The Mythology of Hypertrophy

by Michael Boyle |   Date Released : 15 Jun 2005
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Michael Boyle

About the author: Michael Boyle

Michael Boyle is known internationally for his pioneering work in the field of strength and conditioning and is regarded as one of the top experts in the area for sports performance training. He has made his mark on the industry over the past 30 years with an impressive following of professional athletes, from the US Women’s Olympic teams in soccer and ice hockey to the Boston Bruins, Boston Breakers, New England Revolution, and most recently the Boston Red Sox. His client list over the years reads like a "Who’s Who" of athletic success in New England and across the country including legendary Boston names such as Nomar Garciaparra, Cam Neely, and Ray Bourque.

Mike is a featured speaker at numerous strength and conditioning and athletic training clinics across the country and has produced many instructional videos and DVDs in the areas of strength and conditioning, personal training and rehabilitation.

In 2012, Michael was selected to become part of the Boston Red Sox coaching staff, acting as a strength and conditioning consultant for the team.

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Comments (6)

Knapp, Robert | 08 Jun 2013, 21:42 PM

I have been doing strength for the last 20 years, all with high reps at relatively low weights (30% of 1 rep max). I have lean muscle mass, and no one would confuse me with a bodybuilder. I have always maintained the philosophy that high reps would allow the exercise to work deeper into the muscle, hitting both slow and fast twitch fibers, whereas working with low reps at greater than 75% of one rep max would primarily hit fast twitch. It seems to be the case with me, and I have witnessed the bodybuilders achieving results with the low rep high weights. While I can see your point, and agree with your statements regarding the eccentric phase of the movement. However, I believe that performing the exercise to fatigue is a requirement in any case. I am a PT certified through NASM and ISSA, and have taught Body Pump for many years.

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Pearson, Robin | 18 Mar 2011, 13:52 PM

As always, another interesting article, you always seem to say what the good trainers think and what the 'salesman' trainers don't want to hear!
If though, as we are led to believe, hypertrophy is more about TUT than overload then surely doing 20 reps at a 1-0-1 pace will produce the same TUT and therefore hypertrophy as ten reps at 2-0-2? Are there any studies that test TUT vs. rep speed? My instinct is to question the 'science' behind it...

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Bernardy, Jeff | 25 Mar 2010, 21:13 PM

This was an interesting article, however I actually disagree about how difficult it is to put on muscle mass. With hard and correct training some individuals can put on muscle mass VERY quickly and others have a much harder time. Genetics, hormone levels, and body frame play a huge role. I personally have put on 10 pounds of muscle in less than 2 months and have added 4 pounds of muscle mass in the last 3 weeks while decreasing body fat. I have never used performance enhancing drugs of any kind.

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riggs, gavin | 28 Jan 2010, 01:23 AM

great article, can you tell me how many exercises & total sets you would recommend one did on any given day, if hypertrophy is the goal??

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Adams, Jon | 17 Jan 2010, 14:42 PM

Do you have, or have you found any research that validates your new theory on Tempo for Hypertrophy?

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Pastuch, Sean | 09 Jun 2009, 13:48 PM

I love this article... Muscle does one of two things, it gets bigger, or it doesn't. Muscle is not going to change appearance of length and tone fromr esistance training, it is loss of fat that provides the illusion of a more "toned" muscle. Love it. Whenever my clients say I want longer muscles, I explain to them that they would need to dedicate large quantities of continuous time stretching a single muscle before sarcomere length will change, weight training grows muscle. It grows or it doesn't easy as that. People always underestimate the CNS involvement in strength, power, and speed gains.

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