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Using Muscle Hypertrophy Science to Gain Size and Strength Faster

April 13, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 185

Muscle hypertrophy is a fancy sounding word for growth. The anabolic building of additional muscle mass is the goal of every beginner to weight lifting and experienced bodybuilder alike.

By understanding the science behind muscle hypertrophy we can use it to maximize our gains in size and strength over time. Let's start by defining the two different types of hypertrophy.

Myofibrillar Muscle Hypertrophy

Myofibrillar muscle hypertrophy is a big word that describes muscles growing larger from the addition of new muscle tissue. When muscles are trained beyond their capacity, also known as overload, the muscle fibers will be strained and damaged. The body then goes to work repairing the damaged muscle fibers. This kind of hypertrophy is best accomplished through training with heavier weights using lower rep volumes.

In the process of repairing the muscles the body will also add to the muscle tissue in the affected muscles in order to protect them from becoming damaged from similar stresses in the future. This additional muscle tissue results in a gain in muscle mass, which is what all bodybuilders strive for. This process describes myofibrillar muscle hypertrophy which is best described as the addition of muscle mass.

Sarcoplasmic Muscle Hypertrophy

Sarcoplasmic muscle hypertrophy gets its name from the fact that muscle cells are filled with sarcoplasmic fluid, and under the right kinds of stress, the volume of sarcoplasmic fluid that the muscle cells can accommodate increases. This increase in cell volume actually has nothing to do with an increase in muscle tissue, but still makes the muscles larger and fuller.

Sarcoplasmic hypertrophy is most commonly experienced by bodybuilders that train with relatively light weights for a high number of reps. Sarcoplasmic hypertrophy may look good, but it does nothing in terms of making you stronger or improving the muscular composition of your body.

Taking Advantage of the Two Kinds of Hypertrophy

We've established the two types of muscle hypertrophy, but how do we use this to our muscle building advantage? The main differentiating factor between training for one type of hypertrophy versus the other is the amount of weight you're using and the number of reps you are performing.

We've already made note of how to train to achieve either of these hypertrophy results, but in order to make your muscles as dense and large as possible you'll need to be intentional about training for both kinds of hypertrophy.

To do this you simply alternate training with heavier weights and lighter weights, always training to failure. I like to use 3 weeks of heavy training followed by 1 week of light training, but you'll want to experiment to see what works best for your body type.

The bottom line is that if you want to gain muscle mass and size as fast as possible, you need to mix up your training so you're building new muscle tissue while also increasing the volume of your muscle cells. This combination will lead to the fastest results possible.

Neglect it at your own risk because you will regret it!

Craig Leonard is a formerly overweight turned fitness expert that understands the struggles the average person endures when trying to build muscle and shed unwanted body fat.

For more information on strength training and other tips to help you build muscle, lose fat and transform your body, check out Craig's inspirational articles on

Source: EzineArticles
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Sarcoplasmic Muscle Hypertrophy

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