By now, you already know there are approximately 972 different ways to work out. Especially if you hang in this little corner of the world, we agree that variety and experimentation with your fitness is A-OK.
I’m totally with you. I’ve tried everything from TV infomercial workouts to marathon running to circuits to hypertrophy. I’m big on doing what you love. The best workout for you, after all, is the one you enjoy, and that you’re actually going to do. There’s no obligation to run if you hate it. No duty to train heavy if you have no interest in absolute strength. No reason to do HIIT if it makes you want to heave (or rather, if you hate heaving…HIIT makes everyone heave).
And while I still believe in mixing it up from time to time, I also recognize the value of sticking with one thing so that you magnify the results of that thing.
For me? That’s hypertrophy work. Basically, bodybuilding in that you are building muscle to achieve a certain aesthetic (which varies from person to person). Hypertrophy training is very gym-based, and requires devoting some serious time with the iron. I mean, how to work your tricep horseshoe without a cable-rope-triceps pressdown? How to develop a quad teardrop without a leg extension? How can I possibly get bigger biceps without a preacher curl bench?!
That these are things that cross my mind from time to time is funny in the first place. That I actively think about how I can get in a hypertrophy workout even when I don’t have access to equipment is even funnier. But, I genuinely want to chase dat pump.
So sometimes, I have to get a little creative. Even though it’s slightly more intuitive to train for hypertrophy in a gym setting, you can still do it with no equipment at all. Will you make the biggest and best sweet, sweet gains? No, but you will get your fix till the next time you can hit the gym.
There is evidence to support the theory that mechanical tension is a significant factor in muscle hypertrophy. Basically, that boils down to muscular force. This tension can be created and manipulated in many ways, including external loading, moderate repetition schemes, and repetition speed. External loading includes any kind of iron (dumbbells, barbells, kettlebells, etc.), and also machines or cables, to name a few. A moderate rep scheme would be somewhere in the 6- to 12-rep range (vs. 1 to 5 for low reps or 15-plus for high reps). Repetition speed is exactly what it sounds like —how fast or slow you complete your lift —but it’s also specific to both the concentric (lifting) and eccentric (lowering) portions of each lift.
And while we can’t always include external load, we can vary reps and control speed, and we can increase bodyweight loading by maneuvering body position. So when you’re in a situation where you have nothing but your body to work with, there are still ways to move toward your goals.
A little creativity goes a long way when it comes to hypertrophy training on the road. Try our “Buff in the Buff” bodyweight workout, which you can do absolutely anywhere. (Including anywhere you might not have workout clothes available…you’ll see what I mean once you watch the video.)
Perform two to three sets of 10 reps of each of the following exercises, completing all reps for each compound set before moving on to the next pair.
Compound Set 1:
Compound Set 2:
Bodyweight Feet-Elevated Glute Bridge
Compound Set 3:
Spiderman Forearm Plank
Wanna get buff in the buff with us?💪🏼As a gift to you for watching, we put together a detailed PDF of the workout, including written descriptions and photo demos of each exercise.
And today is your last chance to jump on the Gainz Train!
The Bigness Project is a brand-new hypertrophy-training program built to get you built. Written by Kourtney Thomas, a strength and conditioning coach who has spent the last few years focused on the small details that will get you big, this program—or “brogram,” as she refers to it in the most gender-neutral of ways—delivers on the promise of bigger arms and a bigger life.
Designed for lifters of any experience level, The Bigness Project includes:
- A comprehensive User Manual that explains the philosophy behind the program and walks you step-by-step through every aspect of Bigness training and lifestyle.
- A 14-week hypertrophy training program.
- A complete exercise glossary including written and photo demonstrations of every movement in the program.
- A video library containing even more in-depth explanations of the most detailed movements and components of the program.
Today is the last day you can get purchase The Bigness Project until May — we’re pulling it off the virtual shelves tonight at midnight! — so flex now or forever hold your peace. All aboard the gainz train!