Many of us have the goal of hypertrophy, building lean muscle mass. Usually when clients come in and tell me what they want, they say that they want to reduce body fat when they actually want to increase lean muscle mass and reduce body fat.
The goal of increasing lean body mass requires you to increase your caloric intake to exceed the calories being burned to put weight on. Most people think that they need to cut back on calories, but that is absolutely not true. When building lean muscle mass, the body needs an extra amount of energy to create muscle mass. If you restrict your body of this vital fuel, the result will be that the body will take fuel from your own muscles and your goal will not be met. This of course doesn't mean that you should eat junk food, it simply means that you need to eat solid meals with nutritious food every 3 hours and always take protein/carbs after workout.
With the goal of hypertrophy there are guidelines in how to workout and you will see them below, but as with all training, you can not keep on doing the same reps/sets/intensity and so on because your muscles will adapt and once they have adapted they will not increase in size. Switching up your training in so called phases is recommended and every phase should be around 4 weeks. This means that you do 10 reps/4 sets/421 rep tempo for 4 weeks, after 4 weeks you change sets/reps/rep tempo. Exercises, intensity and time you workout every day can be changed even more often, I like to change up exercises a lot to hit the muscles from every angle and always keep surprising them, and there are so many exercises to choose from.
Note to remember though is that if you are a beginner with the goal of hypertrophy, you will need to begin with this weight lifting system: Intro to weight lifting
Even if your goal is hypertrophy, you will need to start with this system because the brain and muscle needs to be connected, and this doesn't just happen because you want it to. The nervous system controls all movement and the muscles are linked to the nervous system via motor units. Without training with higher repetitions, slower intensity and a lighter weight you wont be able to recruit a very high percentage of motor units to connect muscle to brain. By using the right technique as a beginner you can connect muscle to brain without any improper stress on the body, which would lead to injury. The right technique will increase the ability of the body to produce internal tension to overcome external force, known as strength. Once you've gone through this phase of training, your body will be better prepared for hypertrophy training. Hypertrophy training will need higher volumes to force muscles to increase in size, and an unprepared body will not be able to handle the large volumes of stress and you will get injured and the goal of hypertrophy will not be met.
Hypertrophy training guidelines: Recommended reps are (6)8-12 Recommended sets are 3-4 Intensity needs to be at upper level Repetition tempo should be 4/2/1 - 2/0/2 Training duration should never exceed 40-60 minutes of weight lifting, 20-40 minutes of cardio, weight lifting and cardio should never be done in the same session.
Recommended training frequency for hypertrophy is weight lifting 4 sessions per week, cardio at least 3 sessions per week. With hypertrophy you can weight lift 2 days in a row, but 3 days in a row in not recommended. Cardio can be done on days that you weight lift or other days. And always remember to warm-up, cool-down and to stretch.