Hypertrophy training is one of the most efficient exercise methods for increasing muscle mass. Building muscle is as easy as carrying groceries through a five-story walk-up. Or as challenging as training at a top-secret D1 sports complex. The problem is that most of us don’t have the time to spend hours every day at the gym. And doing the bare minimum won’t produce noticeable results.
To successfully juggle our personal and professional lives, we need a planned approach to muscle growth. For this reason, hypertrophy exercise is essential. Suppose you want to gain muscle in an organized, quantifiable, and effective manner. Let’s look more closely to see how this practice can help achieve that goal.
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Definition of Hypertrophy Exercises
Muscle hypertrophy is increasing muscle size by stretching and enlarging existing muscle fibers. “Hypertrophy” refers to the process through which muscle grows in size, volume, and cross-sectional area. Recommendat.com explains more in detail about the Hypertrophy exercise to grow your muscles.
Despite its popularity among bodybuilders & aesthetic lifters. It would help if you didn’t assume this is the intended audience for this particular workout. The benefits of hypertrophy exercise are not limited to those with aesthetic goals. It’s got a tone of practical uses in everyday life and sports.
Can Hypertrophy Replace Weightlifting?
Not everyone may benefit from the same form of physical activity. The ideal training type depends on the specific objectives you wish to achieve. In hypertrophy, muscular size is prioritized over strength (your ability to exert force).
Remember that there is some overlap between any of these two methods of instruction. Hypertrophy training will help you gain strength, and strength training will help you gain muscle. What matters most is what you hope to achieve. Therefore, hypertrophy exercise is the better choice if your goal is to increase muscle mass.
There are two types of hypertrophy that happen inside individual muscle fibers. Each one stimulates expansion by acting on a unique set of muscle fibers.
Excessive growth of sarcoplasmic reticulum
The fluid that surrounds and nourishes muscle cells is called sarcoplasmic. The fluid volume varies depending on how well the body handles lactic acid. It’s called “bodybuilding hypertrophy” because the more fantastic rep ranges often used in bodybuilding are what trigger the growth of sarcoplasmic.
Myofibrillar hypertrophy involves the thickening and strengthening of individual muscle fibers. It is typically considered the more strength-oriented and sport-focused of the two. Many powerlifters & explosive athletes put a premium on myoplasm hypertrophy. Despite its notoriously difficult maintenance compared to its sarcoplasmic counterpart.
Muscle Growth Through Sarcoplasmic & Myofibrillar Hypertrophy
Imagine a giant plastic bag stuffed with inflated balloons to get a better visual of this. You may think of the bag as a portion of your muscle. Myofibrils (muscle fibers) are represented by balloons. While the sarcoplasmic fills the interstitial space between them.
You may either make more enormous balloons (sarcoplasmic) or enhance the size of the plastic bag (muscle) to make it bigger (muscle fibers).
Suppose you want to create more room in your plastic bag for your balloons (sarcoplasmic hypertrophy). You’ll need to blow additional air into the bag. Specifically, you’ll be utilizing your lungs. More breaths will be required to fill the plastic bag (reps). There isn’t much difficulty in squeezing each breath into the bag. But the cumulative effect of doing so many will leave you feeling the burn.
A second choice is to use more enormous balloons (myofibrillar hypertrophy). Although you’ll need fewer breaths to fill each balloon, you’ll have to use more energy.
There is a difference in the amount of volume and effort required for the two techniques. But both will help you grow your bag (muscle). You’ll need to make a similar decision about which type of muscle hypertrophy you value most. When deciding on a rep range for muscle building, your final goal(s) should play a significant role.
When attempting to gain muscle mass, how many repetitions should one perform?
The sweet spot for sarcoplasmic-centric hypertrophy is when muscle growth is driven mainly by sarcoplasmic. It is between 6 and 12 repetitions at 70 percent of your one-repetition maximum (1RM). The optimal range for myofibrillar hypertrophy is 6-8 repetitions at 75-85% of your one-rep max.
Time under tension, or how long it takes to finish the set. It is just as significant as the number of reps you accomplish. Aim for 20–40 seconds of work time for 6–8 repetitions. 6-12 rep ranges should be completed in 60-70 seconds.
At this point, you must define your objectives more narrowly. Both types of hypertrophy are inevitable throughout any routine designed to develop muscle. But the emphasis will shift depending on the exercises and rep counts you choose. The answer depends on your intended purpose for enhanced muscle mass.
Say, for instance, that aesthetics were your primary motivation. Maximal muscular growth is more important than the capacity to deadlift an oversized item at this time instead of focusing on myofibrillar hypertrophy. Which is more time-consuming and stressful; you may choose to focus on sarcoplasmic hypertrophy. That requires fewer repetitions with lighter weights.
We’ll look at some concrete instances of each type of hypertrophy workout after we examine another crucial aspect of effective hypertrophy training implementation.
Which Exercises Are Ideal for Muscle Growth?
Whenever it comes to building muscle, not all exercises are made equal. Exercises that use too many other muscles except the intended ones should be avoided.
The chest, back, and posterior chain are common targets for hypertrophy exercise. Suppose you’re doing exercises with smaller supporting muscles. And those muscles fatigue before you get to the correct rep ranges; you’re not getting the most out of your workout. This is due to the necessity of increasing loading in producing hypertrophy, according to the National Academy of Sports Medicine. Reaching your repetition range is essential.
Which type of muscle growth (hypertrophy) you want to emphasize will also determine the optimal exercises to perform. Sarcoplasmic hypertrophy is more common during single motions.
The following are instances of isolated motions:
- Bicep curls while seated
- Contraction of the Triceps through Cable
- Using a chest press machine
- A Leg Press Machine
- Shoulder Exercise Machine
- Turn the plane around and fly backward.
- Bent-over row with chest support
- Shoulder flexing with dumbbells
- Raise the front
- A front-facing cable that only requires one arm to raise
- Relaxed lumbar flexion when seated
Myofibrillar hypertrophy is well-suited to the kinds of compound motions. That calls for solid and all-out contractions of the muscles involved in the lift.
The following are all examples of compound movements:
- Treadmill squats with a barbell
- Lunge with dumbbells
- The Bench Press
- False hoodie
To maximize hypertrophy, how frequently should I exercise?
The recuperation period has a significant role in determining the frequency of hypertrophy training. When building muscle, it’s typical practice to focus on each body component once a week. Raise the stakes of your workout if you think you can manage it. If your body reacts well after three to four weeks, you may want to start training that muscle group twice weekly.
There has to be as much focus on your rest and recovery as there is on your workout. Overtraining can lead to fewer gains or even damage. So it’s essential to pay attention to your body when you work out.
Combining It All
The process of hypertrophy is more subtle than what you may have been led to think by self-proclaimed fitness experts. However, it need not be difficult to implement or overly complex.