FitMag gains new writers every week and we are eternally thankful to each and every one of you!
Today, Nick Gore who owns NGPT Personal Training has written a brief yet very
insightful look into hypertrophy. Many people do not understand that there is
more than one type of hypertrophy, and the benefits understanding this can give
So why the special introduction? Nick is a very keen personal trainer and spends every day
bettering his knowledge for the next, which is something you don’t see very often.
Over and above this, Nick trains a great cross-section of people including
Jamie Redknapp’s brother!
When people talk about ‘Hypertrophy’ many will place it into
the wider category of overall muscle growth. The components of growth, however,
are both size and strength so therefore there must be more than one form of
hypertrophy to allow for ‘growth’ in both of these areas. With this in mind
hypertrophy can be split into two subcategories;
Myofibril - Within our muscles we have what are known as
myofibrils, these are small filaments made up of contractile protein. Upon the
application of weight training, lifting more than your body is used to, these
myofibrils treat the stress caused as an injury and therefore over compensate
by not only increasing in number but also density. This encourages strength
within the muscle.
Sarcoplasmic - The myofibrils in our muscles are contained
within a fluid ‘sarcoplasm’. Upon completion of a workout, during the ‘recovery
phase’ our bodies work hard to restore the energy stores within this sarcoplasm
(creatine phosphate, adenosine triphosphate and glycogen). As with muscle
growth in terms of strength with the increase of myofibrils, the increase in
sarcoplasm and the energy stores within contribute this time to an increase in
size of the muscle.
In conclusion strength training will help to increase the
number of myofibrils within the sarcoplasm increasing overall strength.
To increase sarcoplasm within the muscle we should work at
70-75% of our 1RM with a rep range of approximately 12-15, with the aim to
deplete our stores of energy within the muscles quickly, also known as
fatiguing the muscles. This will encourage the increase of sarcoplasm within
the muscle during recovery.