Most people love the results of this phase, but hate doing it. This phase will increase muscle size. The key to this phase is volume. Generally, a muscle group should undergo 100 repetitions or more during one session. This does not mean do 10 sets of 10 on the bench press (although you can, but that just hurts). Split the reps into different exercises that target a group instead.
For example, I have my clients do 4 set of 12 on the bench press and then 4 sets of 12 on incline press or dips. Two different workouts that target the same muscle group (triceps shoulder, and chest).
Intensity should be 70-85% of 1RM where the 12th repetition is a struggle. Many may argue that 12 may be a little too much repetitions for hypertrophy, but I like 12 because it's still low, and allows for 4 sets which makes the workout much faster than 5 sets of 10 or 6 sets of 8.
A key component in this phase is rest periods. It is best to rest between 60-90 seconds in between sets.
Nutrition and sleep can greatly affect this phase as well, but because it is related to a series of hormones, we will cover that in a different post. For now, just know that you want to have a long-period of sleep at night rather than period naps and short sleep at night. High carbohydrate ingestion and sufficient protein intake should be focused on as well. I say "sufficient" because most people eat too much protein and gain excessive weight from it since carbohydrates are the main fuel source, not protein. Within 2 hours after you workout is the best time to refuel (We'll also go over why 2 hours in another post).
Here's some cliff notes:
Frequency: work the same muscle group at least twice a week
Intensity: 70-85% of 1RM
Volume: 4-6 sets of 8 to 12 reps
Rest: Keep it short; 60 to 90 seconds
Helpful tip: Keep the carbohydrates high and protein sufficient within 2 hours of your workout.
Baechle, T. R. & Earle, R.W. (2008). Essentials of strength training and conditioning 3rd Edition. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.
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