Types of Muscle Growth: Understanding Hypertrophy and More
Muscle hypertrophy is an extremely confusing subject, especially for beginners. It’s a complicated word and concept that can cause your brain to grow stronger because of the strength it takes to properly understand how it, as well as the two types of muscle growth that there is, work.
Because muscle growth and hypertrophy is critical to anyone looking to beef themselves up, breaking down the definitions of all kinds is just as important. Luckily, experts from Visual Impact Fitness can help.
What Is Hypertrophy?
Hypertrophy is the technical term that is used to describe muscle growth. Many suggest that the best way to encourage muscle hypertrophy is to start using multiple ranges of rep to build various types of muscle fibers.
However, many others claim that there are two types of muscle hypertrophy that you need to build muscle—myofibrillar and sarcoplasmic—and you need to include both in your training regime to reap the rewards.
What might surprise you, is all muscle growth in your body isn’t created equally. The two types of muscle growth work differently and can help you to understand why it seems like some athletes have the strength of a superhero, and why others have muscles that are all for the show.
The truth is, it’s all about myofibrillar and sarcoplasmic hypertrophy, and their connections. Your genetics also play a considerable role in hypertrophy. Depending on your DNA, growing muscle might be much easier for you than it is for others—regardless of the weightlifting regimen that you apply.
The level of myofibrillar hypertrophy is described as an extension of the muscle’s fibers as it builds more of them. Myofibrils are pieces of muscle tissue that contract and create tension within the muscle itself.
The area density of myofibrils with myofibrillar hypertrophy causes a significant growth in the ability to exert muscular strength. You can reach this type of hypertrophy by using a combination of heavy weights for low reps as well as consistent training.
If you look at myofibrillar hypertrophy from an athletic point of view, it’s easy to see that the majority of athletic activities are quick in nature and have explosive responses. It’s vital that athletes use maximum strength in their training methods by using heavy weights at one to five reps.
Over time, the consistency not only helps with muscle growth, but it actually helps train the nervous system. Applying heavy weights for low reps at the right time is going to significantly boost your chances of building your muscles enough to where they can generate enough force to contract during athletic performances. Essentially, many people consider myofibrillar hypertrophy the more functional term of hypertrophy.
Now that you have a brief understanding of the complexities of myofibrillar hypertrophy, it’s time to look at another type of muscle growth—sarcoplasmic hypertrophy. This type of hypertrophy is a boost in the volume of the non-contractible muscle cell fluid known as sarcoplasm.
The sarcoplasm fluid makes up approximately 25 to 30% of your muscle’s size. While the cross-section area of your muscles is going to increase in size, the density of your myofibrils per unit decreases. The fact that there is no advancement in your muscular strength means that sarcoplasmic hypertrophy is the result of high-repetition, “bodybuilder” training.
Using athletics to drive the point home works just as well when breaking down sarcoplasmic hypertrophy as it does when breaking down myofibrillar hypertrophy.
There are many power athletes, such as football players, wrestlers, basketball players, baseball players, and others that focus too much of their time training in the 10 to 15 rep range. While this type of training is ideal for athletes looking to bulk up to keep from being pushed around, it doesn’t help with enhancing muscle strength in the way that myofibrillar hypertrophy does.
Because professional bodybuilders from Visual Impact Fitness, for example, use sarcoplasmic hypertrophy as their primary method of training with high reps, it is a perfect example of why their muscles are big, but they don’t have the muscle strength to match.
What Are the Benefits of Combining the Two?
Consistent training is always the most beneficial. Combining both sarcoplasmic and myofibrillar hypertrophy allows you to grow your muscles while also increasing their strength. On the outside, it looks like the bigger your muscles are, the more power that you have. Keeping yourself educated when it comes to the two types of hypertrophies is what’s going to keep you bulky and strong.
Ensuring that you consistently use high repetitions in your training is going to cause you to reach sarcoplasmic hypertrophy, which increases the strength in your muscles. When you combine that with low repetitions in your regimen, you reach myofibrillar hypertrophy level that’s needed to improve the actual size of your muscles.
Meshing together the two types of muscle growth in alternating but consistent basis is the only way to make sure that the strength of your muscles is growing along with its size.
Ultimately, a lot of the times it’s going to come down to your training structure, diet, knowledge, and dedication to reach the type of hypertrophy that you’re looking to achieve. Regardless if you want to grow your muscles with sarcoplasmic hypertrophy or strengthen them with myofibrillar hypertrophy, it’s essential that you educate yourself first.
Professional bodybuilders and athletes all have the experience, help, and knowledge that comes with a personal trainer and coach. To learn more, seek out the help of someone trained not only to coach you on developing bigger muscles but also someone who can teach you along the way.
Luckily, you can turn to Visual Impact Fitness to provide you with optimal information and advanced techniques.