Kolumne 33 | Hypertrophie, Kraft, Definition - Demo-Frey-Nutrition

Column 33 | Hypertrophy, Strength, Definition


Column 33 - Hypertrophy, Strength, Definition
My question is about the increase in strength in different repetition ranges. Since I'm mainly interested in hypertrophy, I usually do between six and twelve repetitions. Every three to four weeks I do a week of strength training with three to six repetitions and also do "pump training" now and then. When I do bench presses, I can manage a weight of 120 kilos for eight repetitions, and my one-repetition maximum is 150 kilos.

My goal is to continually improve in the rep range of six to eight. Should I therefore keep my reps in the lower range (three to six) more often? What tips do you have for me to achieve my goal?


Andreas Frey answers
One way to help you succeed is the following: If you are unable to reach the target of twelve repetitions in one set over a longer period of time, it may be a good idea to increase the weight once you have reached eight repetitions and to continue training with it until you can do a higher number of repetitions. This may take a few weeks, but it will be much more beneficial than being stuck with the same weight for weeks.

On the other hand, training in the lower repetition range (three to six) to primarily positively influence hypertrophy makes little sense, because this way you can only improve in this area and this is less aimed at building muscle and more at increasing your strength.

To build muscle optimally, the repetition range of 8 to 12 is best.
For muscle building, 8-12 repetitions are optimal
Another way to make progress is to change your training system. I personally don't think much of typical periodization. It leads to a recurring cycle that doesn't help me. The best way to do this is to combine all phases in one and the same workout, including a strength phase in the lower repetition range. The Hatfield system is such a holistic training principle. Let's take chest training with ten sets, for example. According to Hatfield, the training would look like this:
  • Sets 1-3: Barbell incline bench press (3-6 reps)
  • Sets 4-6: Dumbbell incline bench press (8-12 reps)
  • Sets 7-8: Pullovers (12-16 reps)
  • Sets 9-10: Crossovers on the cable (approx. 20 WH)
Hatfield and HIT is a very effective combination
The training can be supplemented with a final pump set, which will "finish off" the muscles. It should primarily be done as a reduction set with two decreasing series. This eleventh set can be done in the repetition range of 30 to 50 in order to stimulate the muscle fibers that have not yet been trained.

If you combine the Hatfield system with HIT (High Intensity Training), you can get the maximum benefit from it, because the muscles are challenged to the point of complete exhaustion, which can lead to above-average muscle growth. I have been following these two training principles for over ten years, and with great success.

If you are interested in the different training systems and would like to learn more about them, I recommend the article about the different TRAINING METHODS .


How can I build mass and still look defined? Are there any special training plans or tips?

Is it even possible to build muscle and lose fat at the same time?


Unless you are a complete beginner, building muscle and losing fat at the same time is not possible. For beginners, this may work, as significant success is generally possible in the early stages. The body adapts to the new demands and, with an optimal combination of training and nutrition, can build muscle and reduce fat mass at the same time. Unfortunately, this is no longer possible for advanced athletes, which is why you should always decide: either build muscle or lose fat!

My recommendation is always to build up a certain base mass first and then, after about 16 weeks of the bulking phase, switch to fat reduction and try to preserve as much muscle mass as possible. This process should be repeated several times a year.

The wishful thinking of building muscle and losing fat at the same time is unfortunately an illusion and not possible.
First build muscle, then lose fat
In the end, if you follow the correct training and nutrition principles, you will have gained a few kilos of lean muscle mass. This increases your metabolism in the long term and makes it increasingly easier for your body to maintain its defined appearance - even during the bulking phase. I personally never have more than twelve percent body fat. Even at 145 kilos, my body does not exceed this mark. This is only possible if you already have a lot of muscle mass, as muscle mass is metabolically active and burns a lot of energy, in contrast to fat, which as a passive mass contributes very little to metabolic activity.

Many athletes who weigh just 70 kilos keep asking me how they should plan their diet. My answer is always: "Absolutely not!" At this stage, a diet is not only pointless, it is even counterproductive. If there is only a small amount of metabolically active muscle mass, it becomes impossible to reduce body fat effectively and in a targeted manner. The undesirable happens and muscle mass is lost through the diet. If you weigh 85 or 90 kilos, for example, the situation is completely different: a diet makes sense here - especially considering the fact that the increased muscle mass makes it much easier and more efficient to reduce fat.

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