3 Keys To Maximize Hypertrophy
Maximizing hypertrophy comes down to three main mechanisms when training: Mechanical tension, muscle damage, and metabolic stress. Focusing on each one through your training program will deliver the best results possible. Here’s how to do it👇
🔥Mechanical Tension: This can be optimized by training the movements through a full range of motion which increases the time under tension. This also gives the best stretch possible to the muscle which leads to more muscle damage. Exercises well-suited for mechanical tension-focused work could be hip thrusts, dumbbell/barbell curls, or cable chest flyes. However, mechanical tension is present in all exercises (not just the ones listed) so you should be focusing on getting stronger through a full range of motion in all movements to maximize hypertrophy. A good rep range could be 5-15.
🔥Muscle Damage: Exercises that put large loads on the muscle as well as forcing it to contract when stretched produce high amounts of muscle damage. Good examples could be squats, lunges, or the bench press. A good rep range for these could be 5-12 for muscle growth.
🔥Metabolic Stress: This is often referred to as “feeling the burn” which is a result of lactic acid build up in the muscle. This leads to a pump (cell swelling) which results in signalling for muscle repair and growth. Exercises that are well-suited for this are face pulls, glute-focused back extensions, frog pumps, and dumbbell bicep curls. Sets of 20-30 reps is a good range.
📍All three mechanisms work together in every exercise, but focusing on each one at different points in training could be a good idea for getting bigger muscles!