What is muscle hypertrophy and how does it work?

Muscular hypertrophy is the scientific term for increased muscle size.

Hyper means “more or more”, and booty It means “growth,” so hypertrophy literally means muscle cell growth. And in case you’re curious, it’s pronounced hi-per-trophy.

To understand the causes of hypertrophy and how it works, you first need to understand what muscles it consists of.

Muscle tissue is a complex structure, with bundles of long strands of muscle cells encased in a thick band of connective tissue known as Ocean.

Here’s how it looks:

Muscle and skeletal structure

The three main components of muscle tissue are:

  1. the water that compensate 60 to 80% of muscle tissue by weight. (Want to sneak in? Read how scientists discovered this.)
  2. glycogenIt is a form of stored carbohydrate compensate 0 to 5% of muscle tissue by weight.
  3. the protein that compensate About 20% of muscle tissue is by weight.

In theory, an increase in any of these components could be considered “muscular hypertrophy”, but weightlifters are most interested in the third component:

Increase the amount of protein in the muscles.

This is known as myofascial hypertrophy (miu means “muscle”, and fibrous It is a filamentous cytoskeleton).

Another type of inflation is known Sarcoplasmic hypertrophy, which is an increase in the volume of fluid and non-contractile components of the muscles (glycogen, water, minerals, etc.).

Sarko . means “meat” and Plasma Back to plasma, a gel-like substance in a cell that contains various molecules important for life.

Here is a simple visual showing the difference between these two types of inflation:

Sarcoplasmic hypertrophy and myofibrils

Bodybuilders have been debating for years whether sarcoplasmic hypertrophy or myofibrillar hypertrophy is more important to building larger muscles and what are the best training methods to achieve this, but here is the bottom line:

Sarcoplasmic hypertrophy may do game Small and indirect role in promoting muscle growth, but potentially a beneficial side effect proper strength trainingIt is not an end in itself.

In other words, by ensuring that myofascial hypertrophy is achieved, the sarcoplasmic hypertrophy will take care of itself.

What is the best way to stimulate myofascial hypertrophy?

This process includes several steps:

  1. First, you have to do Create Lots of mechanical tension in your muscle fibers, and the best way to do that is to force your muscles to contract against external resistance.
  2. This is mechanical tension activates Specialized proteins in muscle cells known as mechanical sensors. These mechanical sensors are only activated by very high levels of tension, which is why low-intensity contractions, such as walking, do not produce a very strong stimulus to hypertrophy.
  3. Once the mechanical sensors are activated, going off A series of genetic and hormonal signals that stimulate the body to build new muscle tissue. These signs Increase An enzyme in the body known as Mammalian target of rapamycin, or mTOR, which promotes protein synthesis (the formation of new muscle fibers).

And voila, you get some new muscle protein.

In other words, muscle hypertrophy works as follows:

Mechanical tension → activates mechanical sensors in muscle cells → increases mTOR → promotes muscle protein synthesis → causes hypertrophy → distension occurs.

As you might imagine, the best way to increase the tension in your muscles is to lift heavy weights.

Specifically, you should spend Work out most of your time in the gym with weights from 75 to 85% of your energy One delegate maxOr, you are allowed to do about 4 to 10 reps before arriving muscle failure (The point at which you cannot move the weight despite your best effort.)

On top of that, you also need to produce enough tension over time. For example, although squatting as much as possible for one rep produces a high degree of tension, the duration (magnitude) of that tension not enough To cause significant muscle growth. In other words, there is a minimum the sound of tension required to stimulate muscle growth.

While there is much debate about the correct balance of Size vs Intensity For inflation, most research shows Goldilocks is about 10 to 20 sets per muscle group per week, assuming you follow the intensity guidelines I just shared.

Now, for your workouts to actually build muscle, you also need to give your body enough rest and raw materials to create new muscle tissue, basically enough. protein And Calories.

If you do not give your body proper nutrition and adequate rest, the anabolic (muscle building) effects of mechanical stress will weaken, reducing the effectiveness of your workouts. What’s more, this also increases muscle protein breakdown – the other side of the coin of muscle protein synthesis – which cancels out some of the gains from mechanical stress.

If this explanation seems strange to you, I understand.

Look on the Internet for the causes of hypertrophy, and the description that you will find almost everywhere is that muscle growth is the result of the destruction of muscle fibers with training. Shred your muscle fibers with weight lifting, give your body a few days to repair the damage, and your body will “rebuild” your muscle fibers to become bigger and stronger.

While this explanation seems neat on paper, This is a mistake.

There is still an ongoing debate about whether or not muscle damage actually contributes to muscle growth, with most scientists saying that if it does, the benefits are slight, and others say it interferes with muscle growth by Reducing Your ability to create tension (using heavy weights enough times).

The good news is that we don’t need to bother with this debate, because almost everyone agrees that mechanical tension is still the primary cause of muscle growth. Although high levels of stress will cause some muscle damage, it is stress that ultimately drives growth, not damage.

It is also sometimes said cellular fatigue It is the third “pathway” to muscle growth, and there is probably some truth to that.

Cellular fatigue refers to a group of chemical changes that Talk In and out of muscle fibers when they repeatedly contract. When you repeat the same movement over and over to the point of near muscular failure, this causes large amounts of cellular fatigue.

research It shows that cellular fatigue contributes to muscle hypertrophy in some way, but it’s not clear exactly how. Maybe Increase Activating muscle fibers, increasing cellular swelling, improving hormonal response to exercise, or working through some other means. The important thing to remember, however, is that mechanical tension is still the main driver of muscle growth, and cellular fatigue is a secondary factor.

Thus, if you want to continue expanding and strengthening, you want to force your muscles to produce greater and greater levels of mechanical tension in your workouts. The process of doing this is known as Gradual increase in tension or just progressive overload.

There are several ways to achieve progressive overload in your training, but Research He explains that the most effective is adding more weight to the bar (or dumbbells).

Since strength training is aimed at improving strength, it should also be the most effective way to gain muscle (unlike other types of training that focus on improving muscle endurance or production. big pumps).

This is what the body grows in Guide Illustrates:

Strength training generates large amounts of tension in your muscles, and this results in a stronger stimulus for muscle growth than traditional “bulk” training. In other words, the Best training program for hypertrophy It is designed around lifting heavy weights in medium to low repetition ranges (about 4 to 10 reps per set).

This doesn’t mean that lighter weights and higher repetition ranges have no place in your exercise routine, but that they should always play a secondary role in strength training.

+ Scientific references

Reader reviews

no rating

If you enjoyed this article, get weekly updates. it’s a Free.

100% privacy. We do not rent or share our email lists.

What do you think?

Written by Joseph

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Birmingham Southern College charges a $500 fee for unvaccinated students

Take to the road