Here are two things I know for sure about training for hypertrophy
1. You can substitute the big threes (squats, deadlifts, and bench presses) if you use the right combination of intensity and time under tension prolongation methods such as drop sets.
Yes, I did build a foundation of muscle mass using high loads in the big 3s. I am 42, and not getting any younger. I loved the big threes, however, my joints have taken a beating. I don’t need the heavy loads to keep growing. My legs and back are at their best now, and I don’t squat nor deadlift anymore.
2. The upper back can handle prodigious amounts of volume in terms of number of exercises, sets and reps.
I like now to use 60 sets total sets a week, from 6-7 exercises, working the back twice a week.
John Meadows is known in the bodybuilding cirlces as the expert who brings old school, traditional bodybuilding training in the the 21st century. His signature “Mountain Dog” training system is built on years of in-the-trench experience training himself and others to the highest levels of physique competition. He’s also involved in the supplement industry with Prime Nutrition. He can be reached on his website