Why is Hypertrophy Training Important?

The coolest thing about hypertrophy is that you can sculpt your body into any shape you want. For example, we can reduce our waist here and add to the arms there.  The advantages of hypertrophy training are endless.  So, if any muscle or area of the body is lagging behind, it can be selectively focused on to bring it up to where you want it to be.

How does hypertrophy work?

Muscle cells hypertrophy as a response to stress, and they keep expanding in mass as a function of progressively increasing overloads. This phenomenon is known as the principle of overload. For decades it was though the muscle cells were broken down by exercise and then during periods of rest built up larger and stronger than they were before being trained. Recent scientific research has tended to disprove this theory, however, Physiologists now support a theory that involves inhibition of catabolism.

To understand this theory, you need to know that your body is in a constant state of building up cells (anabolism) and tearing down cells (catabolism). In most individuals, the rates of anabolism and catabolism are balanced, so the body is in equilibrium. In other words, it is maintaining it’s size and body weight at a constant level. Weight trainers want to shift this balance towards the anabolic end of the scale, so they can add lean muscle mass to their bodies. Research now suggests that this is not done by increasing anabolism, but actually by actually decreasing catabolism, which makes the net anabolic rate essentially higher. And physiologists believe that heavy resistance training defiantly inhibits the catabolic rate, instead of augmenting the anabolic rate, and this is what makes the muscle grow in mass.

Simply put, resistance is the foundation of hypertrophy training. If the muscle is stressed more and more in each succeeding workout, it is forced to hypertrophy (increase in lean muscle mass) to accommodate the additional workload put on it.

Myths about Hypertrophy Training

  1. Weight training will produce bulging muscles in women and make them look less feminine.

Weight training is the fastest, easiest, and best way to improve the shape, tone, and strength of a woman’s body. Running, swimming, cycling, and aerobics classes are excellent cardiovascular conditioners and burn calories, but they can’t compare with weight training for developing a shapely body.

For years, weight training was considered primarily a male activity. This is because a persistent myth inhibited women from training hard: that lifting heavy would produce bulging muscles and make women look less feminine.

In the last few decades though, a revolution has taken place in women’s weight training. Many old myths have been dispelled and women everywhere are now coming to recognize that:

  • Anything traditionally considered a good health practice for men applies equally to women.
  • Weight training is the fastest, easiest, and best way to improve the shape, tone, and strength of the body, female or male.
  • It is physiologically exceedingly difficult, if not impossible, for women to develop the huge, bulging muscles of their male counterparts (without taking massive amounts of anabolic steroids).
  • Lean toned muscle gives women curves and shape. When a woman loses fat and replaces it with lean muscle tissue, the feminine physique truly emerges.
  1. Makes you inflexible and “muscle bound”

In fact, however, numerous scientific studies have been conducted since the early 1950s, each of which proved that weight training actually increases flexibility. In one study, performed by Professor Edward K. Capen at Iowa State University, took a number of college students in the university’s physical education activities classes and divided them into two groups – a control group that did only the physical education class activities for the course experiment and an experimental group that trained on a program of basic weight-training movements for several weeks.

At the end of the experiment, Professor Capen found the following results when he tested the two groups.

  1. Students in the experimental group were much stronger than those in the control group.
  2. There wasn’t even a hint of muscle or joint tightness in the experimental group subjects. In fact, many experimental group subjects had shown an increase in joint flexibility.
  3. In tests of speed, the weight-trained group was markedly superior to the control group.

In numerous other scientific studies during succeeding years, it has been demonstrated that weight training for hypertrophy have had a positive effect on athletic performance, particularly on flexibility. Indeed, it can truly be said that those individuals who exercise with weights are far less “muscle bound” and “inflexible” than those who don’t.

  1. Why workout because when you stop, “It will all turn to fat when you stop working out”

This myth that muscle would turn to fat has been continued to have been believed for over a century now.

The fact is that it is physiologically impossible to turn muscle into fat. Muscle tissue is muscle and fat tissue is fat. What usually happens when someone stops working out-and you must understand that very few do because most people who enjoy the benefits of increased energy and health usually continue it for life- is that he or she will gradually revert back to the stereotype (body type) he or she had before he or she began training. If he or she was skinny, he or she again becomes skinny; and if he or she was originally fat, he or she again becomes fat. This process takes roughly as long to complete as it took to reach the point of muscular development he or she had attained when quitting working out. The moral of the story is don’t be a quitter! Live Fit for life!

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