ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Muscle and Fitness Hypertrophy Training

Updated on February 24, 2011

Hypertrophy is generally a term associated with bodybuilding or weightlifting. A misconception some people have about bodybuilders is that their main goal is strength. This is not entirely true. While bodybuilders do get stronger, their main focus is increasing muscle size.  Hypertrophy is essentially the increased size of muscle cells. The end result is the the individual will get significantly bigger muscles than if he or she trained purely for strength. When it comes to muscle and fitness, there is no one way of doing something. Everything depends on what your goals are. If your someone who has a hard time gaining weight then hypertrophy is what you probably want. Your muscle size increases more when training for maximum hypertrophy(or muscle size) then pure strength training. So how does one attain a hypertrophy state?

Hypertrophy reps

For maximum muscle recruitment, hypertrophy is needed. When weightliting, your focus should be to perform reps between 8-12. This is generally the best range for max hypertrophy. This will lead to more muscle size and some strength. Muscle size is the priority, while strength and local endurance are second. Find a weight that you can do at least 12-14 times, but DO NOT do more than 12 reps your first set even if you can do it 13 or 14 times. Why? You will need your strength and stamina for the next sets. Do not burn out to much energy on your first set.

An example:

Bench Press 12x10x8 or 12x10xx6

Your third set should never be less than six. Six is the medium between strength and hypertrophy. As long as your first and second set are between 8 and 12, then that will be fine.

Arnold Schwarzenegger displaying his physique

An example of Hypertrophy training
An example of Hypertrophy training | Source

Hypertrophy sets

When performing reps between 8-12, rest should not be very long in between sets. To gain maximum hypertrophy, you'll need to rest a short period of time. This promotes more hypertrophy, which will lead to increased size and muscularity. Rest between sets should be about 1-2 minutes. There's some argumentation on what constitutes perfect number, but it will really depend on your body. However, do not rest longer than 2 minutes because this would be counter productive, and lead to fewer muscle cells being recruited for size. Also, do not rest less than 30 seconds because that's mainly for endurance training. The optimal rest time is 1-2 minutes for hypertrophy.

What exercises are the best when training for hypertrophy?

Compound exercises are by far the best for hypertrophy. Some of these include Bench press, squats, deadlifts, and shoulder presses. Supplemental exercises such as lateral raises can be kept in 8-12 range, but some of these exercises are more of a shaping movement and may require more reps(may not promote size as much as compound lifts). Compound exercises are what you really need to perform if you want maximum muscle size. Bench pressing in the 8-12 range will make your chest much larger over time than training in the 3-6 range. Same goes for squatting for the leg muscles, or any other compound movements.

Who can benefit from hypertrophy?

Hard gainers can benefit from hypertrophy, as it promotes an increased size in muscle "more" than other training methods, such as strength or endurance . Also, people who are trying to develop a large muscular physique can benefit from this type of training. All training ultimately has to do with your goals. This does not mean that you can not mix it up sometimes such as training with reps between 3-6 or 15-25 range. Hypertrophy training can be considered weight that is not to light, but not to heavy either. Its the medium rep range and rest.

Do keep in mind,however, even though your training for hypertrophy, you will still need a high calorie diet. Eat enough protein which should be about 1.0 grams of protein per pound of body weight. For example, if you weigh 150 lbs, then at least 150 grams of protein should be consumed daily. You will also need to consume 400-600 more calories than your maintenance level of calorie intake. Don't forget carbs and healthy fats as well.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • lrohner profile image


      7 years ago from USA

      Wow, a lot of really, really good information here. Well done!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)