Today’s blog will explore Resistance Training Systems For Hypertrophy and how to plan the best training variables to build muscle mass.
This is ideal if you are working towards your Level 3 Personal Trainer Qualification, where you learn about 17 resistance training systems and lots of training variables… but how do you choose the best variables to get hypertrophy with a client.
Watch the 10-minute video to reveal the best Resistance Training Systems For Hypertrophy, then test your knowledge with three mock questions.
Watch: Resistance Training Systems For Hypertrophy
What is a Resistance Training System?
A training system is a group of specific training variables that achieve a specific outcome. You can have Cardiovascular training systems that are used in cardio exercises, and Resistance training variables which are used in resistance training. This includes body weight, free weight, resistance machines and functional training.
There are hundreds of Resistance training systems, and 17 of these are explored in the Level 3 Personal Trainer syllabus, including Multiple Sets, Supersets, Circuits, Pyramids, Forced Reps and Negatives to name a few.
What is Hypertrophy?
Hypertrophy is the micro-increase in muscle fibre size, which makes the muscle bigger in size over time. Every time a muscle is challenged to overload it will create micro-tears in the actin and myosin myofilaments.
When the muscle fibre recovers it adapts to the initial stimulus, this ensures that the next time it experiences the same demand, it will be better prepared and cause less damage.
If the muscle is exposed to endurance based variables, the muscle fibre will adapt to “go-for-longer” and need less recovery.
When the muscle fibre is exposed to strength-based variables, the muscle fibre will adapt to get stronger and more resilient to load.
Therefore, if the muscle fibre is exposed to hypertrophy based variables, the muscle fibre will adapt to get bigger and more tolerant to volume.
Therefore, in order to build muscle and gain hypertrophy the muscles need to be exposed to specific hypertrophy based variables, irrelevant of the training system.
What training variables are required for Hypertrophy?
The key to hypertrophy training is VOLUME at a moderate intensity. This is achieved with some key considerations:
- Staying in an 8-12 Rep Range is ideal for hypertrophy as it indicates a moderate intensity that is lighter than strength training but heavier than endurance training.
- Overload is really important to be achieved on a regular basis. Rather than having “reps in reserve” make sure the client gets to the point of overload on each set. It should be light enough that the client can achieve at least 8 reps, but heavy enough that they couldn’t do 13 reps.
- Frequency should be at least 3 times per week and target the same muscle multiple times within one week.
- The number of sets can be progressed over time, the more sets the more volume, and this is key for hypertrophy training. Start your client at 2-3 sets of each exercise.
- Recovery between each set is crucial, ensuring that the muscle fibre is recovered enough, so a maximal weight can be used on the next set. The rest should be between 1 and 2 minutes, with more time being allocated to heavier loads (and fewer reps).
- 12 rep max should have 60 seconds rest (1 minute)
- 10 rep max should have 90 seconds rest
- 8 rep max should have 120 seconds rest (2 minutes)
- Recovery between exercise sessions is important so the anatomical and physiological adaptation has time to occur.
- Nutrition is important, ensuring the client has a healthy balanced approach to eating, with adequate amounts of all three macronutrients, and plenty of micronutrients. The client will also need to be in a surplus of calories to initiate hypertrophy.
- Good Range of Movement (ROM) should be promoted in all joints, this will help reduce injury and promote a good balance of all muscles in the body. This can be achieved through regular stretching as part of a whole-body approach.
Choosing Beginner Resistance Training Systems For Hypertrophy
The Resistance Training systems chosen in your client’s periodised plan should consider all of the training variables above. Some good examples of beginner or intermediate systems include:
Multiple Sets = This is the most commonly used training system for hypertrophy, whereby multiple sets of the same exercise are performed with a rest in between; for example, 3 x 12 reps whereby good volume and ideal rep ranges are achieved to overload.
Pyramid Sets = Pyramids have a variety of repetitions as you work through each set, therefore choosing a rep range between 8 and 12 reps will be perfect for hypertrophy goals.
Find out more about Pyramids here
Circuit training = This can be a great way of increasing volume in one session, as the rest is usually shortened. Plenty of recovery for one muscle can be achieved by changing the order of exercises, alternating between upper body and lower body, or alternating between push and pull exercises.
One type of circuit is a PHA circuit, read more about this here
Choosing Advanced Resistance Training Systems For Hypertrophy
More advanced clients will tolerate higher levels of overload in each session and require more volume. Advanced training systems like:
Drop sets = are a great way of increasing overall volume, as each drop set has 4 points of overload on one muscle.
Pre/Post Exhaust systems = These are a good way of achieving overload on a prime mover twice in each set, by combining isolation and compound exercises on one muscle, without rest.
Find out more about Pre and Post exhaust training systems for hypertrophy here
Forced Repetitions = will be very effective at challenging the load lifted to achieve maximum overload. This is where the trainer assists the client in two additional reps past overload.
Tri sets and Giant sets = These involve multiple points of overload power muscle in each set. This is great for increasing the amount of volume in each session. This is also great for endurance goals as it removes the recovery in between exercises.
Find out more about Tri sets here
Find out more about Giant sets here
There’s not just one Resistance Training System For Hypertrophy
As you can see there are many training systems that are appropriate for hypertrophy, the key is to use the right training variables within the training systems.
There are over 17 resistance training systems that are taught in the Level 3 PT syllabus which can be overwhelming to distinguish which system to use and when. to plan them. Our FIT-Progressions online programme breaks down each of these in detail with clear protocol to follow for each one.
Plus you learn how to periodise your planning of these systems to allow for logical progressive overload so your client can get their goal every time.
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There’s no more self-doubt. There’s no more guessing what to plan or how to get client results. FIT-Progressions has 8 modules and 18 video tutorials that guide you through every stage of your Level 3 Personal Trainer case study, and how to work with clients effectively.
This is for you if you’re…
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Test your knowledge with today’s planning mock questions:
[NOTE: The answers are below the 3rd question]
Q1: What is the ideal rep-range for Hypertrophy goals?
A. 1-7 reps
B. 8-12 reps
C. 13-20 reps
D. 1-5 reps
Q2: What causes hypertrophy?
A. Microtears to the actin and myosin which adapt in recovery to be stronger and more powerful
B. Microtears to the tendon which creates long term injury
C. Microtears to the tendon which adapt in recovery to be bigger and more resilient to volume
D. Microtears to the actin and myosin which adapt in recovery to be bigger in size and more resilient to volume and fatigue
Q3: What rest time is recommended as optimal for a multiple set of 3 sets at 10 reps?
A. 90 secs
B. 1 minute
C. 60 secs
D. 2 minutes
Answers to the mock questions are :
Question 1= B, Question 2 = D, Question 3 = A
If you want more mock questions like this, then you can download more Free Mock Questions: DOWNLOAD NOW
Dedicated to More
Hayley “Resistance Training Systems For Hypertrophy” Bergman
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