Book Review: “Science & Development of Muscle Hypertrophy” (Brad Schoenfeld)

September 7, 2016

brad schoenfeld book review nicola joyce
When Human Kinetics asked if I’d like to review Dr. Brad Schoenfeld’s new book – “Science and Development of Muscle Hypertrophy”, I didn’t hesitate. Brad is one of a small number of people in this industry who I trust as an authoritative voice. He’s one of my go-to sources for research and smart discussion around the science of gaining muscle.

I interviewed Brad ages ago for Muscle & Fitness magazine and have followed him (online, not literally, that would be weird and impractical) ever since.

“Science and Development…” is Brad’s latest book. It’s the ultimate resource if you’re interested in the current research behind muscle hypertrophy. But before I get into my review – and why you really need to get a copy of this book – here’s how to follow Brad so you can stay up to date with what he has to say. >> Brad Schoenfeld PhD on Facebook and on his website/blog.

What is muscle hypertrophy? It’s the fancy name for increasing muscle size. So this book is essentially about the Science of Swole.

The book is exhaustive. It covers every factor which could influence muscle hypertrophy, including training, nutrition, genetics, gender, and age.

It’s divided into seven chapters:

Hypetrophy related responses and adaptations to exercise stress
The mechanisms of hypertrophy
Role of resistance training variables in hypertrophy
Role of aerobic training in hypertrophy
Factors in maximal hypertrophic development
Program design for maximal hypertrophy
Nutrition for hypertrophy

As you’d expect from Brad Schoenfeld, the book is a compilation of the latest science-based principles, research, and meta analyses. It’s got more than 825 references. And the most important thing (IMO)? It’s written in a very accessible, applicable way. It’s research, but it’s practical too.

Put it this way, the last time I “did science” was at GCSE (which is longer ago than I care to admit). And I can understand it just fine!

If you’re a strength, power, or physique athlete (or someone who enjoys training with weights but doesn’t compete), or if you are a coach or PT, you need this book. Anyone who is interested what happens to our bodies when we train to gain size will find it useful.

Here’s just a taster of what you’ll find in the book:

– how the body structurally and hormonally changes when exposed to stress
– ways to most effectively design training programs
– current nutrition guidelines for bringing about hypertrophic changes
– the specific responses and mechanisms that promote muscle hypertrophy
– how genetic background, age, sex, and other factors affect the hypertrophic response to exercise

There are even sample programmes to help you design a three or four-times a week undulating periodised program or a modified linear periodised programme.

As far as I can see, it leaves no muscle hypertrophy stone unturned. And if there’s one person I’d trust to do a great job on this topic, it’s Brad.

What more do you want, people? Get it, read it, apply it. πŸ™‚

You can get the book (hard copy, PDF, eBook) from Human Kinetics or from Amazon.

Book Review: “Science & Development of Muscle Hypertrophy” (Brad Schoenfeld) is a post from The Fit Writer blog.

Nicola Joyce – the Fit Writer – is a freelance copywriter and journalist who writes for the sport and fitness industry. Her main website is here.


29 reasons to lift weights (audience participation post)

February 29, 2012

Happy Feb 29th! In honour of this extra added bonus day of the year, I thought I’d come up with 29 reasons to lift weights.

It’s a bit of audience participation: you get to fill the leap-year inspired bonus spot with the top reason of your own. πŸ™‚

Lifting weights…

1. Builds lean mass, which is healthy, metabolically active, and looks good.
2. Will make you look better than if you don’t lift weights.
3. Helps build a stable, injury-free structure (so you’ll be able to get up out of a chair in old age without going “oof”)
4. Makes you feel awesome (at the time, afterwards, or both!)
5. Turns you into a bona-fide badass.
6. Can transform your physique, whether you feel you’re overweight, carrying too much fat, too skinny or not shapely enough for your liking.
7. Teaches you new things (not something we encounter often as adults)
8. Helps you reach sport and fitness goals, whether that’s to compete in bodybuilding or get better at endurance or team sports.
9. Helps you learn about how your own body works and what its limits are (or aren’t!)
10. Might surprise you: you’re capable of a lot, you know!
11. Is sociable: there are a lot of local folk down at the gym and they’re there most days. They’re nice!
12. Enables you set goals… then smash them to bits.
13. Cranks up your metabolism so you can enjoy more of the food you like.
14. Gives you an excuse to buy new gym kit, clothing and gadgets.
15. Improves your posture.
16. Gives you a pert round booteh, smaller waist, perkier “pecs”.
17. Boosts testosterone, giving you more energy and focus.
18. Helps you sleep better.
19. Gives you an incredible sense of achievement.
20. Builds and enforces mental toughness which you can carry over into other areas of your life.
21. Proves to you just how strong you are – not just in the gym.
22. Helps with body composition (in other words, gives you a helping hand in the battle against excess body fat)
23. Improves self-esteem (you just lifted *how much*? Look at you!)
24. Shakes up your training routine.
25. Has been proven to help offset diabetes, arthritis and osteoporosis.
26. Makes your clothes fit better (as well as making you look better without them on).
27. Gives you a great conversation starter (“This is Sarah, she likes making her own jam, and this is Amanda, she likes deadlifting her own bodyweight…”)
28. Gives you a quick-blast option for raising the heart rate, burning calories and blasting body fat, even when time is tight.

And 29….what’s your reason for lifting weights? Let me know in the comments!

29 reasons to lift weights (audience participation post) is a post from The Fit Writer blog.

Nicola Joyce – the Fit Writer – is a freelance copywriter and journalist who writes for the sport and fitness industry. Her main website is here.


Why lift weights?

April 13, 2011

Regular readers will know I’m currently doing a great deal of heavy lifting of weights as I prepare for a figure (bodybuilding) comp. I’m often asked about the benefits of weights (over cardio), particularly by women.

I think this picture (stolen from a friend of a friend’s Facebook page – thank you!) explains it more clearly than words can.

Nifty, hey?

Do you lift weights? Do you care about the number on the scale?

Why lift weights? is a post from The Fit Writer blog.


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