Slingshot hypertrophy or super-compensation is a 3-step process.
The first step is the application of a training or loading stimulus and the body’s reaction it (i.e. fatigue, tiring, etc.). When we’re training a specific muscle-group 2-3 times per week, there is a decrease in performance due to this reaction.
Step 2 is the recovery phase. This can be a lighter training session, a recovery session, an active rest or, my personal preference, a back off/deload week. As a result of the recovery period, the energy stores and performance will return to the baseline.
Step 3 is the super-compensation phase. This is the adaptive slingshot above the baseline; it is described as a slingshot response because the body is essentially coming back from the low point of greatest fatigue.
In other words…
We hammer away at a specific muscle group for 4-6 weeks. At this point you’ll begin to notice a slight decrease in performance. This means we have successfully pushed the muscle into a state of overreaching.
This becomes the perfect opportunity for a back off week or recovery phase where we restore our energy, and adapt to the high training load of the previous (4-6) weeks.
The body then compensates to ensure it’s ready to handle another extreme training phase by building bigger and stronger (insert muscle you hammered for the last 4-6 weeks).