The online fitness community is like a clouded wasteland, flooded with dozens of hidden traps targeting unsuspecting explorers (questionable “magic cures” that lure gains-chasers astray).
Boom … “Perform these five exercises, and gain 20 pounds of pure muscle mass in 90 days!”
Thwack … “Want the secret to cannonball delts and 15” pythons? This rep range is the answer!”
Sign me up!
The blind trust you place in those bodybuilding forums — and even some big-name health junkies schilling sponsored products — leaves you 90 days older with almost 0% progress.
Looking through the haze and discovering the true hypertrophy code requires yet another leap of faith. Jeff Nippard’s Fundamentals Hypertrophy Program may very well be your clarity.
Let’s rummage through this beefy 97-page e-book and examine its potential!
About the Author – Jeff Nippard
Jeff Nippard is the past, present, and future of the online lifting community.
Equal parts brains and brawn, this elite-level drug-free bodybuilder’s accomplishments span the show stage and the collegiate classroom. Nippard’s done it all (and then some):
- Defeated the fierce competition to win Mr. Junior Canada in 2012
- Clinched the Canadian bench press record in 2014
- Snagged beastly PRs (518-pound deadlift, 502-pound squat, and 336-pound deadlift)
- Broke the gym lunk stigma by earning a Bachelor of Science in biochemistry
- Coached everyone from male powerlifters to female bikini models
- Taught at fitness summits, conferences, and college lectures continent-wide
This 5’5”, 158-pound modern-day Hercules has slowly become this generation’s face of fitness.
Nippard now shares his knowledge with his massive online following — over 2.5 million. His science-backed content demystifies gains and reveals what works (and what doesn’t).
What is Jeff Nippard’s Fundamentals Hypertrophy Program?
The Jeff Nippard universe — and its cult-like following — is as inclusive as they come. But of all 16 programs, the Fundamentals Hypertrophy Program is by far the most beginner-friendly.
As Nippard says, it’s “back to the basics!”
The Fundamentals program is a three-in-one mass-building routine that meets both beginner and intermediate lifters where they are. That means it’s free of the classic lifting assumptions.
That you’re …
- Well-versed in the gym enough to handle a high-volume, burnout-guaranteed program
- An expert in biomechanics, revert to proper form, and boast foundational strength
- One of the lucky few with god-like genetics and no trouble sculpting pure mass
Nippard divides this program into three 8-week sections revolving around one concept: Linear progression. In other words, you’ll hit the throttle and add weight to the bar with every workout!
The three included beginner programs include:
- Full-body: Three full-body workouts a week, four rest days
- Upper/lower: Two upper and lower-body workouts (each), three rest days
- Modified body part split: Chest/triceps, legs/abs (x2), back/biceps, shoulders/arms
You’ve already fallen for the snake oil salesman’s pitch once or twice (more than you’d care to admit). That’s why we’re going to read cover-to-cover to discover if Nippard’s program is legit.
Hypertrophy Program Details & Features
One thing Nippard deserves endless praise for is how detailed his program guides are. It’s not a barebones table listing exercises or a five-minute YouTube video with how-to demonstrations.
This 97-page whopper is the full package:
Before You Hit the Gym …
Nippard’s program selection targets nearly every fitness goal imaginable. But unlike most of his line-up, this program is for those with up to 18 months of experience (or even none at all!).
Calling all noobs!
You might find yourself thumbing (or scrolling) through the pages and wondering what the hell all that fitness jargon means. Or why you’re doing “silly” isolation exercises like hip abductions.
Pages 1 through 32 are your crash-course in fitness, where you’ll learn about:
- What you can expect to gain by committing eight weeks to it (hint: it’s strength & gains)
- Key terms defined (if “ROM” or “tempo” are head-scratchers, they won’t be anymore)
- Anatomy (including detailed diagrams and the “whys” — why every muscle matters!)
- Recommended gear to pair with the program (wear whatever works for you)
- Exercise substitutions (when a lack of equipment or previous injuries form roadblocks)
Nippard also spills the tea on 12 FAQs. He explains things like why the workouts are repetitive (optimal strength progression) and which program he recommends (upper/lower).
Even if you don’t have a lick of experience with the iron, you’ll have a general idea by page 32.
Here’s a possibly controversial opinion.
A warm-up is even more important than the workout itself. With a higher core temperature and racing blood flow, you can best avoid injury and outperform your PRs with heavier lifts!
But it’s also where many mass programs come to a screeching halt (before they even begin). Instead of the ‘ol “perform a warm-up of your choice,” Nippard’s schooling takes centerstage.
It’s not only a laid-out dynamic warm-up … it’s laid out well.
The low-intensity workout intro includes 5-10 minutes of gentle cardio (treadmill, bike, or whatever strikes your fancy), leg swings, cable rotations, and much more.
PRs and gains require reviving your muscles to 100%, which is precisely this warm-up’s goal.
A Quick Breakdown: What Does It All Mean?
That crisp blue page reading, “Full Body Program – Week 1,” marks the beginning of your latest mass-sculpting journey. Then, you scroll one more page and see tables with 70 boxes apiece.
RPE? Columns full of empty boxes? Three different color schemes?
You might furrow your brow and think, “I thought this was a beginner’s program …” It is, and the slightly-disorganized tables are far less complicated than they appear at first glance.
Here’s a quick how-to guide to help you decipher these utterly “confusing” workouts:
Welcome to the big leagues, where you gauge your effort on a 1-10 scale instead of audible grunts or dropped weights.
When you see an “RPE” (rating of perceived exertion), it explains how challenging a set should be — failure, a few reps left, etc.
1, 2, 3
Every exercise is just 2-3 sets long, explaining those three empty columns labeled one through three. Use these boxes to scrawl the weight and reps performed for each set.
Don’t worry; Jeff Nippard wouldn’t create a beginners-only routine and lead you through it blind.
The notes section explains specific exercise tips (like prioritizing spinal flexion during crunches) to help you dodge injuries and maximize muscle activation.
Page 87 and onward also include how-to videos if you’re a visual learner!
LSRPE (Last Set RPE)
Jot down your RPE from your last set. If the recommendation was 9, and it was less-than exhausting, you’re likely ready to add a fresh new plate next workout!
A Taste of the Workouts
All three programs have their own distinct flair, but they generally follow similar concepts.
For starters, weeks 1-4 will be “strength base.” Once you master the basics (like bench press and lat pulldown), you’ll advance to “modified strength base” as you continue cruising in neutral.
You’ll notice some minor rep, RPE, set, and exercise changes as you make the switch.
We get it … the curiosity is killing you. What should you expect with these workouts?
Let’s make it short and sweet:
- 5-7 exercises per workout
- 2-3 sets per exercise (with 1-4 minutes of rest in-between)
- 5-15 reps per set (squeezing the high and low ends of strength and hypertrophy)
- 7-9 RPE (a few reps from failure … so be ready for severe exhaustion)
Jeff Nippard didn’t just latch onto the “beginner” program concept — he took it and ran with it.
The exercises aren’t bizarre, retro, or overly-complex. They’re exercises that all beginners should master before moving on (i.e., Leg raises, rows, EZ bar curls, and back squats).
Class Is Back In Session!
If you’re a gym regular looking to add some pizzazz to your routine (or it’s flat-out betraying you), you might scroll past the mumbo jumbo and dive into this bad boy feet first.
But if you still have loose ends that need tying, this e-book’s final few sections can fix ‘em.
Nippard cites an extra 14+ authentic studies (on top of the previous eight from the book’s intro) as he delves into the routine’s meat and bones:
- Why you’re starting with a strength base (and not doing edgier or isolated exercises)
- How progressive overload weaves into the program (loading extra weights to the bar)
- Intensity, frequency, volume, and why each matter
- How to accurately put a label on your RPE
When you’re ready to pursue a more specialized training routine, you’ll know some of the fitness slang and understand what makes a good (and bad) routine.
4 Benefits of Fundamentals Hypertrophy
1. Very Little Variation
An occasional back squat variation (goblet, front, or otherwise) or random 5-rep power focus can add some excitement to a normally-bland training program.
But that also means forfeiting linear progression and (steadier) progressive overload.
This Fundamentals package is nearly an exact replica from week to week, which can understandably be nightmarish if you waltz into the gym with a “surprise me” attitude.
Not to worry — this lack of variety is a noobie perk! Know precisely what’s on the schedule ahead and count those plates as you make gains from week-to-week.
2. Comes With Three Routines
How many times have you pried open your wallet, shelled out your hard-earned cash on a workout program, and then had that “uh-oh, this isn’t what I was expecting” moment?
If you’ve weeded through several duds, we’d wager at least once.
The best feature with this Fundamentals Hypertrophy Program is that this solo e-book boasts five months of training between three separate routines.
Advance from the full-body to upper/lower routines as you prove your grit. Or start with the body part split if you don’t think full-body workouts have enough “oomph.”
3. Doesn’t Reinvent the Wheel
Building foundational strength and mass often come with naivete. Unfortunately, many of these authors hop on the latest fads and bedazzle the wheel (not just reinvent it).
Bizarre or unnatural lifts and constant training to failure will always have you wondering, “why?” This program follows science and applies classic strength-building principles:
- 6-12 reps per set
- 60+ seconds between sets
- 65-85% 1RM (similar to Nippard’s RPE recommendations)
4. The Whole Educational Package
By now, you’ve entrusted your physique (and confidence) to random Redditors or keyboard warriors on at least one occasion.
Your quest for gains and strength led you to ridiculous routines and diets with no explanations other than, “trust me, I [completely realistic claim].”
Jeff Nippard’s programs are the whole shebang.
Not only will you exit the program stronger and more muscular, but you’ll also walk away with some lifting knowledge and know the whys and hows of lifting.
3 Negatives of Fundamentals Hypertrophy
1. Might Seem Like Too Little
Those 30-set, 90-minute routines flooding the internet create (unfairly) high expectations for any program that falls short. This routine might leave you asking, “That was it?”
For example, this full-body workout caps at three sets of back squats, and that’s it. Unless you’re a true noob, 24 squats in a workout won’t leave you with a satisfying burn.
Or the one bicep exercise on all of arm day in the body part split.
If you’re feeling underworked, don’t be afraid to sprinkle in a few extra sets or exercises to the muscles being neglected.
2. Calves Once a Week?
The body part split already goes beyond standard expectations, allowing your legs some much-needed TLC during two of your five weekly workouts.
But there’s an elephant in the room: The calves.
At least until week five of the upper/lower split, your calves get just one day (and three sets) all week. For a guy with massive calves like Jeff Nippard … that’s surprising.
Wrapping Up This Review of Nippard’s Hypertrophy Fundamentals
Without a doubt, Jeff Nippard’s Fundamentals Hypertrophy Program stampedes the average online mass-building program. But will it build foundational strength and mass as advertised?
For the most part … yes!
This easy-to-follow program targets progressive overload, is technically a three-in-one routine, doesn’t complicate workouts for the hell of it, and will deepen your health/fitness understanding.
Dedicate yourself to the routine, and noob gains are on the horizon!
But this Fundamentals program won’t be every lifter’s cup of tea. The lack of calf, isolation, and more exercises might leave your muscles feeling underworked and underappreciated.
If you’re a complete rookie looking for some foundational guidance, this program is a one-stop-shop. Otherwise, a more intensive Nippard routine will ensure those gains best!
Rating: 8.8 out of 10