Andy Baker - Optimal Training for Hypertrophy.pdf - Optimal...

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Optimal Training for Hypertrophy by Andy Baker This is a really common question and a very common debate amongst trainees, coaches, and trainers and I’m not sure there is a definitive answer to every situation. Unfortunately like so many other debates in the strength & conditioning world the correct answer is almost always prefaced with the frustrating phrase of “well – it depends.” The fact is that there are a lot of big, strong, muscular people on the planet and most of them achieved their results through a variety of different pathways. If there was truly just one particular programming method that worked for size and muscularity then we wouldn’t have a debate, would we? Everybody would be doing the same program and that’d be the end of the story. But for every trainee with a gargantuan set of wheels that squats 3 times per week, I can point to just as many trainees that squat just once per week. Hell, I can point to a lot of people that don’t squat at all and believe that exercises like hack squats and leg presses are superior to squats if we are talking about purely muscle growth and physique development. (That isn’t congruent with my experience, but I’ve known plenty of big bodybuilders who spent very little time in the squat rack). So, two major factors that influence our discussion are the use of drugs (anabolics) and genetics. For the sake of our discussion here, I’m going to throw those two factors out. I have always trained and competed drug-free without the use of steroids or any other PEDs (other than coffee!!!). Likewise, the trainees and athletes that I typically work with through my coaching practice here at the gym as well as my online clients have been drug free. So I can’t speak with any authority whatsoever on the effects of anabolic ste roids on a trainee’s programming…other than the fact that they accelerate the results of any type of programming whether it be low frequency or high frequency types of programming. My opinions on drugs have nothing to do with morality. I could care less if people decide to use anabolics as long as they aren’t trying to compete in organizations that have legislated them out of their competitions. Now we’re cheating. But the use of anabolics in non -tested organizations or for their own purposes is fine by me. It’s not a moral judgement – it’s simply just a personal choice that people need to make for themselves. Genetics also blur the picture a little bit because we know that a certain percentage athletes we work with can be classified as “genetic freaks” tha t respond to just about any type of sensible programming structure. Furthermore, a lot of very gifted athletes respond well to training
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programs that are just downright terrible, but still seem to get results. In this case, athletes are getting bigger and stronger IN SPITE OF their training programs, not because of them.
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