Although weightlifting produces some strong and powerful athletes, it is not what we would call a hypertrophic sport. Often, rep ranges are in the lower ranges, at moderate to high intensities, and rarely ever driven to failure. While frequency and overall training volume will increase muscle mass, some athletes may find themselves in need of additional measure to stimulate new muscle tissue growth, increase lean body mass, and improve lagging performance.
Many weightlifting coaches and highly skilled athletes, such as Greg Everett, have experimented and implement supplemental hypertrophy (bodybuilding) splits for athletes in preparation phases who may be in need of gaining lean body mass to climb up a weight class, improve muscle mass in a specific region of the body, and/or correct imbalances.
While the emphasis of a weightlifter should be on the Olympic lifts, squats, pulls, and mobility, integrating bodybuilding training into preparatory training cycles (far out from competition) can help improve overall performance. Coaches and athletes should pay close attention to the changes the body goes through from supplemental bodybuilding routines to ensure it doesn’t impede the overall development, movement patterns, and technique of the formal weightlifting lifts.
In this article we will discuss six benefits of implementing hypertrophy based training into supplementary/assistance workouts.
Develop New Muscle Tissue
In short, hypertrophy is the process in which cells in a muscle enlarge in size (cross-sectional area), often with increased myofascial size as well as increase muscle glycogen storage in nearly all muscle types. When new muscle is developed, some of those muscles have the capacity to be “trained” to become explosive and/or produce higher tensile force, both of which will allow for increase force output over time.