REVIEW: Build Strength and Size With Dr. John Rusin's Functional Hypertrophy Training Program

STACK Expert Dr. John Rusin created a 12-week strength and size training program for intermediate to advanced athletes.

So much great information is available on effective workout techniques that it's often a challenge to figure out where to begin. People can get so overwhelmed with info and advice that their workouts become a total mess.

John Rusin, a strength and conditioning coach who specializes in sports performance, physical therapy and rehabilitation, created the Functional Hypertrophy Training Program to address this exact problem.

"My goals were to get all of my staple training methodologies into one systematized program," Rusin says. "I wanted to take the best of what we were doing and put it into a platform that people could take action on right away."

Functional Hypertrophy Training is a 12-week program that includes five days of training each week along with recovery methodologies and even some properly programmed cardio work. The first three days focus on variations of the Squat, Deadlift and Bench Press, while the second two days hammer away on metabolic and hypertrophy work. Cutting-edge methodologies such as intraset stretching, accentuated eccentrics and blood-flow restriction training are integrated into the workouts to maximize muscle growth.

With that said, this is an extremely challenging program.

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"I didn't design this for beginners," Rusin says. "This is appropriate for the intermediate to highly advanced lifter or athlete. It's for the person who has a strong foundation but is looking for training methodologies that will cause some pretty awesome results."

Rusin says that after completing the program, you should see dramatic increases in strength and size. Lots of mobility work is built into the workouts, so your posture and movement quality should also improve. Also, you will learn about new methodologies from Rusin's extensive educational material, which can be used in future workouts.

I personally have been using this program for four weeks, so I'm about finished with the first phase of the program.

Each workout takes an hour to complete. Exercise selection is excellent, and Rusin's cutting-edge techniques fit in seamlessly. He provides a thorough explanation of his philosophy and provides in-depth descriptions and video demonstrations of the exercises.

Each exercise starts with one or more ramp-up sets, in which you gradually increase the weight. You follow that with three or four sets using your working weight. This is a ton of volume and it can cause serious fatigue, but it's a great pump, and you are rewarded with subsequent muscle growth.

I have thoroughly enjoyed the workouts, and I feel sufficiently challenged. I'm pleased with my results in only four weeks, and I'm looking forward to completing the remaining two phases.

For more information on Functional Hypertrophy Training, visit

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