Independent RP Hypertrophy App Review for 2024

Renaissance Periodization's new hypertrophy app: is it worth it?

Independent RP Hypertrophy App Review for 2024

Looking for an independent review of the RP Hypertrophy app? You've come to the right place.

With big names like Dr. Mike Israetel behind it, the app promises a science-backed approach to hypertrophy training.

But is it truly worth the investment for those serious about muscle growth?

In this honest review, we'll break down:

  • The app's features
  • Pros and cons
  • Whether the app really works
  • If it's worth the cost
  • What users have to say

Plus, to help you make an informed decision, we'll see how it compares to other popular workout apps, including free alternatives.

Is the RP Hypertrophy app the secret weapon you've been missing, or just another bodybuilding fad?

Let's find out together.

Why should you listen to me?

Before we jump in, a quick disclaimer.

I’ve been a lifter and a coach for 20 years, and a trainer for the Canadian Forces.

I'm also an exercise scientist with a B.Sc in exercise science and a PhD in health statistics.

I’ve helped about 10,000 people get in shape 1-on-1, in group classes, and online. And I walk the walk, being in decent shape myself.

Dr. Carl Juneau before and after body transformation
In 2009, I got really sick and out of shape. As a personal trainer, that was rough. I finally got better and gained back 27.7 lbs (I'm 5'7)

I'll be transparent:

In 2016, I finished my PhD, gathered a small team, and started building Dr. Muscle, the world's first AI personal trainer.

Imagine ChatGPT, but for lifting. Automated yet personal, with expert coaching and workouts unique to you—optimized to help you build muscle and strength faster, on autopilot.

In a way, we compete with the RP app, so you might expect me to bash them.

But frankly, I won’t.

I’ll just show you what I found and let you make an educated decision.

To learn more, you can also check out this 13-point training critique of the RP app by Garett Reid, MSc. Or just watch his video review:

RP Hypertrophy App Review

I've been checking out what people have to say about it. Here's the scoop.

  • Users have said that the app is good at evaluating their training based on variables that matter for hypertrophy: pump, soreness, perceived effort, and progressive overload​1​​2​. Indeed, the RP Hypertrophy App uses self-reported data like your "quality of pump" and soreness to adjust your training volume.
  • People seem to like it, but it's not all roses. A few users have suggested tweaking the app's 4-week mesocycle to 5 or 6 weeks for better results​1​. One of the things they like is that the app allows you to manually add a set or two if needed. But be careful, don't go overboard​1​.
  • Other users have praised other features of the RP Hypertrophy app, like its periodization element1​.

However, the RP Hypertrophy app isn't without its downsides.

  • The RP training methodology is built on theoretical ideas (no hard evidence) and may overly complicate muscle growth.
  • There's also been some debate about whether it's really an "app". It's hosted on a website, so you need an internet connection to use it. Not ideal if your gym has spotty reception​1​. It's also been described as a web interface with the book/templates and their rating system, rather than a traditional mobile app​1
  • Another point to consider is the app's simplicity. It's basic-looking and doesn't offer a wide variety of exercise choices. This might be a drawback if you prefer a more robust or visually appealing interface​1​.
  • The price tag is another issue. At $20 or $25 per month [now $34.99], some users find it too steep for their liking​1​. One wrote "Paid for one month... totally not worth it" (see below).
byu/nonstop_feeling from discussion

Pros and Cons: From Features to Flaws

Let's break down the pros and cons of the RP Hypertrophy app:


  • Individualized Training: The app adjusts your training volume based on self-reported data like "quality of pump" and soreness​1​.
  • Focus on Hypertrophy Variables: It evaluates your training based on factors relevant to muscle growth: pump, soreness, perceived effort, and progressive overload​2​.
  • Promotes Progressive Overload: The app guides you to increase volume, weight, and decrease the Reps in Reserve (RIR) over a 4-6 week wave and then deload​2​.


  • Cost: At $34.99 per month or $299.99 per year, the app is quite pricey, and some users have stated that they can't justify the cost for the value it provides​2​.
  • Offline Usage: The app can't be used offline, which might be inconvenient if your gym doesn't have perfect reception​2​.
  • Limited Features: Some users have mentioned that the app could benefit from additional features such as a plate calculator or warm up calculator​2​.
  • Short Mesocycle: The app's 4-week mesocycle might be a bit short, and users have found they need to manually add sets especially when the app suggests only one set for a body part​2​.
  • Incomplete: No personalized programs, no rest periods prescribed, and minimal help, if any, with choosing exercises. Learn more in this in-depth, 13-point training critique.

Hypertrophy Progression in the RP App

If the RP Hypertrophy App is to be any good, it has to be based on sound exercise science.

Especially when it comes to progressive overload.

This is where the controversy begins. Problem is, the team at Renaissance Periodization are basing their hypertrophy app on their unique approach to progression.

But many trainers believe it's subpar, including noted exercise scientist Dr. Eric Helms, PhD.

This sparked a debate hosted by Stevel Hall of the Revive Stronger podcast.

You can watch it here:

RP Hypertrophy App Alternatives

When considering alternatives to the RP Hypertrophy App, it's essential to highlight where other options shine.

App Name Focus Area Unique Feature
Dr. Muscle AI-driven hypertrophy Personalizes and adapts workouts in real-time
Strong Workout tracking Simplistic, efficient workout logging and analysis
Fitbod Customized workouts Tailors workouts based on equipment and recovery
StrongLifts 5x5 Strength program Focuses on compound lifts and progressive overload
JEFIT Exercise library Extensive customization and tracking capabilities

First, call me biased, but I think Dr. Muscle stands out with its advanced AI technology, offering personalized workout plans that adapt in real-time to your progress, similar to having a digital personal trainer. This unique feature caters to individuals at any fitness level, optimizing workouts for muscle growth and strength gains efficiently.

Strong, another excellent alternative, focuses on workout tracking and analytics. It's perfect for lifters who value simplicity, efficiency, and the ability to customize their workout routines. With its intuitive interface, Strong helps users track their progress, set goals, and visualize improvements over time, making it a valuable tool for anyone looking to enhance their training outcomes.

Fitbod is also a worthy mention that creates personalized workout plans based on your equipment, goals, and performance. It's particularly beneficial for those who prefer variety in their exercises and need guidance on how to effectively use their available resources.

StrongLifts 5x5, focusing on simplicity and strength, is ideal for beginners or those who prefer a straightforward approach to gaining strength and muscle. Its emphasis on heavy compound lifts promotes hypertrophy through progressive overload.

Lastly, JEFIT offers an extensive exercise library and customizable workout routines, appealing to users who enjoy tailoring their fitness journey and tracking their progress with detailed analytics.

So, which one should you choose? Each alternative to the RP Hypertrophy App brings its unique strengths to the table. To sum up:

  • If you're looking for personalized, AI-driven hypertrophy workouts that evolve with your progress, Dr. Muscle might be your go-to.
  • For those who prioritize tracking, analytics, and customization, Strong could be ideal.
  • Fitbod offers variety and adaptability, perfect if you enjoy workouts tailored to your available equipment and goals.
  • If simplicity and a focus on strength and compound lifts appeal to you, StrongLifts 5x5 is worth considering.
  • Finally, for enthusiasts who like to meticulously plan and track their fitness journey, JEFIT stands out with its extensive exercise library and customizable routines.

The choice depends on your specific needs, preferences, and fitness goals.

In conclusion: Is the RP Hypertrophy App worth it?

So, what's the bottom line?

The RP Hypertrophy app offers a unique approach to muscle building. It has its strengths, like a focus on hypertrophy and individualized adjustments. But it also has its weaknesses, like offline usage, cost, and training limitations. It might be good for pure hypertrophy, but it might not be the best fit for everyone's budget or training preferences​1​.

Is it worth the investment? The jury is still out. Some users love the training style and content, but think it's possible to achieve similar results with self-programming​1​. Some professionals have also critiqued RP's training methodology.

Looking for an established, powerful, and free alternative? Try Dr. Muscle. Of course, we're biased. But we believe the results hundreds of users have gotten so far speak for themselves.

In the end, do your research, consider your needs and goals, and make the choice that's right for you. Remember, the best training program is also the one you'll stick with.

Stay strong!