In hypertrophic training, people will do more sets and repetitions with lighter weights.
In hypertrophic training, people will do more sets and repetitions with lighter weights.

Hypertrophy training is a type of weight training that is common among bodybuilders and athletes. The aim of this training is to build the muscles of the body.

Weight training is a type of exercise regimen that uses weights for resistance, thus causing stress to the muscle, making them stronger. Weight training can be achieved by

  • Free weights (dumbbells, barbells, and kettlebells).
  • Weight machines (pulleys and stacks).
  • Your body weight (pushups, chin-ups, and resistance bands).

Weight training involves depends on

  • Specific exercises.
  • Reps (the number of times exercise is done).
  • Sets (the number of cycles of reps completed).

Hypertrophic training focuses more on muscle size than muscle strength or endurance. People aiming for an increased muscle size should opt for hypertrophy training. 

In hypertrophic training, people will do more sets and repetitions with lighter weights. The resting period is about one to three minutes between each set.

Benefits of hypertrophic training include:

  • Increased strength and power
  • Weight management
  • Creates a sculpted and athletic look
  • Physical work possible for a longer time

Hypertrophy training is the best way to lose weight because there is increased caloric expenditure.

What is muscle hypertrophy?

Muscle hypertrophy is an increase in and growth of the muscle size. Skeletal muscle has two fundamental functions:

  1. To contract to generate body movements
  2. To provide strength for body posture

Muscle hypertrophy can either be achieved through exercise or acquired through genetic, neurologic, or muscular disorders.

In a healthy individual, the muscles are pushed to their limits through an exercise to increase muscle mass and the cross-sectional area. Ultimately, there is an increase in the size of the individual muscle fibers.

There are two ways to achieve muscle hypertrophy:

  1. Myofibrillar: The growth of muscle contraction parts
  2. Sarcoplasmic: Increased muscle glycogen storage

Differences between myofibrillar and sarcoplasmic muscle hypertrophy are enlisted below:

Increasesstrength and speedenergy storage and endurance
Activatescontractor musclesglycogen storage in muscles
Results inthicker muscleslarger muscles


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How is muscle hypertrophy achieved?

Hypertrophy depends on three primary factors:

  1. Mechanical tension
  2. Muscle damage
  3. Metabolic stress

The intensity of mechanical tension from weight training is determined by the following factors:

  • Intensity of the weight lifted
  • Time under tension (duration of the applied load)

Intense weight training that creates an overload causes muscle damage and inflammatory response, thus releasing various growth factors.

Anaerobic system exercises cause metabolic stress and lactic acid buildup, leading to muscle fiber degradation. Finally, the body repairs the damaged tissue above and beyond its ability to prevent the damage caused by the same workout. The body repairs the damaged tissue while sleeping; hence, it is necessary to get seven to nine hours of sleep every day.

What are the different techniques to promote hypertrophy?

The different techniques to promote muscle growth include:

  • Increasing the time under tension to yield higher levels of mechanical damage and metabolic fatigue
  • Working to fatigue using drop sets. Fatigue means the muscle is no longer able to work anymore
  • Increasing energy expenditure by doing multi-joint exercises such as the squat, deadlift, or standing shoulder press
  • Alternating workouts between using heavy weights for a few repetitions and lighter weights for more repetitions will help in muscle growth
  • Changing the exercises to use a different bundle of muscle fibers, for example, alternating between dumbbells and barbells
  • Limit the number of cardiorespiratory exercises
  • Get a good night’s sleep for optimal results

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Medically Reviewed on 12/3/2020