Best hypertrophy training programs

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     Training programs should be built based on your goals, your availabilities and your abilities. Each person is different, thus,  a type of program that works well with one of your friends may not necessarily be as effective on you or someone else. You must therefore try each type of training yourself to assess whether your body responds well to it. Here are four types of programs scientifically recognized to bring the most beneficial gain.

     The first split is the most popular one, called the bro split, which involves training one muscle group a day. This type of program can stimulate muscle groups through a wide range of exercises. It's a perfect change for those who are used to training all muscle groups in one session. On the other hand, it is extremely time consuming since it is not ideal for people with busy schedules. If you miss a single day, you will have to make up on your other training days. In addition, this type of program demands that the intensity is high enough for the selected muscle group in order to take 7 days to recover.

For example:

  • MONDAY            -->  CHEST
  • TUESDAY           -->  BACK    
  • WEDNESDAY     -->  SHOULDERS
  • THURSDAY        -->  LEGS
  • FRIDAY              -->  ARMS & ABS
  • SATURDAY        -->  ACTIVE REST
  • SUNDAY            -->  ACTIVE REST

     The second type of program is the agonist/antagonist program. The goal here is to work on the main muscle group to exhaustion before moving on to the next muscle group working opposite to it (e.g. biceps vs triceps, chest vs back, quad vs hamstrings, etc). The exercises are done in superset and each superset works first the agonist muscle (the muscle one desires to work on) and immediately after, we train the antagonist muscle (the muscle that makes the opposite movement to the first muscle). This type of training helps to develop all muscle groups equally. This type of program allows for a lot of flexibility and sessions are shorter since we are working in supersets. However, this kind of split is recommended for people who are more experienced when it comes to training.

For example:

  • MONDAY           -->  CHEST & BACK
  • TUESDAY          -->  BICEPS & TRICEPS
  • WEDNESDAY    -->  REST
  • THURSDAY       -->  LEGS & SHOULDERS
  • FRIDAY             -->  CHEST & BACK
  • SATURDAY       -->  LEGS & SHOULDERS
  • SUNDAY           -->  ACTIVE REST

     Then, in the same family as the agonist/antagonist program, there is the pre-fatigue program, which consists in tiring the secondary muscles before the main muscles that one wants to work on. By tiring the secondary muscle groups, it allows for better isolation of the main muscle groups thus representing an effective way of training them. In this case, the recovery period may be longer for beginners.

For example:

  • MONDAY           -->  BICEPS & BACK
  • TUESDAY          -->  CHEST & TRICEPS
  • WEDNESDAY    -->  QUADS & HAMSTRINGS
  • THURSDAY       -->  BICEPS & BACK
  • FRIDAY             -->  CHEST & TRICEPS
  • SATURDAY       -->  QUADS & HAMSTRINGS
  • SUNDAY           -->  ACTIVE REST

     Finally, there is the push/pull program, which is one of the best programs in hypertrophy. If done correctly, the results can be seen after only one month. We separate the training sessions by muscular grouping, more precisely, the muscles that push and the muscles that pull. This program is ideal for working in hypertrophy because it allows to train the same muscle groups at a higher frequency than other programs, which promotes muscle gain. Also, another benefit of this type of training is that it allows for at least 24 hours of rest before working on the same muscle groups again, which avoids overtraining.

For example:

  • MONDAY           -->  PUSH (quads, chest, triceps, deltoids)
  • TUESDAY          -->  PULL (hamstrings, back, biceps, posterior deltoids)
  • WEDNESDAY    -->  ACTIVE REST
  • THURSDAY       -->  PUSH
  • FRIDAY             -->  PULL
  • SATURDAY       -->  ACTIVE REST
  • SUNDAY           -->  ACTIVE REST

     Overall, there are many types of training programs for hypertrophy. Here, we have only four of the best ones, but again, what works for someone may not necessarily work as well for someone else. Therefore, try as many programs as you can and judge for yourself what what has more positive effects on your body!

Calvin Hua

Liddia Kol