Hypertrophy-Specific Training

This entry is part 1 of 6 in the series Hypertrophy-Specific Training

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This is a workout that I designed after years of studying hypertrophy-specific research. I now use myself (added additional 10-20 pounds), and have used successfully to train competitive bodybuilders for some time. It is NOT designed for competitive track athletes, Powerlifters or Olympic lifters. It is designed according to research looking specifically at muscle hypertrophy, not muscle performance. This kind of training is fine to put on size during the off-season, but do not use this routine if you are a performance athlete during the competitive season.

This subject deserves a lot more attention than I am able to give it here. I will cover the topic more thoroughly in the future, including references. In the meantime, if you want to grow as fast as possible, this type of high-frequency, high-intensity, low-volume training is most effective. If you are interested in this topic you may find a previous three-part article interesting as well.

Sample Workout.

Each body part should be trained using the following exercises:

Body Part Exercise(s)
Legs Squat or Leg Press & Leg Curls (Leg Ext. optional)
Chest Bench (slight incline) & Dip (use dumbbells if shoulders bother you)
Back Chins (W&N grip) & Seated or Bent Over Row (W&N grip)
Shoulders Lateral Raise (Rear) and shoulder press
Biceps Any Aone@ curling movement per session (switch it frequently)
Triceps Triceps Push-down or Lying Tri Ext.
Torso Crunch (w/weight) or machine


Workout should be performed 3 times per week.

Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday are rest days. Light cardio (20-40 min.) may be performed on rest days. Incline treadmill (brisk walk) should be first choice.

There is an obligatory increase in weight (from 5-20 lbs.) each workout. This means that at times you may be working with less than your maximum weight for any given rep scheme. This is by design. You will reach max poundages for a given rep range on the last workout of each two week block.

Repetitions will decrease every 2 weeks in the following order: 15 for 2 weeks Þ 10 for 2 weeks Þ 5 for 2 weeks Þ 5s/negatives for two weeks. 15’s can be skipped when you are about to start over after the first 8 week cycle. If you are feeling strain-type injuries coming on don’t skip the 15s.

Sets will be limited to 1-2 per exercise. There is no problem with a single set per body part as long as it is a maximum effort and/or the rep tempo and form is strictly controlled or the weight is extremely heavy preventing further sets.

Complete each workout using designated poundages even if muscles are sore from previous workout. It is important to know the difference between an injury and ordinary muscle soreness.

Following each 6-8 week cycle, a one-week break should be taken during which no, or very little, training should be performed. This time is used to recuperate and allow any minor over-use injuries to heal. Try to get plenty of sleep as well as participate in leisure activities outside of the gym.

The whole workout can be split into a morning and afternoon session. It can likewise be doubled, performing the same workout morning and evening. Keeping volume (number of sets and exercises) low is critical if doubling the workout.

Sample Two-Week Block using 10 reps.



10 Rep Maxs’ for all exercises were established previously and are as follows:

Squat = 10×235 lbs

Leg Curl = 10×70 lbs

Bench = 10×185 lbs

Chins = 10xBW+10 lbs

Dips = 10xBW+20 lbs

Rows = 10×150 lbs

Delts (Rear) = 10×30 lbs

Shrugs = 10×185 lbs

Bis = 10×45 lbs

Tris = 10×50 lbs

Mon Tue Wed Thur Fri
Squat = 2x10x135lbsLeg Curl = 2x10x45 lbs

Bench = 2x10x165 lbs

Chins = 2x10xBW

Delts (Rear)=2x10x5 lbs

Shrugs = 2x10x135 lbs

Bis = 2x10x20 lbs

Tris = 2x10x25 lbs

Rest Squat = 2x10x155 lbs

Leg Curl = 2x10x50 lbs

Dips = 2x10xBW

Rows = 2x10x130 lbs

Delts (Rear)2x10x10 lbs

Shrugs = 2x10x145 lbs

Bis = 2x10x25 lbs

Tris = 2x10x30 lbs

Rest Squat = 2x10x175 lbs

Leg Curl = 2x10x55 lbs

Bench = 2x10x175 lbs

Chins = 2x10xBW+5 lbs

Delts (Rear)2x10x15 lbs

Shrugs = 2x10x155 lbs

Bis = 2x10x30 lbs

Tris = 2x10x35 lbs

Squat = 2x10x195 lbsLeg Curl = 2x10x60 lbs

Dips =2x10xBW+10 lbs

Rows = 2x10x140 lbs

Delts (Rear)2x10x20 lbs

Shrugs = 2x10x165 lbs

Bis = 2x10x35 lbs

Tris = 2x10x40 lbs

Rest Squat = 2x10x215 lbs

Leg Curl = 2x10x65 lbs

Bench = 2x10x185 lbs

Chins 2x10xBW+10 lbs

Delts (Rear)2x10x25 lbs

Shrugs = 2x10x175 lbs

Bis = 2x10x40 lbs

Tris = 2x10x 45 lbs

Rest Squat = 2x10x235 lbs

Leg Curl = 2x10x70 lbs

Dips =2x10xBW+20 lbs

Rows = 2x10x150 lbs

Delts (Rear)2x10x30 lbs

Shrugs = 2x10x185 lbs

Bis = 2x10x45 lbs

Tris = 2x10x50 lbs

Workouts should be done in similar fashion for each rep scheme using the appropriate poundages determined by your *RM.

Use the training log form included to keep track of your performance. Make multiple copies for future cycles.


Muscle Groups:




Exercise Set#/Weight Set#/Reps




















Adjustments: 10RM routine Adjustments: 6RM routine Adjustments: 3RM routine
Reps Sets 3&4 Reps Set 3&4 Reps Set 3&4




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About Bryan Haycock

Bryan Haycock+ is an exercise physiologist and NPC judge. Bryan has been bodybuilding for over 20 years and holds certifications with the NSCA, ACE, and is a member of the American College of Sports Medicine. Bryan is currently the Editor in Chief of ThinkMuscle.com and is the founder and CEO of LifeStyleMgmt.com. Bryan is a highly sought after authority on the physiology of muscle growth and fat loss. Bryan also specializes in the management of type-II diabetes through diet and exercise.

  • TimmyTimmy

    I was under the impression that it was always 30 reps per exercise but just changing up the number of sets, say 2 sets of 15, 3 sets of 10 and 6 sets of 5 reps. Does it stay 1 or 2 sets for each exercise, every 2 week rep cycle? (so 2×15, 2×10 and 2×5)

  • D.Ap

    I’ve read somewhere that one suggestion is to do 1×15, 2×10 and 3×5, but since we are in the company of the man who created HST, I hope he’ll be able to clarify. It sounds like a superb program to me, and I intend to run it when my present 8-week upper/lower split comes to an end in a couple of weeks.