We are coming to the end of the year. Christmas and the food that comes with it are here and it is the perfect time to put some quality size on. During and after a peak we hear almost every athlete voice their desire to go back to high volume training. Lifting heavy is fun, but it can tax the mind and can only be sustained for a short period of time. You need to step back and rebuild, add some muscle mass, increase your work capacity, and focus on the details of the lifts. We begin this training cycle with hypertrophy which in simple terms means muscle growth.

Weightlifting requires continuous skill acquisition and refinement so we want to focus on developing "Sport Specific" hypertrophy, as opposed to typical non-functional bodybuilding hypertrophy. During this 4-8 week meso-cycle, we are focusing on building usable muscle in the places athletes will benefit the most.

Nothing in the programming will seem out of the ordinary, but the variation of exercises will be much higher than what you would see during a peak. You have a long road ahead of you and these movements that are out of the ordinary will keep you interested & motivated without becoming distressed. Expect to see higher amounts of sets/reps, drop sets, multiple waves, supersets, etc. This is where you will also find the dreaded 10's in the squats so it is important to embrace what you are doing and enjoy the suck.

Bigger muscles make stronger muscles so all of the work that you put in to the high volume phases of training will pay off when the intensity increases. The percentages will be in the 50-80% range so use this time to sharpen your technique. No matter what phase of training you are in remember to always prioritize quality of movement.