June 22, 2017


Hypertrophy – to grow or cause to grow abnormally large, in this instance, growth as it relates to the size of skeletal muscle.

Increased muscle mass corelates to increased weight (all other variables remaining the same, i.e., percentage of body fat) and this is generally not a good thing for an endurance athlete.  However, I have started to expand my training goals and have set my sights on signficantly increasing my muscle mass.  There are several factors driving this new direction: 1) the birth of my children; seriously, I want to be strong for both my wife and my children (and, just so you know, there IS a physiological correlation between size and strength—note that there are many exceptions and variables that impact that correlation, so it cannot be stated as a truism, 2) I want to improve my physique and give myself the strength necessary to take on greater physical challenges, 3) I have devoted considerable time to the study of weight lifting techniques and biomechanics which I have applied to improve the health and vitality of many of my personal training clients, and 4) I LOVE lifting weights but have never given myself the permission to eat so as to encourage growth—well, those days are over starting now!

TBW % Fat %H20 Muscle BMR Body Age Bone
Week A 160.2 8.5 60.4 139.2 1894 12 7.2


Start of 7-week build phase (October 12, 2011)

A note about my starting metrics, I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to keep good records.  I use an Ironman™ Tanita “InnerScan” (Model BC553) body composition monitor scale (a device that uses bioelectrical impedance analysis-BIA) to record my daily metrics on a daily basis, first thing in the morning, Monday – Friday (I give myself the weekends off).  Although BIA suffers from numerous drawbacks, e.g., affected by time of day, body temperature, hydration, etc., it does offer a useful reference.  For most endurance athletes, the bodyfat percentage as a comparison to lean muscle mass rules and, for best results, I recommend using skin fold calipers.  I will begin using calipers to monitor my progress in 2011.

I supplemented these metrics with measurements:

Neck: Chest:  Waist (at naval) Hips (feet together):
38.0 cm 96.0 cm 84.0 cm 97.0 cm
14.8 in 37.4 in 32.8 in 37.8 in



Thighs (10 in. above patella): Calves:  Biceps:
58.5 cm 37.0 cm 30.5 cm
22.8 in 14.4 in 11.9 in


Start of 7-week build phase (October 12, 2010)

As far as program design, I have elected to attempt a 7-week program (Weeks A – G) using a straightforward four day split: Day 1: Chest & Triceps, Day 2: Legs & Abs, Day 3: Back & Biceps, and Day 4: Shoulders & Calves plus “bonus abs.”  I developed a straightforward hypertrophy program that I have included at the end of this post.  Each session requires less than 60 minutes in the gym and each, with the exception of “Day 2-Legs & Abs,” is immediately followed by High Intensity Interval Training (HITT)—a 15-minute treadmill session, with 30-second high intensity intervals (to the point of breathlessness) followed immediately by 90-second recovery periods (slow jog)—”wash and repeat” for the entire 15-minute HIIT session.  Calorie balance will be key, I am estimating my starting daily caloric intake—DCI (NOT including my pre- and post-workout meals at 2400 calories).  By tracking my daily caloric intake (note that I use Training Peaks) as well as my daily expenditures along with my metrics, I will adjust the caloric intake up or down as needed.

I am continually researching nutrition and how it affects athletic performance.  The cutting edge nutritional science is emphasizing not only what an athlete eats, but also when the athlete eats it.  Nutrient timing plays a key role in maximizing the gains of both the endurance and the resistance training athlete.  Both must focus on fueling and recovery; however, resistance training athletes seeking to gain mass must focus on augmenting anabolic pathways, while simultaneously limiting catabolic processes.  Part of my personal exploration during this process will be giving myself the permission to eat sufficient calories so as to facilitate the anabolic/growth phase.  I have included the recipies of both my pre- and post-workout meals here: Pre- and Post-Workout Supplementation (again, these are NOT included in my total DCI).  Note that this supplementation (and corresponding diet) is a bit of a deviation from my personal “food ethic”—a clean organic diet that emphasizes fruits and vegetables as well as lean proteins.  During the 7-week “build” phase, I will consume a true isocaloric diet (1/3 carbohydrates (low GI carbohydrates, coming in early in the day, with the majority coming in immediately after my a.m. resistance training workout, 1/3 lean protein(s), and 1/3 “healthy” fats).

Results at the end of 7 weeks are provided below:

TBW % Fat %H20 Muscle BMR Body Age Bone
Week G 166.7 9.1 60.4 144.2 1964 12 7.5


Note: I packed on 5 lbs. of lean muscle mass, with an increase of only 0.6% in body fat.

Neck: Chest:  Waist (at naval) Hips (feet together):
38.5 cm 98.0 cm 85.0 cm 98.0 cm
15.0 in 38.2 in 33.2 in 38.2 in
Percentage Increase: 1.3 % 2.0 % 1.2 % 1.0 %


Thighs (10 in. above patella): Calves:  Biceps:
61.0 cm 37.0 cm 33.5 cm
23.8 in 14.4 in 13.1 in
Percentage Increase: 4.1 % N/C 9.0 %


Note: DCI climbed as high as 3400 calories (higher cardio days required increased caloric consumption) as I continued to manage a few longer runs, moderate swims, and cycling sessions through the  build phase.

Daily resistance programs:

Day 1 Chest & Triceps

Day 2 Legs & Abs

Day 3 Back & Biceps

Day 4 Shoulders & Calves plus Bonus Abs

Results at the end of 29 weeks (an additional 22 weeks of training) are provided below:

TBW % Fat %H20 Muscle BMR Body Age Bone
Week 29 178.2 11.7 58.6 149.6 2000 14 7.8


Note: I packed on and additional 5.4 lbs. of lean muscle mass, with an increase of only 2.7% in body fat.

Neck: Chest:  Waist (at naval) Hips (feet together):
39.0 cm 99.0 cm 89.0 cm 102.0 cm
15.2 in 38.6 in 34.7 in 39.8 in
Percentage Increase: 2.6% 3.0 % 5.6 % 4.9 %


Thighs (10 in. above patella): Calves:  Biceps:
63.2 cm 38.5 cm 34.5 cm
24.6 in 15 in 13.5 in
Percentage Increase: 7.4 % 3.9 % 11.6 

End of 29-week build phase (May 8, 2011)

End of 29-week build phase (May 8, 2011)