How much weight is required for hypertrophy

The ultimate guide to (muscle) hypertrophy

Hypertrophy is a term used to describe the growth and enlargement of muscle cells. The most popular form of muscle hypertrophy occurs through exercise such as weight training.

Mechanism of Hypertrophy

It does this through a physiological process that leads to an increased number of contractile proteins (actin and myosin) in each muscle fiber. With the right training regimen, you can catalyze this process.

The body has the amazing potential to adapt to its surroundings. This includes building more strength and muscle mass. Repeated stress on the cells gives the body the signal to carry out structural changes, as more strength and muscles are now required. This is exactly what the strength training process does.

Hypertrophy can be thought of as the thickening of muscle fibers that occurs when the body has been stressed just the right amount to indicate that it needs to create bigger, stronger muscles that can withstand this new, increased stress. This need causes a cellular response that causes cells to synthesize more materials.

Conditions of hypertrophy

In order for muscles to grow, two things must happen: stimulation and repair. Sleeping cells, so-called satellite cells, which are located between the outer and basement membrane of a muscle fiber, are activated by trauma, damage or injuries - all possible reactions to the stress of strength training. An immune system response is triggered, leading to inflammation, the natural cleanup and repair process that occurs at the cellular level.

At the same time, a hormonal response is triggered that causes the release of growth factor, cortisol and testosterone. These hormones help regulate cell activity. Growth factors stimulate muscle hypertrophy, while testosterone increases protein synthesis. This process leads to the multiplication of the satellite cells and the migration of their daughter cells into the damaged tissue. Here they fuse with the skeletal muscle and donate their nuclei to the muscle fibers so that they can thicken and grow. The result in plain language: larger muscles with improved tolerance to greater loads.

Optimization tips

  • Repetition and rest cycle: 8-12 repetitions per set, with a break of 60-90 seconds between sets
  • Lift enough weight. On the 12th rep, your muscle should barely be able to do one rep
  • Above all, you should pay attention to your shape. Too much weight and poor shape won't do any good to your muscle growth

Genetic Effects on Hypertrophy

Although the process of hypertrophy is the same for everyone, your results will likely be different from those doing the same workouts. This variance in results is directly due to the genetic makeup of the individual's muscles. In some people, the process of hypertrophy occurs much more strongly or faster than in others.

If you've won the genetic lottery, you can build bigger muscles or faster than others. Unfortunately, the opposite can also be the case.

As much as you want nice, round, plump biceps, you may not get them. The shape of a muscle is determined by the length of the tendons in the muscle. The length of the tendon is a genetic factor.

For larger muscles, it is better to have shorter muscle tendons. Someone with extremely long muscle tendons may notice less growth and shaping of their muscles than someone with much shorter muscle tendons, even though they exercise the same or even more.

However, always remember that your muscles can adapt quickly to the training. It is important to continuously exercise your muscles in order to continue to achieve growth and improved definition. It is therefore essential to increase the weight regularly in order to enable the appropriate training stimulus. Aim for a gradual increase each week. Do you need an exercise plan? Our staff in the fitness studio in Aubing will be happy to help and advise you.