So you want to build and develop rippling boulders of muscles? To build muscles, you need to understand the physiology of muscle growth. From there, you (or a fitness expert) can develop a fitness program that suits your needs. The key to effective muscle growth is stimulating muscle hypertrophy.
What is Muscle Hypertrophy?
Muscle tissues growth will depend on the fiber types and the load exerted. Other factors, such as the velocity and duration of muscle contraction also factors into growing the muscles.
Muscle hypertrophy occurs through chronic anaerobic, high-intensity resistance activity and lifting weights. Resistance training increases the cross-sectional area of the muscle tissues. But it does not increase the number of muscle fibers. Muscle hypertrophy will depend on an individual’s age and sex.
Best Exercise to Stimulate Muscle Hypertrophy
The most effective exercise to stimulate muscle growth is anaerobic, high-intensity resistance training. From here, you can develop your own routine to trigger muscle hypertrophy. If you’re consulting with a fitness expert, you are given exercise routines that correspond to your fitness level.
For instance, if you are a beginner, you will be given resistance training sessions in a week. The next session would be a full body workout. A full body workout will release anabolic hormones. The principle behind this program is to activate more muscle fibers for maximum hypertrophy.
If you’re a veteran trainee, we recommend a 3-6 day body-part splits. You can do 2-3 sessions in a week or just focus on full-body. This way, you can focus on certain muscle groups or adapt to more rigorous training sessions.
Below are factors you have to consider to achieve greater muscle hypertrophy:
Resistance training maximizes muscle hypertrophy. The best routines are those with compound or multi-joint exercises to engage more muscle groups. Again, to stimulate hypertrophy, you need to activate more muscle fibers.
Squats and deadlifts are the best exercises for hypertrophy. These moves engage virtually all muscle groups. Bench press, shoulder press, dips, and pull-ups are equally great for hypertrophy.
Using free weights and machines could also lead to faster muscle growth. But remember, it does not matter how heavy the weight is. In fact, some studies recommend dumbbells and barbells for hypertrophy rather than machine weights. That’s because these tools activate more muscle fibers.
Reps and Intensity
The reps and intensity of your training depend on what you hope to achieve. If you want to focus on endurance and moderate muscle gains, go for low to moderate intensity. But if you want to grow mountains of rippling muscles, then go for heavy load resistance training. This means high intensity, high volume training program are the most ideal.
Progressive overload is applied to induce adaptations and changes in the muscle fibers. This is done in a variety of ways – including increasing the training intensity or increasing the resistance used without changing the sets or reps. Increasing the volume of reps or sets and changing the tempo of your training will also lead to muscle growth. Of course, don’t forget to rest in between reps.