Plan Focus: Hypertrophy For Skinny Guys


By Rob Shaul

The Hypertrophy Plan for Skinny Guys is one of the few plans in our history that has never warranted an update. I nailed it’s design first time out.

The goal of “hypertrophy” training is not strength gain, but increased muscle mass. In general, to get strong, you want to lift heavy, but few reps per set – 5 or less.

To build mass, you want to lift moderately heavy, but increase the reps per set to 8-15.

This plan deploys 3 set rep/schemes: 8×8 (8 sets of 8 reps), 6×10 and 4×12 – every training session. Further, the plan deploys old school “super sets” – two exercises per circuit, for example front squats and dumbbell push presses – which target two different body parts.


This makes the programming super-efficient in the weightroom and really packs in the volume in a 60 minute training session.

It builds hypertrophy for both the lower and upper body.

The plan includes a mid-week core and work capacity day on Wednesdays.


  • Monday: Leg and Arm Hypertrophy
  • Tuesday: Chest/Shoulders/Back Hypertrophy
  • Wednesdays: Work Capacity/Core
  • Thursday: Leg and Arm Hypertrophy
  • Friday: Chest/Shoulders/Back Hypertrophy
  • Saturday and Sunday: Total rest.

Who is the plan for?
I rarely, if ever, recommend the plan for mountain athletes. Often I’ll recommended it for young men already in or heading to the military who have some obvious need to add muscle – think 6-footers who weigh 160 pounds. It can also be a great plan for high school athletes – not only does it increase mass, but because of the high reps, athletes get lots of practice with the exercises.

Finally, several veteran tactical athletes who don’t really need the mass, but simply like to train body-builder style will complete the plan from time to time because they miss simply throwing iron around in the weight room. Many have repeated the plan several times.

Overall, the Hypertrophy Plan for Skinny Guys is a focused, direct, super efficient and “fun” (for meatheads) training plan on our general fitness side.


Here is what some of our customers said after completing the plan:

"Coach, I wanted to say nice job on Hypertrophy & Rat 6.
Started the two right after SFAS, at 150lbs. Ate everything during Hypertrophy, finished it at 165-168 depending on time of day. Ate clean, but lots of carbs through rice. Did a 1 week deload, then started Rat 6. Weights are before-after
Bench 245-275
Strict Press 135-165
Power Clean 200-225
Clean & Jerk 200-245
Front Squat 220-295
Deadlift 315-375
*I replaced squat clean with full c/j, and hinge lift with full deads.
Current weight is about 175, below 10% body fat.
Planning on doing valor again next then restarting the 3 over again in order. Thanks again coach!"


"I am one week away from completing my third military athlete program and am once again more than satisfied with the results.  To date I have completed the body weight, skinny guy and am one week away from completing the 357 plan.  I am sure you get inundated with emails so as a refresher my initial goals were to increase strength and to add some mass.  I started at 158 and am now somewhere around 174 (I am 6'1" and 32 years old); so I am headed in the correct direction. I would like to eventually get back up to a weight of 190; where I was prior to training for/running a marathon a couple of years ago.  I have also seen strength gains via the 357 plan and feel fitter and healthier overall."


"I'm excited to write this email, because this will be the second military athlete program I have completed. The first being the Afghanistan pre deployment program. I am currently on a rest day anxious for week 4 of the Hypertrophyprogram. I have been following the meal plan and eating everything I can and can tolorate. As far as protien and peanut butter I just re supplied myself with the help of friends and family in the states. I wanted to get advice from the man himself, on what workout would be beneficial to keep gaining size and overall strength and durability.  I went from 134 to 148lbs. I recently scored a 300 on a pt test here in Afghanistan about a week ago with my 2 mile time sitting surely at 11:52. I'm happy with where I'm at for running that has always been part of a weekly schedule. What program(s) though would you recommend for me, whether it be part of LEA, MA, or MA it doesnt matter to me. Im actually looking into SWAT once I leave the military this next summer. Look forward to hearing from you!"



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