Hypertrophy training is more commonly known as getting bigger. Its purpose is to add lean muscle mass to a person's body. The target here is to overload the muscle fibers so that they are broken down and repaired stronger and bigger then they originally were. When a person's muscles get bigger it is not because they have created more muscle fibres, but because they have made the existing muscle fibres larger than before. Hypertrophy is achieved through a volume overload so the reps should fall between 8-12 and the sets between 3-5. Free weights are one of the best ways to achieve hypertrophy in skeletal muscle due to the fact that it involves the activation of many other muscles to help stabilize different joints in order to execute exercises properly. The most basic exercises can produce some of the best results; basic as in lack of fancy equipment, and movements that could be performed almost anywhere. For example on a machine bench press the bar or handles move along a set track taking almost all stabilization out of the movement. With a free weight barbell, however, you must use much more concentration to make sure that your core stays tight as well as that your shoulder joint stays nice and strong. Free weights have a great advantage over machines and fixed angled equipment because it allows you to constantly increase or decrease the weight so that you can achieve your results in a shorter amount of time. Because you are using more muscles to execute each rep, you are breaking down more muscle tissue in a shorter amount of time, which will be built up again with proper rest and nutrition. When training with free weights correctly, you will develop a stronger core as well as strengthen the little muscles that help stabilize joints and maintain proper posture. Some of the most basic exercises (squats, bench press, deadlift) have been around for years now and there is a reason for this. Although they involve no fancy equipment, they have produced some of the best results.
There are a variety of different types of free weights available these days, however I am only going to be using two different types in this routine. Two very common types are barbells and dumbbells. A barbell is a long straight bar that has room for weighted plates to be put on at the end; whenever the weights are on it is recommended to put the collars on the ends. Along with the barbell, it is recommended to have a rack, or cage, to hold the bar. This piece of equipment alone can deliver a full body routine that is sure to lay on that thick dense muscle one may be seeking. The dumbbell is basically a barbell designed to be used with one hand. It is a strong handle which has weights on both ends. They generally range from 5 lbs all the way up to 200 lbs. They have even created sets where you can have one set of weights which can change in resistance from 5-50 lbs. These can also be used for any muscle group and again can deliver a full body workout. When designing a workout around these two pieces of equipment, you must decide which one to use. Dumbbells generally require more joint stabilization as both sides are forced to work completely on their own and have no assistance in the lift from the opposite side, whereas the barbell can allow for some muscle compensation. Generally, if there is a muscle imbalance between the two sides of the body, then dumbbells would be more beneficial to ensure a more even training for both sides. However, for overall mass and thickness, a barbell will do very well. One way to decide which works best is to alternate each week. One week do the workout with all barbell, and the next with all dumbbell. See which exercises worked best with each piece of equipment and then mix and match the two to build a workout that is perfectly suited for you. Below I have created a sample full body routine that is sure to get you started in the right direction to getting basically big. When performed two to three times per week following the guidelines set out earlier, you will be sure to start seeing some quality mass put on.