Everybody who works out regularly is looking for big gains and well-defined muscles. This is a result of a process called hypertrophy.
If you really want to see those gains you’ve been dreaming about, then it makes sense to learn about this process.
When you understand the science behind muscle building, it allows you to be laser-focused on the things that get results.
In fact, a lot of the exercises that hypertrophy encompasses can be done at home. And with the added benefit of less risk of injury.
If you want to learn more about hypertrophy and what it can do for you, then read on for some of the basics.
How Does Hypertrophy Work?
There are two kinds of hypertrophy. One is myofibrillar hypertrophy and the other is sarcoplasmic hypertrophy.
Now, both types help build muscle mass. But the difference between the two is that myofibrillar hypertrophy also increases your strength.
Sarcoplasmic hypertrophy is great for bodybuilders who don’t need to be stronger, but all they want is to look bigger.
Which type you go for depends on what your aims are. However, myofibrillar hypertrophy is better for most regular guys who are looking to add mass. Your muscles are more functional when you go for this type over sarcoplasmic.
When you do many workouts that focus on muscle strength, you end up damaging the fibers. How much damage depends on factors such as anabolic levels, nutrition, and optimum recovery and nuclei.
The myonuclei, or control centers of the muscle, will increase the fibers within the muscle.
When you have a high myonuclei count then you will add more fibers and thus more muscle mass. The more you train, the more of these myonuclei will form in the satellite cells around the muscles.
Who Should Hypertrophy Train?
Well, technically anybody who wants to train with hypertrophy in mind can and should. If you are looking to build muscle mass then you are the ideal candidate.
There are some who benefit more than others, however.
If you are a strength athlete that requires the power that comes from the added mass and not just the aesthetic of it, then myofibrillar hypertrophy training should be on your radar.
For instance, a power athlete that requires a lot of strength should be doing this. Certain football positions could certainly benefit like defensive or offensive linemen.
Bodybuilders follow the sarcoplasmic system as it seems to increase the visible muscle although at the expense of strength.
Tips For Effective Hypertrophy Training
Here are a few workout tips that will help you achieve hypertrophy and increase muscle mass:
- Aim for around 8 reps per set. If you’re able to do 20 reps, it means the weight you’re lifting is too light. Adjust the weight until you’re able to perform only about 8 reps.
- Rest about a minute between sets to allow your muscles to properly recover and grow.
- Target different muscle groups each day. This will help you build an evenly distributed muscular mass.
- Increase the weight gradually each week (or every other week) to challenge your muscles.
- If possible, work with a professional to build a personal training program for your goals.
Reduced Risk Of Injury
Many trainers for professional athletes are taking on hypertrophy training as a way to keep their athletes in top shape and also to prevent injuries.
Strong muscles lead to strong tendons which means staying in proper alignment naturally. Bones and joints are protected from strain during a workout and even during the sport itself.
There is also a benefit of using muscles that are not generally used that become stronger. This means they are less likely to be injured from being weaker than surrounding muscles.