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Old 08-13-2009, 08:06 PM   #2
Daniel Higgins
Member Daniel Higgins is offline
 
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Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Arlington  MA
Posts: 242
Re: Practical Programming for Hypertrophy

I have done 5 cycles of Wendler's 531 and it was amazing. My original goal was based more on maximal strength and I was shooting for a 1000 gym total by March 1st (Sq, Bench, Dead; ohp wasn't spec'd but was worked on). I started out with a 315-265-375-170 (s b d o) and am now at 435-300-490-190 after about 6 months. I also hit 1200 in a PL meet 2 weeks ago...needless to say its worked wonders for both absolute (muscle mass-rep based) strength and maximal (1RM) strength.

Any of the alternative or intermediate prgms mentioned on SS wikia are likely to give you results in both hypertrophy and maximal strength. I liked 531 because as a novice lifter with a little experience under the bar I was able to focus on high rep/med intensity and also hit new 1RMs every month. I've never tried any 5x5 or 3x5, 3x3 etc programs because I was always bad at figuring my rep maxes and safe working sets. 531 aims at being conservative so you can go for hypertrophy in the 4 barbell lifts.

I also have to give due credit to my school's WL team for all of the guidance and especially with help on form and technique. I started out with the pec bench doomed to kill my shoulders but have since improved my power bench quite nicely. Make sure your experience with basic barbell movements in the entire rep range under like 80% is solid if you do decide to try 531 or a similar prgm.
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