Guideline for Hypertrophy (aka Bigger Muscles)

The word Hypertrophy means to add size and in this case we are talking about getting bigger muscles.  There has been many myths out there that gaining muscle size won’t let you move as fast because you will become “muscle bound”.  Becoming muscle bound would take a lot of time and for most young players this just won’t happen.

We want to gain size so that we can add good body weight that we can use to create more momentum.  When you swing or throw you are trying to create as much momentum as you can and transfer it to the baseball.  We do this through a combination of speed and size.  Players that aren’t as heavy need to rely more on speed rather than size to create momentum which is fine but there is always a limit to how much power/momentum you can create with just speed.  SO in this case we need to focus on building some size and we want to do this with good weight.  I call it good weight because I want you to gain weight int he form of muscle rather than fat from eating too much bad food.

When you focus on hypertrophy the workouts will look more like what bodybuilders do than what an athlete would do which is fine since we won’t be doing these kinds of workouts forever.

Here are some guidelines and notes to follow along:

Tempo – concentrate on lifting and lowering the weight under control.  Don’t just count the reps.  Count the seconds it takes to lower the weight (usually 2-4 seconds) before pausing then coming up (2-4 seconds)

Be negative – to build on the point above you need to really focus on the negative part of each lift.  This is known as the eccentric phase and it is primarily responsible for causing muscle growth since it causes little tears in your muscles which you will repair with proper food and rest and replace with bigger muscles.

Rep Range – 8-12 reps in known as the “hypertrophy” zone so pick weights that you can use in this range.  A simple but effective technique is to pick a weight that you can do for 8 reps then stick with it until you can do 12 reps.  Then add weight and repeat.

Rest Between Sets you won’t get complete rest.  No more than 2 minutes and more likely 60-90 seconds

Sets – this can vary a bit but perform between 3-5 sets on your main lifts

Eat!!!  Without a caloric surplus you CANNOT gain weight so eat often

Sleep!!!  This is when your body can repair those muscles and build bigger ones so it is imperative that you give your body the time it needs.

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