because of the park bench training, the strength practice, finishing stronger, ect.. However you get to body build too. So it's like Strong First with a beach boy body building twist. Final thought: Zerchers must start from the floor or it wouldn't be as bad a#@.

I'll reply to this post in a few months to post my results (for fun, and motivation)!
 
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JZB

Level 3 Valued Member
A disclaimer for anyone new(ish) to the barbell that might be reading this:

The most effective and fastest and easiest barbell program is one designed for newbies, and you are likely still a newbie. Put more weight on the bar each lifting session. Come back next session, put more weight on. Keep up with that until it doesn't work anymore. Power to the People (linear), Starting Strength and the like are your bread and butter until they don't work. As long as you can adapt to more weight, even just a little, every session you lift, then you have no use for figuring percentages of 1 rep max or powerlifting cycles or any of that nonsense.
 

Ny Wc

Level 2 Valued Member
@Ny Wc So you do zercher squats then deadlifts and then back squats for five sets of ten?
Yes...I'm actually going to just do back-squats after both zercher and deadlift days. I may throw in some Romanian dls too. I'm still testing and learning but the only limit so far has been my lower-back. If my lower-back is good then everything else is too. Practicing a lift isn't really working out. You can practice a couple of exercises (dead-lift & zercher squat) and then you can still workout (High rep squats) afterward if you have the time. You have to able to bank energy though. You just can't practice as frequently. This is the lesson I'm learning. So far, my strength gains have been very pleasing and my practice lifts are getting better really fast. There's definitely an art to choosing what weights to use and how many reps to do though.
 
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JeffC

Level 7 Valued Member
@Ny Wc I had greater success finishing squats or deadlifts with high rep unilateral and band exercises. Split squat variations, lunge variations, single leg deadlifts, step ups, etc.

If your back is the limiting factor you can overload the lower body without taxing the already fatigued spinal erectors and CNS.

Some old school Olympic weightlifting programs did not have back squats at all for those reasons and others. The Bulgarians dominated the sport for decades and they did not back squat unless they were injured and could not train the full lifts. They used step ups and split squats. More focused energy was put into the competition lifts and the accessory exercises built recovery strength.
 
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Ny Wc

Level 2 Valued Member
Update:

This program has been working amazing for me. I use to workout so I'm getting my strength back. Therefore, I can't say that this would definitely work for a new lifter .... But if you want to get your strength back after a long layoff, just practicing with the lift every 3 days with bodybuilding thrown in for hypertrophy is amazing. Warm up, hit a max for the day, and then back of for a few sets. Relative to where I started last November, I've hit a pr pretty much every session in every lift. I did switch from zercher to low bar squat a few workouts ago. The back squat is proven effective and the zercher is hard on my lower back. I'll definitely return to the zercher someday as the exersise is very cool.
 

MikeTheBear

Level 7 Valued Member
Wendler's 5/3/1 Boring But Big template. For a more advanced routine try the 5/3/1 Building the Monolith.
 

Deleted member 5559

Guest
I did a rolling split like you once with great hypertrophy and strength gains. I also had a power clean day which did great for my traps mass. The rolling split allows to do a lot of eccentric volume and not get fatigued.

Work up to 5 rep max then do 3 sets of 8 at 75% of your 5RM. Do the same for assistance after. After deadlifts, do weighted pull-ups or rows. After bench press, do weighted dips. After presses, do triceps extensions. After squats, do curls. After those assistance exercises do a few interval sprints on a rower, airdyne, or track.
 

Ny Wc

Level 2 Valued Member
I did a rolling split like you once with great hypertrophy and strength gains. I also had a power clean day which did great for my traps mass. The rolling split allows to do a lot of eccentric volume and not get fatigued.

Work up to 5 rep max then do 3 sets of 8 at 75% of your 5RM. Do the same for assistance after. After deadlifts, do weighted pull-ups or rows. After bench press, do weighted dips. After presses, do triceps extensions. After squats, do curls. After those assistance exercises do a few interval sprints on a rower, airdyne, or track.
This type of thing works great
 
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