What is Muscular Hypertrophy?
Muscular Hypertrophy sounds sort of bad, but really it actually means something good for your body. Basically it means that your muscles cells are growing and increasing in size, so your muscles are stronger and bigger. Although there are two types of muscular hypertrophy; myofibrillar and sarcoplasmic. These two basically just focus on making your muscles stronger or focusing on their size respectively. Strength training is usually how you gain muscular hypertrophy and generally strength training is associated with weight lifting, but there are other options.
How do you Gain Muscular Hypertrophy?
If you want to gain muscular hypertrophy you can’t do without either mechanical damage or metabolic fatigue. Mechanical damage is when you cause structural damage to your muscles while working out, this then stimulates proteins in the body to repair the damage which causes you to gain muscle mass. Metabolic fatigue is when you exhaust your muscles of their supply of ATP, an energy component which helps your muscles to contract. This makes it so your muscles cannot properly lift weight and leads to muscle gain. As long as you have mechanical damage and metabolic fatigue, you’ll be improving those muscles.
What Are Some Exercises for Muscular Hypertrophy?
The best exercises to gain muscular hypertrophy generally include movement against resistance. This can be something like:
- lifting weights
- Resistance bands
- Bodyweight exercises
- Weight machines
Typically though, bodyweight exercises are the easiest and don’t require any equipment. These exercises are:
- Push ups
- Wall squats
- Wall pushes
- Chair stands
Resistance bands are also great for gaining muscular hypertrophy while still being fairly easy to accomplish, some good exercises are the one arm bicep curl, the flye, and the front squat.
The one arm biceps curl has you standing with your feet shoulder width apart with the resistance band under both feet. Then grab the band and hold it with your arm at your side with the palm facing up and slowly bend at your elbow and lift your arm up towards your shoulder. Slowly lower your arm back down and do 12-15 repetitions on each arm.
The flye will have you holding the resistance band with both hands as it runs along your back at about chest height. You’ll want to press the band straight in front of you to bring your hands together while your arms are fully extended. Then slowly return and do 12-15 repetitions.
The front squat will have you with your feet slightly more than shoulder width apart and the resistance band under your feet. You’ll also want the resistance band to rest on the front of your shoulders. Then you’ll want to slowly go into a squat until your knees are over your toes, afterwards slowly stand back up and do 8-15 repetitions.
The exercises will generally always be the same depending on if you are doing myofibrillar or sarcoplasmic muscular hypertrophy, the only real difference between them is the workout intensity and the rest period. For myofibrillar you’ll want high intensity workouts with long rest periods in between. For sarcoplasmic you’ll want a moderate intensity workout with a short rest period in between.