What happens to muscle mass

What is muscle hypertrophy and what happens in it?

In fitness jargon, the terms muscle building and muscle hypertrophy are often used synonymously. They describe the growth in thickness of individual muscle fibers. The growth triggers an enlargement, namely that of the muscle cross-section. In this process, no new muscle cells are formed, but only existing muscle fibers thicken. Muscle growth therefore takes place at the muscle fiber level.

What does muscle hypertrophy mean?

If you want to style your body, then healthy muscle building is required and desirable. With diligent training, you can naturally generate muscle hypertrophy through increased stress. You can also use anabolic steroids, but unless your concern about building muscle is not aimed at sports competitions, the artificial route through the use of steroids is not advisable. Building muscle is always an effort for the body. Muscle hypertrophy that is too rapid and too great harbors health risks. But especially when the muscle building is generated artificially.

Everyone is different in their biological and physical structure. Many find it very easy to generate muscle mass, while others can barely build a gram of muscle despite sweat and exertion after months of hard training. If you want to do your strength training, then steer clear of supplements, which will not bring you the desired success, but rather trouble. In addition, quite a few overzealous people have jumped off the train who, despite the little remedies, have not managed to build muscle properly. It may be that some people are genetically not designed to visibly build muscle after a number of training sessions. But in order for a successful muscle hypertrophy to come about, a good training plan and a balanced diet are necessary.

What does muscle hypertrophy do?

A healthy diet is important for strength training because lifting weights affects the muscles. The consequence of this are microtraumas, which are triggered by the high stress on the muscles and the subsequent fatigue of the muscles. Fine cracks appear within the trained muscle. Both facts have an impact on protein synthesis, because muscles are mainly made up of proteins. Through the intensive training, new proteins are built into the muscle fibers. The individual fibers and of course the entire muscle grow due to the increased protein synthesis. Muscle hypertrophy stands for the increase in size of the striated muscle, which comes about as a compensatory reaction due to the targeted muscle training.

Types of hypertrophy

The main goal in bodybuilding and strength training is muscle hypertrophy, because strength or muscle growth is only possible with increasing muscle size (exception: improvement of intramuscular coordination, without muscle enlargement)

  • Sarcomere hypertrophy is characterized by a muscular and dry body. When training, a continuous increase in weights is the order of the day. By lifting a heavy weight, the muscle receives a signal after lifting the weight a few times. The muscle needs to strengthen and also enlarge. During and after strength training, the subsequent increase in size is automatically combined with an increase in muscle fiber size.
  • Sacroplasmic hypertrophy is characterized by a voluminous body that appears almost inflated. Medium weights are lifted with a relatively high number of reps. This requires a lot of energy from the muscles and so this type of training causes an increase in the volume of the sarcoplasm. Heavy weights are not used here and therefore the overall load on the trained muscle is lower.

And how does it come about?

Other cells in the body have the ability to divide, but not the actual muscle cells. The muscle hypertrophy is initiated and controlled by satellite cells. These cells initiate and accomplish various repair processes and sit under the outermost shell of the muscle cell. They are also referred to as replacement cells. After training, the satellite cells are activated, which happens a few hours after the muscle cells are traumatized. The scar-free regeneration of the muscle area takes place and leads to the full performance of the muscle fibers. Actin and myosin filaments are stored on the myofibrils during strength training, which leads to a change in the filament density. This density changes the spatial arrangement of the cross-bridges and so the number of myofibrils increases with the sharp increase in the total fiber cross-section.

How can I promote muscle hypertrophy?

You can promote muscle building with the help of a training plan tailored to your person and a correspondingly healthy and protein-rich diet. Proteins are critical to building lean muscle mass. An optimal and adequate protein intake is necessary to achieve maximum muscle mass, but you do not have to overdo it with the intake of proteins. According to the latest research, consuming more protein doesn't get you there any faster. Like all other proteins in the body, muscle proteins are constantly being built up and broken down. Since these processes take place simultaneously, their balance determines the amount of protein in the muscle. If the balance is positive, there is an increase in muscle protein. Food intake and strength training have an influence on the extent and duration of a positive or negative net muscle protein balance.

You can promote muscle hypertrophy if you supply the body with the energy it needs to build muscle after training. You should prefer to consume protein in combination with carbohydrates. The nutrients promote protein synthesis optimally because they reverse the catabolic process of training into an anabolic one. The catabolic process attacks the muscle and damages it, the anabolic process is initiated and causes an increased reconstruction. If you want to generate muscles, then the entire energy supply must be increased. The growth of the muscles requires a lot of building materials and a lot of energy, because it is an energy-efficient process. The body absorbs more energy than it uses. Without the necessary absorption of energy, muscle hypertrophy is almost impossible. The reality is this: if you don't gain enough mass, you just have to eat more, healthy and protein-rich foods.

The extent to which you can build muscle mass is of course also a question of disposition. However, environmental influences, diet and training play a far greater role. In relation to muscle mass, however, the greatest influencing factors are the duration, type, intensity and volume of the exercise training.