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Muscle Hypertrophy Explained

by | 15 December, 2021 | Coaching, Fitness, Workout | 0 comments


Muscle growth is a fascinating subject and chances are you want some yourself.

You probably know that to get your body to build new muscle tissue a few things need to happen.

Most importantly you need to create a stimulus for example through weight training and you also need to provide your body with the right building blocks to create new tissue like calories and enough protein.

But what exactly happens in your body when you have these things covered.

We know from studies that skeletal muscle tissue is the most adaptable tissue in the human body.

And even though we still haven’t figured out every last aspect of muscle growth it is a well researched topic that can help you improve your fitness routine.

So to help you understand the whole process we have to start with the basics.

Your muscles don’t actually grow during the workout.

Instead what you do is you overload them and damage the muscle fibers.

Afterwards when you rest your body repairs damaged muscle fibers through a cellular process called myofibrillar hypertrophy.

When it fuses muscle fibers together which in turn will not only lead to thicker muscle tissue but also to more muscle fibers.

With this in mind muscle growth can actually be achieved in three different ways.

First through progressive tension overload 

This is the most straightforward way.

All you do is increase the tension placed on your muscle fibers over time.

What this means is that to grow muscles through progressive overload you either have to do more sets more reps or more weights 

AND practice lifting heavier weights over time is usually the most common way.

Next as muscle damage which means that you actually damage muscle fibers during your training and your body will then want to repair and adapt these damaged fibers to better deal with future damage.

This muscle damage or more specifically the release of inflammatory molecules is also what will make you feel sore after a workout.

And lastly metabolic stress which we all know as the pump.

Mainly what happens is that metabolic stress causes cells around the muscles to swell.

And this alone can help with muscle growth even though it doesn’t directly increase the size of the muscle cells.

This last type of growth is also known as Sarcoplasmic Hypertrophy.

Now of these three muscle building strategies the most effective is progressive overload.

So always make sure you increase your weights over time.

Many beginners make the mistake of lifting the same amount of weight over weeks and months and then wonder why they aren’t seeing any results.

Of course another vital aspect of muscle growth that I have left out so far is rest.

Unless you give your body time to rest and recover you will not only gain less muscle but also will feel burned out and get sick a lot quicker.

Depending on how intense you exercise.

You might need a few hours to several days to give each muscle group enough time to recover and compensate for the tissue damage caused during your training.

The most important aspect of rest is always sleep.

7 to 9 hours are usually seen as ideal for most people.

So make sure you don’t go to bed too late every night.

Besides that there are other ways of improving your recovery from massages to medication.

But these are completely different topics that beginners don’t need to worry about.

So to wrap up this video in order to force your body to build more muscle tissue.

You first need to break it down through concentrated tention.

Your body will then adapt and super compensate by building stronger and more muscle tissues.

There are three different mechanisms that can achieve an increase in size.

Either through a progressive overload muscle damage or metabolic stress.

After your workout is over you also want to make sure to give your body enough rest while providing the nutritional building blocks for new tissue.

The most important nutritional building blocks are of course calories and protein.

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Norbert Simonis

CEO & Founder, BODY TIME

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