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  1. #1
    Registered User JitsuLifting's Avatar
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    Few questions about hypertrophy programming.

    Is there any need to program load with percentages for compund lifts? Like in strength programs where you often have a percentage of 1RM to lift. Does just a rep range and a RIR/RPE goal be fine for hypertrophy?


    For hypertrophy, does it matter if you plan your progression reactively vs proactively (pre planned)

    I do lean towards a more reactively way for hypertrophy and let performance by weight and reps based on when i feel i can go for more. But i also like rp style programming where you have some pre planned progression to stay in the overload threshold.

    Also what i found doing RP volume ramp is that its hard to see performance gains during a mesocycle, you often have to deload to drop fatigue before you see an performance increase.

    Where something like dynamic double progression keeps more variables stable and you see more progression from week to week.

    Not sure what i like the most yet, does it really matter that much? As long you train above MEV and stay 3-0 rir from failure.
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    Hypertrophy training is about consistent effort over many years.

    So do whatever you have the most fun with and will stick to.

    I ebb and flow through a variety of methods but generally stick to auto-regulating my loads.

    I’ll use % as a guideline for where I generally want my loading to be, but if something feels absurdly hard or easy I’ll adjust accordingly.

    Edit: I’d say if you’re someone who has issues sandbagging your training, then having some pre-planned progression that forces you to push yourself can be good though.
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    Originally Posted by JitsuLifting View Post
    Is there any need to program load with percentages for compund lifts? Like in strength programs where you often have a percentage of 1RM to lift.
    You can build muscle effectively without ever even trying a 1RM on any of your lifts.

    Originally Posted by JitsuLifting View Post
    Not sure what i like the most yet, does it really matter that much?
    It only matters that whatever method you choose works for you personally in terms of progress.
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    It doesn't have to be formally planned using percentages and I too like the idea of reactive training such as using reps in reserve to decide how many reps to do each set. But whatever strategy you choose, I think it's a good idea to avoid the scenario where you hit your maximum effort and can't get past it after repeated attempts.

    example: Keep using weight X until I can get 3 x 8. Every set 1 rep in reserve.
    Session 1: 8,7,6
    Session 2: 8,8,7
    Session 3: 8,8,7
    Session 4: 8,8,7 etc.


    I think that it's better if the stimulus is changing regularly even if the true progress is not continuous.

    Example: Use a weight twice and move up. Reset when you get 5 reps or less in the first set
    100: 8,7,6
    100: 8,8,7
    105: 7,7,6
    105: 8,7,6
    110: 7,6,5
    110: 8,6,5
    etc.
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    Registered User JitsuLifting's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone.

    Do you guys run top set, then back off sets when programming for hypertrophy? Or mostly just same weight for all sets.
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    Easy method is to simply train with a holistic approach.

    Pick 2-3 movements for each body part and hammer away at them pushing sets to failure (or at least close) and occasionally even past failure (negatives, forced reps, drop sets)…sets should be challenging in your desired rep range which can be like 20-3 …whatever you enjoy. 3,4,5, 6 sets …doesn’t matter, hammer away.

    Rest 3-4 days and do it again.

    If you recover from a proper diet and rest, you’ll grow.

    Volume helps as does intense effort. My arms are exploding with new growth this summer because I’m putting in more work.
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    Originally Posted by JitsuLifting View Post
    Do you guys run top set, then back off sets when programming for hypertrophy? Or mostly just same weight for all sets.
    Top set with back offs is usually used with strength focused training.
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  8. #8
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    Originally Posted by JitsuLifting View Post
    Thanks everyone.

    Do you guys run top set, then back off sets when programming for hypertrophy? Or mostly just same weight for all sets.

    Absolutely use that approach at times..

    Here are a few examples that work for me.

    Let’s assume we are talking about big movements like squat and bench. Always good to be strong there right?

    Workout variations

    Mini power pyramid (3-8 reps adding wt/removing wt)

    Warm up 135x5
    Warmup 185x5
    Warmup 225x3
    Work sets
    285x6
    295x5
    305x3
    310x3
    265x8

    Regular pyramid
    185x20
    205x15
    225x12
    245x10
    265x8
    285x6
    305x4

    Same weight method 3-5 reps

    325x4,325x3, 325x3

    Same weight method higher reps like 5-8
    285x7,6,6,5

    Same weight method 6-12
    255x12,10,9,7

    Backoff method
    Warmups ramping to top set of 3
    365x3
    315x8,6, 6


    Full pyramid
    185x20
    225x15
    245x10
    265x8
    285x5
    305x3
    285x5
    265x7
    245x9
    225x10
    185x15

    I mean, none of it makes you smaller.
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  9. #9
    Masstrophysicist Camarija's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by TolerantLactose View Post
    Top set with back offs is usually used with strength focused training.
    ^ this

    If your goal is hypertrophy, I wouldn't waste my effort / time / recovery on top sets.
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  10. #10
    Registered User JitsuLifting's Avatar
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    So for pure hypertrophy goals keeping it at programming level is sufficent? and strength training might need more periodization and specifity?


    Do you really need an set progression method or scheme for your lifts for hypertrophy? Could i just set an rep range and and rir goal, then just adjust rep or load upward when adaptions are occuring?

    Like this:

    Bench: 3 x 8-10 at 2 rir


    Basically hit enough volume at high enough effort at 3-0 rir through the week, then let rep/load progression come to you organically instead of being forced.
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  11. #11
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    Originally Posted by JitsuLifting View Post
    So for pure hypertrophy goals keeping it at programming level is sufficent? and strength training might need more periodization and specifity?


    Do you really need an set progression method or scheme for your lifts for hypertrophy? Could i just set an rep range and and rir goal, then just adjust rep or load upward when adaptions are occuring?

    Like this:

    Bench: 3 x 8-10 at 2 rir


    Basically hit enough volume at high enough effort at 3-0 rir through the week, then let rep/load progression come to you organically instead of being forced.
    I would say yes to all of that, provided you are honest with yourself and good at gauging RIR.

    I've experienced the same things while programming in different ways. I did RP style training for a while and found that it was hard to hit PRs as I was leaving 2-3 RIR when I was strongest and going to failure when I was already fatigued from higher volumes. Ultimately I didn't have the time for the longer sessions that RP programming requires, so I've switched to a program with mostly static volume where I'm consistently going to 0-1 RIR and using dynamic double progression. I can't comment on any hypertrophy differences - progress is super slow at this stage regardless - but I'm certainly hitting a lot more PRs which is very motivating.
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