Unlocking the Secrets of Hypertrophy Training: Building Muscle Mass the Right Way

Unlocking the Secrets of Hypertrophy Training: Building Muscle Mass the Right Way


When it comes to achieving significant muscle growth and transforming your physique, understanding the fundamentals of hypertrophy training is crucial. In this article, we will delve into what is hypertrophy training, how to train for hypertrophy, and why both the posterior oblique sling and the anterior oblique sling should be integrated into your hypertrophy and strength training program. We will also address questions such as the best way to train for hypertrophy, the difference between hypertrophy and strength training, and the necessity of the right stimuli for functional muscle growth.

What is Hypertrophy Training?

Hypertrophy training, in simple terms, is a training method focused on stimulating muscle growth and increasing muscle size. The primary goal is to induce microscopic damage to the muscle fibers through targeted exercises. This damage initiates a repair process during recovery, resulting in muscle growth and increased mass over time. This is an important process to understand because we need to make sure our workouts are Improving muscle symmetry and correcting biomechanical dysfunctions when performing exercises.

How to Train for Hypertrophy

To effectively train for hypertrophy, there are key principles to consider. First and foremost, progressive overload is essential. This means gradually increasing the demands placed on your muscles over time. By consistently challenging your muscles with heavier weights, higher resistance, or simply putting the body in a position where you can create effective muscular contraction, you create the stimulus necessary for growth.

In traditional hypertrophy training, volume plays a crucial role as it determines the total amount of work performed during a training session. Ensuring that your muscles are sufficiently fatigued by the end of each workout is vital for effective hypertrophy. At FP, we fully endorse the concept of muscle fatigue, but we believe it is essential to target the right areas for optimal results. It is illogical for us to develop muscles without first establishing a solid foundation in the body.

Our primary focus lies in promoting a neutral posture and being able to achieve a straighter spine when standing. These foundational elements are of utmost importance. By prioritizing the activation of the glutes, core, and muscles around the thoracic spine, we address the most significant structures that contribute to overall stability and proper posture. This approach allows us to effectively build muscles while simultaneously supporting good joint health and minimizing the risk of injuries.

In our estimation, engaging in hypertrophy training without addressing structural imbalances such as kyphosis or scoliosis significantly increases the likelihood of sustaining injuries. Thus, establishing a solid foundation becomes the key principle guiding our training philosophy.



Hypertrophy vs. Strength Training

It's important to differentiate between hypertrophy training and strength training. While they are related, they have distinct objectives. Hypertrophy training primarily aims to increase muscle size, while strength training focuses on enhancing the maximal force a muscle can generate. Hypertrophy training, if done correctly, should aim to fatigue underdeveloped muscles on a person's body, better structurally align the person's posture, and create more symmetry with the body.

It is worth noting that hypertrophy and strength training are not mutually exclusive. As muscles grow larger through hypertrophy training, they have the potential to develop greater strength. Incorporating a combination of both hypertrophy and strength training can lead to a balanced and functional physique. It's important to note that hypertrophy and strength training go hand in hand, complementing each other rather than being exclusive. Engaging in hypertrophy training leads to muscle growth, which in turn can enhance strength development. By incorporating a combination of hypertrophy and strength training, individuals can achieve a well-rounded and functional physique.

It is of utmost importance to acknowledge that the fitness industry's emphasis on lifting heavy objects for hypertrophy promotion can inadvertently result in imbalances and disregards crucial factors. While this approach contributes to muscle strengthening, it tends to overlook significant aspects such as knee valgus, knee varus, postural distortions like kyphosis, lumbar lordosis, scapular winging, hip hikes, and imbalances caused by sports that predominantly favor one side, such as hockey.

If these variables are neglected and left unaddressed during traditional lifting exercises in the gym, they can potentially lead to persistent pain and, in some cases, even necessitate surgical intervention. It is essential to prioritize a comprehensive training approach that considers and addresses these factors to ensure long-term physical well-being and minimize the risk of associated complications.


Addressing Common Misconceptions

Now, let's address some common questions and misconceptions related to hypertrophy training.

1. What is the best way to train for hypertrophy?

The best way to train for hypertrophy involves incorporating exercises that closely mimic the dynamics of sprinting and engage both the posterior oblique sling and the anterior oblique sling. By developing these muscle slings, you can attain a closer approximation to a well-defined athletic physique.

2. Is hypertrophy just a pump?

No, hypertrophy is not limited to the temporary "pump" sensation experienced during a workout. Although increased blood flow can contribute to this sensation, hypertrophy involves a more significant process of long-term muscle growth. It occurs through the repair and rebuilding of muscle fibers over time.

To achieve effective hypertrophy, it is crucial that the rebuilding of muscle tissue takes place in the appropriate areas and is stimulated by movements that closely mimic the natural running gait cycle. Our muscles have evolved over millions of years to support activities like walking, running, and throwing. When our muscles are engaged in these functional motions, there is a higher likelihood of maintaining hypertrophy in the long term.

In essence, hypertrophy is not merely about the temporary pump during a workout but rather focuses on sustainable muscle growth achieved by repairing and rebuilding muscle fibers in the right areas and engaging in movements that align with our natural biomechanics.

3. Do you need to lift heavy to build muscle?

Lifting heavy weights is not the only way to build muscle. Progressive overload and challenging your muscles with increasing resistance by focusing on refining movements that relate to our biology or engaging in activities like sprinting are other ways that can be highly beneficial for attaining more strength and muscle hypertrophy. It is not realistic for everybody to get up and go for a sprint so Functional Patterns has come up with exercises that can effectively build muscle hypertrophy and strength while improving the gait cycle. These exercises have been refined and can be slowed down, allowing people of varying abilities and ages to see hypertrophy gains without fear of pain or injury.

The muscle gained through arbitrary lifts that offer minimal functional benefits tends to diminish over time. Moreover, subjecting the body to heavy weightlifting while dealing with imbalances and poor posture can lead to increased stress and a further twisting of the body's structure. This can result in pain and joint compression, signaling to the brain that training is uncomfortable or harmful. Consequently, motivation to go to the gym may decrease.

Hypertrophy training

It's important to understand that the body is intelligent and naturally avoids activities that cause discomfort or harm. In response to pain or discomfort during training, individuals often resort to pre-workout supplements and motivational videos to push through in the short term. However, relying solely on external motivation is not sustainable. Eventually, the initial surge of motivation fades, and the positive hormonal effects of lifting weights diminish as the body becomes accustomed to the stimuli.

To achieve long-term success, it is crucial to prioritize training methods that address muscular imbalances, promote functional movements, and improve posture. By doing so, individuals can establish a foundation of sustainable progress, where motivation stems from the positive effects of training rather than relying solely on external factors.

Bone malformations and muscular hypertrophy

If a baseball pitcher's humorous bone can twist due to repetitive throwing, it suggests that the body can also undergo distortion over a lifetime due to dysfunctional walking, running, or throwing patterns. These genetic traits can be passed down through generations. For example, if our ancestors primarily ate a grain-based diet, they might have experienced bloating and had reduced intra-abdominal pressure, leading to sagging hips and a less favorable gait pattern with inward-facing knees. These genetic characteristics are still prevalent today, with many individuals having wider hips and knees that turn inward (valgus). In contrast, elite sprinters often exhibit slim hips, straight femurs, and tibias.

Hypertrophy training

Another example of bone malformation can be observed in individuals who spend hours per day in a deep squat position. In this case, the gluteus maximus muscle may become overly lengthened, resulting in reduced contractility and limited activation during everyday activities like walking leading to bone malformation over time. These bone malformations are inherited through generations, and it's crucial to comprehend these concepts to understand how we can reverse them. 

Hypertrophy training

Muscle atrophy is common among many individuals because their bone structure or movement patterns do not facilitate muscle growth. This is often overlooked by professionals in the field of rehabilitation, physiotherapy, chiropractic, personal training, exercise physiology, osteopaths and massage therapy, leading to a lack of desired results. These factors are not adequately considered. The key question is how to position the body to activate muscles and align the bones more closely to those of elite sprinters, allowing for muscle hypertrophy and the associated hormonal benefits, including increased production of human growth hormone. Over time, this can lead to improved bone alignment.


Maximizing Hypertrophy Training: Unleashing the Power of the Posterior Oblique Sling and the Anterior Oblique Sling for a Well-Defined Physique

Hypertrophy training

When it comes to sculpting a well-defined physique, engaging the right muscles is crucial. While many individuals focus on training the mirror muscles, neglecting the posterior oblique sling and the anterior oblique sling can lead to an imbalanced and less aesthetically pleasing physique. These two slings, consisting of muscles and fascia, play a significant role in overall body stability, functional movement, and even hypertrophy. Let’s delve into the importance of incorporating exercises that target both the posterior oblique sling and the anterior oblique sling into your hypertrophy training routine, and how doing so can help you achieve a well-defined and impressive physique.


Understanding the Posterior Oblique Sling and the Anterior Oblique Sling

The posterior oblique sling consists of two primary muscles: the Lats (latissimus dorsi) and the Glutes (gluteus maximus). The anterior oblique sling consists of two primary muscles: the external obliques and the contralateral internal obliques. These muscles work together with the thoracolumbar fascia, a strong connective tissue that spans across the lower back, to form powerful force couples. When activated, these muscles create functional chains of force transmission and rotation, allowing for powerful, efficient and coordinated movement.


Enhanced Core Stability

 Engaging both the posterior oblique sling and the anterior oblique sling provides a substantial boost to core stability. During exercises such as running, throwing, or rotational movements, these muscle slings work together to stabilize the spine and pelvis. A strong and stable core not only promotes proper form and technique but also reduces the risk of injury. By targeting both the posterior oblique sling and the anterior oblique sling in your hypertrophy training, you can develop a solid foundation for other muscle groups to grow and thrive.


Improved Athletic Performance

Both the posterior oblique sling and the anterior oblique sling are not only vital for bodybuilders but also for athletes across various sports. Whether you're a sprinter, a golfer, or a basketball player, these slings are involved in generating powerful rotational movements, enhancing speed, and optimizing performance.  

Training both the posterior oblique sling and the anterior oblique sling can significantly contribute to achieving a well-defined and aesthetically pleasing physique. Developing a strong and proportionate back, especially the latissimus dorsi, creates the illusion of a V-taper, giving the appearance of a wider upper body and a smaller waistline. Additionally, well-developed external obliques and internal obliques contribute to a toned midsection and a visually appealing waistline. Engaging these muscles not only enhances your physique but also improves your posture and overall body symmetry if engaged on both sides correctly.

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Incorporating Posterior Oblique Sling and Anterior Oblique Sling Exercises

To engage both the posterior oblique sling and the anterior oblique sling effectively, it's important to incorporate targeted exercises into your hypertrophy training routine. In the Functional Patterns 10-week online course or functional training system, you will learn how to utilize these slings to maximize your hypertrophy training gains and overall functional movement patterns.



For those seeking optimal muscle growth and a well-defined physique through hypertrophy training, it is essential to incorporate targeted exercises that engage both the posterior oblique sling and the anterior oblique sling. Understanding the principles of hypertrophy training and how to specifically train for hypertrophy is fundamental to designing an effective program.

While exercise plays a vital role in hypertrophy training, it is crucial to recognize that other factors can impact muscle growth, including bone distortions, generational trauma, stress response, and behavioral patterns. Taking a holistic approach that addresses these variables is key to maximizing the results of your hypertrophy training.

At Functional Patterns, we deeply comprehend the interconnectedness of these factors, and our comprehensive programs go beyond generic exercises. Our approach focuses on optimizing muscle activation, aligning bones, and enhancing athletic performance. By considering the body as a whole, we aim to help individuals overcome pain, prevent injuries, and achieve their desired physique with comfort and unwavering motivation.

To unleash the full potential of your posterior oblique sling and anterior oblique sling, we invite you to explore the Functional Patterns 10-week online course or functional training system. Alternatively, consider seeking guidance and support from a Functional Patterns certified practitioner who can provide personalized assistance in your journey towards hypertrophy gains. Embrace this opportunity today and embark on the path to a well-defined and truly impressive physique through effective hypertrophy training.


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