Finally, and this is likely the biggest and most important question, but what exactly stimulates hypertrophy? There are hypotheses out there, some of which are supported by evidence, but in my opinion, it is still inconclusive. (20) Tension on muscles themselves might be enough to stimulate hypertrophy, but when you get tension, you also get ischemia and increased metabolite build-up. The pump you get from lifting weights might contribute, but heavy weight/low rep sets tend not to elicit much of a pump, and hypertrophy has been shown to be the same as for higher rep sets. Metabolic byproduct concentration might be the main stimulator, but there isn’t much evidence examining the idea yet. At this point, we can only conclusively look at muscle growth on a large scale and say that picking things up and putting them down a lot makes muscles get bigger.
If you are not a competitive powerlifter, but would like to adapt this program for sports conditioning, choose lifts conducive to the conditioning requirements of your specific sports and customize the program accordingly. Minimize the number of accessory exercises performed in a single workout unless you have an unusually high ability to recover between workouts. Likewise, minimize unnecessary sports conditioning work outside the weight room. See Common Training Mistakes and Concurrent Training .
Charles Poliquin is one of the most accomplished strength coaches in the world. He has designed workouts for Olympic medalists in 17 different sports, world record holders in 10 different sports, and professional athletes in the NBA, NFL, NHL, MLB, and UK Premier League. He has lectured or consulted for a variety of high-profile organizations such as the US Secret Service, Walt Disney Corporation and the World Swimming Congress. Poliquin has written 600-plus articles and 10 books. His works have been translated into 12 different languages: English, French, Chinese, Finnish, German, Italian, Czech, Slovak, Spanish, Japanese, Dutch and Swedish. His innovative work in strength training is frequently cited in peer-reviewed literature.