Our First Hypertrophy Camp
The What - The Who
We have a variety of people who train at our gym. From Joe Average to first division athletes, from 50 year old moms to 20 year olds who’re still looking to improve performance levels. We have two different main programs our clients can follow:
- Amazing at the Basics: a three day/week program which covers all the basic human patterns and challenges everyones mobility level.
- Gymnastic Program: a three or six day/week program split up in bent/straight arm strength and a leg day.
For those who visit often and train consistenly there a couple of problems:
- They want more volume in their training
- They want more compound exercises on a regular basis
- They want to get stronger in the big lifts
- They want to add muscle mass
That’s why I thought it could be fun to start a Hypertrophy Camp. Fourteen of our members applied and started off with high hopes of the program. It has to be noted that the group average hovers around 26 year olds with an above average physique.
The group was sent a nutrition shopping list, a food program which differs training days from non-training days and a four day workout program. For more details about this plan mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The workout program is split up in two upperbody days and two lowerbody days.
The upperbody workout switches between push and pull so rest time between exercises is kept to a minimum. This was done for the sustainability of the program.
You don’t want these guys being in the gym for 2+ hours a day. These guys aren’t like us, these dudes have social lives and whatnot.
The first phase was a basic accumulation phase, just to get the guys accustomed to the exercises and the volume of the program. The lowerbody days featured 5 sets of farmer’s walks to try and get their total volume up too and hopefully some added callus for improved grip strength.
The second phase was an intensification phase in whch eccentrics were used to keep their volume high on their prime lifts, bench, chin, squat.
Third phase was an all tempo phase in which every exercise had a different tempo to shock the system so the muscle growth was kept at a maximum.
Fourth phase was an added bonus to my guys as they just kept being consistent and they needed something after building up anger during the tempo training. This phase was a preparation for a 1rep max test that was coming closer!
A lot of guys were hyped coming in their first day, as it was their first time someone made a program for them. I guess 50% of them were following the food program and I guess 50% of the 50% was still following the food program after two weeks.
“The fun part were the esthetic changes, the not so fun part was the food plan that became pretty dull after running out of options.”
Their workouts were being done to perfection. Rest times were respected as well as the tempo’s and after two weeks or so the first strength gains were already noticeable. The amount of reps and the tempo came as a shock to some, but the execution was really good. A lot of the guys came up to me as well saying upping their food intake wasn’t so much of a problem because they were hungry all the time.
“I've learned that I do have discipline to follow such a strict program eventhough I didn’t think it was possible. The other thing I learned is I am in fact a magician with my bodyweight.”
Band of Brothers
The coolest part about Hypertrophy Camp was the bonding of the guys during their program. A lot of guys came in at 4PM to work out together so they could moan and talk about tempo, reps and exercise choice of the coach. Tips were being shared and telling someone that was four seconds instead of five was the most common line in our Facility for four weeks.
“I wanted to add muscle mass badly but it was obvious soon that it was a pretty heavy program, I was sore every other day! The whole experience was fun because we did it in group and everyone helped eachother.”
Our Band of Brothers was capped off by a Rib Eating Contest at an All You Can Eat restaurant, because well... GAINS! Jef proved to be the best at eating at high volumes.
Obviously not everything was rainbows and sunshine. Our EAFacility programs offer a lot of variety and include a lot of mobility work throughout the training. After a couple of weeks some of the guys complained about shoulder problems. The high volume of pulling and pushing in the program asks a lot from your body.
The program didn’t really cause the afforementioned problems, but flared up older injuries or mobility restrictions. It became really obvious for some to improve mobility and/or treat/cure year-old injuries. You could say that Hypertrophy Camp was a test for their bodies on how far they could go before limitations became obvious.
The other negative point about Hypertrophy Camp was the one sidedness of the program. If you want esthetic changes and improve strength levels, you’ve got to hit the compound lifts over and over again. We can give you variety in tempo and sets/reps but you still gotta lift! To some, that became a drag, to others, this was fun. Some bodies are made for heavy lifts and others seem to enjoy themselves more in the gymnastics/calisthenics/movement scene, which is cool.
That’s what makes our facility fun. Everyone gets their chance to do what they love to do!
“I joined because I love these type of workouts. Pure strength and going all out, don’t think too much. Being in a group and talking about our experiences was really fun. I could eat literally everything and I didn’t add on bodyfat, I even lost weight because I couldn’t sustain the food program."
“I joined out of curiosity what a caloric surplus and a good program would do to my body. The first impressions were that the program was reasonably heavy. Intensity was high. The fun part were the esthetic changes.”
“I learned that, if I wrote everything down, I became stronger every week.”
“I really had an urge for a physical challenge. The fun part was everything was set and programmed for you. So no cheating, no short cuts. The not so fun part? My pants were too big and my tshirts were too small and I got drunk much faster.”
“It’s the variation I thought was fun about the program and the fact that progression is immediately noticeable. The not so fun part was the nutrition program and chinups! I learned that the right program mixed with determination brings you to results. Continuing to do this in the future is the plan and I’ll do it with a big smile!”
“I joined the program because I felt like I reached a plateau. I wanted to gain mass but I kept balancing over/under 75kgs. Even though it was little progress, I learned that progress is progress. Some days took a long time to finish though, but it’s all good because I crossed 80kg for the first time in my life!”