10 Hypertrophy Tips That We Learned From Charles Poliquin

Sunday was day two of our two days in London learning from Charles Poliquin. Today was about hypertrophy (muscle growth ). The content was excellent and we now have an even greater amount of knowledge going back to Ireland. I will list below 10 things that I picked from my notes. Before you read on you must understand that these are Charles’s tips for Hypertrophy and not Fat Loss which I talked about yesterday. 

1. One of the main reasons why people don’t get big (pack on muscle) is that they are too weak to put on size. So for people like this a short cycle of 3 week phase of strength training is advisable – a 10×3 programme would work well for this and then progress to higher reps(hypertrophy training)

2. Drop sets are excellent for building size – dropping weight every 5 reps til you hit 25 reps on your last set each workout works extremely well. Watch yourself pack on size with this.

3.  Never increase quantity at the expense of quality. If you have big drop off rates (20% or more) in a hypertrophy phase then you should stop that set  and move on. 

4. Total body training is not good for hypertrophy. Total body training works well for fat loss and weight loss or football/rugby players who are IN season but not for hypertrophy. 

5. Bodybuilders or people looking to increase size should not follow a strict paleo diet and need to incorperate carbs(often carbs which are seen as bad carbs) to hel them grow. Calories need to be high and insulin needs to be utilised to add on size. Charles likes to use a refuel day with 50% more calories on this day from carbs to increase size. Insulin is the most anabolic hormone

6. If you are not lean you should not follow the above as you will just get fatter. Lean is below 10% in men and 16% in women. If you are fatter than this you need to work on making yourself more insulin sensitive. 

7.  Recovery is very important to grow and some good recovery techniques are stretching (a lot), massage, sex!, infra red sauna – these are some of the excellent recovery methods to help you grow

8. Cortisol is the energy hormone and needs to be high BEFORE training and you need to bring it down straight AFTER training. 

9. There is not as much emphasis on fats as if you were in a fat loss phase but you should still make sure you get some especially real butter, coconut oil and mct oil.

10. If you have NO food tolerances at all then grains can be good for you on your over eating day as a carb source


We gained a ton of knowledge, far too much to include in this short blog! We are off on the plane now soon so I hope you enjoy the read and you can take plenty from it! 


Thanks for reading


Adrian Harper

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