What Hypertrophy Is and How to Achieve It

Hey Angels and Alphas,

The term hypertrophy can seem like a bit of a tongue twister, but it’s actually a very easy concept to understand and apply to your own training program. The term refers to an increase in muscle size, which means that hypertrophy can be applied to bodybuilders, sprinters, and even weightlifters, each of whom have different goals. If you’re trying to achieve hypertrophy on your own, here are some helpful tips and tricks to get the results you want!

What Is Hypertrophy?

Hypertrophy is the process of muscle cells enlarging as a result of an increase in the size of actin, myosin filaments, and other components. In essence, hypertrophy means that the muscle has become larger. There are three types of hypertrophy; sarcoplasmic, myofibrillar, and mixed. Sarcoplasmic hypertrophy (or wet muscle) is characterized by an increase in fluid within the muscles themselves. Myofibrillar hypertrophy (or dry muscle) is characterized by an increase in protein content inside the myofibrils. Mixed hypertrophy describes a combination of both sarcoplasmic and myofibrillar changes.

Types of Muscle Fibers

There are three types of muscle fibers: type I, type IIa, and type IIx. Type I are slow twitch fibers that are used for endurance activities. Type IIa are fast twitch muscles fibers which can be used for both endurance or strength activities. Type IIx is a fast-twitch fiber that is only used for short bursts of power (such as sprinting).

Exercise Types for Hypertrophy – Compound Exercises and Isolation Exercises

Compound exercises are any exercise that work more than one muscle group at a time. The bench press is a perfect example because it works your chest, shoulders, triceps, and biceps all at once. Isolation exercises are movements that work only one muscle group at a time. The dumbbell fly is an example of this type of movement because it only works the chest muscles. Compound exercises can be very beneficial for developing hypertrophy in certain muscle groups like the chest. 

But if you want to focus on developing other parts of the body via hypertrophy, isolation exercises may be best for you. 

In order to achieve true muscle growth, there needs to be progressive overload from your workout routine. Otherwise, you will never see significant results from lifting weights or doing cardio! Consistency is also key when trying to build up muscle mass – do not take weeks off from working out or taking days off from eating healthy. There are many different types of workouts that will help you develop muscle mass so try them out and find what you enjoy!

Nutrition for Hypertrophy

A well-balanced diet with plenty of protein will help you build muscle. Protein is the main building block for muscle, so it’s essential that you consume enough protein. Your muscles are constantly breaking down, so if you don’t have enough protein in your system, they won’t have the chance to rebuild. A good place to start is by consuming 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight. This equals 180 grams for a 200 lb person. Consider adding a whey protein shake when working out or eating eggs for breakfast.

3 Common Myths Debunked

One common myth is that you need to lift really heavy weights for a significant amount of time to see results. This isn’t true- in fact, lifting light weights for a much longer period of time can lead to more hypertrophy than doing the same with heavier weights. Another popular misconception is that you need to stretch before lifting weights; this isn’t necessary as it’s best for your muscles to contract before stretching. 

Another common myth is that if you don’t get a pump in your muscles during your workout, it didn’t achieve hypertrophy. The truth is that you may have achieved more hypertrophy than you think even if you didn’t get a pump; tension levels are what really matter for muscle growth. A lot of people also believe that it’s necessary to avoid protein consumption before their workout in order to see results, but studies show that taking in protein before lifting can increase your overall strength output.

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