Hypertrophy

Harry Westgate

More than 500 posts
Not really answering any questions with this reply, but while I'm on this thread...

@aciampa I believe I read in another thread on the forum somewhere that you mentioned being able to do S&S with the 40kg any day, and something along the lines of being close to Sinister.

As someone who is 20 years old (and an S&S follower, thus being able to relate to that level of strength/fitness in that context) I just wanted to say that you being able to do that at nearly 46 is really impressive.

I don't mean any kind of disrespect to those older than myself in saying this, as I'm well aware that we have people of all ages on this forum doing all kinds of awesome stuff, but you're example really highlights to me that we don't stop playing because we get old, but rather we get old because we stop playing.

Keep it up.

:)
 
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Al Ciampa

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
Certified Instructor
Not really answering any questions with this reply, but while I'm on this thread...

@aciampa I believe I read in another thread on the forum somewhere that you mentioned being able to do S&S with the 40kg any day, and something along the lines of being close to Sinister.

As someone who is 20 years old (and an S&S follower, thus being able to relate to that level of strength/fitness in that context) I just wanted to say that you being able to do that at nearly 46 is really impressive.

I don't mean any kind of disrespect to those older than myself in saying this, as I'm well aware that we have people of all ages on this forum doing all kinds of awesome stuff, but you're example really highlights to me that we don't stop playing because we get old, but rather we get old because we stop playing.

Keep it up.

:)
@Harry Westgate thanks for the thoughts. There are many other strong and fit folks, older than me as well. The baby boomers are coming of age, and with it, we'll see a lot more "old & fit folks".

If I had to advise anything to a 20-something it would be: think in terms of years and decades, not minutes and hours; be patient. I know this is completely against the young person's context though.
 

Benedictine Monk

More than 300 posts
Well, all I can add to this is that having a constricted clothing budget means that unexpected muscle gain at my age is a financial headache.
 

Steve Freides

Forum Administrator
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
Well, all I can add to this is that having a constricted clothing budget means that unexpected muscle gain at my age is a financial headache.
Muscle gain requires several parts - the right exercise, the right food, the right amount of rest. If you cut calories, you may solve this "problem" which many people would like to have. :)

-S-
 

pet'

More than 5000 posts
Hello,

I was obliged to buy 3 shirts due to hypertrophy... Thanks Black Friday !

Curiosity question: is there a clear link between hypertrophy (or a kind of hypertrophy) and strength ? To be honest, I never tried an hypertrophy program so...

Kind regards,

Pet'
 

North Coast Miller

More than 2500 posts
Just stumbled across this thread.
At 49 I have learned, and been learning since my late 30s/early 40s that hypertrophy really needs to be pursued as a specific goal if one wants to see any gains. For me that means I'm only going to see small gains unless I follow a protocol intended to build larger muscles.

Even with exercise and a diet that has some surplus protein, one is unlikely to make notable hypertrophic gains without doing some isolation work.

I believe it has a lot of value, maybe not to the neglect of a strength or mobility minded strategy, but added lean mass is a good buffer against the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune - which seem to come more often as I age. I find I am able to recover more rapidly from small muscle pulls and joint aggravations if I have more muscle mass. It also helps with burning fat/excess calories, and the metabolic punch I get from high intensity workouts seems to last longer - is easier to keep my weight stable.

For me I go after this with more of an instinctual approach, but when buckling down I'll make every other workout an isolation/drop set/failure workout.

The good news is if one has good strength to begin with, it is fairly easy to change the workout targets and shoot for size, the hard part is dealing with the digestive stress of the added calories. I cycle this as well into two weeks at a whack of higher calories, one week off.

The other factor is it no longer feels like the "correct" way to exercise, but body-building methods are hands down the most effective way to gain some hypertrophy. One can adapt a few of the functional strength exercises common to KB work and do with drop sets etc, but it will not be as effective as isolation work. Strength work is effective at keeping size gains, so it is easy to cycle in and out depending on one's goals.
 

pet'

More than 5000 posts
Hello,

some surplus protein, one is unlikely to make notable hypertrophic gains without doing some isolation work
I ate more protein than required to maintain my muscle mass. I ate about 2,5g/kg of bodyweigth. However, I did not do isolation work, because I find it more difficult to plan and do not want to create / increase weak point.

If you do not do isolation work, you have very few change in your physique, at least at the beginning. But you will gain huge overall strength.

It months (for me it was about 18...) some changes finally appeared, simultaneously (shoulders, torso and legs).

I find I am able to recover more rapidly from small muscle pulls and joint aggravations if I have more muscle mass
I agree. Since I am heavier, first of all I am stronger (it was my goal) but I recover much faster too.

adapt a few of the functional strength exercises common to KB work
I never tried. Is not it easier to do isolation work with barbells / dumbells ?

Kind regards,

Pet'
 

North Coast Miller

More than 2500 posts
Hello,


I ate more protein than required to maintain my muscle mass. I ate about 2,5g/kg of bodyweigth. However, I did not do isolation work, because I find it more difficult to plan and do not want to create / increase weak point.

If you do not do isolation work, you have very few change in your physique, at least at the beginning. But you will gain huge overall strength.

It months (for me it was about 18...) some changes finally appeared, simultaneously (shoulders, torso and legs).


I agree. Since I am heavier, first of all I am stronger (it was my goal) but I recover much faster too.


I never tried. Is not it easier to do isolation work with barbells / dumbells ?

Kind regards,

Pet'
Based on my experience, if you up your protein and do a good program you will get some size gains for sure, especially if you have ever been larger than you currently are. To trigger the hypertrophic response it is generally best to adopt/adapt a bodybuilding protocol.

It is not easy to do drop sets and work to failure with KBs, but I occasionally do just that. If you have a number of KBs you can double two lighter ones to get the desired total weight and drop the smaller one as you approach failure. This is really only possible on more simple pressing and rowing exercises. The more compound the movement the harder it will be to manage this.

I've also used this with push press/jerk and work the eccentric portion as a failure/yielding isometric. In general its tough to adapt this to more than a handful of exercises, but works very well depending on your goals. For me currently this is fine.

Isolation movements have another added advantage in they are much easier to spot. Its tough to get big size gains training solo.

It is substantially easier to do isolation work with barbell and a set of dumbbells, not only easier to perform isolation exercises, but also to pyramid the weight and easier to have a spot to failure.

As long as you do a bit of other functional work you won't generate a weak spot, the trouble comes when one has only so much time to train. Folk who do isolation work as a primary will tend to lack the same functional strength as people who do compound/integrated work.

I personally only have so much time to train, so hypertrophy takes a back seat to strength and functionality. Again, anyone that's already developed good strength could easily cycle in and out of a hypertrophic routine and make solid gains fairly rapidly. It takes strength to build size, it doesn't take size to build strength, up to a point.
 

Harry Westgate

More than 500 posts
I skipped a few posts but after seeing the question posted by @pet' , what do people think about the notion that:

Size = strength,

BUT

Strength doesn't necessarily = size.

I.e. to get bigger, you must get stronger, but you can get stronger without having to get bigger.

What do we all think?
 

pet'

More than 5000 posts
Hello,

@Harry Westgate
From my experience, I got a lot stronger with hardly physical changes at the beginning. I gained more or less "suddenly" (shoulders, torso and legs / quads above all)

Kind regards,

Pet'
 

North Coast Miller

More than 2500 posts
I skipped a few posts but after seeing the question posted by @pet' , what do people think about the notion that:

Size = strength,

BUT

Strength doesn't necessarily = size.

I.e. to get bigger, you must get stronger, but you can get stronger without having to get bigger.

What do we all think?
That sums it up well in a general sense.

I recall when I got serious about my training the strength gains came slowly at first, then very rapidly. And then I hit a ceiling that required more mass to move more weight. I believe this is true for everybody, but you can get mighty strong before needing more mass.


The science behind hypertrophy is pretty well understood, at least in terms of results. I'd think in this case we're talking about hypertrophy as a secondary benefit.

As people age I'd think maintaining some extra muscle mass would be a good thing if not important. Coming off of an illness or recovering from surgery etc especially helpful. I've found, in my case, strength gains at the top end of a given body mass require near constant upkeep. A little extra bulk locks in those strength levels and makes it a lot easier for the body to come back from downtime.

YMMV

http://www.lookgreatnaked.com/articles/mechanisms_of_muscle_hypertrophy.pdf
 

Harry Westgate

More than 500 posts
@North Coast Miller you make an interesting point about the extra muscle mass being handy coming out of illness/surgery; although I'm only young myself, I have found on two occasions in the past year (one illness, one surgery) that when I was skinny but fit and strong, recovering from said setbacks was arduous enough, but I also ended up being ultra-skinny and weak by my standards (I can comfortably walk around healthy at 67kg-70kg at 5'8, but fell down to 59kg at my skinniest after a bad bug earlier this year), making recovery seem like an eternity.
 

offwidth

More than 5000 posts
I skipped a few posts but after seeing the question posted by @pet' , what do people think about the notion that:

Size = strength,

BUT

Strength doesn't necessarily = size.

I.e. to get bigger, you must get stronger, but you can get stronger without having to get bigger.

What do we all think?
It's a generalization, but overall I tend to agree. (Everything else being equal)
 

ali

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
Thought I'd post this link as it discusses a lot of cross over threads, the strength v muscle size, or both, and the implications for health.

Fitness Archives - Perfect Health Diet | Perfect Health Diet

......the phd comes up too....anyway, a snapshot of the conclusion of some studies discussed in the link:

"Everyone who works out should be aware: when it comes to muscles, bigger is not the same as better. The healthiest muscles are those in a wiry physique – modest size, but able to exert a lot of force."

Just thought it sounded very familiar!
 
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