Hypertrophy Club: a name heard with such scarcity yet with such excitement at Concord Academy that you might associate it with the seal or the Senior Steps. But, Hypertrophy Club is no historical CA tradition or myth; it is an up-and-coming club created by Edoardo “Dado” Takacs ’23 during the 2021–2022 academic year.
Dado explained, “[I] started lifting in the second half of [my] freshman year.” Despite a long, forced break from the gym during the peak of COVID-19, he was determined to make a return to the gym, but this time, he came back even more prepared than before. When restarting his journey, he recalled that despite seeing some progress from following the “cookie-cutter” programs he found on Instagram and YouTube, he too frequently found himself injured and losing interest in the gym. He explained, “It was a hard process at first, getting into lifting, because I didn’t really have a compass of understanding where to go and what to do, and at times it made me not want to go to the gym because I had no direction.”
Rather than accepting the defeat of this mental roadblock, Dado instead used his frustration in his lack of understanding as motivation. He explained, “For me, I really love understanding why I do things, and when I had no understanding of why, I kind of was just like ‘okay, I feel like I should just educate myself on this.’”
He decided to fill his free time with research. “There are a ton of eBooks I have read, online studies, research papers, and content on YouTube,” Dado said. Over the span of one-and-a-half years, Dado has accumulated mountains of notes and information. and it was then that he realized, “[I saw] that at CA nothing like that [information] was really provided by a student.” Motivated to enlighten others as well, Dado started an Instagram account devoted to weightlifting that CA students quickly began to follow. This only caused more curiosity. Dado said, “I noticed a lot of people coming up to me junior year asking me ‘hey, what do you do?’ People didn’t really understand why I was doing what I was doing.” Thus began Hypertrophy Club.
So, what exactly is Hypertrophy Club? To those unfamiliar with weightlifting terminology, Dado describes the concept of hypertrophy as, “training for muscle growth.” He emphasizes, “[It’s not] powerlifting, or just lifting as much weight as possible, or athletic training.” He describes his club in general as “a lifting club where I basically just teach people how to lift properly, how to format their workouts, and give them advice on how to start and how to progress.”
With the next semester approaching, Dado explained that he will have much more free time. So, how does he plan to devote this newfound free time to Hypertrophy Club? “We will be meeting a lot more, and from there, it’s really just going about the plan I set out for myself at the beginning: starting with meetings and showing people how to train specific body parts and muscle groups properly in the context of hypertrophy,” Dado said. He also expressed having the most excitement for something he dubbed Saturday Sessions. During these meetings, Dado wants club members to work out and learn together. He said, “I will be at the gym, and if someone wants to come we will just workout together and I can show them not just in a classroom but in the real environment of actually being in the gym, actually showing them how to do everything properly. It’s one thing to just learn about it, but you also have to learn how to do it properly.”
Dado provided one last sage piece of advice. He shared that he has observed many people being scared to start going to the gym and scared of being the new person in the space. He shared, “I think that one thing I’ve learned in the past few years is that like whenever you are in a community of people who go to the gym or who just like to lift, usually, […] 99 percent of the time, they don’t really care about you […] they are not going to be judging you for being there. They are really just going there for themselves, and all they are really going to do is support you for showing up.”