What Is Hypertrophy?
Hypertrophy is the increase in size of a tissue or organ through the enlargement of the cells that comprise it.
When weightlifting, you can perform a high amount of repetitions at a low weight or you lift moderate to heavy weight for a lower amount of repetitions. Ultimately, whatever you do, will determine the way your muscles develop and grow.
What’s the most important, is that for the maximum increase of musclemass and strentgh, there needs to be a certain amount of metabolic stress on the bodies muscles, as a study conducted in 2010 found.
If we’re going to discuss muscle hypertrophy, we have to talk about the two types generally discussed:
- Myofibrillar hypertrophy
- Sarcoplasmic hypertrophy
Myo is “muscle” and a fibril is a threadlike cellular structure.
Myofibrils are made up of proteins that can contract and are what allow muscles to function as they do. Each muscle fiber contains many myofibrils.
Myofibrillar hypertrophy, then, refers to an increase in the size and number of myofibrils in muscle fibers. This increases the force with which muscles can contract which means it is increasing strength and speed,
Sarco means “flesh” and plasmic refers to plasma, which is a gel-like substance in a cell containing various things vital to the maintenance of life.
Thus, sarcoplasm is the plasmic elements of muscle cells, and it includes proteins, glycogen, water, collagen, and other substances.
As you can deduce, then, sarcoplasmic hypertrophy is an increase in the volume of the fluid, non-contractile components of the muscle (the sarcoplasm), it increases the energy storage and endurance of the muscle.
Many believe it to be a myth, some swear by hypertrophy, personal opinion; how would you explain a 150 Pounds Powerlifter that can outlift a 250 pounds Bodybuilder?
Want to learn more? Check our Beginner’s guide to strength training!