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Muscular Hypertrophy Explained

Muscular Hypertrophy Explained

What is Muscular Hypertrophy?

What is Muscular Hypertrophy?

Muscular Hypertrophy or Muscle Growth is defined as an increase in the number of muscle cells or muscle mass. It is often associated with strength and weight training. Apart from physical exercise, genetics also play a role in Muscular Hypertrophy.

Types of Muscular Hypertrophy

Muscular Hypertrophy is basically of three types. The first two are most common and the third type is rare.

1) Myofibrillar Hypertrophy

In this type of Hypertrophy, the number of Myofibrils in the muscles increases. They are a long strand of muscle fibers that helps the muscle to contract. A higher number of Myofibrils in the muscle leads to denser and stronger muscles. This ultimately causes better contraction.

2) Sarcoplasmic Hypertrophy

In this type of Hypertrophy, the volume of Sarcosplasmic fluid in the muscles increases. This fluid contains important energy-rich substances such as Adenosine triphosphate (ATP), water, creatine, and glycogen. It surrounds the Myofibrils in the muscle. When you work out, more Sarcoplasmic fluid moves to the muscles to provide energy. This type of Hypertrophy makes muscles appear larger but it does not increase their strength.

3) Myostatin-related Muscular Hypertrophy

It is a rare genetic condition where body fat is reduced and muscle size is increased almost twice the normal muscle mass. People with this condition have more muscular strength than an average person.

What Causes Muscular Hypertrophy?

Factors that impact Muscular Hypertrophy are the physical exercise done by the person. Strength and weight training increase Muscular Hypertrophy as it builds muscles using both Myofibrillar Hypertrophy and Sarcoplasmic Hypertrophy. During workouts that involve contraction of muscles again resistance that is increased gradually over time, muscles experience a lot of strain. This strain causes muscle damage which then the body repairs. Repeated straining of muscles causes them to adapt to the new challenge by getting bigger and stronger. So, to promote muscle growth, people should focus on weight training and resistance training followed by adequate recovery.

Regardless of the training program, you adopted, you must work to the point of fatigue (muscular failure) as it will create the best stimulus for Muscular Hypertrophy. Although the process for Muscular Hypertrophy is similar for everyone, the results may vary from person to person. This is because genes play a key role in Muscular Hypertrophy. Even after the same type of training, you’ll see differences in the muscle growth of two people. This is due to the different genetic make-up of each individual’s muscles. Genes impact Muscular Hypertrophy in three ways: Degree of muscle growth, Speed of growth, and the shape & appearance of the muscle.

Training for Muscular Hypertrophy

To build muscles, it is recommended that people should carry out strength and weight training at least 2-3 times every week. Regular training is beneficial only when sufficient time for muscle recovery is given. Training on non-consecutive days is most beneficial as it provides times for muscles to recover and repair thus helping them grow in size. Apart from this, resting in between exercises is also important for Muscular Hypertrophy. According to a study, it has been found that the rest of more than 2 minutes in between sets of exercises can maximize the strength gains. Muscle building does not happen overnight and takes persistent effort on the part of the individual to train regularly. Only by training regularly for several weeks, we will see any positive gains in the muscles.

See Also
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Science of Muscle Hypertrophy with Dr. Mike

Courtesy of Dr. Matt and Dr. Mike

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