12 Week Hypertrophy Training Plan by IFBB Pro Jon DeLaRosa

     Then following program for Hypertophic Training (growing muscle tissue) was designed by IFBB Professional Bodybuilder Jonathan DeLaRosa. These routines have been used by Jon for nearly a decade, and has allowed him to grow into a top-level IFBB competitor. Hypertrophy Training is a style that focuses on increasing the size of the muscle, not necessarily strength. However, we think you’ll find that your strength will increase on this program as well, due to the intensity required. The entire point of this program is to challenge yourself to grow. Pick and choose the workouts at your own convenience. The following is Jon’s weekly split. Important note—don’t overthink it! We’ve included detailed notes on how to complete reps and sets to get the full effect of this style of training (IE- how long a set should last for muscle growth) but don’t let it confuse you! Use it as a guide to change up and increase your training!

For training or coaching inquiries, Jacked Developments Apparel, and more information on Jon, visit his website HERE

***Unless otherwise noted keep a 2-3 second eccentric on all movements. This means to slowly raise and lower the weight in a 2-3 second cadence count.

 

1 – LYING LEG CURL – Do a couple warm up weight sets. Work up to two rest pause sets, DC-style rest pause getting complete reps. DC Style: Aiming for an initial 12-15 reps followed by 10 deep breaths – second attempt – 10 deep breaths – third attempt. This is one set, you are going to do two sets like this.

If on your first set you hit the top part of the range, use the same weight for the second set. If you hit the bottom part of the range drop weight 1-2 plates for second attempt.

If you over or undershoot this that is fine too. IE–if you get 17-18 reps on initial attempt of first set then just maintain that weight for the second round of rest pause or if you get 9-10 reps on your first round of rest pause then reduce the weight slightly for your second rest pause set.

Also, this is where adding plates and keeping track of weights really becomes beneficial because the goal for yourself is to beat your last week every week. It creates a pretty competitive atmosphere within your own training. If you have a long pin you can use to add additional plates once you have maxed out the stack.

 

2A – Wide Stance Deep Leg Press – Heavy weight with pause in hole (at the bottom of your rep, before you extend your legs and push the weight forward) feet higher and toes angled out slightly.

***This movement will be hit every other week, alternating weeks. 1 / 3 / 5

Aim for a max effort all out set of 20 reps and then maintain that weight for 2 more sets. On sets 2 and 3 if you do them properly you should fail prior to hitting the same amount of reps as set 1. You should then rest pause taking 10 second breaks between attempts until you reach the same amount of reps as set 1.

If you do not have a leg press that allows you to get to max at 20 reps add band tension so that you can do so.

Aim to get your knees into your arm pits essentially OR as deep as you can go without your lower back rounding off of the pad.

1 second – Concentric phase (explosive out of the hole) Trying to move the heavy weight as fast as possible

2 -3 second – Eccentric (lowering)

1-2 second – Pause in the hole in the stretched position

3 Total working sets all at same weight excluding warm up sets.

 

2B – Barbell Glute Bridge

***This movement will be hit every other week, alternating weeks. 2 / 4 / 6

This is meant to be an explosive contraction movement driving out of the hole, pausing at peak contraction at the top and then slowly lowering the weight back into the hole. Do a 2-3-count contraction hold at the top and a 2-3 second eccentric on each rep.

Aim to get between 12 – 8 reps on all sets. Again here aim to hit the top end of the rep range on set 1 and then maintain that weight for all 3 working sets.

1 second – Concentric phase (explosive out of the hole) 2 -3 second – Isometric contraction at the top

2 -3 second – Eccentric contraction back into the hole.

When you are setting this movement up you can use an exercise pad or squat pad on the bar to go across your hips, if you are unable to use the glute bridge machine. In the fully down position your heals should be pretty close to your glutes, you want to keep your lower half compact to have the power to drive up. Realistically once you used to this movement you should have no problem working with heavy weight on this.

3 Total working sets all at same weight excluding warm up sets.

 

3/4 – Walking Barbell Lunges INTO Seated Leg Curls

***Cluster set – essentially a super set but with timed rests in between each movement until all movements are completed. So you are going to take 60 seconds between each exercise until all sets are complete.

3 Cluster Sets – 10 steps each on lunges / 15 reps on leg curl – 60 second timed rests between all sets

***Again here on the seated leg curls do the Hardest set of 15 you can do for a straight set in set number 1 and then rest pause that weight to reach the same amount of reps on sets 2 and 3.

 

5 – Dumbbell RDL (Romanian DeadLift)

3 Sets of 15-20 reps. Using DB’s here to really increase stretch so go heavy but also a load you can comfortably stretch deep towards your ankles without your lower back taking over. These are meant to be constant tension so no locking out at the top, and only come 3⁄4 of the way up.

NO Rest Pause used here but hit a top set of 20 reps and then maintain weight for sets 2 and 3. Note: IF the DB’s you have are not heavy enough then do this with barbell.

 

6 – Adduction – 2 working rest-pause sets

Aiming for an initial 12-15 reps followed by 10 deep breaths – second attempt – 10 deep breaths – third attempt.

**Hold each rep at contraction for 1 second **Hold each rep at stretch for 1 second    

***Unless otherwise noted keep a 2-3 second eccentric on all movements.

CHEST

1A – Fixed Incline Barbell Bench

***This movement will be hit every other week, alternating weeks. 1 / 3 / 5

Slowly work up to a heavy max effort set aiming for 10 reps. On sets 2 and 3 do a 15% reduction of weight and now you will be doing 2 rest pause sets made up of 3 attempts each.

 

1B – 30 Degree Slight incline Smith Bench

***This movement will be hit every other week, alternating weeks. 2 / 4 / 6

Slowly work up to a heavy max effort set aiming for 10 reps. On sets 2 and 3 do a 15% reduction of weight and now you will be doing 2 rest pause sets made up of 3 attempts each.

 

2 – 60 Degree Incline Fly

Focus on opening up your chest and using a slow concentric and moving the weights back just slightly towards your head as you are descending to increase the stretch in the upper pecs. This is not extreme to the point of shoulder discomfort just aiming to have the DB’s be more in line with your head in the stretched position rather than chest.

Work up to a max set of 15 and maintain weight for two more sets. 3 total sets

 

3 – Flat or Slight Decline Plate Loaded Press (alternate movement weekly)

Full pause at contraction and full pause at stretch on each rep with explosive contraction.

Work up to a heavy max effort set aiming for 10 reps. On sets 2 and 3 do a 15% reduction of weight and now you will be doing 2 rest pause sets made up of 3 attempts each.

 

4 – Cluster Set — Slight Decline DB Fly INTO Standing Cable Cross Over with Upper Chest Emphasis

3 Cluster sets x Aiming for 10-12 reps on each – 60 second timed rests between all sets

      

TRICEPS

1 – Standing Rope Extension

Work up to two rest pause sets, DC style rest pause getting complete reps.

Aiming for an initial 12-15 reps followed by 10 deep breathes – second attempt – 10 deep breaths – third attempt. This is one set; you are going to do two sets like this.

If on your first set you hit the top part of the range, use the same weight for the second set. If you hit the bottom part of the range drop weight 1-2 plates for second attempt.

If you over or undershoot this that is fine too. IE-if you get 17-18 reps on initial attempt of first set then just maintain that weight for the second round of rest pause or if you get 9-10 reps on your first round of rest pause then reduce the weight slightly for your second rest pause set.

Really focus on keeping your shoulders back/chest out and splitting the rope ends fully on each rep.

 

2A – Smith Machine Close Grip Bench

***This movement will be hit every other week, alternating weeks. 1 / 3 / 5

Slowly work up to a heavy max effort set aiming for 15 reps. On sets 2 and 3 do a 15% reduction of weight and now you will be doing 2 rest pause sets made up of 3 attempts each.

This is how Jay Cutler does his close grip, so really get a close grip and flair your elbows out. The entire motion will be lowering weight down with elbows out down to mid chest and then back up, not tucking your elbows like a traditional close grip bench.

 

2B – 30 Degree Slight Incline Skull Crusher getting a full stretch behind head

***This movement will be hit every other week, alternating weeks. 2 / 4 / 6

Slowly work up to a heavy max effort set aiming for 15 reps. On sets 2 and 3 do a 15% reduction of weight and now you will be doing 2 rest pause sets made up of 3 attempts each.

 

3 – Plate Loaded OR Pin Loaded Dips

Maintain upright posture here to really place emphasis on triceps and keep chest out of the movement.

Work up to the heaviest set of 20 you can get and maintain weight for two additional sets. If you cannot get the same reps on sets 2 – 3 as you did in set 1 rest pause these sets to equal reps in set 1.

3 total sets.

***Unless otherwise noted keep a 2-3 second eccentric on all movements.

BACK

1 – Pull Ups or Asst Pull Ups

I wrote assisted pull ups because ideally I want you working through a full range of motion, full stretch into a peak contraction getting your chest up to the pull up bars as close as you can.

Work up to a max set of 12-15 and maintain weight for two more sets.

1 second – explosive contraction

1 second – isometric contraction at top 2-3 second – eccentric

3 total sets

 

2A – Barbell Row (Dorian Yates Style)

***This movement will be hit every other week, alternating weeks. 1 / 3 / 5

Slowly work up to a heavy max effort set aiming for 10 reps. On sets 2 and 3 do a 15% reduction of weight and now you will be doing 2 rest pause sets made up of 3 attempts each. This week the focus is more on upper back emphasis rowing.

 

2B – Parallel Barbell Deadstop Row off floor

***This movement will be hit every other week, alternating weeks. 2 / 4 / 6

Slowly work up to a heavy max effort set aiming for 10 reps. On sets 2 and 3 do a 15% reduction of weight and now you will be doing 2 rest pause sets made up of 3 attempts each.

 

3A – Incline OR Chest Supported Upper back Row with a Wide Grip

***This movement will be hit every other week, alternating weeks. 1 / 3 / 5

This can be a Hammer Row with wide grip (IE Hammer High Row using the machine bars rather than the handles), DB Upper Back row fixed on an incline bench,  or another plate loaded upper back row etc.

Really focus on getting a full contraction through your scapula and rhomboids Work up to a max set of 15 and maintain weight for two more sets. 3 total sets

 

3B – Chest Supported Low Row

***This movement will be hit every other week, alternating weeks. 2 / 4 / 6

This can be a DB Hammer Low Row, Seated Low Cable Row, Fixed Position DB row finishing low at your waist etc.

Keep your chest up tall throughout, tuck your elbows hard and keep them into your sides throughout the ROM.

Work up to a max set of 15 and maintain weight for two more sets. 3 total sets

 

4 – Pull Down Variation – Any completely vertical pull down variation (pick 3 and cycle through them on a 3 week rotation)

Full pause at contraction and full pause at stretch on each rep with explosive contraction.

Work up to a heavy max effort set aiming for 10 reps. On sets 2 and 3 do a 15% reduction of weight and now you will be doing 2 rest pause sets made up of 3 attempts each.

 

5 – Cluster Set – Fixed Position 45 Degree Pulldown using D-Handles INTO Standing Cable Cambered Bar Pullover

3 Cluster sets x Aiming for 10-15 reps on each – 60 second timed rests between all sets

 

6 – Below Knee Rack Pull

Have these be touch-and-go reps, lowering under control. Work up to a heavy weight. Each subsequent set add more weight, go for 6 reps each set, until you reach a weight you cannot get 6 reps on.

 

BICEPS

1 – Standing Cambered Bar Cable Curl

Work up to two rest pause sets, DC style rest pause getting complete reps.

Aiming for an initial 12-15 reps followed by 10 deep breathes – second attempt – 10 deep breaths – third attempt. This is one set; you are going to do two sets like this.

If on your first set you hit the top part of the range, use the same weight for the second set. If you hit the bottom part of the range drop weight 1-2 plates for second attempt.

If you over or undershoot this that is fine too. IE if you get 17-18 reps on initial attempt of first set then just maintain that weight for the second round of rest pause or if you get 9-10 reps on your first round of rest pause then reduce the weight slightly for your second rest pause set.

NOTE: Really focus on keeping your shoulders back/chest out and not allowing your shoulders to take over especially as you get to the harder portions of the rest pause sets.

 

2A – Seated Incline Supinated DB Curl

***This movement will be hit every other week, alternating weeks. 1 / 3 / 5

Keep palms facing the mirror throughout. Slowly work up to a heavy max effort set aiming for 15 reps. On sets 2 and 3 do a 15% reduction of weight and now you will be doing 2 rest pause sets made up of 3 attempts each.

 

2B – Standing Supinated DB Curl

***This movement will be hit every other week, alternating weeks. 2 / 4 / 6

Keeping Palms facing the mirror throughout. Slowly work up to a heavy max effort set aiming for 15 reps. On sets 2 and 3 do a 15% reduction of weight and now you will be doing 2 rest pause sets made up of 3 attempts each.

 

3 – Plate Loaded OR Pin Loaded Preacher Curl

Maintain upright posture here to really place emphasis on triceps and keep chest out of the movement.

Work up to the heaviest set of 20 you can get and maintain weight for two additional sets. If you cannot get the same reps on sets 2 – 3 as you did in set 1 rest pause these sets to equal reps in set 1. 3 total sets.  

***Unless otherwise noted keep a 2-3 second eccentric on all movements.

1 – Leg Extensions

Pick a weight where you can do piston type (not stop movement) leg extensions within the format of a rest-pause set. With this I mean no set tempo just consistently contracting and lowering the weight.

Aim to get a nonstop set of 25 HARD reps but with a weight you can move throughout and around rep 25 you are no longer able to get peak range of motion, this is when the initial phase of the set stops.

Now with this same weight following a 10 second break do another attempt in the same manner of piston style reps followed by one last attempt. 3 attempts total = 1 working set

Now for the first set I want you to keep track on total reps for all three phases of the rest pause set. Lets say you get 40 reps total. On sets 2 and 3 I want you aiming to get the same amount of reps but due to fatigue it might take you more attempts on your second working set to get there. IE-Second set might look like – 18 reps / 6 reps / 4 reps / 3 reps / 3 reps / 2 reps / 2 reps …you get the idea.  2 working sets here.

 

2 – Leg Press – Deep Reps

***In your strongest Stance with a lower foot placement on the platform to emphasize the quads

Modified Muscle Rounds: 6 sets of 10 reps with 15-second rest in between each set. The goal here is to get all sets at the same weight. Explosive contraction emphasis throughout all reps. If you need to reduce weight it should only be reduced for sets 5-6. If you have to reduce prior to this you have gone to heavy. Once you can get all 6 sets at same weight increase weight next time. This should be very hard!

This is all you will do here and then move on. Aim to try and increase weight here slightly every time you do this workout.

 

3 – Narrow Stance Leg Press

With a narrow quad-based stance you are going to now do sets of 25 nonstop reps going as deep as you can, slightly splitting knees apart as you go down, so that you are not stuck stopping just at your chest. Again here, use a lower leg placement on the sled.

3 Working sets – 90 second rest between sets. On sets 2 and 3 use a rest pause format to hit the 25 total reps, as realistically if you go all out on set 1 you should fall a little short.

 

4 – Superset – Banded Single-Leg Leg press INTO Single-Leg Leg Extension

Working sets of 15 on each. 3 rounds

***IF you can do this comfortably have your heals hanging off the bottom of the platform and drive through your MID FOOT not your toes. The goal here is to really increase the stretch portion of the rep on the quads which is why you want your foot as low as possible.

 

5 – Narrow Stance Hack Squat OR Squat Machine

3/4 reps out of the bottom on these; Slow eccentrics into explosive eccentric with no pausing throughout until all reps are complete

Aiming for 20 reps on set 1 and then maintaining weight for sets 2 – 3. All out sets here each set not rest pause. 3 all out working sets.

***Unless otherwise noted keep a 2-3 second eccentric on all movements.

 ***Warm up thoroughly with front and side laterals

1 – Shoulder Press Option (Seated Military, Seated DB press, Seated Hammer Press)

(I would prefer you do a compound free weight movement here a majority of the time)

Following warm ups work up to a max effort set of 12 reps and maintain weight for two additional sets. These are not rest pause sets just straight heavy sets. 3 working sets.

 

2 – Superset – Barbell Upright Row INTO Barbell Overhead Press

***Overhead press sets go to failure, not rep count

Wider grip on your upright row driving with your elbows high INTO shoulder width grip barbell shoulder press tucking elbows into lats. 3 Working Rounds

 

3 – DB Lateral Raise Standing Superset

Here you are going to do heavy DB side Laterals without swinging until you can no longer get your arms up to parallel to the floor. At this point drop the weight and increase weight with each DB 15-20 lbs. Now go into Side DB swings starting at your hips not out in front of you. While doing these stand up tall like you are in a front relaxed, not bent over.

I want you to try and match reps so if you get 12 full ROM (range of motion) lateral raises then get 12 partials with the heavier weight. 3 sets

 

4 – Triset – Seated DB Lateral Raise/ DB Front Raise/ DB Upright Row

– Seated Lateral Raise – Sit your hips up on the seat and lean back slightly as I want you to try and keep your traps out of the movement

– DB Front raise (starting at hips, both arms at same time)

– DB upright row / front raise – hybrid movement not specifically upright row OR front raise

3 working rounds of 10 – 12 reps each exercise

 

5 – Reverse Pec Deck

Work up to two rest pause sets, DC style rest pause getting complete reps.

Aiming for an initial 12-15 reps followed by 10 deep breathes – second attempt – 10 deep breaths – third attempt. This is one set; you are going to do two sets like this.

If on your first set you hit the top part of the range, use the same weight for the second set. If you hit the bottom part of the range drop weight 1-2 plates for second attempt.

If you over or undershoot this that is fine too. IE if you get 17-18 reps on initial attempt of first set then just maintain that weight for the second round of rest pause or if you get 9-10 reps on your first round of rest pause then reduce the weight slightly for your second rest pause set.

     

 6 – Barbell Shrugs

Position your hips back slightly on these so that you can contract upper back and scapula and not just your upper traps. Shoulders should be moving back slightly not just completely vertical.

3 sets of 15 at working weight with 1-2 second contraction holds on each rep.

***Unless otherwise noted keep a 2-3 second eccentric on all movements.

1 – Superset – Wide DB Row INTO Seated Cable V Grip High Row

– Head-supported elbows wide DB Row (upper back emphasis) – Keeping your upper body parallel to the floor get a full stretch and then drive elbows back hard reaching peak contraction through scapula

– Seated Cable V Grip High Row – Traditional rows are pulled to waist line on cable pulley– I want you purposely pulling the V grip to mid chest to really emphasize your upper back.  3 x 10 on each

 

2 – Machine Plate Loaded Upper Back Row Modified Muscle Rounds

1 true working set all out – Upper back emphasis 6×8 with 15 second rest between sets

 

3 – Machine Plate Loaded DY Row Modified Muscle Rounds

1 true working set all out – 6×8 with 15 second rest between sets.

 

4 – Giant Set

***12 reps of each exercise

Bi Lateral DB row – staying over parallel, keeping arms tucked into sides and finishing hand position at your waist

– DB Pull Over

– 45 Degree Rope Pulldown (lean back 45 degree and stay there splitting the rope hard at your chest)

– Wide Grip Pulldown

 

5 – Hyperextension double drop set

  • 3 plates x AMAP (As many reps as possible) Drop
  • 2 plates x AMAP Drop
  • 1 plate x AMAP 2 rounds Stretch

***Unless otherwise noted keep a 2-3 second eccentric on all movements.

–BICEPS

1 – Machine Pin Loaded Preacher Curl

Working up to 2 rest pause sets in the range of 10-4-2.

On second rest pause reduce the weight 30% and do as many stretch partials as possible aiming for 20 following the complete rest pause set

 

2 – Barbell Curl double drop sets

Aiming to get 8-10 full reps on each. IE 100 x 8 Drop 80 x 8 Drop 60 x 8 Done. 3 rounds like this.

 

3 – Rope Hammer Curl

1 modified muscle round – 6 sets x 10 reps with 15 second breaks between each attempt keeping the same weight throughout on all sets. Stretch Biceps after this exercise.

 

–TRICEPS

1-Tricep Cambered Bar Bent Over Extension

Pick a challenging weight that you can get 10 reps with after warm ups. Continue to complete 10 reps at that weight with 45 second rest between attempts. Once you can no longer get 8 reps at that given weight then you are finished. Be sure to work through full range of motion (stretch and contraction on each rep). Total Sets – Unknown

 

2 – Smith or Barbell Close Grip Bench

2 rest pause sets.

Go to the traditional style of close grip bench, tuck your elbows hard into your sides and lower the weight through your triceps keep them engaged throughout. Don’t let your shoulders over extend in the top position. 2 working sets.

 

3 – Any Triceps Machine

1 modified muscle round – 6 x 10 with 15 second breaks between each attempt keeping the same weight throughout on all sets.

       

4 – Parallel Dips

Bodyweight sets. Really try to keep your body completely vertical, go through this movement with a 4 second eccentric / 1 second pause at the stretched position / Explosive concentric and then a isometric hold at 3⁄4 way through the ROM. 3 Bodyweight sets to failure, the stretch triceps.