Hypertrophy is defined as the overdevelopment of a tissue or organ. The answer to the question ‘What does hypertrophy mean?’ Is usually answered as the increase in volume in the muscle cells in the body. Although there is no increase in the number of muscle cells in hypertrophy, the cells become larger and increase muscle mass.
This is the main purpose of most people who sign up for a gym. To have a nice looking and strong body. It takes too many hours of exercise and sacrifice to gain muscle. However, most people do not know how muscle hypertrophy occurs, which leads to increased muscle mass.
How Does This Happen? In what ways can we achieve this? Do supplements help?
In this article, we’ll take a detailed look at the basics of muscular hypertrophy, something that many people have talked about but actually few fully understand.
What is hypertrophy?
Hypertrophy can occur for a variety of reasons. This situation, in which the tissue or organ volume increases without increasing the number of cells, can be observed in different organs. Hyperplasia is the condition in which the tissue or organ volume grows due to the increase in the number of cells that make up the relevant structure. While cell volumes increase in hypertrophy, and in hyperplasia, cell sizes remain approximately the same, the increase in cell number forms the basis of organ growth. Hypertrophy occurs in cell types such as muscle cells that have reduced or completely lost the ability to divide in the adult body. Hyperplasia and hypertrophy; Although there are two separate mechanisms, it can play a role together in events such as uterine growth due to hormonal changes during pregnancy. Hypertrophy that may occur as a result of different effects in different organs.
How is the hypertrophy seen in the uterus during pregnancy?
During pregnancy, the uterus expands due to the growth of the fetus inside. The uterus, which is about the size of orange before pregnancy, can reach the size of a large watermelon before birth. There are many different mechanisms for the uterus to undergo such great changes. The main component of uterine growth during pregnancy is the enlargement of the layer of the uterus called ‘myometrium’. This layer; consists of mainly smooth muscle, blood and lymph vessels, immune system elements, and connective tissue. It is the main part of the uterus that allows the baby to come out by contracting during birth.
The smooth muscle cells in the myometrium layer divide and multiply in the first weeks of pregnancy (hyperplasia). At this stage, hypertrophy has less effect on uterine growth. During the later stages of pregnancy, the stresses on the myometrium layer cause the smooth muscle cells to go into hypertrophy. Thus, the uterus is enlarged with the contributions of both hyperplasia and hypertrophy. During pregnancy, the uterine size can increase up to 500 to 1000 times its onset. Increased volume of the uterus; While providing the necessary space for the development of the fetus, the strengthening of the myometrium layer at the same time increases the strength of the contraction during delivery and makes the birth easier. These changes occurring in the uterus during pregnancy occur with the contribution of many different factors, especially hormonal effects.
What causes hypertrophy in the heart?
Cardiac hypertrophy, or heart hypertrophy, is the abnormal growth or thickening of the heart muscle. It can be seen physiologically in athletes who do intense training, as well as pathologically in people with various heart diseases.
Cardiac hypertrophy often occurs in the left ventricle, the part of the heart where blood is actually pumped into the body. As the left ventricle works harder to pump blood around the body, thickening of the ventricular wall occurs over time. This thickening can disrupt the heart’s structure and prevent it from functioning properly. It can cause the heart to lose its elastic structure and harden. By exerting pressure on the coronary vessels, which are the vessels that nourish the heart, can lead to the occlusion of the vessel. As a result, a heart attack may occur.
In cases such as high blood pressure, valvular heart diseases, various genetic diseases that disrupt the heart structure, the heart needs a stronger contraction in order to distribute the necessary blood to the tissues. These strong contractions cause thickening of the heart muscle after a while. Basically developing a compliance mechanism to increase the strength of heart hypertrophy may lead to a further reduction of heart function after a while. Heart hypertrophy; can manifest itself with symptoms such as fatigue, weakness, shortness of breath, chest pain, palpitations, and fainting. It would be beneficial for people who show one or more of these symptoms to consult a heart doctor who is experienced in terms of underlying diseases that may cause hypertrophy, especially heart hypertrophy, and other heart diseases.
The 4 Rules of Hypertrophy
Below we have explained in detail the rules you should pay attention to for hypertrophy!
1. Plan Your Diet For Muscle Development!
Nutrition is the key to the efficiency you get from training. Losing weight and gaining weight are mainly related to nutrition. As a person who wants to gain volume, you should plan your diet to develop your muscles. So what should be done about this?
2.You Must Have A Sufficient Diet For Protein
Hypertrophy is muscle growth, and when you want to increase muscle cells in number or volume, the food you need most is protein.
There have been many studies proving the positive effects of protein on muscle development and showing that it suppresses hunger. For this reason, those who are engaged in fitness and bodybuilding frequently consume sports foods such as protein powder.
The first thing you should do for hypertrophy is to increase the protein diet. You can also do this with a natural diet, and you can support your diet by using supplements. The fact that the use of supplements is easier and more affordable is an option that relaxes athletes.
3. Carbohydrates Are Very Important!
The second issue you should pay attention to in nutrition is carbohydrates. You should consume carbohydrate sources that will not make you hungry quickly, will not increase your sugar, have a low glycemic index and high fiber content.
We do not recommend that you eliminate carbohydrates completely!
Consuming carbohydrates up to 1 hour before training allows you to gain energy quickly and not to be exhausted during training. In addition, most carbohydrate sources have important nutritional values in terms of food vitamins and minerals.
You can also choose to consume energy-rich protein bars with high protein before workouts.
4. Weight Training Is The Key To Hypertrophy
Training is the process that triggers muscle development and initiates hypertrophy in tissues.
Increasing the number of sets and repetitions from time to time, training the muscles with higher weights day by day supports muscle development. For this reason, it is especially important to practice strength and weight training.
It is useful to increase the amount of weight as your muscles get used to the amount of weight. At this point, we must say that suddenly increasing weight can cause disability. It is important to apply the movements in the correct form and to increase the weight gradually.
Muscle hypertrophy is highly regarded by bodybuilding athletes, as it provides a magnificent appearance.
When training, it is important to focus on compound movements that work for large muscle groups at the same time. Exercises such as barbell squats, deadlifts, bench presses, and push-ups are compound movements that help the bodywork more coordinated and increase its balance.
What is muscle hypertrophy?
It is the type in which hypertrophy is seen in structures such as arm or leg muscles. It is a topic of interest, especially for athletes and bodybuilders.
There are two different types of muscular hypertrophy, sarcoplasmic and myofibrils. Sarcoplasmic hypertrophy increases endurance and energy during exercise, while myofibrillar hypertrophy increases muscle strength and speed. While the development of glycogen stores, which is the energy source in the muscle in the sarcoplasmic type, is observed, in the myofibrillar type muscle structure, the parts that are mainly responsible for the contraction develop.
Hypertrophy, an important mechanism in muscle building, occurs depending on various factors. For example, weight lifting is an exercise that people who want to build muscle often use. Factors such as how much weight lifting and how many times it is done affect the amount of muscle hypertrophy. Exercises using a lightweight for age and gender require multiple repetitions to build muscle. However, exercise with a heavy load can have a faster and more efficient effect on muscle development.
Mechanical damage and metabolic fatigue are needed for muscle hypertrophy to develop. For example, in weight lifting; The muscle group used in exercise applies a force to overcome the resistance caused by the weight. Damage occurs to the muscle fibers that apply this force. Muscle proteins, in which mechanical damage occurs, provide a repair response in the body. Repair response plays an important role in the development of hypertrophy. Metabolic fatigue occurs due to the decrease of ATP molecule, which is the main energy source in muscle. Muscles cannot find enough energy to contract. Metabolic fatigue is also a factor that plays a role in the development of hypertrophy. Mechanical damage of muscle fibers due to contraction and metabolic fatigue caused by decreased energy in the muscle are two very important factors for muscle gain.
Many different ways can be tried to ensure proper progress of muscle hypertrophy and increase in muscle mass. Exercise programs to be made in accordance with the age, gender, health status, and daily life of the person; It allows achieving the desired result. While preparing the exercise program, it is helpful to leave enough space between training times to regenerate muscles. Providing proper regeneration in muscles allows the progress of muscle gain more effectively. In addition, doing different types of exercises during training helps different muscle groups in the body to work. Thus, development is observed in the muscles throughout the body rather than the muscle group in a single region. It may be helpful to work with a personal trainer to help the muscle-building process progress more effectively.
In addition to exercise, nutrition is also of great importance in building muscle. Preparing a diet specific to the person’s needs in order to reach the target level helps the process to run more effectively. A diet program to be prepared for personal characteristics and the desired result in muscle building allows muscle growth to progress faster. It is beneficial for people who are interested in muscle building to consult experts in this field and to follow the diet program prepared according to them.
In order to build muscle, many different elements must be combined in a balanced and orderly manner. In order to achieve maximum results in muscle gain, it is beneficial to consult experts in both health, exercise and nutrition and to apply the recommendations of the experts.
Types of Muscle Hypertrophy
Muscle hypertrophy can occur in two different ways. In any case, the reason for one happening is the other.
1. Myofibrillary Muscle Hypertrophy
This is because muscle fibers increase in volume or, in rare cases, in their number. Tears occur in these fibers when working with weights that the body is not used to.
The body interprets these tears as injuries and therefore reproduces them during the recovery phase while making the muscles more voluminous to prevent injury.
This type of hypertrophy accelerates the growth of muscles and increases muscle strength. This increase is obtained by performing several repetitions (3-6) with a high weight.
In order for each muscle group to progress, the weight used in the exercises must change . The maximum should be 80% of the load that can be lifted in a single repetition.
2. Sarcoplasmic Muscle Hypertrophy
Sarcoplasma is a ‘viscous’ substance around muscles . When more repetitions are performed at medium weight (8-12), the energy storage capability of sarcoplasm increases.
Sarcoplasma contains adenosine triphosphate (ATP) and glycogen. This process is the same as for myofibrillar hypertrophy. When muscle lacks energy, it builds up more deposits to combat this exhaustion during the recovery phase.
The difference between these two types is that in the second case of hypertrophy, there is no increase in strength. This is mostly related to the resistance of the axle. 75% of the maximum weight, 10-15 repetitions with one minute rest between sets
Steroid Use for Muscle Hypertrophy
While there is no natural method to achieve muscle hypertrophy, steroids can also be helpful in achieving this goal. Anabolic steroids are a hormonal stimulant that promotes muscle growth.
The most common are; Testosterone and its derivatives, dihydrotestosterone and its derivatives, and finally nandrolone and similar substances.
However, their use is called “doping” in the world of sports, their use is prohibited and punished. Moreover, steroid use can cause various side effects.
- If consumed in adolescence, they can interfere with genital development.
- It can cause masculinity in women due to the increase in testosterone.
- It can cause a decrease in the reproductive capacity of both women and men.
- Heart problems.
- Emotional and spiritual changes.
Some Tips for Working Muscle Hypertrophy
Train with Weight and Increase Weight Gradually
Muscle stress is necessary for a muscle to grow through exercise. This is how muscle hypertrophy occurs.
Therefore, it is necessary to add a suitable weight to the exercises. In this way, more strength is needed from the muscles thanks to exercising. Also, if you do not gradually gain weight, the body will get used to the weight you are working on and the muscles will not grow.
A Few Repetitions and Rest
Depending on the type of hypertrophy desired, the number of sets will vary. However, no more than 12-15 reps, 3 or 4 sets should be done in either case. Doing extra sets does not provide any additional benefit.
Likewise, a one minute or one and a half minute break is required to replenish the energies in the muscles. Generally, the muscles are tired within 12 seconds of training.
Consumption of Food Supplements
In addition to a high protein diet, people working to achieve muscle hypertrophy often consume dietary supplements to increase this improvement. The most common ones contain keratin and whey protein. This diet should be determined by a nutritionist in order to avoid any excess or deficiency.
Select Weight By Number Of Repetitions
Muscle hypertrophy experts recommend adjusting the weight of an exercise to the recommended number of repetitions and never changing it in any other way. This is because this is the gradual progression we talked about earlier. This prevents the muscles from getting used to weight.
Finally, in addition to everything discussed, this exercise should be accompanied by a healthy and balanced diet rich in carbohydrates and proteins. These; are two nutrients that will provide energy and necessary “materials” to rebuild torn tissues.
Of course, it’s also a great idea to consult a nutritionist. Often times it is necessary to reduce body fat for the muscles to be more noticeable. A specialist will tell you which aspects of your diet you need to make changes.