Hybrid Mindset Blog

The Two Types Of Muscle Growth

Posted by Lacey Byrd on

 The Two Types Of Muscle Growth

 

Becoming bigger, stronger and better-looking is one of the primary goals of many individuals that decide to take on weight training.

 

And while training may seem pretty straightforward, there are actually many different types of adaptations that can occur.

 

All the functional ones however, are dependent on the adaptations that happen in the muscles!

 

So let’s have a look at the two types of muscle growth and help you find out which style of training would therefore be suitable for your goals.

 

But First…

 

Muscle Fiber Types

 

Depending on the activity that you are doing throughout your training sessions, you can activate different types of muscle fibers.

 

Generally speaking, there are two of them:

 

  1. Fast-twitch muscle fibers
  2. Slow-twitch muscle fibers

 

At low levels of intensity (i.e jogging or using a light dumbbell) you only activate the slow-twitch muscle fibers.

 

Those fibers are fit for low-intensity work that is long in duration and are not really great at producing force and power, so think of these as your ‘endurance muscle fibers’.

 

The more your training intensity grows however, the more fast-twitch muscle fibers you recruit, in order to endure the load.

 

These fast-twitch muscle fibers were designed for high-intensity performance - Short, explosive bursts of power.

 

Think of the fast-twitch muscle fibers as the fibers you want to engage when building muscle, because these fibers have the greatest potential for growth as well as power output.

But Is It Just The Fibers That Grow?

As we mentioned, training may seem pretty simple at first - You lift heavy weights consistently and, well… You grow bigger and stronger.

 

However, you can get big in different ways, because different styles of training lead to a different type of muscle growth.

 

It is considered that there are two main types of muscle hypertrophy:

 

  1. Myofibrillar hypertrophy
  2. Sarcoplasmic hypertrophy

 

Let’s have a look at each one, individually.

 

Myofibrillar hypertrophy is the increase in size of the muscle contractile units, called ‘myofibrils’ and commonly known as “muscle fibers”.

 

These muscle fibers are the contractile elements of the trained muscle groups, which allow contraction and relaxation.

 

Sarcoplasmic hypertrophy, on the other hand, is the growth of the ‘sarcoplasm’, which is basically a jelly-like fluid that surrounds the muscle fibers.

 

The sarcoplasm contains different non-contractile elements, which can grow in volume, depending on the type of training.

 

So What Training Triggers Either?

 

It appears that the myofibrils are more closely related to maximum output of strength and explosiveness, while their sarcoplasm is engaged during intense, yet longer loads.

 

In other words, myofibrillar hypertrophy is a result of a powerlifting approach to weight training, where you do 1-5 repetitions.

 

Oppositely, sarcoplasmic hypertrophy is a result of a bodybuilding approach to training, where you do 6-15+ repetitions with heavy weights.

 

Now of course, these are not mutually exclusive!

 

Though myofibrillar hypertrophy primarily results in increased maximum and relative strength, you have those adaptations with the other type of hypertrophy too, BUT… They are not as prominent.

 

Take-Home Message

 

Our musculature appears to be flexible, having the chance to adapt for both short, very intense training bouts, or, medium intensity, prolonged bouts.

 

This is possible because of the nervous system, our wonderful muscle fibers and their energy reserves!

 

Whatever your goal may be, try to stimulate both types of muscle growth, as well as other functions like balance, agility, coordination, etcetera.


Become a functional human being!

 

To have a fitness and nutrition program built for you, visit www.hybridathletetraining.com

Read more

The Two Types Of Muscle Growth

Posted by Lacey Byrd on

 The Two Types Of Muscle Growth

 

Becoming bigger, stronger and better-looking is one of the primary goals of many individuals that decide to take on weight training.

 

And while training may seem pretty straightforward, there are actually many different types of adaptations that can occur.

 

All the functional ones however, are dependent on the adaptations that happen in the muscles!

 

So let’s have a look at the two types of muscle growth and help you find out which style of training would therefore be suitable for your goals.

 

But First…

 

Muscle Fiber Types

 

Depending on the activity that you are doing throughout your training sessions, you can activate different types of muscle fibers.

 

Generally speaking, there are two of them:

 

  1. Fast-twitch muscle fibers
  2. Slow-twitch muscle fibers

 

At low levels of intensity (i.e jogging or using a light dumbbell) you only activate the slow-twitch muscle fibers.

 

Those fibers are fit for low-intensity work that is long in duration and are not really great at producing force and power, so think of these as your ‘endurance muscle fibers’.

 

The more your training intensity grows however, the more fast-twitch muscle fibers you recruit, in order to endure the load.

 

These fast-twitch muscle fibers were designed for high-intensity performance - Short, explosive bursts of power.

 

Think of the fast-twitch muscle fibers as the fibers you want to engage when building muscle, because these fibers have the greatest potential for growth as well as power output.

But Is It Just The Fibers That Grow?

As we mentioned, training may seem pretty simple at first - You lift heavy weights consistently and, well… You grow bigger and stronger.

 

However, you can get big in different ways, because different styles of training lead to a different type of muscle growth.

 

It is considered that there are two main types of muscle hypertrophy:

 

  1. Myofibrillar hypertrophy
  2. Sarcoplasmic hypertrophy

 

Let’s have a look at each one, individually.

 

Myofibrillar hypertrophy is the increase in size of the muscle contractile units, called ‘myofibrils’ and commonly known as “muscle fibers”.

 

These muscle fibers are the contractile elements of the trained muscle groups, which allow contraction and relaxation.

 

Sarcoplasmic hypertrophy, on the other hand, is the growth of the ‘sarcoplasm’, which is basically a jelly-like fluid that surrounds the muscle fibers.

 

The sarcoplasm contains different non-contractile elements, which can grow in volume, depending on the type of training.

 

So What Training Triggers Either?

 

It appears that the myofibrils are more closely related to maximum output of strength and explosiveness, while their sarcoplasm is engaged during intense, yet longer loads.

 

In other words, myofibrillar hypertrophy is a result of a powerlifting approach to weight training, where you do 1-5 repetitions.

 

Oppositely, sarcoplasmic hypertrophy is a result of a bodybuilding approach to training, where you do 6-15+ repetitions with heavy weights.

 

Now of course, these are not mutually exclusive!

 

Though myofibrillar hypertrophy primarily results in increased maximum and relative strength, you have those adaptations with the other type of hypertrophy too, BUT… They are not as prominent.

 

Take-Home Message

 

Our musculature appears to be flexible, having the chance to adapt for both short, very intense training bouts, or, medium intensity, prolonged bouts.

 

This is possible because of the nervous system, our wonderful muscle fibers and their energy reserves!

 

Whatever your goal may be, try to stimulate both types of muscle growth, as well as other functions like balance, agility, coordination, etcetera.


Become a functional human being!

 

To have a fitness and nutrition program built for you, visit www.hybridathletetraining.com

Read more


Should You Train To Failure?

Posted by Lacey Byrd on

Should You Train To Failure?

 

If you’ve watched the movie “Pumping Iron” you have probably seen the hardcore, peak intensity training that bodybuilders in the Golden Era went through.

 

Some of those bodybuilders, like Serge Nubret, swore by the effectiveness of training to failure… On EVERY SET!

 

And well, the truth is that for most of us, reaching failure on every working set will lead to burnout quite quickly.

 

This is why it is important to understand this concept and learn how to integrate it in your training regimen properly.

 

So let’s dive straight into this and discuss training to failure, shall we?

 

The Intensity Factor

In sports science and weight training, intensity measures how close you get to your maximum strength capabilities.

 

To put it simply, the heavier the weight you lift, the higher the intensity, meaning that technically, your one rep max (1RM) represents 100% intensity for you on a given exercise.

 

For example, if you can bench press 100 kg for one single rep, and fail to do a second rep unassisted, 100 kg is 100% intensity for you on the bench press.

 

Muscle Activation

 

One of the more important things to remember, is that the heavier you lift, the more fast-twitch muscle fibers are activated.

 

Fast-twitch fibers are the stronger, more powerful muscle fibers, which can exert great amounts of force, explosively.

 

However, fiber recruitment is the primary means of lifting heavier, only up until ~80% of your maximum strength capabilities (intensity).

 

Going above 85% and until failure is only possible with an increased frequency of brain to muscle signals.

 

What Does This Mean For Me?

 

With this information in mind, it is quite clear that training to failure is way more strenuous for the nervous system.

 

Nevertheless, reaching muscular failure is quite the powerful stimulus as well, but due to its strenuous nature, it should be properly implemented into your routine.

 

Generally, you should test around muscle failure, by only taking 1 set for each muscle group to failure, per week and working up from there.

 

If you go overboard with failure, you will experience:

 

  1. Joint/ligament aches
  2. Prolonged muscle exhaustion
  3. Lowered strength capabilities

 

Monitor those and adjust the volume of failure sets in your training split accordingly!

 

Failure And Muscle Growth

 

Some of the legends like Arnold & Serge can sell you on the idea that reaching failure is ESSENTIAL.

 

However, modern studies suggest that staying 2-5 repetitions shy of failure is more beneficial for muscle growth, than training to failure.

 

Nevertheless, each and everyone reacts differently to certain stimuli, so your best bet is to, again, test around!

 

Take-Home Message

 

Carefully managing your training intensity will allow you to optimize your quality training volume in the long-term, thus creating a better stimulus and maximizing gains.

 

Improper implementation of training to failure can prevent this from happening, due to its innate ability to, well, fry your nervous system!

 

This is why, your main means of creating greater stimulus, should be to increase training weight, number of repetitions and sets, and also, opening up better recovery windows between sets.

 

Only when you have this covered, you should consider implementing sets to failure, in which case, you can start with just one set and see how far you can take it.

 

Train smart, not hard!

 

For more fitness tips, or to have a training and nutrition plan built for you and your goals, visit www.hybridathletetraining.com

Read more

Should You Train To Failure?

Posted by Lacey Byrd on

Should You Train To Failure?

 

If you’ve watched the movie “Pumping Iron” you have probably seen the hardcore, peak intensity training that bodybuilders in the Golden Era went through.

 

Some of those bodybuilders, like Serge Nubret, swore by the effectiveness of training to failure… On EVERY SET!

 

And well, the truth is that for most of us, reaching failure on every working set will lead to burnout quite quickly.

 

This is why it is important to understand this concept and learn how to integrate it in your training regimen properly.

 

So let’s dive straight into this and discuss training to failure, shall we?

 

The Intensity Factor

In sports science and weight training, intensity measures how close you get to your maximum strength capabilities.

 

To put it simply, the heavier the weight you lift, the higher the intensity, meaning that technically, your one rep max (1RM) represents 100% intensity for you on a given exercise.

 

For example, if you can bench press 100 kg for one single rep, and fail to do a second rep unassisted, 100 kg is 100% intensity for you on the bench press.

 

Muscle Activation

 

One of the more important things to remember, is that the heavier you lift, the more fast-twitch muscle fibers are activated.

 

Fast-twitch fibers are the stronger, more powerful muscle fibers, which can exert great amounts of force, explosively.

 

However, fiber recruitment is the primary means of lifting heavier, only up until ~80% of your maximum strength capabilities (intensity).

 

Going above 85% and until failure is only possible with an increased frequency of brain to muscle signals.

 

What Does This Mean For Me?

 

With this information in mind, it is quite clear that training to failure is way more strenuous for the nervous system.

 

Nevertheless, reaching muscular failure is quite the powerful stimulus as well, but due to its strenuous nature, it should be properly implemented into your routine.

 

Generally, you should test around muscle failure, by only taking 1 set for each muscle group to failure, per week and working up from there.

 

If you go overboard with failure, you will experience:

 

  1. Joint/ligament aches
  2. Prolonged muscle exhaustion
  3. Lowered strength capabilities

 

Monitor those and adjust the volume of failure sets in your training split accordingly!

 

Failure And Muscle Growth

 

Some of the legends like Arnold & Serge can sell you on the idea that reaching failure is ESSENTIAL.

 

However, modern studies suggest that staying 2-5 repetitions shy of failure is more beneficial for muscle growth, than training to failure.

 

Nevertheless, each and everyone reacts differently to certain stimuli, so your best bet is to, again, test around!

 

Take-Home Message

 

Carefully managing your training intensity will allow you to optimize your quality training volume in the long-term, thus creating a better stimulus and maximizing gains.

 

Improper implementation of training to failure can prevent this from happening, due to its innate ability to, well, fry your nervous system!

 

This is why, your main means of creating greater stimulus, should be to increase training weight, number of repetitions and sets, and also, opening up better recovery windows between sets.

 

Only when you have this covered, you should consider implementing sets to failure, in which case, you can start with just one set and see how far you can take it.

 

Train smart, not hard!

 

For more fitness tips, or to have a training and nutrition plan built for you and your goals, visit www.hybridathletetraining.com

Read more