The hypertrophy phase should follow the endurance phase. This should be the longest phase and could last anywhere between 2 and 4 weeks. Hypertrophy just means making your muscles bigger. This is where people usually get nervous about getting “bulky.” Remember, it is extremely difficult for a male, who produces much more testosterone than a female, to put on even 10 pounds of muscle in a years time. A female might expect a 2-3 pound increase. In order to increase your resting metabolic rate you must build muscle. You will not get bulky. This type of training consists of slightly heavier weights with moderate rest between sets. The point is to make your muscles a little bigger before you enter the strength phase and make them stronger. The physical change is an increase in the size of your muscles. Even if it is a 10 pound gain, spread out over your whole body is not a noticeable change. So again, don’t worry about getting bulky.
The specific guidelines you should follow include: 67-85% of your 1RM (1 rep max), 6-12 reps, 3-6 sets, and 30-90 second rest breaks. Throughout the range of motion you should use a very slow tempo especially in the eccentric phase (letting the weight down).
About this Author
After graduating from the National Personal Training Institute (NPTI) in Richmond Heights Ohio, Mat sat for and passed the test to earn his CSCS (certified strength and conditioning specialist). After spending over one and a half years of training in a gym setting, and becoming and instructor at NPTI, Matt started MK Fitness as a one-on-one or small group personal training company.
Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.