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


How To Train Smart | PT 2 - Understanding Your Goals & Setting The Plan

Posted by Lacey Byrd on

How To Train Smart | PT 2 - Understanding Your Goals & Setting The Plan

 

If you have no formal education on fitness and nutrition, odds are that you are just testing around to see what works for you.

 

However, if you have a goal in mind, there are specific actions to be taken towards that goal, because, well, training results are predictable!

 

So let’s have a look at how you can define your goal with training and more importantly, what things you need to do to set the plan right.

 

Common Training Goals

 

Going into the gym, there are a couple of types of people:

 

  1. Really skinny people, trying to grow
  2. People with excess weight, trying to shed it off
  3. Individuals with a normal body composition looking to improve

 

So let’s have a look at each one of those and what are some actions you can take towards setting your plan in place.

 

The Hardgainer

 

As we mentioned, there are many people who are really skinny and try to gain weight by training.

If that’s the case for you, take the following guidelines:

 

  1. Start training at moderate intensity (6-10 reps with a weight that leaves plenty of repetitions in reserve)
  2. Focus on learning the correct exercise form
  3. Rest at least 2 minutes between sets
  4. Start off with ~5 working sets per muscle group, per week
  5. Increase the number of sets progressively
  6. Allow each muscle group to recover for at least 72 hrs before training it again
  7. Eat, eat, eat, eat, eat!

 

Doing all of this over at least a year will likely lead you to be, well, not so skinny anymore!

 

Furthermore, this will set the fundament for more growth, which you can build upon.

 

The Fluffgainer

 

Hey, listen, if you’ve been inactive for some time and have enjoyed your favorite foods in big amounts, that’s alright, you’ve just relaxed for a little bit.

 

Getting back on track and losing the excess weight will be fulfilling and with a bit of training and nutrition, you can do wonders.

 

Follow these tips!

 

  1. Train at moderate levels of intensity (a couple of reps shy from failure)
  2. Rest ~2-3 minutes between sets
  3. Do ~10 challenging working sets per muscle group, per week
  4. Allow each muscle group to recover 72-96 hours
  5. Eat in a caloric deficit (most important part)
  6. Consume plenty of protein (~1g per lb of body weight, per day)
  7. Consume plenty of natural fats (~0.45g per lb of body weight, per day)
  8. Consume some carbs to fuel training

 

In doing this, you will allow the body to tap into its fat reserves to compensate for the deficit of energy, and you will also create sufficient stimulus for muscle mass retention.

 

The Normie

If you’re someone who has a normal body composition and is neither fluffy nor skinny and sustains healthy eating habits, well, you have a good foundation!

 

In case your primary form of training involves weights, define your goal and train accordingly to the guidelines below:

 

  1. Use the powerlifting rep range mentioned in PT 1 of the article series, for the goal of increasing maximum strength
  2. Use the bodybuilding rep range mentioned in PT 1, for the goal of bulk muscle growth
  3. If you want to be more functional and not just strong and big, combine weight training with activities like climbing, running, hiking, swimming, etc.
  4. Maintain your regular eating habits, but add more food as you become more active!

 

Generally, people with a normal body composition are well-tuned to their hunger and satiety signals, so no specific diet changes are required.

 

Final Thoughts

 

Training smart is about recognizing your goal and setting the correct training stimulus in place.

 

Most hardgainers should focus around moderate and high intensity training that progressively increases in time.

 

People who lose weight on the other hand are also prone to eventually losing muscle mass, so training at a moderate level of exertion and intensity will create sufficient stimulus for the retention of that muscle mass, thus helping the person look more toned through their journey.

 

Whatever your goal may be, do analyze the backend of your workouts and take actions accordingly, if any change is needed!

 

To have a personal fitness and nutrition plan made for you based on your needs and goals, visit www.hybridathletetraining.com

 

Read more

How To Train Smart | PT 2 - Understanding Your Goals & Setting The Plan

 

If you have no formal education on fitness and nutrition, odds are that you are just testing around to see what works for you.

 

However, if you have a goal in mind, there are specific actions to be taken towards that goal, because, well, training results are predictable!

 

So let’s have a look at how you can define your goal with training and more importantly, what things you need to do to set the plan right.

 

Common Training Goals

 

Going into the gym, there are a couple of types of people:

 

  1. Really skinny people, trying to grow
  2. People with excess weight, trying to shed it off
  3. Individuals with a normal body composition looking to improve

 

So let’s have a look at each one of those and what are some actions you can take towards setting your plan in place.

 

The Hardgainer

 

As we mentioned, there are many people who are really skinny and try to gain weight by training.

If that’s the case for you, take the following guidelines:

 

  1. Start training at moderate intensity (6-10 reps with a weight that leaves plenty of repetitions in reserve)
  2. Focus on learning the correct exercise form
  3. Rest at least 2 minutes between sets
  4. Start off with ~5 working sets per muscle group, per week
  5. Increase the number of sets progressively
  6. Allow each muscle group to recover for at least 72 hrs before training it again
  7. Eat, eat, eat, eat, eat!

 

Doing all of this over at least a year will likely lead you to be, well, not so skinny anymore!

 

Furthermore, this will set the fundament for more growth, which you can build upon.

 

The Fluffgainer

 

Hey, listen, if you’ve been inactive for some time and have enjoyed your favorite foods in big amounts, that’s alright, you’ve just relaxed for a little bit.

 

Getting back on track and losing the excess weight will be fulfilling and with a bit of training and nutrition, you can do wonders.

 

Follow these tips!

 

  1. Train at moderate levels of intensity (a couple of reps shy from failure)
  2. Rest ~2-3 minutes between sets
  3. Do ~10 challenging working sets per muscle group, per week
  4. Allow each muscle group to recover 72-96 hours
  5. Eat in a caloric deficit (most important part)
  6. Consume plenty of protein (~1g per lb of body weight, per day)
  7. Consume plenty of natural fats (~0.45g per lb of body weight, per day)
  8. Consume some carbs to fuel training

 

In doing this, you will allow the body to tap into its fat reserves to compensate for the deficit of energy, and you will also create sufficient stimulus for muscle mass retention.

 

The Normie

If you’re someone who has a normal body composition and is neither fluffy nor skinny and sustains healthy eating habits, well, you have a good foundation!

 

In case your primary form of training involves weights, define your goal and train accordingly to the guidelines below:

 

  1. Use the powerlifting rep range mentioned in PT 1 of the article series, for the goal of increasing maximum strength
  2. Use the bodybuilding rep range mentioned in PT 1, for the goal of bulk muscle growth
  3. If you want to be more functional and not just strong and big, combine weight training with activities like climbing, running, hiking, swimming, etc.
  4. Maintain your regular eating habits, but add more food as you become more active!

 

Generally, people with a normal body composition are well-tuned to their hunger and satiety signals, so no specific diet changes are required.

 

Final Thoughts

 

Training smart is about recognizing your goal and setting the correct training stimulus in place.

 

Most hardgainers should focus around moderate and high intensity training that progressively increases in time.

 

People who lose weight on the other hand are also prone to eventually losing muscle mass, so training at a moderate level of exertion and intensity will create sufficient stimulus for the retention of that muscle mass, thus helping the person look more toned through their journey.

 

Whatever your goal may be, do analyze the backend of your workouts and take actions accordingly, if any change is needed!

 

To have a personal fitness and nutrition plan made for you based on your needs and goals, visit www.hybridathletetraining.com

 

Read more


Bodyweight VS Weight Training - Which One Is Better?

Posted by Lacey Byrd on

Bodyweight VS Weight Training - Which One Is Better?

 

For the longest time, weight training and calisthenics (bodyweight training) have gained a lot of traction and interest, because of their innate ability to change one’s body looks, as well as physical properties like strength and explosiveness.

 

There are people who believe your bodyweight is all you need and then, there are people who religiously engage in weight training, preaching bench, squats and deadlifts even to their grandma.

 

But which approach is better and what benefits can you reap from these types of training?

In this article, we’ll answer this, and more, so if you’ve ever wondered which type of training is better, keep reading!

 

The Differences

Bodyweight Training, otherwise known as “calisthenics” is the activity of using your body weight to perform certain exercises under the force of gravity, without any equipment or added weight.

 

Some of the most common bodyweight exercises are movements like push-ups, squats, pull-ups, lunges, muscle-ups and dips.

 

On the other hand, weightlifting involves the use of barbells, dumbbells and machines to create resistance.

 

The squat, deadlift and bench are the three fundamental exercises in weightlifting, which are even a benchmark for strength!

 

Now if you’re already wondering which type of training is superior, let us tell you this - both types of training are effective and can be utilized to leverage strength and muscle gains!

 

However, which one is superior depends on the context and the goal the individual has, so let us take you through the advantages and disadvantages of both types of training.

 

The Benefits Of Calisthenics

Bodyweight training is most of all, a good way to establish fundamental strength and muscular development.

 

Because, well, being able to lift your own bodyweight, before moving on to lifting weights, kind of makes sense doesn’t it?

 

This fundamental relative strength can then give you the opportunity to ease into weight training and maximize your potential for physical development.

 

The bad part of calisthenics is that it gets too easy, too quickly, because you’re working with your bodyweight.

 

In less than one year, pull-ups, push-ups and dips can become quite easy and you then have to add more weights on top, to keep progressing.

 

Another option is to learn more complex movements like handstands, planche, front levers and others, but if your PRIMARY goal is to gain strength and grow your muscles, this approach is perhaps suboptimal.

 

The Benefits Of Weight Training

In the context of maximizing growth and strength potential, weight training appears to be the king here.

 

The principle of both types of training is the same - Creating resistance. However, with weight training, the resistance and muscular tension is generated by an external force, making everything far more intense.

 

Additionally, weight training can help you seamlessly target muscle groups that you can hardly work on directly, with just calisthenics.

 

This implies that in terms of aesthetic development, weight training  is superior.

 

Weight training at its very essence, allows you to do more intense work, during which you can easily increase the resistance by adding extra weight on the bar or picking heavier dumbbells.

 

 

Which One Should YOU Choose?

 

Here’s a wild idea - You can combine both types of training but focus more on the one that resonates with your goals best.

 

You like explosive bodyweight movements that look cool? Go for the monkey bars and bodyweight training.

 

You are looking to maximize your strength and muscular development? Opt for a gym membership.

 

As simple as that!

 

Final Thoughts

 

The human body is capable of a LOT and it has plenty of potential lying within. It’s just a matter of YOU, taking the necessary action to unlock that potential and realize it.

 

Whether you choose to engage in bodyweight training or just go to a gym, you won’t be in the wrong!

 

Both of these types of training offer amazing benefits and can help you develop a good-looking, strong body.

 

Start somewhere, see what you like better, what gets you closer to your goals and focus on that!

 

Stay strong.

 

For a Hybrid program that includes the benefits of both modalities paired with personalized nutrition, go check out www.hybridathletetraining.com

 

Read more

Bodyweight VS Weight Training - Which One Is Better?

Posted by Lacey Byrd on

Bodyweight VS Weight Training - Which One Is Better?

 

For the longest time, weight training and calisthenics (bodyweight training) have gained a lot of traction and interest, because of their innate ability to change one’s body looks, as well as physical properties like strength and explosiveness.

 

There are people who believe your bodyweight is all you need and then, there are people who religiously engage in weight training, preaching bench, squats and deadlifts even to their grandma.

 

But which approach is better and what benefits can you reap from these types of training?

In this article, we’ll answer this, and more, so if you’ve ever wondered which type of training is better, keep reading!

 

The Differences

Bodyweight Training, otherwise known as “calisthenics” is the activity of using your body weight to perform certain exercises under the force of gravity, without any equipment or added weight.

 

Some of the most common bodyweight exercises are movements like push-ups, squats, pull-ups, lunges, muscle-ups and dips.

 

On the other hand, weightlifting involves the use of barbells, dumbbells and machines to create resistance.

 

The squat, deadlift and bench are the three fundamental exercises in weightlifting, which are even a benchmark for strength!

 

Now if you’re already wondering which type of training is superior, let us tell you this - both types of training are effective and can be utilized to leverage strength and muscle gains!

 

However, which one is superior depends on the context and the goal the individual has, so let us take you through the advantages and disadvantages of both types of training.

 

The Benefits Of Calisthenics

Bodyweight training is most of all, a good way to establish fundamental strength and muscular development.

 

Because, well, being able to lift your own bodyweight, before moving on to lifting weights, kind of makes sense doesn’t it?

 

This fundamental relative strength can then give you the opportunity to ease into weight training and maximize your potential for physical development.

 

The bad part of calisthenics is that it gets too easy, too quickly, because you’re working with your bodyweight.

 

In less than one year, pull-ups, push-ups and dips can become quite easy and you then have to add more weights on top, to keep progressing.

 

Another option is to learn more complex movements like handstands, planche, front levers and others, but if your PRIMARY goal is to gain strength and grow your muscles, this approach is perhaps suboptimal.

 

The Benefits Of Weight Training

In the context of maximizing growth and strength potential, weight training appears to be the king here.

 

The principle of both types of training is the same - Creating resistance. However, with weight training, the resistance and muscular tension is generated by an external force, making everything far more intense.

 

Additionally, weight training can help you seamlessly target muscle groups that you can hardly work on directly, with just calisthenics.

 

This implies that in terms of aesthetic development, weight training  is superior.

 

Weight training at its very essence, allows you to do more intense work, during which you can easily increase the resistance by adding extra weight on the bar or picking heavier dumbbells.

 

 

Which One Should YOU Choose?

 

Here’s a wild idea - You can combine both types of training but focus more on the one that resonates with your goals best.

 

You like explosive bodyweight movements that look cool? Go for the monkey bars and bodyweight training.

 

You are looking to maximize your strength and muscular development? Opt for a gym membership.

 

As simple as that!

 

Final Thoughts

 

The human body is capable of a LOT and it has plenty of potential lying within. It’s just a matter of YOU, taking the necessary action to unlock that potential and realize it.

 

Whether you choose to engage in bodyweight training or just go to a gym, you won’t be in the wrong!

 

Both of these types of training offer amazing benefits and can help you develop a good-looking, strong body.

 

Start somewhere, see what you like better, what gets you closer to your goals and focus on that!

 

Stay strong.

 

For a Hybrid program that includes the benefits of both modalities paired with personalized nutrition, go check out www.hybridathletetraining.com

 

Read more