Ben came to us wanting to increase lean body mass. Our approach to hypertrophy is to use high volume with basic compound lifts and incomplete rest intervals.

Dips and Chin-Ups are to the upper body what the Squat and Deadlift are to the lower body in that there are no other exercises that will give you the same bang for your buck.

In his previous training phase we included a 2 second pause in the bottom position of the Dip to increase the time under tension in the weakest position of the lift.

In this training phase, we have added a quarter rep to the bottom position of the lift to, again, prolong the time under tension in the weakest position of the movement.

The appropriate use of a “modifier” allows you to get stronger in a lift quicker. One of the keys to building muscle mass is getting strong in basic compound lifts for reps.

So, the stronger you get in the weakest position of a lift, the stronger you’ll be in the lift as a whole. The stronger you are in a lift, the more potential for muscle mass development that lift has.

For the Chin-Up we are increasing his work capacity by doing as many reps consecutively as he can. He then takes a 10-15 second break and finishes the set. A method known as rest-pause.

The recipe for hypertrophy is quite simple; get strong for reps in basic compound lifts. For the upper body there is nothing that will pack on muscle size faster than the Dip and Chin-Up.

The art to program design is knowing how to structure it short- and long-term to get the best results. Not all training programs are created equal.