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It would seem that every bodybuilder is trying to be "hypertrophy specific" in their training – after all, who is trying to atrophy? But there is a training system that is focused on the logic behind building the muscles, and the program is built on the research coming out of what has been discovered on how to build muscle. That is, instead of just going out and lifting weights, the issue is knowing what occurs in the lifting (and related elements) that makes those muscles grow.
The result is the hypertrophy specific system and it has a few unique distinctives. One of these is a spreading out of the workload over the week. For example, instead of performing a workout with 5 sets of squats at once time, those squat sets are spread out over the entire week. This is done for each muscle group. So there is a tradeoff – more muscle groups are trained in a day, but with fewer sets. In some aspects this system is somewhat similar to the old-school three times a week full body workouts. And that is a good thing since this system got to the same place via logic and research.
Why spread the workout out? The workload is more broadly distributed to avoid drawing down the power of your central nervous system. That is, when you hit the body with a big mass of volume on a workout day, the central nervous system (CNS)
becomes overloaded. It needs quite some time to recover. However, the standard training program then hits the central nervous system again with another workout. In quick order the CNS' overloaded status can lead to overtraining and a halt to muscle gains, or even a loss in muscle mass.
What hypertrophy specific training does is align the training with the body’s ability to recover. In other words it creates a situation where the muscles are best set to grow.
In order for the hypertrophy system to work, you have to really take the muscles to the max for each set of each workout. This is due to the fact that you only get a limited shot at the muscles each workout, and you need to blow them up every time.
The hypertrophy specific training system makes a lot of sense and if you are thinking about trying this unique style, you may find that you really like it. Give it a chance to do something for you (try a four month cycle) and get some real hypertrophy going.
Note: For more information on High Intensity Training see The Colorado Experiment Workout
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