Understand Muscle Composition to Build More

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“When you lift weights and your muscles get bigger, that is muscular hypertrophy. But did you know there are two types? The first type is called sarcoplasmic hypertrophy, and the other is called myofibrillar hypertrophy. Knowing the difference between them can help you maximize your muscle growth.”

— Your Health: Heart disease patients should prioritize building muscle mass over losing weight by Katie Dimeria*

The Science: MUSCLE FIBER STRUCTURE AND HYPERTROPHY: THE SCIENCE BEHIND GETTING JACKED

To effectively build the physique you desire you must first understand the tools and construction materials you will use. Your most effective tools are the major barbell lifts: Bench Press, Standing Press, Squat, and Deadlift.

Your primary construction material is muscle mass. Muscle mass is made up of two types of hypertrophy: Myofibrillar and Sarcoplasmic.

Myofibrills are the actual contractile protein components of the muscle fiber, while sarcoplasm is the plasmic fluid and non-contractile proteins which surround the myofibrills.

Lifters who’s programming induces mostly myofibrillar hypertrophy are those who have that “hard” weightlifter/fighter type look to their physiques.

Lifters who structure training to induce more sarcoplasmic hypertrophy will display the more “swole” BodyBuilding type look.

It’s really up to each physique athlete to decide what exactly he/she is trying to construct. Training programs with different set and rep schemes can drastically change the myofibrillar/sacromplasmic production equation. It is imperative for lifters to understand what training scheme will build the exact physique they want.

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