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Hypertrophy and Caloric Intake

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  • Hypertrophy and Caloric Intake

    Hi all,

    Big fan here - I'm hoping you can clarify a few things I've been wondering. Supposing the goal is an increase in strength, I'm curious about the effectiveness of hypertrophy blocks while eating at maintenance caloric intake. In my mind, it would seem as though hypertrophy blocks would only be useful in a caloric surplus, given that this seems to be the only way to increase muscle size in trained individuals in this particular block of training. It would seem then that a hypertrophy block at caloric maintenance for well trained individuals wouldn't be particularly effective for long term strength outcomes because A) a caloric surplus is needed to drive muscle hypertrophy and B) it is this muscle hypertrophy that is thought to bolster further strength adaptations. Are these assumptions correct? If so, why not just run back to back strength blocks in perpetuity?

    I'm curious as to how this is managed in training. Do y'all (whoever happens to read this) tend to take in a slight caloric surplus when performing hypertrophy blocks? Or am I not understanding these concepts?

    Thanks in advance, love all of your work.


  • #2

    Thanks for the post. A few thoughts here:

    1) Muscle hypertrophy can occur during a deficit and also at maintenance. Yes, more hypertrophy is likely to occur for a given individual during a surplus provided they aren't a novice, but that probably shouldn't drive energy balance decisions. Rather, that should be based on the desired weight trajectory.

    2) I'm not sure that an increase in muscle size is likely to drive strength improvements and I would probably push back against that assumption.

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