Muscular Hypertrophy: How Does it work?

Muscular hypertrophy is muscle cell growth. Hypertrophy refers to an increase in exercise-related muscle size. When you work out, lifting weights is the most common way to increase hypertrophy if you want to tone or improve your muscle quality.

What is Muscular Hypertrophy?

There are two types of muscular hypertrophy: myofibrillar and sarcoplasmic. Myofibrillar hypertrophy means the growth of muscle contraction parts. Sarcoplasmic hypertrophy means increased glycogen storage in muscles.
Which type to focus depends on your fitness goals.

Training with myofibrillar will help with strength and speed. Sarcoplasmic growth helps to give more sustained energy to your body for athletic endurance exercises.

You can perform many repetitions at a lower weight when weightlifting or lift a heavyweight for fewer reps. The way you lift your muscles will determine how they grow and change.

For example, with a lighter weight, you can develop muscle, but it will require many repetitions to improve muscle fiber efficiency. Unless you do several repetitions to the point of fatigue, you won’t see a lot of muscle definition with this workout style.

On the other hand, an effective way to stimulate growth and definition in muscle fibers is to use a heavyweight. If you’re short on time, it’s also a more efficient way to work out.

How to Increase Muscle Size and Quality?

When lifting a heavyweight, the muscle’s contractile proteins must generate strength to overturn the weight resistance.

This can cause muscle structural damage. Mechanical muscle protein damage stimulates the body’s response to repair. The damaged muscle protein fibers lead to an increase in the muscle’s size.

Mechanical fatigue occurs when the muscle fibers exhaust the supply of ATP, a component of energy that helps to contract your muscles. They can not continue to fuel muscle contractions or they can no longer lift the weight. This can also result in gaining muscle.

To achieve muscular hypertrophy, both mechanical damage and metabolic fatigue are important.

You don’t have to work your muscles to the point of what’s called “failure,” which means you won’t be able to follow a repetition to get the results you want.

One study found that significant metabolic stress on the muscles, plus it needs a moderate degree of muscle tension for maximum gains (1).

Researchers found effective exercises involving shortening (concentric) movements for 1-3 seconds at fast-to-moderate speeds and elongating (eccentric) at lower speeds (2-4 seconds).

One example of concentrated movement is to raise the weight to your shoulder during a bicep curl. It would be eccentric to return to the starting position.

How Often You Need to Achieve Muscle hypertrophy

Depends on your goals, how often you need to exercise to achieve muscle hypertrophy. One of these weight-lifting schedules could be tried:

Three days a week lifting heavyweights. This allows you to regenerate your muscles for a day in between sessions. Recovery is essential for the growth of the muscle.

Lifting just two days a week, depending on your current fitness level.  Alternating between the upper body lifting and the lower body lifting on various days. This allows various muscles to work while allowing time for rest and recovery.

The Final Thought:

Muscular hypertrophy can be achieved in the gym by weightlifting. But to see growth, you need to break down and challenge your muscles.

Also important for muscle growth is a protein-rich diet. Focus on lean protein sources such as protein powder based on plants, lean meat, chicken, and fish. Try eating or drinking a source of protein within 30 minutes of an exercise.

See your doctor before you start a new exercise routine. They can determine whether heavy lifting is safe for you.

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